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  #801  
Old 09.10.2009, 12:01
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Re: Swiss Manners

Certainly works for me



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  #802  
Old 09.10.2009, 12:06
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Must share my story about my first visit to Switzerland (March 1993).

I was waiting to board a train in Lausanne to take me to the Geneva airport. A woman had about 12 pieces of luggage and had piled them up in front of the door. One by one, she was taking them into the train, putting them near her seat, and then returning. Finally, there was only 1 piece left.

I, as a good, queue-joining American, was patiently waiting behind a gentleman who was "next in line to board" behind this woman. When there was only 1 piece of luggage left, he picked it up and placed it inside the door, so she wouldn't have to descend to get it. He then boarded through the adjacent door.

I, as a stupid American who would never expect what was to happen next to happen, simply stood there, waiting for the woman to take her bag so I could climb on. She arrived back at the door and became furious that someone had touched her bag. She assumed it was me (said stupid American) who was patiently waiting to board. So what did she do? She THREW IT AT MY HEAD, thereby smashing my glasses into my face. Blood everywhere. Me with broken glasses, having to go on to a conference in Berlin. Woman screaming bloody hell at me in French.

Truly unbelievable. To this day, I sincerely regret not grabbing the bag and throwing it over the train.
Why didn't you have her arrested?
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  #803  
Old 11.10.2009, 23:03
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Re: Swiss Manners

No one ever asks if they can sit next to you down here in Ticino.....
Are we not Swiss?
Are we not men?
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  #804  
Old 18.10.2009, 00:59
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I don't know about the staring part - at least this end of the country I haven't really noticed it as an annoyance.

The thing that surprises and puzzles me is the "bumping into" part. For having been here a number of years, try as I might I can't remember being bumped into to the point it gets on my nerves (and I do have a short fuse).
I would like to agree with you. We who live in Swiss Romande seem to be havin a much better time than the majority of EFs who seem to be thrashing it out in the cold-shouldered North.
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  #805  
Old 18.10.2009, 11:04
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Re: Swiss Manners

Well my husband and I have been saying since we arrived here (only 3 months ago) They don't know the meaning of personal space in Geneva!
I am constantly been bumped into, not just in busy places either and because I'm British I'M the one saying sorry all the time! Also no-one ever moves out of the way for me, I have to push/squeeze past or say excuse me very loudly - even when its really obvious that I want to get past. For example the bus when I'm trying to get off with my buggy.

And the staring.....I thought this was in my head!!!! So many times I've thought I must have something on my face, like my dinner or something stuck in my hair! Ha ha!
Saying that the Swiss do have manners - my French is appalling, in that its pretty much non-existant and I have had nothing but help and smiles (and even apologies that staff do not speak enough English)! Never have I had anyone be rude to me or make me feel ignorant about my lack of French - and to be honest I probably would deserve that!
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  #806  
Old 18.10.2009, 11:14
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Well my husband and I have been saying since we arrived here (only 3 months ago) They don't know the meaning of personal space in Geneva!
Personal space ? Go to Athens, or Istanbul, or Cairo, or Tunis ... and then you will fondly remember the "personal space" people know in Geneva
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Old 20.10.2009, 17:43
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Personal space ? Go to Athens, or Istanbul, or Cairo, or Tunis ... and then you will fondly remember the "personal space" people know in Geneva
Honestly, I didn't see a difference between Basel who has a couple of hundred thousand of people, and Istanbul with 20 millions....
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Old 21.10.2009, 12:52
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Honestly, I didn't see a difference between Basel who has a couple of hundred thousand of people, and Istanbul with 20 millions....
I don't think any number matters. Like one time it was enough one approaching me on a about 200 meter straight empty sidewalk in Zürich. I am walking on the left side and deleting old sms's. A guy approaching walking in the middle of sidewalk and there tons of room to pass so that is ok, but he then decides when there about five to ten meters distance to just walk straight on me . I used the same routine I usually do when this happens (and that is quite often) : stop and look straight in the eyes. Then he, as in most such encounters, sways back and I am free to walk again.
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  #809  
Old 21.10.2009, 13:38
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I don't think any number matters. Like one time it was enough one approaching me on a about 200 meter straight empty sidewalk in Zürich. I am walking on the left side and deleting old sms's. A guy approaching walking in the middle of sidewalk and there tons of room to pass so that is ok, but he then decides when there about five to ten meters distance to just walk straight on me . I used the same routine I usually do when this happens (and that is quite often) : stop and look straight in the eyes. Then he, as in most such encounters, sways back and I am free to walk again.
I was walking down this sidewalk in Zürich. There was this guy coming in the other direction playing around with his phone, not paying much attention to his surroundings.

As we got closer I used the same routine I usually do when this happens (and that is quite often): I moved to the right a bit so I could see what he was looking at.

Well this guy just stopped and looked me straight in the eye. He was quite intimidating and I was scared he would bite me or something - he looked like he might be British or American or one of the other wild ones. I gave him a wide berth to be on the safe side.
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  #810  
Old 21.10.2009, 15:55
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I was walking down this sidewalk in Zürich. There was this guy coming in the other direction playing around with his phone, not paying much attention to his surroundings.

