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  #101  
Old 26.09.2008, 17:56
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

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It's ok if it's just staring, it's the scrutinizing with their eyeballs that gets on ones nerves. I know some of you folks think that it's just paranoia but have you walked a mile in these people shoes.
Have they walked a mile in mine?

It's been covered a bunch on the forum, people in Switzerland just tend to stare more than people in many other countries.
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  #102  
Old 26.09.2008, 18:13
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

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Have they walked a mile in mine?

It's been covered a bunch on the forum, people in Switzerland just tend to stare more than people in many other countries.
(g'day chem, good to see you)

If you want worse, try China. There, everyone* stares at you if you look foreign. And not just in passing, but will also happily stand there with a look somewhere between "rabbit in the headlights" and "alien autopsy".

And this isn't out in the sticks, but in the city too. The worst case we experienced was when Mrs Dodger was using a public phone in the middle of Shanghai - by the time she was finished there were about a dozen locals of all ages (men and women) standing around the phone both and simply examining her. It's not as if she was changing into a superhero costume or anything like that, she was just there.

No Fun At All.

*Probably an exaggeration, but not a very big one.
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  #103  
Old 26.09.2008, 18:46
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

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(g'day chem, good to see you)

If you want worse, try China. There, everyone* stares at you if you look foreign. And not just in passing, but will also happily stand there with a look somewhere between "rabbit in the headlights" and "alien autopsy".

.

ach, how I miss the days of always being stared at, kids in school coming up and asking for locks of my hair, etc.

Last time I was in Beijing I had to wear makeup to get stared at and even that didn't work all the time..
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  #104  
Old 26.09.2008, 18:56
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

I am Jamaican and my Husband is Swiss. We met and got married in Atlanta Georgia we have a beautiful 4yr old son. Here we have had no issues with stares or ridicules, we are a regular family like everone else. We have visited Switzerland several times, and are planning to move there in December 08, I did notice the stares while we were there, we got alot of stares from other interracial couples, just wondering if maybe people are looking for validation, and are not necessarily "racist". One thing is for sure we are very secure in our marriage and our family, so stares were never an issue. plus I am a very confident woman.
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  #105  
Old 26.09.2008, 19:18
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

I'm (as I like to describe it) a tan-white guy, the tan is from some Mexican heritage, though most people in CH think I'm southern European. If we're talking from a purely superficial point of view my ideal partner's complexion of choice would have to be dark Indian (Tamil dark)... Indian women are *%$ing gorgeous in my opinion. If I did have such a girlfriend, then I would perceive all (inevitable?) stares directed at us as:

1. People are thinking what a gorgeous couple we make, or
2. People are thinking what a gorgeous couple we make, or
3. People are thinking what a gorgeous couple we make.

I think there are many ways you can perceive it when people stare at you, and it mostly depends on you if you perceive it negatively or positively.
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  #106  
Old 26.09.2008, 20:11
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

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If you want worse, try China. There, everyone* stares at you if you look foreign.
Yes, I remember how I nearly caused an accident because the taxi drivers kept on staring at me instead of the road...

But the difference is: Chinese people stare because they do not have any experience with people looking different, this is currently changing as I read out of the other comment. Last time I was in Beijing the staring got much less...

In Zurich it is however pretty easy to see all types of people every day. So there is no excuse of never have seen a "foreigner" and the Swiss stare at each other as well... So once again: I do not believe it is necessarily an "I hate you because you look different", its just what they do.
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  #107  
Old 26.09.2008, 20:17
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

Hello,
You need to except that in Switzerland it is natural habit of locals to stare at each other, but please keep in mind that they are not just staring at you but as you probably many other persons tooo.... like person of thier own colour.

Also Switzerland has many foriegners who probably come for the same type of culture or maybe its a new experience for them see you?

You may come from a multi-cultural society or your culture does not behave in the same way? but some people here are only interested in whats going on around them.

So to sum up your problem, only you are making it out to be a problem in your onw mind, So clear you mind and thing of other more important things that you could be concerned with. LIFE IS TOOOOO SHORT........
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  #108  
Old 26.09.2008, 20:22
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

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Have they walked a mile in mine?

It's been covered a bunch on the forum, people in Switzerland just tend to stare more than people in many other countries.
I tend to kind of stare at people too and almost always they return it with a smile. So obviously it isn't an offensive stare I always lived in small places in CH and we always greeted each other a lot, in shops, post office, if we cross someone on the street etc. So I kind of grew up looking at people, but more in a way of being aware of them, take notice, not to stare as if they just arrived from another planet or in an offensive way. Maybe it is a Swiss mentality thing I don't know!!!
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  #109  
Old 26.09.2008, 23:53
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

i guess we can all watch this tomorrow night and see for ourselves if the swiss stare at "foreign looking" women, because of beauty or something else.....


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This year's 16 Miss Switzerland contestants are turning heads not just for their beauty but also for their diverse backgrounds that reflect multicultural Swiss society. It could be Miss World on Swiss television with a line up of women with Indian, Haitian, Spanish, Turkish, Swedish, Balkan, Austrian and American roots. .......

Stöhlker believes that Switzerland is divided into two opposing camps on the question of national identity. "Switzerland is now multicultural which poses no problems for this globalised country. But we also have a more nationalist side to Switzerland which finds this mixture of cultures problematic."
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  #110  
Old 27.09.2008, 15:05
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

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Serbian? Croatian? Hungarian? Albanian? Macedonian?

