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  #601  
Old 25.06.2008, 00:24
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Re: Swiss Manners

I must have upset a few Swiss today. Driving along from Geneva to Morges at about 4pm so it is fairly busy with a lot of trafic in both lanes.


I am going 80 mph in the outside lane when some guy in a sportscar is pulling up right behind me I gracefully move over to the other lane when I can do safely which is sometimes hard when it is chock a block. so it takes a bit of time. as he pulls past he kindly gives me the w*****r sign. His car Geneva plates, mine GB plates . Swiss manners Oh it was so ironic catching up with him 2 minutes later, shame I did not get the opportunity to cut in front of him.

Not much earlier I was in the same situation but the car behind kept flashing its lights at me. I kept in lane until I could move across safely. car passed beeping. Only once had this sort of problem in England and that was when my car got knackered and I could only drive at 40 mph along a motorway

Someone should invent a display which can show personal messages to people in cars following them. Should have some built in phrases like "Back off", "Yes I know I'm driving slowly the engineis f****d"
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  #602  
Old 25.06.2008, 01:24
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Re: Swiss Manners

Why not ignoring such stares???? I think I wouldn't have noticed it or at least I wouldn't have cared about it.

On the other hand it's not forbidden looking at a nice little beemer.

Take it easy.

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A Staring Incident.

Yesterday while driving through the parking garage of the former Carrefour/now COOP of Geneva, I encountered a classic Swiss stare.

P1 was full up so I headed for the ramp leading down to P2, and there he was, an older gentleman standing in the middle of the entrance to the ramp. I caught his eye from 20 meters away and the effect was truly profound. A look of absolute horror was on his face, his mouth twisted open in anguish, his head cocked to the side as though he were a dog attending a lecture on quantum physics.

I slowly approached him as it appeared he had no intentions to yield to the large metal beast.

What was he staring at I wondered? Was this the first silver BMW 3 series he’d ever seen? Not likely . I often have to hit the panic button on my key fob to determine which is mine in a parking garage.

Had a radio-active giant squid playing a trumpet attached itself to my roof? I ruled this one out as this almost never happens in Switzerland.

Was it me? Am I hideous? I must admit that the last woman to tell me I was handsome was my grandmother when I was 4 years old. She later rescinded her decision, and blamed her lapse in judgment on excessive drink. But I am not hideous. More plain than hideous, really. The human equivalent of white bread and water for dinner.

As I got closer, he did not give ground. I slowed to a snails pace to maneuver around him, and squeezed between him and the wall of the garage. Our eyes locked. The unchanging rictus of disbelief on his face, the look of self doubting wonderment on mine. I literally passed within inches of him as I avoided the wall, both of us moving in slow motion. I suppressed the urge to blow my horn as this would completely spoil the surreal, dream like quality of the encounter. I watched him in my rear view mirror as I made my way down the ramp, his gaze still following.

After parking, I inspected my car for abnormalities. Was that squid slime on my roof? No, just dried bird poop. Before acquiring a cart for shopping, I pulled out my ‘to do’ list and jotted down, “Learn how to say WHAT THE F*** ARE YOU LOOKING AT? IDIOT! In French”.
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  #603  
Old 25.06.2008, 13:31
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Why not ignoring such stares???? I think I wouldn't have noticed it or at least I wouldn't have cared about it.

On the other hand it's not forbidden looking at a nice little beemer.
If I ignored him, I'd have run him over. He had literally positioned himself just left of center on the ramp. The look on his face could only be explained by a second p*n*s growing out of my forehead.

I had encountered an Old Swiss Man Stare before (mouth agape, malevolent look in the eyes).

I had newly arrived in Switzerland, and was walking through a shopping mall when he got me. An old man with wildly askew white hair, piercing blue eyes, and an expression that should saved for when someone spills wine on your brand new white carpeting. I stopped dead in my tracks and instinctively looked down to check if I'd accidentally pee'd myself. Never a good thing while wearing khaki trousers.

Why was he staring I wondered? when will the others notice along with him? I immediately left the mall, went home, and shaved my newly grown beard. After 22 years in the Marines, my first beard was a prized possession, but was the only feature that stood out.

I have since read about the famous "Stare of the Swiss", and give it no credence towards myself. The beard has been regrown and has migrated through all phases to include moustache, goatee, soul patch, lamb chops, miami vice stubble, and anything else prohibited by Marine regulations. None of which attracted any attention, or looked good.

