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  #41  
Old 07.06.2012, 15:12
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Re: I need to leave CH

Ok but that is really a strange joke then. ^^ But in 3 weeks we will not see each other again, so I don`t mind. He is old enough to know what to say to people.
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  #42  
Old 07.06.2012, 15:20
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Re: I need to leave CH

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Ok but that is really a strange joke then. ^^ But in 3 weeks we will not see each other again, so I don`t mind. He is old enough to know what to say to people.
It seems the Swiss are like this, even to their own kind... you can't believe how many times my husband comes home in a bad mood because of a rude comment/joke saud by a cowoker... he always calls it a kindergarden. We were hoping it would change since he is now in a totally new line of work, but seems this competitive type kindergarden behaviour runs rampant through the Swiss system. Foreigner or not
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Old 07.06.2012, 15:51
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Re: I need to leave CH

Thanks for the post, it says a lot about being an Expat in CH. My wife and I are well into our second year in CH and are now looking for a way out. For the reasons you state and for many more we have found CH (Basel) such a difficult place to live.

We 'done our homework', or at least thought we had, before coming here after living in several countries in Europe, N America and APAC. However, only when we tried living and integrating did we realise just how many barriers there are in Switzerland and the general non-acceptance of non-Swiss nationals. It has left us fairly soured by Switzerland and the people and we are now exploring the options to leave altogether and 'put it down to experience'...unfortunately in our case, a fairly negative one.
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  #44  
Old 07.06.2012, 17:08
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Re: I need to leave CH

It's interesting to see that many people have similar impressions and experiences to my own.

1) As a US citizen, my bank (three letters) has made it very clear that I am (just barely) tolerated as a customer. I do not have free choice of whom I may deal with there (a friend of mine is a customer rep, but she isn't allowed to serve US citizens). And since I own a property in Germany which was financed through the same bank, I'm even less desirable (they have terminated my mortgage effective next month, so I'm currently refinancing the property through a German bank, but I'm taking a huge hit because of the weak Euro at the moment).

2) Vehicle repairs - on those few occasions where I did repairs myself, I've been fortunate to have experienced friends around to help me. Regardless - most of the repair shops I've dealt with wouldn't be offended if I explained what I did and what still needs to be done - I think that's just talk from people who would NEVER get their hands dirty anyway. If the shop DID give me crap about doing some repairs myself, that would be the last time I ever stepped foot in that garage.

3) Racism and Swiss nationalism - it exists. Accept it or leave, because you aren't going to be able to change it.

I grew up in California - I lived there for 25 years before moving to Europe 22 years ago. I lived in Germany for 12 years before moving to Switzerland, mostly to escape the bloodthirsty German tax authorities. After 12 years living in Switzerland, my wife and I are planning to move back to Germany later this year.

My wife (a German citizen) has had very little luck meeting people in our town, so our apartment is just a place to sleep, but not "home". Since we bought our property in Germany last year, she's had more contact with the neighbors there than she had with our Swiss neighbors in the 7 years prior. There certainly is a difference between German towns and Swiss towns - at least in terms of neighborhood relations.
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  #45  
Old 07.06.2012, 17:32
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Re: I need to leave CH

Wish you luck where ever you go, but I think nowhere is free of the few bad apples. I have never had any bad experiences here, and really like living here, I am married to a " foreigner" also, so maybe we don't get out enough or I just don't hear them talking about me or I just plain lucky
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  #46  
Old 07.06.2012, 17:33
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Re: I need to leave CH

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Hm... i'm starting to worry that you disagree with me because I am a white, and also french... That would be racism + discrimination based on nationality...
Well, what d'you expect?

I've been here too long and picked up bad habits from the locals...

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  #47  
Old 07.06.2012, 17:54
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Re: I need to leave CH

Sometimes we have to accept that the decisions we make have turned out to be the wrong ones. It's a fact of life and happens to everyone at some point in time I would think. Chalk your stay here up to experience, put it behind you and look forward to starting a new chapter in your life somewhere where, hopefully, you'll be happier than you are now. Good luck.
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  #48  
Old 07.06.2012, 18:09
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Re: I need to leave CH

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I grew up in California - I lived there for 25 years before moving to Europe 22 years ago. I lived in Germany for 12 years before moving to Switzerland, mostly to escape the bloodthirsty German tax authorities. After 12 years living in Switzerland, my wife and I are planning to move back to Germany later this year.
While I understand the OP, his opinions and his decision..I really can't get it why people spend like 12 years in CH only to leave in disgust. (btw, is it 12 and 12? 'cause you said you have left for Europe 22 years ago. ah..never mind.)
If I'll stay here for 12 years or more I'll certainly do something about my way of thinking: try to understand their mentality and their way of doing things and be, if not happy, at least OK with that.
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  #49  
Old 07.06.2012, 18:26
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Re: I need to leave CH

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Some mechanics are great, and some are crap.

