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  #181  
Old 10.06.2014, 03:34
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Re: Swiss Stare

I just wave at people who stare at me or I begin a conversation with them. It happens on a daily basis.. They normally look, run or walk away... In the UK if you stare at someone the way the Swiss do, you run the risk of getting stabbed or seriously assaulted in most major cities. So I'm pretty confident in responding with humor at the ignorance experienced by the stare without any recourse that I couldn't handle.. It's a relatively new society ( the cosmopolitan city of Zurich) in terms of new wealth, outside influence, multiculturalism etc, so I put the staring down to child like innocence you would find in any new or once isolated society...like an Amazonian tribe who have never seen a white guy before. Give it 10 years and it will probably not be an issue, it does make me laugh though, it's like witnessing naivety on a mass scale... everything is new, shinny and strange like a new born baby looking at everything. Lol!
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  #182  
Old 16.06.2014, 08:42
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Re: Swiss Stare

Beautifully said and I think this is very true. I sometimes I wave too but generally it bothers me a lot and I find it uncomfortable. I try to smile a bit at people I don't know and they often reply with a smile and "grŁezi" so it helps.
Which of the old users are you???
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  #183  
Old 16.06.2014, 09:45
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Re: Swiss Stare

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... In the UK if you stare at someone the way the Swiss do, you run the risk of getting stabbed or seriously assaulted in most major cities. !
And you find that a sign of a superior civilisation?

Lol!
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  #184  
Old 16.06.2014, 13:24
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Re: Swiss Stare

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.. It's a relatively new society ( the cosmopolitan city of Zurich) in terms of new wealth, outside influence, multiculturalism etc, so I put the staring down to child like innocence you would find in any new or once isolated society...like an Amazonian tribe who have never seen a white guy before. Give it 10 years and it will probably not be an issue, it does make me laugh though, it's like witnessing naivety on a mass scale... everything is new, shinny and strange like a new born baby looking at everything. Lol!
How is it a new society? Explain new wealth to me? Are you under the impression that Zurich has only had wealth in the last 10 years?
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  #185  
Old 16.06.2014, 14:04
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Re: Swiss Stare

I was downhill biking this weekend in Lenzerheide. Riding my Cannondale with a Lefty front fork, some of the stares were almost unsettling. Hikers (mostly older) stopping, directly staring with a miserable disgusted look on their faces.

I understand this is generally the 'miserable resting face expression' for many Swiss, but it was is not a comforting look coming from a stranger passing by. The kinda look I would expect if I was wearing those 'half budgy smuggler' swim...errr...wear.
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  #186  
Old 16.06.2014, 14:09
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Re: Swiss Stare

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I was downhill biking this weekend in Lenzerheide. Riding my Cannondale with a Lefty front fork, some of the stares were almost unsettling. Hikers (mostly older) stopping, directly staring with a miserable disgusted look on their faces.

I understand this is generally the 'miserable resting face expression' for many Swiss, but it was is not a comforting look coming from a stranger passing by. The kinda look I would expect if I was wearing those 'half budgy smuggler' swim...errr...wear.
Riding is not allowed at some trails. This might be the reason.
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  #187  
Old 16.06.2014, 14:19
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Re: Swiss Stare

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Riding is not allowed at some trails. This might be the reason.
If I was riding on a none bike trail, they would definitely have made a comment, that's pretty standard here . I was on bike trails and roads and the stares were directly at the lower front area of my bike. I would get the odd joking comment from lift attendants, but usually with a social smile and laugh.
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  #188  
Old 16.06.2014, 14:21
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Re: Swiss Stare

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If I was riding on a none bike trail, they would definitely have made a comment, that's pretty standard here . I was on bike trails and roads and the stares were directly at the lower front area of my bike. I would get the odd joking comment from lift attendants, but usually with a social smile and laugh.
But if they didn't make a comment, I guess they would make a stare.
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  #189  
Old 16.06.2014, 14:25
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Re: Swiss Stare

