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  #21  
Old 07.10.2011, 10:28
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

i see you are from the US. people in switzerland are actually very polite in comparison to italy/east europe when it comes to walking down the street, personal space and driving manners. you should head to italy/east europe to see when you are crossing the street at a stop light and nobody stays to their right side, but goes through you.

regarding the personal space, i dont really mind that at all. i actually dislike the american way of having the huge "personal space" when talking to people. just feel too cold.
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  #22  
Old 07.10.2011, 10:31
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Re: No common sense?

I think you will notice the locals have their heads down, on their way to work, on their way from work, on their way to stuff their face before they have to go back to work, on their way to do some %$^#!!ing shopping, on their way to the doctor, dragging kids who don't want to be on their way to anywhere, their heads buried in their handy, et cetera ad infinitum, not like tourists aimlessly wandering and gawking.

Try doing your walking around on Sunday...
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  #23  
Old 07.10.2011, 13:44
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

I'm Swiss and local here and I still get upset, especially when I'm on a sidewalk.

So I opted for a strategy on the sidewalk, and it generally works: when I see 2,3, or more people approaching together side by side (by the way not only Swiss ), I slow down, walk very slowly towards them and then, miracle, they get notice of that, we can cross each other without bumps. Sometimes I even stop firmly on the sidewalk: they don't have any other choice than to move and let me pass with them.

IMO this kind of "fight for/protect my space" could be an answer for a feeling of beeing "threatened". Not only have we very little space here, but there is hectic inside. The fact that the "turnaround" here is on 6 days and that many things close early doesn't contribute to create a more relaxed atmosphere.
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Old 07.10.2011, 13:53
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

This isn't the walking on the street problem, but the getting on/off the bus problem. Still applies, I feel.

A couple of weeks ago, I was sat on the bus and a guy went to get off. Some woman barged on while he was getting off, so he just stood there. She pressed herself up against the wall to let him off, but she was pretty chunky, so he just started at her until she got off the bus. He walked past her, gave her a very sarcastic "merci" and walked off smimling. I was also smiling.
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  #25  
Old 07.10.2011, 14:37
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

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.

So I opted for a strategy on the sidewalk, and it generally works: when I see 2,3, or more people approaching together side by side (by the way not only Swiss ), I slow down, walk very slowly towards them and then, miracle, they get notice of that, we can cross each other without bumps. Sometimes I even stop firmly on the sidewalk: they don't have any other choice than to move and let me pass with them.

.
Yes, I do that too. If they see me coming and make no effort, then I just come to a standstill, indicate my pathway, and say "Bitte" ........ and they move.

Here I used to have a problem with schoolkids blocking the pavement with their bikes while chatting - I found if one stops, smile, wait, they move.

It`s called, I think, "The Law of the Jungle"...?
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Old 07.10.2011, 16:22
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

You could always pretend you have a nervous tic... people will probably give you more space that way!

Or have loud conversations with yourself- you'll have all the room in the world then!

All in jest, of course..
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Old 07.10.2011, 16:47
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Re: No common sense?

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I thought it was that too but it never happened to me in Istanbul (20 miliions of people) and doesn't happen here in Barcelona.

My personal conclusion? It's them...

Edit: Don't get me wrong, it is nothing wrong of being them, we have to ajust somehow... Like in every other countries cultures.
Hmmm, not sure. It doesn't happen to me in Switzerland. Actually it's never happened to me before (that i can remember enough to be upset about), in that I've never noticed I was bumping into people or they me. But it happens EVERY day in Buenos Aires. I'm guessing that we think we are in synch but we are not.



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I am lucky enough to be 6-foot, 200 lbs, and my clothes all look just different enough that I probably scream "Ausländer" to any Swiss in my path, and they just move.

I do notice a lot of jostling in places like Zurich HBf, and my wife's colleague (female, petite) went off on some locals in Lausanne who just flagrantly tried to shove in front of her in line at a food stand.

Just the way it is here. There are different ideas of personal space here. My best advice is try to observe others on the street- obviously everybody is not colliding with everyone else, so there is some "trick" to it!
I saw a documentary once (or a TV magazine show). It was about discrimination and it showed how small people were always bumped into. This experiment was done in NYC. I'll see if I can find it some where.
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  #28  
Old 07.10.2011, 16:56
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

I must confess that in Basel, many years ago, walking against the incoming tide of groups of school youngsters spread across the whole (broad) pavement every lunch-time, I used to walk at 'one side' of the pavement but straight ahead no matter what. The youngsters occasionally looked a bit surprised when I hit the end one shoulder to shoulder (mine were bonier than theirs!) but I would ask innocently - but you don't really expect me to walk round all of you, do you? I don't think I ever got a reply but I felt better for it.