The guy who works on my car is great, but I do all the work on most of my bikes myself (except for my daughters scooter, I general let the local guy do that), or when my bikes were under warranty. However, the guys at the dealer knew that I do my own work generally, and know that I'm very good at it (as does my car guy) and even let me borrow tools or number plates, so to say that they have an attitude about people working on their own stuff is nonsense!

Tom
I have had only 3 proper repairs done by Swiss garages, one a Peugeot main dealer to change a wheel bearing. The official time was 1 hour, however they charged for 2.5 & failed to tighten up the back plate by the brake disk. The second time was to change the rear brake pads, a special tool was needed so I went to a proffi, I get a call on Monday morning saying 'don't drive the car' we left a circlip off! NEVER again will I get anything safety related done here, even if that means I have to get my hands dirty, at least I know it's done properly at the end. 3rd time windscreen wipers just stopped, the fuse was fine so I told them it was a relay which was making a noise! They said no it's the motor so ended up paying for a motor & relay as they still did not work when they changed the motor. They actually changed the electrics module with the wrong one as well, I was even able to point to the burnt relay on the old module.....

The only sucessful repair was tightening up a cover on the exaust last week at 17.45 in the evening, much easier done on a ramp!
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  #50  
Old 07.06.2012, 18:36
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Re: I need to leave CH

I used to see a girl in the neighbourhood where I lived who was a refugee - I witnessed some terrible behaviour to her - ( at the supermarket her change was thrown and fell on the floor, ignored when she spoke etc) - but she took herself and daughter off to Canada - a while later she got in touch and was living a happier life.

I am in quite a small town now and there are a few refugees - but they have intergrated well and recently one was going to be sent back to his home country.The local community supported that he remained as he was such a valuable member of the community and really put himself out.

To the OP Sad, but it does happen in a lot of Countries - you just have to move on - Good Luck in the future
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  #51  
Old 07.06.2012, 18:46
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Re: I need to leave CH

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Thanks for the post, it says a lot about being an Expat in CH. My wife and I are well into our second year in CH and are now looking for a way out. For the reasons you state and for many more we have found CH (Basel) such a difficult place to live.

We 'done our homework', or at least thought we had, before coming here after living in several countries in Europe, N America and APAC. However, only when we tried living and integrating did we realise just how many barriers there are in Switzerland and the general non-acceptance of non-Swiss nationals. It has left us fairly soured by Switzerland and the people and we are now exploring the options to leave altogether and 'put it down to experience'...unfortunately in our case, a fairly negative one.

That's the worst part- feeling like you had done a lot of research and put a lot of effort and thought into moving, only to find out that your research was ''inadequate'' or you were slightly misled by the reputation of the country. Then you blame yourself for not ''seeing between the lines'' somehow before moving, but the reality is, you cannot possibly ever know whether a country will work for you until you move and try to integrate yourself.

So, to the OP especially - congratulations at least for trying, and don't think of it as a mistake necessarily; it was required.
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  #52  
Old 07.06.2012, 18:53
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Re: I need to leave CH

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...
3) Racism and Swiss nationalism - it exists. Accept it or leave, because you aren't going to be able to change it.

I grew up in California - I lived there for 25 years before moving to Europe 22 years ago. I lived in Germany for 12 years before moving to Switzerland, mostly to escape the bloodthirsty German tax authorities. After 12 years living in Switzerland, my wife and I are planning to move back to Germany later this year.
...
You can tell me what you want, and - yes - some things in Germany may work out better than they do in CH (in others CH might be better off),
but Germany is not a better place at all to live than Switzerland in nationalist xenophobia and welcome-foreigners matters.

I'm not talking Geiz-ist-geil (even if there is a link with being selfish and self considerant), but really what nowadays in Germany is considered maybe not even common practice but rather common sense I once would have found myself directly in the director's office for, as a pupil.

Btw, as mentioned by another user above, your years spent in Europe, CH and D, don't make much sense.
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  #53  
Old 07.06.2012, 19:07
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Re: I need to leave CH

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You can tell me what you want, and - yes - some things in Germany may work out better than they do in CH (in others CH might be better off),
but Germany is not a better place at all to live than Switzerland in nationalist xenophobia and welcome-foreigners matters.

Huh?