As we got closer I used the same routine I usually do when this happens (and that is quite often): I moved to the right a bit so I could see what he was looking at.

Well this guy just stopped and looked me straight in the eye. He was quite intimidating and I was scared he would bite me or something - he looked like he might be British or American or one of the other wild ones. I gave him a wide berth to be on the safe side.
Aha so it you !

Well I did pay attention to my surroundings, for very obvious reasons. And no I don't ignore people if they walk straight into me, so I don't look away. Why should I? Obviously they want something and they could have their good reasons, they might want something like help or asking something, that happens as well. I am open for that and show it. However, doing a sudden sway over to my side for no apparent reason whatsoever especially when I walk with the pram or luggage that is a different story.
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Old 21.10.2009, 20:10
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Re: Swiss Manners

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90% of the time, the Swiss I encounter are polite, courteous, helpful - etc etc.

However, when it comes to walking along the street in broad daylight, respecting personal space, their ideas of etiquette seem to be a little bit different from they ones I have been raised with.

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). On none of these occasions was an apology forthcoming - except for the woman who swung out of the Migros Food Court with a pram and caught me with the wheel while I was standing at the service window on the street.

Then I was in the Coop City on Marktplatz trying to find a jelly mould in the kitchen section - so was taking my time perusing the shelves. This woman to the right of me decided she wanted something which was on the shelf I was looking at but about a foot to the left. Instead of going around me (the aisles are wide enough) she decided to reach across me. I gave this woman a hard stare (Paddington would be proud) and she looked (white??)sheepishly back at me - so she knew she was in the wrong.

The SVP supporters and their chums all go on about how foreigners in Switzerland should try to emulate the Swiss and integrate. How much will I have to lower my standards to achieve this I wonder?

Cheers,
Nick
Hi Nick and everyboy

I am Swiss and since I can remember I felt that some of my people in Switzerland are unpolite, starring, controlling each other etc.
I was the first time in England with age 14 and then every year regularly, I always felt so comfortable esp. because people are discreet , helpful and respecting each other space and they are polite.
I always asked myself why can't be the same in Switzerland. Someone told me once that we never had a king/queen, we are just people beeing descended from farmers(Bauern in german), well I have started to think about that and if you look at the farmers it could have a bit of a thruth.
We have been a farmers land. Well I don't know .
Not all swiss are unpolite etc. but a lot. If you are a polite person , it seems one get even less respected as beeing "one" of them.
I lived in 2006 for a short time in London and was really surprised about the people in general. I got in touch with interesting and wonderful people. Never someone crossed my privacy line . Also the neighboors never asked personal questions etc.
Sometimes in Switzerland there are days , I would like to leave immediatly Switzerland , other days I don't feel it that much .
To " survive" in Switzerland it is important having good friends, living in a cool house/flat with hopefully cool swiss and going from time to time aways in other countries.
Isn'it weird , I am swiss, but doesn't feel so happy in my own country,,shouldn't be otherwise?
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  #812  
Old 21.10.2009, 20:27
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Re: Swiss Manners

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... I am walking on the left side and deleting old sms's...
Here's a tip: walk on the side people drive. It's the same all over the World. Experiment! You'll find yourself against the flow on the left. Wanna get through a Swiss crowd quickly? Veer right
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Old 21.10.2009, 21:50
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Re: Swiss Manners

What I don't like about some of the Swiss is that, they always assume that everyone adores dogs. Once I was on the train, a little sleepy and a lady brought a very big dog and sat besides me. She let the dog literally squeezed my feet not leaving me enough space. Then when I looked at her, she didn't apologize at all or not even tried to move the dog to the other side. I don't hate dogs, I just don't like the smelly ones with the impolite owner. I walked off from that seat in the end, cause the dog almost licked my shoes......
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  #814  
Old 21.10.2009, 22:27
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Here's a tip: walk on the side people drive. It's the same all over the World. Experiment! You'll find yourself against the flow on the left. Wanna get through a Swiss crowd quickly? Veer right
That is true. I have noticed that too and do my best following the stream when there is one.

However this reminds me about one time walking/struggling up a steep street (no sidewalk) with the heavily loaded pram, it was really hard and it was smoking hot. Due to the ev. traffic I walked on the left side (as I have been told since I was kid to do). Then there is this lady walking down who blocks me. I stop. She tells me that I should walk on the right side. My reply is that due to ev. traffic I prefer walking on the left side. Her reply is that I should walk on the right side as long as there is no immediate traffic. Apparently there is this german saying "links gehen gefahr sehen" (like here http://minimecks.blogspot.com/2009/0...ahr-sehen.html) but I guess not everyone fully agrees with that.
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Old 22.10.2009, 10:41
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Re: Swiss Manners

