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  #241  
Old 05.05.2008, 15:46
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I am sorry, but if you need to ask what I am on about, then it's obvious there is a language problem. My response to your post was pretty clear. It's not enough to just speak English; one must be able to understand the nuances, too. The mischaracterizations, misinterpretations and conflict here all seem to stem from that lack of understanding.
That's exactly what I said: Lack of understanding due to cultural difference. But if you want to be the one who says it that's ok too.
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  #242  
Old 05.05.2008, 15:46
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Re: Swiss Manners

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How do you know they were smiling ? We should be told.

dave

Because its either me asking, or being asked. Seriously, some smile.
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  #243  
Old 05.05.2008, 15:48
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Re: Swiss Manners

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People here on packed trains do it all the time. Then someone politely asks if the seat is available, and of course the other complies with a smiling "yes, of course. Please." It's a nice civilized exchange.
Not all Swiss people see this as a nice civilised exchange.
They would rather, on the busy trains, find that the seats are kept bag-free and the overhead luggage racks and the luggage space between two sets of seat backs are used for bags.

They find this much more civilised and considerate.
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  #244  
Old 05.05.2008, 15:48
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Re: Swiss Manners

You are falling into the patronising "Like I said" trap here....

dave


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That's exactly what I said: Lack of understanding of cultural difference. But if you want to be the one who says it that's ok too.
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  #245  
Old 05.05.2008, 15:50
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Re: Swiss Manners

And I thought you gave up.

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...For Pete's sake: I give up. We clearly are not speaking the same language.
Welcome back!

Would you like to groan me, or would you like me to groan you first?
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  #246  
Old 05.05.2008, 15:53
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Re: Swiss Manners

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As a dancer you obviously have an interesting perspective on personal space. Is what you describe just drunken dance floor behaviour, or do you think the concept of respecting space differ from other cultures ?

dave
I guess judging from mine and my friends dancing (it's been a while) that some of us Swiss are just lacking the "Motorik" - coordination of our movement. On top of that, most places I know that are "cool" for dancing are usually packed to the extreme (I'm talking mostly winter-time here).

Add to that that the guys always want to be next to the cute girls and you know why they are not thinking of anybody else... not meant as an excuse, but try to help with understanding the different cultures

So Salsa, if ever you feel like you can help some poor b*astards, give us some dancing lessons, I'm sure the Swiss (and other) women would be delighted!
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  #247  
Old 05.05.2008, 15:55
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Re: Swiss Manners

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As a dancer you obviously have an interesting perspective on personal space. Is what you describe just drunken dance floor behaviour, or do you think the concept of respecting space differ from other cultures ?

dave
No, because most dancers don't drink.

They simply doesn't respect other people's space.

Sometimes for example, we are on a crowded space, and I am with my partner dancing on an small spot. small enough for one couple. Well some others want to dance and they just come and "invade" your small spot, creating a hazardous zone.

I've learned here how to dance "protecting" the girl, because she is more vulnerable, mind that many of them come to dance on high heel sandals, so I watch first if there is place for her to go and then put my arm touching lightly the back of the guy or girl that is dancind near there so he/she knows I am behind and don't come inside and then my girl can go to that place safely. It works in most cases, the downside of it is that is me who usually take the bumps and steps on, but that's the way it is. But there have been some guys that got bothered by that, there was even one ( African not Swiss ) who got mad at me and was like to get into a fight. I had to explain him that it was to protect the girl and not ot agress him... but well some people simply don't have it in their brains.

The other downside is that you can't watch and concentrate on the girl in front of you because I have to be watching everybody around to protect her.
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  #248  
Old 05.05.2008, 15:56
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Re: Swiss Manners

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...
that some of us Swiss are just lacking the "Motorik" - coordination of our movement.
Are you also offering an explanation for the bumping?
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  #249  
Old 05.05.2008, 15:57
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Ahh, then you did your best. At that point you can, with clear conscience, plonk yourself on their offending feet and baggage. They can't say you didn't warn them.
That doesn't work. For some time I even offered my help and told them
that I happily can move their bag/luggage to a proper place out of the way
for them. But after a few incidents where people got loud and screamed
"DONT TOUCH MY BAG!!" I stopped offering help. And after being ignored as
well a few times when politely asking if the seat is free, I have given up.

The aggressiveness and the sense of a "fist in the air" makes it not worth
it. I don't want to be involved in fight - especially not for a seat. I travel
1st class now. It is worth the extra money. Of course there are some
incredible jerks there as well sometimes, but in total less of them AND in
total more free seats. At the end it is the ratio which counts.
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  #250  
Old 05.05.2008, 15:57
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Thus, I've decided it's a waste of time to try to correct anyone's behavior.
Just for a change, we could look at this from a completely different angle.
I was in the train from Baar to Thalwil with my daughter. The last coach had been 'reserved' for a school party. My daughter and I stood outside the compartment but couldn't talk, as the racket from the youngsters was too loud. The problem was not the noise as such, but the fact that the compartment door kept opening which 'let the noise out'. I stuck my head in and asked the girl nearest the door, if she could move away slightly so that it stayed shut. The door closed and stayed closed until we were almost in Thalwil. Then it opened again as the youngsters prepared to leave the train. I held the door open and before I could say a word, the girl I had talked to before apologised profusely. I explained that I didn't want to complain, I wanted to thank her for staying away from the door for the 15 minutes of the trip. By the look of surprise (and pleasure) on her face, it was clear that she could hardly believe her ears.
How often does someone who is offered a seat in the bus or a train accept it without thanks or turn it down ungraciously?
Could it be, perhaps, that a lack of good manners in both children and adults is in part due to the lack of appreciation in younger years?
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  #251  
Old 05.05.2008, 15:59
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Are you also offering an explanation for the bumping?
Hmm... not really. I don't want to take the spirit of this discussion away just yet

