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  #21  
Old 25.10.2006, 00:53
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

What amazes me is that it is always the most draft sensitive people who seat themselves next to the window. I thought this was an international phenomenon, though - but based on this convrsation, it seems to be a continental?/Germanic? thing?
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  #22  
Old 25.10.2006, 04:31
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

Quote:
Our Hauswart (careteaker) even came round last year explaining that open windows cause higher heating bills and sickness. I then had to explain:

2. We had no radiators turned on
This happened exactly like that to me two days ago! And sadly enough, this was the Swiss Romande caretaker (in the French speaking part).

I do not get these people, do they enjoy living in a stuffy house, breathing the same air over and over again? Bah .

Quote:
We are the same with the windows. I mentioned to a co-worker today that we keep a window open in the bedroom unless it is bone-shattering cold (well below freezing) with a strong breeze. The look on his face was priceless.
Me too. I challenge anyone with nightmares, especially ones that seem to occur just before waking up, to leave the window open at night. 9 out of 10 times, these dreams/nightmares will disappear. It has to do with heat/CO2 and O2 in a room, take your pick but it works
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  #23  
Old 25.10.2006, 08:38
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

I can't speak for other nationalities, but the British and their tolerance of draughts (and drafts) and cold in generally is a source of constant amazement to the Swiss.

I lived with my Swiss spouse for 7 years in the UK and the main gripe there was the totally useless British windows, which let the draughts in and open the wrong way. ie. outwards so you can't clean the outsides from within. These also prevent shutters working.

Then there was the total Swiss bewilderment at the British love of 'mock shutters'. Screwed back-to-front if you please, as the louvres look better this way, to the walls either side of the windows - but they can never be closed as they have no hinges.

The Swiss (and I) cannot imagine how the British walk about year round without coats, women without tights (pantie hose) and bare midriff whatever time of year it is. You can witness British babies being hardened from their first few months as they are pushed round Britain's streets with bare feet and hands in January.

This winter look out for the young executives running round the streets of Zurich in shirt sleeves when it is below zero. These are not Swiss.

My parents from the UK avoided coming here in winter for many years because they could only imagine how it is there when it's -5° in the day - people die. They eventually came one Christmas and were astounded at the lack of draughts and how warm it was indoors, even by the windows.

They were also horrified that I had slipped into their room when they went down for breakfast and flung the windows wide open - and then surprised that it took only a few minutes to get back to a comfortable temperature again. I did this for then before they went to bed too - am I getting Swiss, or what?
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  #24  
Old 25.10.2006, 11:43
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

I'd rather be tough and British than Soft and Swiss

My husband last winter when we first arrived rarely wore winter clothes, no scarf and gloves and just a thin jacket with a T-shirt underneath, my Swiss friend was constantly amazed when she saw him in 'flimsy' clothes in winter, she thought he was bonkers (maybe he is ), for this winter I have finally managed to get him to buy a ski jacket but I know i'll have trouble making him wear it!

I was amazed back in summer when the weather changed slightly at the beginning of August and dropped by a few degrees to maybe 28 degrees!! I was out in town wearing summer clothes and the swiss had their coats on!! i was amazed! it was boiling outside, i actualy felt self conscious and under dressed!

Nicky

Last edited by Nickers; 25.10.2006 at 13:01.
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  #25  
Old 25.10.2006, 12:07
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

Quote:
The Swiss (and I) cannot imagine how the British walk about year round without coats, women without tights (pantie hose) and bare midriff whatever time of year it is. You can witness British babies being hardened from their first few months as they are pushed round Britain's streets with bare feet and hands in January.
This baffles most other Brits of the non-Chav variety too. Most of the bare midriff in winter crew are usually too drunk to notice the cold or how stupid they look all blue & blotchy. I don't understand the not wrapping up babies either, it always horrifies my to see this. I may have my baby in a t-shirt on an 18C October day (in fairness that's beach weather where I come from) but in my bag is a warm jumper, coat and hat.
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  #26  
Old 25.10.2006, 12:49
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

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I'd rather be tough and British than Soft and Swiss
I suppose it cancels out, I'd rather be anything else than be British.

I think bare-footed babies in January borders on parental neglect. Most of the people I hear talk about drafts and attribute ear aches and runny noses to them. I don't know about runny noses, but apparently the earache thing is quite possible.

The same thing happens in America, though drafts are less of a culprit. But I think everyone in the US has probably heard "wear a sweater, or you'll catch a cold!" from one well-meaning relative or another.
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  #27  
Old 25.10.2006, 13:08
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

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Is it just me, or do the Swiss (and perhaps others?) have a misconception that a draft will make them sick?
You made me laugh as it's soo TRUEEEEE. My X Swiss boss used to give me lectures on the reasons why two windows/doors on opposte sides should never be left open (even by half an inch). he said it would give everyone cold and mess up our bones. Yeah right!
I was always told as a kid that cross ventilation was a good thing
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  #28  
Old 25.10.2006, 17:17
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

My husband's Swiss family don't have any issues with open windows, breezes, drafts (of the windy type - now military is another topic of course ).

This particular generalization always makes me laugh when I hear it.
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  #29  
Old 25.10.2006, 17:23
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

cos we're dead 'ard.