What amazes me about this stare is its blatant astonishment, coupled with more than a hint of persecution. I always expect a shrill screech to emit from their mouth, like the Pod people in the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", when they discover an unconverted human.

Coming up on a year here in Switzerland, this is about the only part of the culture that disturbs me. But it is also fun, and I recommend it to anyone who has never been the recipient of a good "Old Swiss Man Stare".
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  #604  
Old 25.06.2008, 13:43
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I must have upset a few Swiss today. Driving along from Geneva to Morges at about 4pm so it is fairly busy with a lot of trafic in both lanes.


I am going 80 mph in the outside lane when some guy in a sportscar is pulling up right behind me I gracefully move over to the other lane when I can do safely which is sometimes hard when it is chock a block. so it takes a bit of time. as he pulls past he kindly gives me the w*****r sign. His car Geneva plates, mine GB plates . Swiss manners Oh it was so ironic catching up with him 2 minutes later, shame I did not get the opportunity to cut in front of him.

Not much earlier I was in the same situation but the car behind kept flashing its lights at me. I kept in lane until I could move across safely. car passed beeping. Only once had this sort of problem in England and that was when my car got knackered and I could only drive at 40 mph along a motorway

Someone should invent a display which can show personal messages to people in cars following them. Should have some built in phrases like "Back off", "Yes I know I'm driving slowly the engineis f****d"
I'd hazard a guess, you're doing something wrong. In 20 years of driving in Switzerland, I have never been given rude signs or flashed. The Swiss are very intollerant of overtaking lane hoggers, unlike in the UK.

I did have one incident some 25 years ago in a GB registered car when I flashed a driver doing 115kph in the overtaking lane in front of me and not pulling in when when he could. As I eventually passed he put on a flat peaked cap, which I was supposed, as a foreigner, to think was a policeman's hat. But I knew enough to realise it must be a Swiss army officer's hat. He had no uniform on otherwise. I blew him a kiss and he took his hat off again...
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  #605  
Old 25.06.2008, 13:54
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I had encountered an Old Swiss Man Stare before (mouth agape, malevolent look in the eyes).

...snip...

I have since read about the famous "Stare of the Swiss"

...snip...
And that's you living in Geneva.

The stare of the swiss from Zürich, Luzern, Uri or Nidwalden is even more pronounced.

In Geneva I had the feeling that most people ignore you in comparison....
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  #606  
Old 25.06.2008, 14:02
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I must have upset a few Swiss today. Driving along from Geneva to Morges at about 4pm so it is fairly busy with a lot of trafic in both lanes.


I am going 80 mph in the outside lane when some guy in a sportscar is pulling up right behind me I gracefully move over to the other lane when I can do safely which is sometimes hard when it is chock a block. so it takes a bit of time. as he pulls past he kindly gives me the w*****r sign. His car Geneva plates, mine GB plates . Swiss manners Oh it was so ironic catching up with him 2 minutes later, shame I did not get the opportunity to cut in front of him.

Not much earlier I was in the same situation but the car behind kept flashing its lights at me. I kept in lane until I could move across safely. car passed beeping. Only once had this sort of problem in England and that was when my car got knackered and I could only drive at 40 mph along a motorway

Someone should invent a display which can show personal messages to people in cars following them. Should have some built in phrases like "Back off", "Yes I know I'm driving slowly the engineis f****d"
I've driven a couple of times on that road at that time and yes it is pretty tough to pull over from the overtaking lane due to traffic volume. It can be quite stressful when some twit installs himself on your rear bumper as there are so many cameras on that stretch just waiting to catch you out if you are going over the limit should you speed up to 'ticket' velocity to accommodate his no doubt tight schedule.

Just remember that for many Swiss the road is the only public place where they are permitted to vent anger and frustration. The amount of tailgating on Swiss motorways and roads is simply shocking.

Tip: If you are on a normal road doing a decent speed and some plank decides to sit on your exhaust pipe then just ease off the pedal a bit (don't brake) and let your speed slowly drop maybe 5-10kph. Then slowly ease the speed back up. It's completely maddening for anyone tailgating and it wakes up those in autopilot mode too. Keep repeating until the moron gets the message and either backs off or overtakes.