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It's a relatively new society ( the cosmopolitan city of Zurich) in terms of new wealth, outside influence, multiculturalism etc, so I put the staring down to child like innocence you would find in any new or once isolated society...like an Amazonian tribe who have never seen a white guy before. Give it 10 years and it will probably not be an issue, it does make me laugh though, it's like witnessing naivety on a mass scale... everything is new, shinny and strange like a new born baby looking at everything. Lol!
Stupidest thing I've ever heard. Switzerland generally or Zurich specifically is neither a "new society" nor are they "newly wealthy" nor is multiculturalism a recent phenomenon. You do realize this is not a recently-third-world-now-suddenly-somehow-at-least-partly-rich-country?


Edit - Confloozed had the same thought.
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  #190  
Old 16.06.2014, 14:41
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Re: Swiss Stare

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Stupidest thing I've ever heard. Switzerland generally or Zurich specifically is neither a "new society" nor are they "newly wealthy" nor is multiculturalism a recent phenomenon. You do realize this is not a recently-third-world-now-suddenly-somehow-at-least-partly-rich-country?


Edit - Confloozed had the same thought.
I have heard that so many times by people that don't read history books about Switzerland. They don't realize that Switzerland was one of the first and strongest industrialized nations, and think for some reason, areas such as Zurich were strictly farming only up until a few foreigners popped up. But, considering that Zurich was built foreigners, both in Roman times, and by Italians, Spanish, Polish, and Portuguese, being a mix of cultures has been going on for awhile now.


Plus how many countries has 4 languages as official languages of their country? A country that is only now seeing the world as if it was an Amazonian first seeing a glimmer new spoon?
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  #191  
Old 16.06.2014, 14:43
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Re: Swiss Stare

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Stupidest thing I've ever heard. Switzerland generally or Zurich specifically is neither a "new society" nor are they "newly wealthy" nor is multiculturalism a recent phenomenon. You do realize this is not a recently-third-world-now-suddenly-somehow-at-least-partly-rich-country?


Edit - Confloozed had the same thought.
I prefer Confloozed's comment, though.
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  #192  
Old 16.06.2014, 14:44
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Re: Swiss Stare

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But if they didn't make a comment, I guess they would make a stare.
Given that a stare is the standard sign of disapproval here

Every time a Swiss senior citizen stares at you, think of Menace II Society and smile. Not funny, no?
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  #193  
Old 16.06.2014, 15:10
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Re: Swiss Stare

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But if they didn't make a comment, I guess they would make a stare.

I guess that's the whole point of the thread: When being stared at (especially coupled with a disgusted look), one feels like they are being judged or doing something wrong. This can cause and uncomfortable, unsettling feeling in the victim especially when they are not doing anything wrong.
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  #194  
Old 16.06.2014, 15:14
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Re: Swiss Stare

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You do realize this is not a recently-third-world-now-suddenly-somehow-at-least-partly-rich-country?
Oo. Was that a virtual stare?

Stare back. Job done.
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  #195  
Old 16.06.2014, 15:29
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Re: Swiss Stare

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I guess that's the whole point of the thread: When being stared at (especially coupled with a disgusted look), one feels like they are being judged or doing something wrong. This can cause and uncomfortable, unsettling feeling in the victim especially when they are not doing anything wrong.
Well, it is actually culturally conditioned. Saving face in communication, preserving self image - in some cultures means not feeling stared at, as if questioned. Some cultures are immune (a blank stare is just a blank stare), and some use it to dish out disagreement, without words. It's quite clever, since it is economical and one cannot really hold the "stare-er" accountable. And then you have the 3rd-world-recently-became-partly-rich countries.
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  #196  
Old 16.06.2014, 15:36
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Re: Swiss Stare

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I guess that's the whole point of the thread: When being stared at (especially coupled with a disgusted look), one feels like they are being judged or doing something wrong. This can cause and uncomfortable, unsettling feeling in the victim especially when they are not doing anything wrong.
True. But are you not equally at fault with only looking back at them? Or staring as I doubt you noticed that they were staring if you were only glancing? I say this, because, if you do not ask people why they are, in your belief staring, how can you know why?


