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Old 19.08.2012, 07:23
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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Hey y'all hot sweaty people

What a beautiful day!

Been out and about getting things done today, and the usual rudeness, pushing, lack of courtesy has been in high spirits.

Maybe it's the heat that's making it worse or more noticeable today, but thought I would put it to the forum:

Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?? If not, what is and why?

I appreciate perspectives are different, and I guess being British the concept of just basic common courtesy is ingrained into our culture, or atleast what we perceive to be so.

So what's with the groups of morons that stand in front of doors that 50 people are trying to exit because they are desperate for that choice of seat on the bus? You will get an elbow in the face and don't be shocked by it!

Why are they even doing that when there are 20 people clearly waiting for the bus before them?

Why do people perceive ones shoulder as a valid seat / leaning post? For them or their bag?

If you work in a shop, and you are stacking the shelf, but a customer wants to reach for something from where you are, why is it not obvious to take a step back and allow the customer to shop in the shop?

Why when two members of staff are having a chit chat blocking an aisle is it not obvious customer can not get past and move? Why is the scusie (sic) met with a tut and a huff?

What is wrong with these people?

You pay me well and you tax me low and the country is beautiful.

But sort out the density of your brains!

Rant over!

> Common courtesy in Britain ? is that a new invention of after the year 2000 ?

> Nobody "pushes" in Britain ? you mean a new development ?

> When on Saturday I exited from S-Bahn-lines, nobody was blocking anywhere. Are you possibly a victim to imagination due to the high temperatures ? or a victim of "les idées fixes" ?

> Nobody ever regarded my shoulder as a seat or leaning post. Nowhere really

> When you go shopping and you see a member of the personnel refilling shelves, it is just basic courtesy of a sensible customer to wait, as the employee is refilling FOR YOU Not to respect this is a severe lack of common sense and basic courtesy

> Employees talking with each other generally give way when a customer approaches. Exceptions of course happen

> Finally, what you rant about is what happens in places like Marshall/TX, Dublin, London-W2, Gent, Paris-Opéra, Dijon, Strassburg, Köln, Stuttgart, München, Konstanz, Milano, Pisa, Barcelona, Athens, Tel Aviv, Amman, Cairo, Alexandria, Tunis, Algiers, Oran, Casablanca ........ so why not in Zürich ? Why should things be better in Switzerland than elsewhere ? Why should Switzerland be different from Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Vorarlberg, Lombardia, Piemonte, Savoy, Burgundy, Elsass/Alsace ??

You here are in Central Europe, the area consisting of South Germany, Switzerland, North Italy, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Czechia. I do not see much of a difference in behaviours between Zürich and Prague/Praha, Basel and Budapest, Geneva and Milano, Bergamo and Schaffhausen, Bern and München. The mentality (culture is not the word) may be different from the one you were used to. But this is normal. Exactly this makes the world interesting.

Another rant placed
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Old 19.08.2012, 07:42
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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Im in Spain right now.... And unfortunately Paris has come to me.

All the French guys wear speedos and sunglasses in the grocery store. My son keeps asking me why these people forgot pants. The arrogance is astounding! But even they dont run into you at the store
There is no arrogance. It is just normal behaviour. You may have to tell your son that they do not regard pants as a need for going shopping in a grocery store !
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Old 19.08.2012, 10:07
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

Threads like this make me shake my head a bit...

Sure they may seem rude to folks from places where "polite behavior" is managed in a different way, the real question is whether Swiss folks have a general sense of rudeness about each other.

I mean, as an example, according to what I observed when I was young, and "learned" when covering cultural things in my language class some years ago, Japanese folks would consider many things we consider normal to be the height of rudeness as well, because they come at things in a round-about way rather than direct to the heart. To make someone else feel demeaned is seen as a loss to themselves, many of us here on this forum would be seen as quite rude indeed (as well as lacking in shame).
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Old 19.08.2012, 10:17
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

The rudest thing: a few months after I arrived here one old lady told me, at the tram stop: MUS LERNE SCHWYZER!! I was so depressed...
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Old 19.08.2012, 10:39
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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The rudest thing: a few months after I arrived here one old lady told me, at the tram stop: MUS LERNE SCHWYZER!! I was so depressed...
If that depresses you, if you travel to the US, be happy you already speak English, as that is a message that goes around quite often (well, except with "English" being the stated language) in the US - despite the fact that a good many of the original non-native settlers didn't have English as their main language anyhow.