Never needed to do it since. You guys just aren't nippy enough on your feet. People don't walk into me. People don't run into me either. Well, one did, but she was cheating - she was in a car.
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  #29  
Old 07.10.2011, 17:41
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

So far I've spent about 55 years in Switzerland plus a few years in Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands and the USA. I may have gathered a close encounter of the bumping kind every other year in Switzerland, hundreds in Greece and practically none in the other countries. I do not blame the Greeks, where bodily contact is just considered normal, in every aspect of life.

I know that personal space in the USA is wider than in Switzerland, and I assume the same applies to the UK. This may cause the impression of going to be bumped into whenever that personal space is encroached. That in turn may trigger wrong evasive action (the sync problem mentioned above), which will eventually result the occasional real bump.

I think some more scientific research is needed.
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  #30  
Old 07.10.2011, 17:52
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

Your situation reminded me of the Dr Suess book



I have to say being a big black guy I dont have that problem much, but what does get me ticked off is the lack of acknowledgement from people if you do, say, let them pass through a door first or hold a door open for the person coming in or out after you. But I will keep doing it and smile, coz I am a couteous person and I will not be swain.
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  #31  
Old 07.10.2011, 20:50
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

You kinda get used to it. It's the small country syndrome. Switzerland has only about *30+ percent habitable space, so it makes one get a bit defensive of the small space you possess...even if it is just a piece of the sidewalk..

I've developed a pretty good way to weave my way around, and rarely bump into anyone unless I need to make a point..heh..JK

*not sure how accurate, something i remember reading once upon a time
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  #32  
Old 08.10.2011, 22:41
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

It's the fact that people stand so close in supermarket lines that you can practically feel their breath on your neck that I still can't really get used to
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  #33  
Old 08.10.2011, 23:03
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

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People don't walk into me. People don't run into me either. Well, one did, but she was cheating - she was in a car.
hope that it was a very long time ago and that you're ok ?
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  #34  
Old 08.10.2011, 23:25
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

I also got this situation today, had to break out into some sandy area.
In these situations you wish you had a gun... don't step aside? okay -> cap in yo *ss.
Oh, wait! That's why the US don't know this issue
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  #35  
Old 09.10.2011, 11:09
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

With one exception, I've never noticed any problems with personal space here. One thing I have noticed (and like) is that cyclists ding their bell at you when approaching. In Canada and the UK, you'd basically just get run down.

The exception was an elderly man with a sourly look on his face. We were both walking in opposite directions and I moved over in advance of passing. He them moved in the same direction. I went back. He went back. At that point it was obviously not one of those coincidental simultaneous dodges. He was doing it in response. He then literally came right up to my face, screamed at me in German and started to flap his hand. I thought he was going to hit me so I moved away, wishing I had a large biscuit to shove in his face.
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  #36  
Old 09.10.2011, 11:31
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

Wow
I never knew we could talk so much about it and link it with space issues, population, anthropology! EFers can surely analyze stuff!

Being from India, i hardly have issues moving around here, however, the main trouble i have is which side i need to stay in a sidewalk, is it the left side or the right side of the side walk that i should stick to.

Interestingly, my first bump happened yesterday when I was getting down from a tram at Zurich HB and heading towards the staircase for the RailCity shopping area. This fellow with his strolley was rushing on the tram stop and was right in front of the door when i stepped out, he kept moving ahead and i kept trying to go around him, but as we both didn't stop i ended up kicking his luggage twice. At this point i stopped, he never reacted and moved ahead. Honestly, I was a bit miffed at this utter disregard for anyone passing by.

Maybe people go into auto-pilot after being programmed for destination here?
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Old 09.10.2011, 11:34
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

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The exception was an elderly man with a sourly look on his face. We were both walking in opposite directions and I moved over in advance of passing. He them moved in the same direction. I went back. He went back. At that point it was obviously not one of those coincidental simultaneous dodges. He was doing it in response. He then literally came right up to my face, screamed at me in German and started to flap his hand. I thought he was going to hit me so I moved away, wishing I had a large biscuit to shove in his face.
Yeah! That was me! I was trying to save the reputation of the Swiss after having noticed a serious decline of bumping skills!
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  #38  
Old 09.10.2011, 13:44
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Re: No common sense? (personal space awareness issue)

used to happen to me when I first arrived here, then I learnt to walk to the right side of the street

Now I smile when I see people from the kingdom (old kingdom as well as new) walking on the wrong side of the street and bumping into everyone.
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Old 18.10.2011, 10:46
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Re: No common sense?

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In other words, "When in Rome, Do the Romans "
You wanted to say..... "When in Rome,...." do like the Romans do... right?
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Old 18.10.2011, 10:49
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Re: No common sense?

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You wanted to say..... "When in Rome,...." do like the Romans do... right?
Did anybody ever tell you, that you look like Ghadaffi?
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