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Old 06.05.2008, 12:46
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I never want to grow old in Switzerland

I suspect we've all seen this before but this really got me spewing...

The story so far:
In the local COOP DIY in Rüti, last Saturday, I noticed that 2 people ahead of me at the checkout there was a really frail old biddy, probably well into her 80's, who had somehow, (probably entirely without assistance), managed to load four 10 kg bags of potting compost onto her shopping trolley. My immediate thought was: (10 kg * 4) + 20 kg for the trolley, guided by someone over 80 who can't weigh more than 40 kg = recipe for disaster.
I resolved to keep an eye out, but was delayed getting out of the check-out by someone paying with milk tokens and a pile of 5 / 10 rappen coins. Got out of the shop into the outside car park and looked for the old biddy, and saw her struggling desperately to control the trolley going down a broad ramp to the lower car park. I then saw a car swing up from the lower car park and head straight for her. She lost control of the trolley trying to avoid the car, it bounced off the shop wall, she bounced off the shop wall, and was left clinging to the trolley as it shed its load. Needless to say the car carried on past. I (doing my gallant bit) legged it 100 m through to her, put her goods back on the trolley, allowed her time to recover / brush herself down / compose herself, wheeled her trolley to her car, and loaded the compost into the boot. She was so pathetically grateful. She kept saying "Nieman hat Zeet für die Eltern heute..."

My message to the 20 or 30 locals nearer to the situation than me, (and they were locals, there are very few foreigners in that corner of Rüti.), who just stared mutely on in a kind of bovine manner:
"If you see an old dear in a really bad situation, in tears, for God's sake don't wait for the Ausslander to leg it across and help, do something! She's not putting on a show for your amusement!!"

No wonder the suicide rate amongst the old in this country is the world's highest. It must be ing miserable.
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Old 06.05.2008, 12:52
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

Unfortunatley you could probably substitute most other Western countries for Switzerland in your story. Sad but true.
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Old 06.05.2008, 12:57
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

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Unfortunatley you could probably substitute most other Western countries for Switzerland in your story. Sad but true.
Rubbish, in the UK or France, (places I have experience of), she wouldn't have gotten out of the shop door without an offer of assistance. If not from the general public, then at least from a member of staff.
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Old 06.05.2008, 13:02
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

I have no experience of France but have seen similar occurances of elderly people in the UK being ignored when they have been in need of assistance. I'm just happy there are people like yourself who will still step in & help.

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Rubbish, in the UK or France, (places I have experience of), she wouldn't have gotten out of the shop door without an offer of assistance. If not from the general public, then at least from a member of staff.
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Old 06.05.2008, 13:05
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

Velofellow, your story brought tears to my eyes.

I can't imagine people not wanting to help an old woman. And may the pox visit that guy/gal in the runaway car. (Make that two poxes.)
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Old 06.05.2008, 13:06
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

I agree with this. In my experience there is much less willingness to help strangers here than anywhere else I have even been. It's been noted on the forum in everything from helping people with pushchairs, to preventing an assault.

dave


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Rubbish, in the UK or France, (places I have experience of), she wouldn't have gotten out of the shop door without an offer of assistance. If not from the general public, then at least from a member of staff.
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Old 06.05.2008, 13:09
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

Thanks, here`s my story, a few years ago we where driving in the city when i saw a little old lady trying to get her zimmer frame (with wheels) onto the pavement, but everytime she tried to lift it on the pavement she just could not manage it, and some girls where just stood there watching, and laughing at her. I told my husband to pull the car over,and ran across the busy road lifted the zimmer frame onto the pavement for her, and gave the girls a mouthful.
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Old 06.05.2008, 13:11
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

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I agree with this. In my experience there is much less willingness to help strangers here than anywhere else I have even been. It's been noted on the forum in everything from helping people with pushchairs, to preventing an assault.

dave
True. I have also seen the reverse of this. A young person offering to help an old lady bring groceries to her car and her looking at this person as if he were crazy and ranting about how independent she is etc. In the OPs situation however, intervention was needed.
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Old 06.05.2008, 13:12
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

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I suspect we've all seen this before but this really got me spewing...

"If you see an old dear in a really bad situation, in tears,
Thanks for your help. Nothing can in any way either explain or excuse the appalling lack of feeling for the needs of any fellow human being.
Please tell me exactly where you live, so that I can move nearer!!!