Don't give any sign that you have noticed him tailgating or have taken any retaliatory action so that if they give you the bird or something similar when they do eventually go past, just look puzzled and make the 'swirling finger' nutcase sign against your temples, then determinedly look away in an aloof manner and refuse to meet their gaze. Oh, and as they go past just lay off the accelerator totally in case they decide to cut in and brake hard.
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  #607  
Old 25.06.2008, 15:41
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I'd hazard a guess, you're doing something wrong. In 20 years of driving in Switzerland, I have never been given rude signs or flashed. The Swiss are very intollerant of overtaking lane hoggers, unlike in the UK.

I did have one incident some 25 years ago in a GB registered car when I flashed a driver doing 115kph in the overtaking lane in front of me and not pulling in when when he could. As I eventually passed he put on a flat peaked cap, which I was supposed, as a foreigner, to think was a policeman's hat. But I knew enough to realise it must be a Swiss army officer's hat. He had no uniform on otherwise. I blew him a kiss and he took his hat off again...
I guess they thought it was safe for me to change lanes. To be honest that stretch of road should be 3 lanes wide. In England we do not even consider the outside lanes as overtaking lanes they are fast (breaking the law speed) fast (at the law speed) and erratic (whatever you can do depending upon lorries Sunday drivers etc)
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  #608  
Old 30.06.2008, 17:26
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Re: Swiss Manners

I've just come back from a week in the sothern most part of Spain. Wonderful large beaches for kilometers and kilometers and hardly any people at all.

So there we are, three families on an otherwise empty beach with a comfortable distance between us. On to the beach strolls two men and put down their towels approx. 1 meter away from us. The beach is empty, God da** it! Nationallity of the two men? Swiss of course!

I must admit that I did get quite some pleasure from my childish behaviour of shaking my towel downwind from them several times during our stay on the beach.
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  #609  
Old 30.06.2008, 17:41
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Re: Swiss Manners

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large beaches for kilometers and kilometers and hardly any people at all.

So there we are, three families on an otherwise empty beach with a comfortable distance between us. On to the beach strolls two men and put down their towels approx. 1 meter away from us. The beach is empty, God da** it! Nationallity of the two men? Swiss of course!

I must admit that I did get quite some pleasure from my childish behaviour of shaking my towel downwind from them several times during our stay on the beach.
lol swiss people have no sense of personal space. especially italians. ever wonder why so many of their hand gestures have to do with the ass. its because they are always on your ass: car driving, standing in line, walking... be-careful dont stop abruptly or youll get a nasty surprise.
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  #610  
Old 30.06.2008, 18:34
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Re: Swiss Manners

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So there we are, three families on an otherwise empty beach with a comfortable distance between us. On to the beach strolls two men and put down their towels approx. 1 meter away from us. The beach is empty, God da** it! Nationallity of the two men? Swiss of course!
Well, it's crowded here - inability to waste space is genetically hardcoded in all Swiss
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Old 30.06.2008, 18:38
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Re: Swiss Manners

Thanks! I always wondered what was behind this typical Swiss behaviour. Makes sense that that is the reason.


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Well, it's crowded here - inability to waste space is genetically hardcoded in all Swiss
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Old 30.06.2008, 18:46
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Re: Swiss Manners

The kind of generalization you guys make is funny. There is no typical Swiss guy.
If anything they love their privacy so one could argue that they would go as far away from you as possible. Maybe they found you attractive?
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Old 30.06.2008, 19:01
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Re: Swiss Manners

Here I really have to disagree. In the case of clustering together you really can generalize about Swiss people. I have seen the phenomenon too many times for it only to be individual preferences. Really! :-)

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The kind of generalization you guys make is funny. There is no typical Swiss guy.
If anything they love their privacy so one could argue that they would go as far away from you as possible. Maybe they found you attractive?
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Old 01.07.2008, 08:17
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Re: Swiss Manners