Anyhoo, have you lived there? I can say that I personally have not had negative experiences here or in Germany - but it does seem that the sentiment is more prevalent here in CH. In our little town there is a feud going on about building regulations and changing zoning after the fact - letters to the editor in the local papers and all. There is a bunch of "you're the bad apple go back to where you are from" type of language being used. To be fair, I assume the guy they are against is Swiss as well, just maybe not from our town? I haven't been here long enough to know all the details.
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  #54  
Old 07.06.2012, 19:29
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Re: I need to leave CH

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I'm going to cut through the political correctness here and ask directly:

Do you look African, Asian, Indian or what? Are you saying that the Swiss have problems with another color of skin? Your perceptions might very well be true (sadly) but again, the Swiss don't want to be used as a cash cow hence their suspicious nature.
Ah the old... 'I'm not racist ... but this PC thing has gone too far...'

Do you look African ?.... How does anyone look 'African' ? (would these guys count ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boer)

Are you saying that the Swiss have problems with another color of skin? Are you saying that all Swiss are one colour ?

the Swiss don't want to be used as a cash cow hence their suspicious nature
... of people who don't 'look' Swiss... all the Swiss looking people are totally trustworthy...
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  #55  
Old 07.06.2012, 19:34
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Re: I need to leave CH

Do you really think , Germany is better then Swïtzerland ?
In Germany you get low wages, pay high taxes and social fees, sometimes you have to drive for 2 Hours (one way)from your House to your Workplace,........
Money isn't everything, but you need a certain amount of it to reach your goals.
Sometimes it is hard to make it through, (really)Friends are hard to find, but I would not return to Germany (for working and living), because I did worked there for 24 years and year by year it did get worse.
Germany is now not a place to be, because the got so much unemployed people there (not in the real statiscs), the "real" headcount should at around 12 million.
Some cities in Germany can't afford simple repairs to the streets or the Police can't afford Petrol for their cars(Karlsruhe).
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Old 07.06.2012, 20:13
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Re: I need to leave CH

there is no question that the Swiss travel in cliques, and they tend to distrust other people. but, and this is important, they distrust EVERYBODY. if you are non-white, they might initially distrust you because they assume you are seeking asylum or looking for a free lunch; if you are white and speak no Swiss German or speak it with an American or British accent, or speak only German with a German accent, they will assume you are a wealthy expat who is stealing their jobs and driving their rental prices up; if you find yourself in Thurgau and your heimort is Zurich then they will assume that you're arrogant SOB who knows everything; and so on, and so on. this, however, is not "racism". if you drop something on the street and nobody around you stops to help you pick it up, it's not because you're black, white, yellow or anything else - it's because they expect you to stop and pick it up yourself.

btw, the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan are much the same. there are certain suburbs where I always had to lie about where I was from, and other suburbs whose residents were not welcome in our own. and, of course, there are certain areas where being "black" is a recipe for trouble, just as there are certain areas where being "white" is a recipe for trouble. it is unfortunately part of human nature, and it is not exclusive to Switzerland.

P.S. much as I learned to do in Detroit, I have learned to laugh at the few "bad apples" I have met over here. I guess I could spend my time trying to "educate" them, but life is short so why bother? it seems, btw, that there are at least a few Swiss who share that view.



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  #57  
Old 07.06.2012, 20:36
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Re: I need to leave CH

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if you are non-white, they might initially distrust you because they assume you are seeking asylum
Why shouldn't they trust someone who is seeking asylum?
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  #58  
Old 07.06.2012, 20:49
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Re: I need to leave CH

let me know when you leave. i need to buy everything. furniture, household items etc.

thanks.
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Old 07.06.2012, 20:58
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Re: I need to leave CH

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there is no question that the Swiss ... tend to distrust other people. but, and this is important, they distrust EVERYBODY.... if you....speak only German with a German accent, they will assume you are a wealthy expat who is stealing their jobs and driving their rental prices up;
You forgot a few key aspects:
  • In case they do not believe that you are driving the rental prices up (as a wealthy expat) some Swiss will believe that you are driving the salaries down or are trying to steal from their social security system.
  • In case they are not concerned about their jobs or rental prices some will actually believe that you are depriving them of their room to live and breathe...
  • If you speak German without any accent some Swiss will be concerned about the purity of Swiss German (whatever the local flavor is between Basel, Bern and St.Gallen).
Bottom line: Some Swiss spend their lives in constant fear. I feel sorry for them.
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Old 07.06.2012, 20:58
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Re: I need to leave CH

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Yup. That's about it.

I can no longer open bank accounts at certain banks because of my nationality. It's outright discrimination but I blame the greedy Swiss banks who took too many risks and are now afraid of the American government.
The blame lies with the American government who ignores the sovereignty of other nations and forces foreign banks into reporting practices solely to meet the IRS' desires.

Do you have any idea how expensive and extensive FATCA is for banks to implement? Swiss banks are responding to the rediculousness of the regulations imposed on them by the Americans. Blame your congressmen. Oh wait, that's right, we don't have one of those to represent Expat interests. Taxation without representation? Sounds familiar, eh?

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