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  #481  
Old 08.06.2008, 19:10
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Ah, one of my favorite "songs" says something like:
you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize....
that children respected their elders.
Maybe for the present generation it will be 'fantasize' - though I doubt that your memories will be that bad - but we were REALLY brought up to respect our elders and we really did stand up on buses and hold doors open and help elderly people with their shopping and cleared their snow.... and the elderly were probably not as old as I am now. In those days, grey hair and retired was old. I don't want those days back; I'm quite content with a little respect all round!

Last edited by Longbyt; 08.06.2008 at 19:27. Reason: still can't spell! Blame it on the reading glasses!
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  #482  
Old 08.06.2008, 19:14
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Ah, one of my favorite "songs" says something like:
Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize
that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were
noble and children respected their elders.

LOL, there is probably some truth to that, but maybe we are programmed to remember the good stuff and forget the bad..and that's fine by me.
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  #483  
Old 08.06.2008, 19:53
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Maybe for the present generation it will be 'fantasize' - though I doubt that your memories will be that bad - but we were REALLY brought up to respect our elders and we really did stand up on buses and hold doors open and help elderly people with their shopping and cleared their snow.... and the elderly were probably not as old as I am now. In those days, grey hair and retired was old. I don't want those days back; I'm quite content with a little respect all round!
I still hold the door open, and stand up, and offer my seat if i am ever on a bus for the elderly people, i respect the older generation, i just hope the younger generation will also respect me when i am old, and grey
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  #484  
Old 08.06.2008, 21:01
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I still hold the door open, and stand up, and offer my seat if i am ever on a bus for the elderly people, i respect the older generation, i just hope the younger generation will also respect me when i am old, and grey
Consider yourself lucky if they are still paying your pension.....
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  #485  
Old 08.06.2008, 22:48
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Re: Swiss Manners - Apologeia

For Americans particularly, being in a non-car based culture here, where things are happening in compressed space,it can be a new experience. I do want to defend the metropolitan Swiss residents a bit here, because they have been "altered" by the influx so many people who are not from here.

What you are seeing is not the original swiss character. Note that if you interact with an employee in a store, or with a waitress, they are far more polite than the same personnel in France or Germany, and will in addition to thanking you wish you a nice day "Shooene Daagh noo"

I've lived in NY, and would not say strangers are less friendly here then there. And in the large spaces of california, store isles are so wide, I have rarely stood close to another person..

As far as Americans go, I believe if you learn a few phrases with really good pronounciation, you are not "made" in a short interaction..and so we do not carry the mark of having taken 60 billion from UBS, which believe me, ****ed them off at us, I think.
Cheers, Mike
(Ps, did you know that the swiss consider people from Zurich (among themselves as "the least loved" (!) .. this is how they describe it. )
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  #486  
Old 10.06.2008, 12:31
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Hi

While this is my first post, I'm already reading for some months in the English Forum. As a Swiss I find it very interesting how foreigners get along in this country. My mother tongue is Swiss German, so please apologize my English.

What really suprises me are some complaints (rudeness, beeing bumped into, ....) sometimes I feel like living in a different country. Such things never happen to me and I am using train, tram, buses on daily basis. I have the feeling that the people (by the way by far not only the Swiss!!!) are mostly friendly and helpful. So why this difference of perception, I ask myself? Am I rude and thus don't notice the rudeness around me? I don't think so at all, but somebody else had to tell me....

The complaints are one thing. The suggestions to the "rude" swiss (klarenca: "tell your compatriots...") and the explanations why (all) the Swiss are this way (ticino: bad weather,....) make me somehow sad.

Let's put it this way: I will going on trying my best, treating everyone politely. I will keep my eyes open for apparent rudeness. I will also going on to read in this forum. I hope I will not encounter to much generalizations and rudeness in this Forum, because it has a big influence of my perception of expats in Switzerland.