The thread is dead! Long live the thread!
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  #615  
Old 01.07.2008, 10:37
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I couldn't agree more. I'm a "pure-bred" Swiss (to adopt Kittster's expression) and I get equally annoyed at the same things you all listed here. So I don't know whether it's just Swiss people having no manners or whether it's more like a general decline in manners worldwide.
Canadians are supposed to be know worldwide to be polite but I have been paying a lot more attention since reading about the Swiss manners. I have notice that I continuously swerve to avoid people running into me, I notice that there are so many people that bump into me and don't even glance back, I noticed that elderly barge in front of lines playing stupid but I know they are just playing that to get in front of the line. I was getting a little worried after reading all of these posts but I encounter all of this in a fairly small town of 70,000. I lived in Toronto for 10 years and found the same things. Very rude or completely oblivious people. So, I have come to the conclusion that it is not a Swiss thing as I really have not heard of that many Swiss in Toronto. I think that people are becoming less and less tolerant. I think that I would rather have a few people bump into me than have mouthy violent people bump into me here and Toronto and stab me in the head for looking at them wrong when they DO run into me. It is so funny as we do line up in a queue for most things but then as the doors of the bus or the train open people make a mad dash for seats and the queue goes out the window.
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:01
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Re: Swiss Manners

Nono, you can't be right. It must definitely be a Swiss trait - we can smell foreign people a mile against the wind and now exactly when to stop in the middle of the street to make everyone bump into us... or the other way round. Also we don't queue, stare at everybody and are generally very rude - please don't take the Canadians down that road as well

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Canadians are supposed to be know worldwide to be polite but I have been paying a lot more attention since reading about the Swiss manners. I have notice that I continuously swerve to avoid people running into me, I notice that there are so many people that bump into me and don't even glance back, I noticed that elderly barge in front of lines playing stupid but I know they are just playing that to get in front of the line. I was getting a little worried after reading all of these posts but I encounter all of this in a fairly small town of 70,000. I lived in Toronto for 10 years and found the same things. Very rude or completely oblivious people. So, I have come to the conclusion that it is not a Swiss thing as I really have not heard of that many Swiss in Toronto. I think that people are becoming less and less tolerant. I think that I would rather have a few people bump into me than have mouthy violent people bump into me here and Toronto and stab me in the head for looking at them wrong when they DO run into me. It is so funny as we do line up in a queue for most things but then as the doors of the bus or the train open people make a mad dash for seats and the queue goes out the window.
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:07
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Nono, you can't be right. It must definitely be a Swiss trait - we can smell foreign people a mile against the wind and now exactly when to stop in the middle of the street to make everyone bump into us... or the other way round. Also we don't queue, stare at everybody and are generally very rude - please don't take the Canadians down that road as well
Finally, Switzerland is recognized for the hellhole it really is!

It's almost impossible to live here anymore. So I suggest we all leave.

peter


ps: seriously: if a person interested in Switzerland stumbles over this thread, they'll think Switzerland's the worst place in the world to live. 90% of what was said here is massively exaggerated (the bumping and the staring, for example - I don't even remember when someone bumped into me the last time). None of this is Switzerland-specific.

Those who really think all that stuff said here is true should perhaps seriously consider moving away. I'm sure it's better somewhere else. NOT.
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  #618  
Old 01.07.2008, 11:44
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Old 01.07.2008, 12:33
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Re: Swiss Manners

Even during the games with all those drunk people in the street, I never been bump... I was very surprise! In Istanbul, I have to walk close to the wall or behind my big husband to get some protection. Nobody will bump into him, I guess they know it will hurt....

But one thing I find very rude and I have to say I saw it many time in Canada as well. Here, they don't give their seats to pregnant woman.

If they do, it must be a very small amount of it. Probably older people. But what I can see, teenagers, woman, young man will not move for you.

Since I'm here, or if you prefer, since it is obvious I'm pregnant, I never have someone offering their seat. So I'm always standing, in front of everybody (they are not even looking somewhere else) and I try to keep my balance and stay in a position not to bad for my back pain.... No one will reacted....

Strange but not typical swiss. This is getting more and more a global attitude around the world.... Selfishness....
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Old 01.07.2008, 20:20
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Strange but not typical swiss. This is getting more and more a global attitude around the world.... Selfishness....
I certainly agree. When I was pregnant with my 13 year old daughter people would trip each other in Canada to give me a seat on the bus. When I was pregnant with my 5 year old (still in Canada) NOBODY would give me a seat. I also noticed that in Canada, people used to look behind them when going through a door and hold it if you were right behind them. In the last year I have been whacked a few times as it seems they are holding it and then just let it shut on you. This is not a swiss thing, people all over are becoming completely oblivious to everyone around them and you have to stop and wonder, are they all nuts or is it just me???? Personally I think they are all becoming nuts!
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