There are actually restaurants with signs like this:


How's that for depressing and rude?


I bring up the comparison because when determining "rudeness", you have to know by what standard it is measured. Since I'd seen plenty of this last example in the past 10+ yrs in the US, there really hasn't been anything I've seen here that is anywhere near what I'd consider rude by comparison.
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Old 19.08.2012, 10:43
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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The rudest thing: a few months after I arrived here one old lady told me, at the tram stop: MUS LERNE SCHWYZER!! I was so depressed...
Now I am Swiss and thought I speak German but I sincerely don't have a clue what she said. How on earth could you understand her?
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Old 19.08.2012, 10:44
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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There are actually restaurants with signs like this:
Yea, but the sign does say "Please".
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Old 19.08.2012, 10:50
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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The rudest thing: a few months after I arrived here one old lady told me, at the tram stop: MUS LERNE SCHWYZER!! I was so depressed...

To which you should have replied "Ihnen auch!"

Or maybe "INNEN HAUCH!"
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Old 19.08.2012, 11:01
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

Rather senseless another thread on the same topic already beaten to death...

On average you can imagine that we live in automated society with human robots roaming in the streets, shops and offices who were taught from generation to generation how to serve economic cause and the world to perfection. Failure to do so might result in closely undefined celebral damage and lack of discipline can drive individual insane. Every member of such society follows mundane daily routine and is driven by specific goal hence there is no room for courtesy and niceties as it might be perceived serious factor of distraction from the main mission. Unless these are well calculated and pretended in order to gain something. So we live in such society and we mind our own businesses. And do not even think of it as it is hard to change the androids...
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Old 19.08.2012, 11:12
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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Rather senseless another thread on the same topic already beaten to death...

On average you can imagine that we live in automated society with human robots roaming in the streets, shops and offices who were taught from generation to generation how to serve economic cause and the world to perfection. Failure to do so might result in closely undefined celebral damage and lack of discipline can drive individual insane. Every member of such society follows mundane daily routine and is driven by specific goal hence there is no room for courtesy and niceties as it might be perceived serious factor of distraction from the main mission. Unless these are well calculated and pretended in order to gain something. So we live in such society and we mind our own businesses. And do not even think of it as it is hard to change the androids...
Absolutely
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Old 19.08.2012, 11:53
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

Don't you just love stereotypes
For the last time, Zurich and Geneva are not Switzerland - people where I live are very friendly, warm, open, and no appointments needed. Apéros, coffee, walk, meal in or out, kids playing, BBQ - all happen in the blink of an eye.

You reap what you sow, jut as Grumpy said. The driving analogy is interesting. There is nothing wrong per se with driving on the left or the right. Most of the driving rules are OK, as long as where you are, you know them and apply them. If you insist on driving on the left here, and refuse to acknowledge the 'priorité à droite' you'll come a-cropper.

I felt so daft when first in London, extending my arm to shake hands, or expecting to be kissed 3 times every time we met friends, etc. You observe, you learn, you adapt- you survive- and you slowly begin to feel comfortable with the differences, enjoy them even. Or you go and join the Dodo
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Old 19.08.2012, 12:09
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

Warning : fight in Zurich. Person took offence to me not waiting in line and shoved me. Hit him.

Warning: person took offence to getting shoulder in face when departing bus. I took offence to him taking offence and hit him.

I am now cultured
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Old 19.08.2012, 12:11
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

You don't half talk rubbish when you are bored
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Old 19.08.2012, 12:20
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

Just moved here with my Swiss wife on 7 July... it's funny to see this thread this morning after the conversation my wife and I had last night...
We have lived together in Seattle for the last 12 years, so we were discussing about feeling "at home" because she was out with friends at Churfest and just got home. They had asked her if she feels like she is home now after being gone 12+ years and her answers was yes, because she can now give short answers with out all the fluff'n stuff that Amerikans in Seattle needed to do to engage in conversations... she likes that she is easily understood and isn't questioned if she is having a bad day when she gets straight to the point of the conversation.
This is what I think is part of the culture shock, getting straight to the point not using smiles with strangers etc. Since I lived with her for 12 years, it's no shock to me being here speaking with others... except for all the inconsiderate smokers, and the people that try to get on an elevator or a bus or train when I'm trying to get out.
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Old 19.08.2012, 12:29
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

My wife tells me it's the difference between being direct vs indirect, Americans call it being nice while deeming the Suisse rude - I suppose that's the problem when you're conditioned to being fake/superficial
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Old 19.08.2012, 13:00
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

I must apologise to any children that had to witness that this morning.