A more plausible reason is that the weather is so changeable in UK , that a ruggedness of constitution develops together with increasing layers of fat as one heads northward in England. (Scientific fact )

The swiss on the other hand often become invisible behind lamp posts and as a result get a cold chill through their grey cashmere polo neck sweaters.

dave


Quote:
I can't speak for other nationalities, but the British and their tolerance of draughts (and drafts) and cold in generally is a source of constant amazement to the Swiss.

...

The Swiss (and I) cannot imagine how the British walk about year round without coats, women without tights (pantie hose) and bare midriff whatever time of year it is. You can witness British babies being hardened from their first few months as they are pushed round Britain's streets with bare feet and hands in January.
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  #30  
Old 25.10.2006, 17:23
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

Quote:
My husband's Swiss family don't have any issues with open windows, breezes, drafts (of the windy type - now military is another topic of course ).

This particular generalization always makes me laugh when I hear it.
This is no generalization - it's 100% pucker...
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  #31  
Old 26.10.2006, 01:56
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

Quote:
We used to classify our Swiss colleagues when they called in with "flu" as "one window open" or "two windows open" etc depending on how long they were off.

Odd people.

Our Hauswart (careteaker) even came round last year explaining that open windows cause higher heating bills and sickness. I then had to explain:
1. Scottish weather
2. We had no radiators turned on
3. Why I'm bumming around the house in shorts and bare feet in November
A mate got a snotty letter from a fellow resident of his apartment block complaining that his windows had been observed to be open 'too often' and that he was driving up the heating bills for everyone.

Gav
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  #32  
Old 26.10.2006, 06:49
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

Quote:
A mate got a snotty letter from a fellow resident of his apartment block complaining that his windows had been observed to be open 'too often' and that he was driving up the heating bills for everyone.
Talk about passive-aggressive!!

Almost makes me glad that we keep the blinds down (to keep the cats in) when the windows are open. I'm sure someone would say something to us if they knew. These people here ask if we're "on vacation" if our laundry hangs downstairs for more than 24 hours.
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  #33  
Old 26.10.2006, 10:28
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

Quote:
My husband's Swiss family don't have any issues with open windows, breezes, drafts (of the windy type - now military is another topic of course ).

This particular generalization always makes me laugh when I hear it.
Are you saying it's a generalisation (and therefore the implication that it isn't true?) because outside of your experience with your husband's family you've never heard of it? (Am I also wrong to assume that you haven't actually lived in Switzerland as yet, but will soon?). I think all of us who have lived in Germanic societies have seen this on more than one occassion. In fact, as "generalisations" go I'd have to say it is most definitely in my top ten.

I must admit that I did have a chuckle when I saw this thread. With regards to Idgie's comments - yes I agree with you that it more Germanic rather than exclusively Swiss. When I lived in Germany this came up quite a lot.

I think a lot of it has to do with what we are told when we are small children. If you are told something often enough and early enough you'll strangely defend the idea until the day you die. Related to drafts is also a fear of airconditioning.
Quote:
A mate got a snotty letter from a fellow resident of his apartment block complaining that his windows had been observed to be open 'too often' and that he was driving up the heating bills for everyone.
Well technically that would be true - however - I do the same. Why? Not because I have a love of drafts, but I'm simply trying to stop my apartment from overheating. This is a problem I've seen all too often - hot in the summer and far too hot in the winter. I usually have my heating turned down to the absolute minimum and often I have to open doors and windows just to get the temperature to drop below 26-27 degrees. I pay my own heating bills, so it needn't concern the neighbours, but I do feel sorry about all the energy I've effectively wasted.

I noticed a curious thing when I visited South Africa a few years ago during their winter. My girlfriend and I were quite cold when standing outside during a BBQ. The natives, who were used to hotter climates, were not freezing. I wondered how this could be - surely being used to living in Switzerland means that I should be able to tolerate the cold?

I think the truth of it is that in Switzerland we are seldom actually cold because of the fact that everything is heated to the point where we never actually have to feel the cold (unlike the Brits with their single glazed windows and drafts galore). Therefore when we go to a country where the people just have to deal with lower temperatures and inadequate heating we are ill prepared.
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  #34  
Old 26.10.2006, 16:51
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

Quote:
My husband's Swiss family don't have any issues with open windows, breezes, drafts (of the windy type - now military is another topic of course ).

This particular generalization always makes me laugh when I hear it.
Then they're the unusual ones, indeed.

You should have seen the look of horror on the faces of coworkers when me and another American explained how a breeze is a good thing.
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  #35  
Old 16.10.2020, 21:01
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Re: Drafts and the Swiss

(Well, I am definitely digging into old posts...)


Let me share that during August (while it was BOILING in Zurich), we had our office windows open to try to get some, well, not fresh air, but definitely get the air circulating (heat plus covid and all - it's nice to open the windows)!

By the end of the month we received a letter from the landlord saying "some neighbors had complained we had windows open" and "once Winter came this would be a huge waste of energy".

Well, obviously we won't have windows open 10h a day when it's Winter!!!

So, definitely their fear of drafts is two-pronged: fear of catching a cold and fear of energy inefficiency/high costs!
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