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Old 14.12.2011, 09:29
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Re: Anyone who doesnt feel right in Basel?

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Tony - not being argumentative (I hope) but how do you get from "I don't feel quite at home here because I don't speak Swiss German and can't integrate" to "Go somewhere where they speak English".....

Not saying its a bad idea....I just don't quite get the logic
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Very good encouragement of integration...
The OP said that she doesnt feel at home in Basel.

Now what better place to start than at least having your mother tongue around you.

Thanks for the "well deserved" groan there ARC_VD, but i am simply talking from my own experiences, at the beginning (6 years ago) i struggled to fit in and feel at home. Once i realised that there were so many people speaking English, suddenly it didnt seem so bad. If you dont agree then fair enough, but giving my opinion of how i overcame the initial fitting in process does not deserve to be groaned at. Maybe you could enlighten us with how you would go about it!

The OP also said that people tend not to talk to each other. It is a well known fact that the Swiss are generally less outgoing than people from other corners of the globe. Again, I cannot prove this factually, but simply through my own experiences. Now stop groaning and give some decent advice!

And Cariarchips - hope this clears that up for you
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Old 14.12.2011, 20:20
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MaryH has made some interesting contributions
Re: Anyone who doesnt feel right in Basel?

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Well, in Tony's defense, I think a big thing in being able to integrate someplace new is to find that place where you are comfortable first. I don't mean physical place, but place within... if that means making a few other non-integrated friends first and becoming more comfortable and confident day-to-day, then do it.

Then, hopefully you will find some like-minded spirits with whom you can collectively join in activities that may have otherwise seemed daunting (or felt like it would make you appear desperate or whatever to do alone) and take the next steps in integration - widening / joining a wider circle which includes folks from the area as well.

I too struggled for a long time because my husband didn't even keep in touch with childhood friends. He has one or two coworkers with whom he is friendly, but even they aren't exactly "friends" as I'd describe it.

Mary, I am not keen on art movies myself but my two downstairs neighbors are - they even work at a theater which shows the art and indie movies - AND they speak "perfect" English, happy enough to speak English with me too. So, maybe create an event here on the forum (or GLocals, or wherever) doing some theater or small / underground music venues and events. The people who sign up will likely become "regular" if you do it, and being there with people will help you feel (and more importantly from a social standpoint) appear comfortable, which will make you (appear) more approachable to others too.

Another thing to do is pay attention to when there are events here on EF which involve FOOD. Pretty much everyone eats at some point so no matter what else someone may be into, gathering over some grub puts some commonality into things. Since you're eating, there is less pressure to try and be witty and chatty with folks you dunno so well too. And, since you're eating (rather than going to a club), there is less pressure to look your absolute best, you can wear something "nice" rather than that outfit that looks great but only if you're standing constantly, so again, it puts a "comfort" factor into things. The "group" of Basel expats who gather from time to time over food has a few fair constants but otherwise changes, not everyone goes to every event, so the chances that you'll meet some with similar interests to yours at some point definitely exists.

I'd offer a bit more than advice if I could but, well, I'm already in that age group which you mentioned you're not so interested in hanging with () but my "likely to be social" meter is a bit erratic these days... I think I'm becoming a bit too much like my hubby.
Hi PegA,

Just wanted to thank you very much for your very kind and long comment with so many good suggestions! It was very heartwarming and comforting to read this!

Have a nice evening!
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