I think the issue at the supermarket was merely because the guy who brought about the confrontation was not Swiss. When his friend asked what the hell I was playing at I educated him in stating the issue was him confronting me about not being bothered to wait behind them. Why should I? It was a long line.

The guy who got my shoulder in his face as I got off the tram was Swiss. He didn't seem to have a problem with the shoulder in his face. He was a bit stumped but he didn't complain until he kicked me from behind, that's why it escalated.

To be fair earlier in the shop, at the cigarette counter, when the lady picked up the wrong brand I altered my "no sorry, I want the golds please" to a huff and puff and pointed at the golds and shook my head. She said sorry rather than get angry.

I think I see how it works now.
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Old 19.08.2012, 13:05
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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I must apologise to any children that had to witness that this morning.

I think the issue at the supermarket was merely because the guy who brought about the confrontation was not Swiss. When his friend asked what the hell I was playing at I educated him in stating the issue was him confronting me about not being bothered to wait behind them. Why should I? It was a long line.

The guy who got my shoulder in his face as I got off the tram was Swiss. He didn't seem to have a problem with the shoulder in his face. He was a bit stumped but he didn't complain until he kicked me from behind, that's why it escalated.

To be fair earlier in the shop, at the cigarette counter, when the lady picked up the wrong brand I altered my "no sorry, I want the golds please" to a huff and puff and pointed at the golds and shook my head. She said sorry rather than get angry.

I think I see how it works now.
The other thing about you that is remarkable is that your posts and your signature don't really fit.
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Old 19.08.2012, 13:08
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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Now I am Swiss and thought I speak German but I sincerely don't have a clue what she said. How on earth could you understand her?
He either misunderstood what she was saying (possibly something different) or the old lady was NOT Swiss but "ex-Yugo" and wanted to hint to the point that it is positive to try to learn the local dialect
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Old 19.08.2012, 13:09
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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But my point is that by "acknowledging a perception differential" as you put it, I'm confused about the benchmarks for assessing the rudeness of others.

Is it just possible that it might be more useful to talk about rude individuals rather than rude nationalities? In the UK, a culture I know well, having lived there more than 45 years, I personally experienced hundreds, perhaps thousands, of notably rude people over a period of time. What proportion has to be rude to dismiss the entire nation as a hotbed of discourtesy?

I just re-read your original post, and actually found it pretty rude, especially phrases like "groups of morons", and the way you make sweeping generalisations.

What always occurs to me is our tendency (and I include myself) to see what we want to see, to hear what we want to hear. Why is it that I can wander round the supermarket and get smiles and greetings from the employees, while you might walk round the same shop and see staff blocking the aisle, 'chit-chatting', and obstructing you as you reach for an item?

Unfortunately, if someone gets the idea into their head that Switzerland is a rude and nasty place, then I guess they will see rudeness and nastiness everywhere. But if you stubbornly decide that Swiss people are very nice, and the country is gorgeous, then guess what? Everywhere you go, you meet very nice people and see gorgeous things.
Anyone that stands in front of doors are morons. That's not rude. Maybe more PC to say mentally challenged.

I also acknowledged Switzerland is beautiful as a country so not sure why you trying to twist things.

It's just basic common sense that seems to be lacking more predominantly here than what I have seen elsewhere.

I have not been everywhere, which is why I asked the question, What is and why?

Of course, a lot of people have got all defensive and whiney.
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Old 19.08.2012, 13:10
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

I've just moved to Switzerland from Australia, and so far have been struck with how friendly, gracious and helpful everyone has been here in Geneva, from my colleagues, the supermarket staff to the Swisscom staff, the used car dealers, the people in the street, etc. So can I take it this won't last? Perhaps it's the glorious summer weather here in Geneva these last couple of weeks or maybe they think I am a tourist?
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