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My reply is that due to ev. traffic I prefer walking on the left side. Her reply is that I should walk on the right side as long as there is no immediate traffic. Apparently there is this german saying "links gehen gefahr sehen" (like here http://minimecks.blogspot.com/2009/0...ahr-sehen.html) but I guess not everyone fully agrees with that.
I'd agree with you on that. I was always told to walk on the right (in UK), against traffic, if I had to walk on the road so that I could see approaching vehicles. (I'm not sure, but maybe it was also in the highway code).
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Old 22.10.2009, 10:53
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Re: Swiss Manners

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What I don't like about some of the Swiss is that, they always assume that everyone adores dogs. Once I was on the train, a little sleepy and a lady brought a very big dog and sat besides me. She let the dog literally squeezed my feet not leaving me enough space. Then when I looked at her, she didn't apologize at all or not even tried to move the dog to the other side. I don't hate dogs, I just don't like the smelly ones with the impolite owner. I walked off from that seat in the end, cause the dog almost licked my shoes......
How was she supposed to know what you meant by looking at her? Sorry but if someone seemed to be making an effort just to "look at" me on a train I would assume I had something hanging out of my nose or they fancied me.

What is wrong with saying "Can you please move your dog a bit so I can move my legs?"
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  #817  
Old 22.10.2009, 10:55
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Hi Nick and everyboy

I am Swiss and since I can remember I felt that some of my people in Switzerland are unpolite, starring, controlling each other etc.
I was the first time in England with age 14 and then every year regularly, I always felt so comfortable esp. because people are discreet , helpful and respecting each other space and they are polite.
I always asked myself why can't be the same in Switzerland. Someone told me once that we never had a king/queen, we are just people beeing descended from farmers(Bauern in german), well I have started to think about that and if you look at the farmers it could have a bit of a thruth.
We have been a farmers land. Well I don't know .
Not all swiss are unpolite etc. but a lot. If you are a polite person , it seems one get even less respected as beeing "one" of them.
I lived in 2006 for a short time in London and was really surprised about the people in general. I got in touch with interesting and wonderful people. Never someone crossed my privacy line . Also the neighboors never asked personal questions etc.
Sometimes in Switzerland there are days , I would like to leave immediatly Switzerland , other days I don't feel it that much .
To " survive" in Switzerland it is important having good friends, living in a cool house/flat with hopefully cool swiss and going from time to time aways in other countries.
Isn'it weird , I am swiss, but doesn't feel so happy in my own country,,shouldn't be otherwise?
I guess there are cultural differences, but I believe 'core' manners boil down to a respect and consideration for others especially when requiring a small sacrifice from yourself (e.g. delaying your own exit from the train by 2 seconds to let somebody else out. or not barging onto a train before letting people off).

I've not been in Switzerland very long (so take my observations with a bit of salt) but from what I can tell, the Swiss have no issues with 'manners' when it comes to saying hello, goodbye, 'en guete' etc.

But when it comes to something that means they don't put themselves first above all else, then this is where I find there can be a difference. For example: ruthless 'queueing' habits, aggressive/inconsiderate driving or reserving a sunbed at a holiday resort all day even though you use it only for a hour.
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Old 22.10.2009, 10:58
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Re: Swiss Manners

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Hi Nick and everyboy
Isn'it weird , I am swiss, but doesn't feel so happy in my own country,,shouldn't be otherwise?
Welcome to EF, now you will be happy
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Old 22.10.2009, 12:29
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Re: Swiss Manners

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I'd agree with you on that. I was always told to walk on the right (in UK), against traffic, if I had to walk on the road so that I could see approaching vehicles. (I'm not sure, but maybe it was also in the highway code).

If you have to walk on a road then you should walk into the traffic so that you can see oncoming vehicles and have a chance of getting out of the way if they aren't paying attention.

I'm pretty sure it's in the highway code in the UK but even if it wasn't, it's just bloody common sense.
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Old 03.11.2009, 01:11
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Re: Swiss Manners

Once you make eye contact in this country the other person assumes that you are the inferior party. This means that you have to yield the right of way. Try it. I have noticed that most Swiss who bump into me aren't looking "at" me. I am looking at them. I have stopped looking "at" them and amazingly enough they have (for the most part) stopped bumping into me.

This is some weird logic but it does work everywhere in Switzerland. I pointed it out to my wife who is English and she didn't believe me at first but does now.

If you make eye contact, you are responsible for avoiding the collision. It is a very fine thing, who makes eye contact first. I find what works best is to have very good peripheral vision.

Alternatively, you can walk directly behind your child like a bodyguard and use the steely eye of death on anyone who even looks like they are going to mow down your child. Can't count the number of times on both hands and toes that my daughter has been run over by perfectly competent seeming adults in this country. Doesn't happen in the UK, USA, Mexico, India, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Peurto Rico, etc, anywhere near the same as it does here. Unless, I am acting like a hired bodyguard/nanny.

Another way to put people off here is to smile at them. ALOT! Never saw a group of citizens so loath to return a smile in my life. Definitely, keeps them at a distance.

Brian.
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