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Old 06.05.2008, 13:27
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

This is indeed a sad story. Thank you for making your town a better place.
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Old 06.05.2008, 13:54
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

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I agree with this. In my experience there is much less willingness to help strangers here than anywhere else I have even been. It's been noted on the forum in everything from helping people with pushchairs, to preventing an assault.

dave
Funny you mentioned wheelchairs. Last week, I took a friend who is in a wheelchair, to visit a lawyer here in Zurich. She lives in Lugano and has a lawyer there. She was impressed at how nice and helpful people were at this lawyer's office compared to her lawyer's office in Lugano. She said the secretaries there are so unfriendly and unhelpful when she is trying to get in the office. They won't even hold the door open for her!! (she is missing an arm and a leg!!) Here, the secretary was soooo nice and helpful and even offered to help US get down to the car!!

I never thought it was a Swiss thing, but more about unsympathetic people...they are everywhere!!
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Old 06.05.2008, 14:16
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

Velofellow - I can relate to this, traveling through Zurch HB everyday I've seen the same situation plenty of times with ladies or old timers trying to carry their suitcases up/ dwn the stairs to the platforms (the ones at the end with no escalators). Very few people offer to help.
BTW i've even had my offer of help turned down a few times...
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Old 06.05.2008, 14:41
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

A couple of years ago, my grandpa and I were walking to the train station (Wettingen) and he tripped and fell on his face. This was during the morning rush hour. Do you think anyone stopped to help....people were walking around him while I was screaming for someone to help me lift him up. I finally got a taxi driver to help me but only after agreeing that he could drive us to the hospital (and he wanted a big fat tip as well). Disgusting if you ask me. But sadly after living in this country for 15 years I've come to the conclusion that this is what the Swiss are like. And no I would not want to grow old in this country
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Old 06.05.2008, 14:45
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

Would like to extend this apathy to pregnant women as well. When I was 7 months pregnant I caught my shoe on a tram track and fell heavily.Before I could get up and get out a tram was already heading in my direction( thankfully it stopped at the redlight just a 100m. away). Evrybody at either stop looked at me and turned away. I limped back to the stop to lick my wounds. I had a bad graze on my knee and had scraped my palms but thankfully my belly did not bear the brunt.

I still have nightmares of that episode. And no thanks to the unhelpful people around me.
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Old 06.05.2008, 15:06
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

All the incidents mentioned above are terrible, no one should standby and let that sort of thing happen.

I have only been here a short time, but have not witnessed anything like that. Usually I find older people are assisted onto and off trams by others. I have also seen passengers help with wheelchairs and with heavy lugguage.

It is pretty sad when no one will help those who obviously need it.
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Old 06.05.2008, 15:10
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

I wonder if this is an eastern Switzerland thing. Here in Lausanne I witness people assisting others all the time. From helping the elderly to grabbing the front of a baby stroller to help the mother get off or on the bus. The only time I witnessed someone getting knocked down was when I was at Place St. François across from the Post and just happened to see a boy on one of those damn scooters (or what ever those things are called) smack into an elderly white haired woman, knocking her down. He was down as well but being young, was up on his feet and was making his getaway without even trying to assist the woman. At least he tried to. An older man reached out and grabbed the kid by his shirt and yanked him off his scooter and pushed him up against the wall. Other people were helping the elderly lady get up and gathered her belongings. That old gal didn't even stop for her purse. She went right up to the kid and the next thing I knew, she slapped him across the face! I swear I heard it on the other side of the road!! Moments later two policemen came running up and took over. Not sure if they saw what happened or if someone called them but I'm pretty sure that kid was glad to see the cops for once in his young life!
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Old 06.05.2008, 15:11
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

It is just sad to realise the treatment ( and attitude) towards old people.
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Old 06.05.2008, 15:14
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

Do the elderly even get discounts on transport here? We asked about these for family over 60 years old and there was no discount. We were surprised.
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Old 06.05.2008, 15:19
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

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Do the elderly even get discounts on transport here? We asked about these for family over 60 years old and there was no discount. We were surprised.
Retirees and children below 16 get to pay the reduced tariff on public transport (this doesn't apply to rail tickets).
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Old 06.05.2008, 16:16
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Re: I never want to grow old in Switzerland

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No wonder the suicide rate amongst the old in this country is the world's highest. It must be ing miserable.
I just read today that NZ has the world's highest suicide rate among young people - are you sure about CH having the highest for elderly?
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