No, seriously... it has happened to me before and I have been guilty of bumping into others as well... Sometimes I'm reading a book while walking (sorry to all of you I might have hit on the way) or I'm just on the run. One point I'd like to make though... we usually avoid hitting each other by making eye-contact.. only you have then to choose if you wanna go left or right - seeing as I can never decide on anything, I usually try the middle
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  #252  
Old 05.05.2008, 16:04
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Re: Swiss Manners

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No, seriously... it has happened to me before and I have been guilty of bumping into others as well...
Then I confess that I have also bumped. Perhaps I had a little trouble reading the bumped person. It's almost a sixth sense in other cities like NY or Tokyo. You kind of have an instinct of where their next step will be. It's a bit like dancing. But I sometimes have trouble dancing with some here. There is like NO vibe coming out.
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  #253  
Old 05.05.2008, 16:08
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Then I confess that I have also bumped. Perhaps I had a little trouble reading the bumped person. It's almost a sixth sense in other cities like NY or Tokyo. You kind of have an instinct of where their next step will be. It's a bit like dancing. But I sometimes have trouble dancing with some here. There is like NO vibe coming out.
I heard from several girlie city banker types in London, this is a way to get guys phone numbers in the tube system. They bump on purpose with the help of a friend...

Opps oww, blinks eyelashes at the gent of choice

Cunning these London women..
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  #254  
Old 05.05.2008, 16:10
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Then I confess that I have also bumped. Perhaps I had a little trouble reading the bumped person. It's almost a sixth sense in other cities like NY or Tokyo. You kind of have an instinct of where their next step will be. It's a bit like dancing. But I sometimes have trouble dancing with some here. There is like NO vibe coming out.
I've been in NY only a couple of days, but it did seem rather easy to walk around compared to Zurich. I was bumped a couple of times of course, but then I guess they're tired of all these people staring at the skyscrapers...
Same in Melbourne, but that could also be because most people are more relaxed over there. Just avoid the Saturday-shopping-crowd anywhere in the world and life should be easier...

Regarding the Vibe, I do think that eye-contact helps a lot, but then again, not everybody likes to be stared at..not sure if there is a connection?
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  #255  
Old 05.05.2008, 16:13
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Re: Swiss Manners

Could it be something to do with which side one is used to driving on.?
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  #256  
Old 05.05.2008, 16:19
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I heard from several girlie city banker types in London, this is a way to get guys phone numbers in the tube system. They bump on purpose with the help of a friend...

Opps oww, blinks eyelashes at the gent of choice

Cunning these London women..
And here I was thinking the London metro is really unstable what with all these ladieez constantly bumping into me.
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  #257  
Old 05.05.2008, 16:19
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Re: Swiss Manners

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this is a way to get guys phone numbers in the tube system. They bump on purpose with the help of a friend...
So a bump might be an appeal for social contact. I should ask for their number next time.
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  #258  
Old 05.05.2008, 16:20
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Re: Swiss Manners

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That logic is inherently flawed as it assumes you would automatically know what another person assumes their rights to be. Which, as it seems to me from this thread is the crux of the argument. A person from a different culture would possibly have different expectations of what their rights are. So, even if you were respecting someone else's rights based upon what you think they're rights should be it could still end up being a situation where someone comes off as having bad manners.

That chem, is the source of all immigration and cultural integration problems.

the logic is not flawed, you can simply reduce it to "when you are in Rome you do like the Romans".

If your behaviour is different for ignorance of the tacit social rules or you get riled by your perception of the locals culture, then the fault is on your side not theirs. Simply live and learn and adapt and everything will be peachy.

And this is something that doesn't happens only here.

My culture, behaviour and perception of the society have changed to such a point that I get riled and offended much more when I am back in my country of origin. And when I am annoyed by that, they ( that is my family and childhood friends ) simply don't understand why. That is just normal for them. So when I am back in my country and I get into those cultural/manners problems it is indeed my fault not theirs.
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  #259  
Old 05.05.2008, 16:22
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Could it be something to do with which side one is used to driving on.?
I thought this too but my husband thought I was crackers because not everyone drives. However, if you look at the way people, say, come down a flight of stairs in a shop they keep left in the UK but keep to the right over here, well at least as far as my highly inaccurate experimentation can tell...

I was convinced this was why I kept bumping into everyone over here. Glad I am not the only one to have had that thought...
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Old 05.05.2008, 16:29
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Re: Swiss Manners

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... Sometimes I'm reading a book while walking (sorry to all of you I might have hit on the way) or I'm just on the run. One point I'd like to make though... we usually avoid hitting each other by making eye-contact.. only you have then to choose if you wanna go left or right - seeing as I can never decide on anything, I usually try the middle

1. I would like to learn from you how to read while walking. That would indeed maximise my reading time.

2. Actually quite like that left or right 'dance' with strangers coming the opposite way 'coz more often than not we end up bursting into laughter or smiles -- when both end up stopping in the middle face to face.


P.S. SalsaLover's description of protecting the girl-partner while dancing got me all confused. While I sympathised with him, I did wonder: "Was he really talking about dancing?!" Anyone else had that doubt creeping into his/her mind?
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