Mik
I am from Sweden and live in Switzerland for several years so my english is probably far from being correct. However, the swiss rudeness which is written here is more or less 1:1 to my experience as well. I assume it depends on what you are used to, what you expect and what you think is normal within reasonable bounds. Of course I have had bad experiences in Stockholm and I remember them clearly and I clearly define them as "exceptional" and due to being at the wrong place at the wrong time. But over here those experiences can not be defined as "exceptional". For instance, regarding bumping into people is clearly something I experience. I expect that at least in the most extreme situation where there are only *two* people involved (me and just another one) on a empty street or in a empty bank wouldn't lead to bumping into each other. Isn't that a clear cut situation regarding space and predictability? But it does happen and it has happened and "sorry" was not at all what I heard. On the contrary, what I had to hear was shockingly rude. In my view it shouldn't happen at all and if such a exceptional mishap occurs anyway the reactions shouldn't be exceptionally rude.
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  #487  
Old 10.06.2008, 12:38
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Re: Swiss Manners

I was walking out of the HB on the wide paved area near the bridge and someone else was walking in the same direction as me.

A couple came directly towards me flanked by another which made passing on the other side a major detour. I was walking on the inside toward them and as we closed to about two metres, I realised the couple was going to make no effort at all to let me pass. I literally stopped right in front of them and asked:
"So what do you want me to do now ??"

Most countries I have visited practise a mutual body-swerve. Never seen it here.

dave






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For instance, regarding bumping into people is clearly something I experience. I expect that at least in the most extreme situation where there are only *two* people involved (me and just another one) on a empty street or in a empty bank wouldn't lead to bumping into each other. Isn't that a clear cut situation regarding space and predictability? But it does happen and it has happened and "sorry" was not at all what I heard. On the contrary, what I had to hear was shockingly rude. In my view it shouldn't happen at all and if such a exceptional mishap occurs anyway the reactions shouldn't be exceptionally rude.
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  #488  
Old 10.06.2008, 12:59
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Re: Swiss Manners

What was their answer???
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  #489  
Old 10.06.2008, 13:03
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Re: Swiss Manners

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What was their answer???
Stunned silence I would guess from experience
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  #490  
Old 10.06.2008, 13:04
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I was walking out of the HB on the wide paved area near the bridge and someone else was walking in the same direction as me.

A couple came directly towards me flanked by another which made passing on the other side a major detour. I was walking on the inside toward them and as we closed to about two metres, I realised the couple was going to make no effort at all to let me pass. I literally stopped right in front of them and asked:
"So what do you want me to do now ??"

Most countries I have visited practise a mutual body-swerve. Never seen it here.

dave
People normally execute a body swerve if you are chatting on your mobile or look a bit p*ssed, oh, they also get out of your way pretty sharpish if you are sprinting and look like you are hellbent on catching your train/bus.

Tried and tested by 'Disgruntled commuter of Zurich'.
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  #491  
Old 10.06.2008, 13:05
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Re: Swiss Manners

I wish I could report they said "Excuse me " or "Sorry about that, it's very crowded isn't it?" or "Sorry we didn't see you coming"... "Yeah excuse me, I am not as mobile as I used to be !"

It was a look of complete shock, first at me, then at each other. Then they mumbled we just wanted to get past. And then they both walked the long way round.

dave



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What was their answer???
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Old 10.06.2008, 13:05
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Stunned silence I would guess from experience
Or that "freshly slapped" look which is so common around these parts...
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  #493  
Old 10.06.2008, 13:12
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Re: Swiss Manners

Today walking along Steinenvorstadt in Basel and aroudn a couple of shops I experienced about half a dozen people either bump into me - or nearly bump into - all because they weren't looking where they were going (e.g. texting on mobile, talking to friends etc etc).



I had the same experience in Geneva (and other French speaking cities in CH). I would always move out the way for them, and apologise for being in the way... allow 30 people on the train before me etc.

Then I realised, these people don't have as much space as I am used to... (I'm from Adelaide in South Australia, and we queue for the bus when it hasn't even turned up yet...)

So, I decided, if you can't beat em join em! I always look down now when I approach a crowd of people, or a long "friends line" where they can't bear to break up for the sake of being polite. Funny, they all move for me now!!! (I may be one of the people in your way now, sorry!)

This goes for trains too. Use the elbows and get in. If you don't persevere, you'll never get to your destination, and that wouldn't be very professional in a country obsessed with punctuality!