I have before in my life, when being stared at, have said in the most basic way "Yes?". This either catches people off guard, or they actually respond. And I find out what it is. Almost always it is someone thinking I am in the wrong about something, and now I can explain or figure it out.


I have been stared at people before they were about to jump me. And it gave me the time to prepare for it. I know when I was in Luzern after work, I would go out on weekends with the girls that worked there, and their friends. These girls were from the Dominican Republic, and I never had a thought about it until we would get out of the club. I wasn't even acting like I was anything more then friends with them. And got real angry stares, where I didn't want to ask what it was about because I felt like that would just provoke something worse.
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Old 16.06.2014, 15:42
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Re: Swiss Stare

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I guess that's the whole point of the thread: When being stared at (especially coupled with a disgusted look), one feels like they are being judged or doing something wrong. This can cause and uncomfortable, unsettling feeling in the victim especially when they are not doing anything wrong.
God, this thread has made me massively paranoid. When I sit on the tram / in a cafe / at the bus stop / dawdle around town with my "vacant and not really thinking about anything but my gaze may wander" kind of demeanour, I'm sure my face relaxes into a kind of unsmiling severe look.

I'd hate it if I walked past someone from EF and they thought "what's that miserable cow staring at me for??!" when I'm actually absently wondering how many ants make up a colony or whether I can manage to eat an ice-cream without the need for baby wipes.
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Old 17.06.2014, 08:18
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Re: Swiss Stare

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God, this thread has made me massively paranoid. When I sit on the tram / in a cafe / at the bus stop / dawdle around town with my "vacant and not really thinking about anything but my gaze may wander" kind of demeanour, I'm sure my face relaxes into a kind of unsmiling severe look.

I'd hate it if I walked past someone from EF and they thought "what's that miserable cow staring at me for??!" when I'm actually absently wondering how many ants make up a colony or whether I can manage to eat an ice-cream without the need for baby wipes.
I know how you feel. I too tend to walk along absently and think about some other things. Whenever this thread pops up I think that people shouldn't just discuss the "staring" of the Swiss but check the grade of their self-confidence.
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Old 17.06.2014, 09:49
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Re: Swiss Stare

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Well, it is actually culturally conditioned. Saving face in communication, preserving self image - in some cultures means not feeling stared at, as if questioned. Some cultures are immune (a blank stare is just a blank stare), and some use it to dish out disagreement, without words. It's quite clever, since it is economical and one cannot really hold the "stare-er" accountable. And then you have the 3rd-world-recently-became-partly-rich countries.
Some people "stare" so they can start out a conversation. They just can't sit down totally silent when waiting for a bus, airplane, or in a long queue. Feel the urge to share their indignation or other nicer feeling with people around. (I guess it is also culturally conditioned)

Just thinking that a Brit would probably drop dead of embarrassment should she/he walk through a village in the evening, when older women are standing on benches in front of their houses and not only give blank stares to every passer by, but they only demand you to tell them who you are, do you have any relative in that village, whom or what are you looking there...so funny. (there's no escape, you can be a total arse of course but that's just not done)
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Old 17.06.2014, 10:15
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Re: Swiss Stare

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I know how you feel. I too tend to walk along absently and think about some other things. Whenever this thread pops up I think that people shouldn't just discuss the "staring" of the Swiss but check the grade of their self-confidence.

Well I guess that some people are very self-confidence, especially if they have a visable physical disability or are otherwised physically different.
Children have a curious tendancy to stare, and when I was young a quick correction from my parents included "It is rude to stare". I guess that lesson stuck, and for many people in many countries it is the same. It just seems that in Switzerland, a higher percentage of people didn't get that memo.
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