However, having said this, I have found Zürich to be more polite than Geneva. But my experiences in Geneva weren't very nice, so perhaps it's not appropriate to compare!
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  #494  
Old 10.06.2008, 13:14
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Or that "freshly slapped" look which is so common around these parts...
That's the look I was thinking of. Or as my Dad would say, the "Stunned Mullet". You've noticed it as well
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  #495  
Old 10.06.2008, 13:16
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Re: Swiss Manners

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That's the look I was thinking of. Or as my Dad would say, the "Stunned Mullet". You've noticed it as well
Coffee-spitting-at-screen moment... LOL!!!
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  #496  
Old 10.06.2008, 14:50
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Re: Swiss Manners

Hmm... still a problem all those Swissies bumping into yez...

The English seem to have a similar thing, only do they manage to avoid the other people on the street .. www.news.com.au/technology/story/0,25642,23329630-5014109,00.html

I can see that this must be annoying, but one has to ask himself if all of you are simply moving around with both eyes closed or so hard at the task to prove the points made here that you do it for fun...

I wouldn't move out of your way either if you see that you don't... nice game, ain't it...
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  #497  
Old 10.06.2008, 14:55
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Re: Swiss Manners

The texting is not the problem. Its spacial awareness. It manifests itself in other ways too: like someone reaching across you in a bookshop or standing right in front of you when you are reading a station timetable.

The older mobile phones were better, with compact form and tactile keypads so you could text without looking. All this touch sensible smartphone crap means you must look at the keypad and hold it precisely.

dave


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Hmm... still a problem all those Swissies bumping into yez...

The English seem to have a similar thing, only do they manage to avoid the other people on the street .. www.news.com.au/technology/story/0,25642,23329630-5014109,00.html

I can see that this must be annoying, but one has to ask himself if all of you are simply moving around with both eyes closed or so hard at the task to prove the points made here that you do it for fun...

I wouldn't move out of your way either if you see that you don't... nice game, ain't it...
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  #498  
Old 10.06.2008, 15:12
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Re: Swiss Manners

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The texting is not the problem. Its spacial awareness. It manifests itself in other ways too: like someone reaching across you in a bookshop or standing right in front of you when you are reading a station timetable.

The older mobile phones were better, with compact form and tactile keypads so you could text without looking. All this touch sensible smartphone crap means you must look at the keypad and hold it precisely.

dave
Hmm.. I know the SVP want to tell us that we're a 'special people' (nothing to do with special olympics and all that...) so maybe their right... since we all seem to be blind and too arrogant to see all the Ausländer we're constantly bumping into....

--> also... spacial awareness (as so many other things) goes both ways... if somebody is stupid enough to stand in front of the milk so nobody can get past, I don't give a s*it if I get a touch too close for a quarter second..
Same goes with the timetables.... do you expect me to swerve around you just so you're not bothered... not sure if we have the same understanding of "civil behaviour"...

Last edited by herc82; 10.06.2008 at 15:15. Reason: Added text
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  #499  
Old 10.06.2008, 15:20
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Re: Swiss Manners

Try it. Walk along a street straight towards someone starting from a distance of about 20m. Maintain the line and note whether the other party makes any avoidance action. Keep repeating it and report your findings.

I have had people actually colliding with me on perpendicular course as they didn't see the need to change course or decelerate in the light of another.

These are not isolated experiences but the observations over a number of years in Switzerland.

It is clear that both side need to react to a pending collision, but as in the rules of the sea, there are conventions (give way to larger, to right, cross behind other vessel) that equally apply to roadsense.

Next time there are a few of us are out, we will conduct a controlled sober experiment...

dave





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Hmm.. I know the SVP want to tell us that we're a 'special people' (nothing to do with special olympics and all that...) so maybe their right... since we all seem to be blind and too arrogant to see all the Ausländer we're constantly bumping into....
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  #500  
Old 10.06.2008, 15:23
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Next time there are a few of us are out, we will conduct a controlled sober experiment...

dave
No way, I say we try an uncontrolled drunken experiment.

Barbra.
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