Could you be more specific as to which 'Yugoslavian' language you mean?

While I sympathise with your situation, making blanket accusations about other nationalities doesn't really support your position.

Them Yugos, eh? Pshah!
Technically Italian (Venetian dialect) spoken in Istria (now Croatia/Slovenia/Italy depending on where you draw the line) would also qualify as an "ex-Yugoslavian" language...must check James Joyce's memoirs for a mention, not to mention the history of Kotor, Split etc.


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So it's not just them pesky Yugos, then?

Staring is normal here. We commonwealth types don't like it. But, since we are not living in the commonwealth, we just have to accept it. I got stared at all the time in Greece - well, that was my problem. I was the foreigner there.

Of course, it could just be that those who were staring at me were descended from the Slavic population of Greece...
Pray tell, how did you avoid attention from the those (descended) from the Albanian population of Greece?


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We commonwealth types don't like it. But, since we are not living in the commonwealth,
Hey Dougal how long is it since you left Massachusetts/Kentucky/Pennsylvania/
Virginia?


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To Icephrys:

Out of curiosity, what do you do for a living? What type of clothes do you normally wear?
To cremebrulee:

Let's say she's a chimneysweep and wears dungarees...how is this relevant?


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and didn't sit in the sea commanding the tide to stop.
Would have seemed to work half the time


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To all you mixed relationship couple, the stares will never stop. If you're being stared at the next time, there are a couple of replies with good advices on this topic which you can use.
Or the non-verbal: simply one of you points at the starer as if seeing something unusual and the other nods saying "stimmt" (or equivalent in local language/dialect)....might just put the shoe on the other foot...

BTW this could open a new rating system: "Stareworthiness" We could all add an estimate to our profiles


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i recall watching a cosmetics commercial on the telly with a former Ms USA, and the target market was "women of colour." i guess it is still an acceptable term...
Depending on the result tonight I can already imagine the equivalent Swiss ads ....then it won't just be CNN.

Oh, has someone started the "We're not all just passport-seeking husbands" thread?

Last edited by Nathu; 28.09.2008 at 14:49. Reason: Seven posts in a row was a bit much.
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  #111  
Old 27.09.2008, 16:16
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

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Depending on the result tonight I can already imagine the equivalent Swiss ads ....then it won't just be CNN.

Oh, has someone started the "We're not all just passport-seeking husbands" thread?
This one is hot. What I would give to be the kitten's tail.

http://www.missschweiz.ch/index.cfm?id=484

I heard some Swiss lady on TV saying that she is Indian and so should not win Miss Switzerland. Born in Switzerland not good enough?
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  #112  
Old 01.10.2008, 17:12
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

I'm an ordinary-looking white guy and get stared at all the time. The Swiss just love to stare regardless of who it is. I just stare at them in return to see who backs down first. This really passes the time on train rides.
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  #113  
Old 01.10.2008, 18:06
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

I may know a way of stopping the stares!
A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine came to visit from the States. Both being avid bicyclists, we decided to hop on our bikes and do a tour of pubs around Geneva on a Saturday afternoon.

We noticed a lot of people staring at us, and I am going to have to guess this was due to the social disgrace of wearing bike shorts in drinking establishments.

After the 3rd pub, we stopped in a market and my friend bought me a sausage of decent length and somewhat more than ample girth, which I strategically stuffed down the front of my bike shorts. It looked rather sporty going down the leg of my bright blue, nicely tight, lycra shorts! Quite realistic looking, but sadly, unrealistic at the same time.

At the next pub, we walked in nonchalantly, and we noticed that people would look and then quickly avert their eyes, never looking back again in blatant manner (lots of furtive glances though. Shame on you ladies!). One waitress saw me, stopped dead in her tracks, turned around and never came back to take our order. After a few more pubs with similar results, the greasy sausage was leaving a stain, making me look well endowed yet unhygienic and possibly diseased. The garlic scent didn't do anything to dispute this assumption. The sausage had to go. For those wondering: No, we did not eat the pants sausage.

The OP being of the female persuasion, it may have opposite results though.
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  #114  
Old 06.10.2008, 16:30
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

Swiss people are in general very friendly and personally I don't find them racist, except for people from Albania, and I must admit, I act the same way to them too

They joke at my accent in english and french, so just laugh it off!

Switzerland is a great place and it takes time to be accepted no matter where you are in the world!
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  #115  
Old 06.10.2008, 17:21
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

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i recall watching a cosmetics commercial on the telly with a former Ms USA, and the target market was "women of colour." i guess it is still an acceptable term...
2 points to think about regarding this advert and racial identity:

1. The main product peddled by this company is a skin lightener, and Kenyans call women who over-apply this stuff "Yellow Sissis", because it makes them turn yellowish. They are not generally held in high regard, (Kenyan dumb blondes).
2. The active ingredient in this gunk is very nasty stuff, and there are campaigns demanding its withdrawal all over the place.

I wonder when it is going to be mandatory for me to call myself a "person of white"? Or perhaps "person of pink" (a term for the more fruity caucasian?)

Cheers

Jim
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  #116  
Old 09.10.2008, 14:54
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

The staring used to bother me, but then I realized that it gives me the perfect excuse to indulge in it myself. It can be fun to people-watch. When in Rome...
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  #117  
Old 09.10.2008, 15:48
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

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I'm an ordinary-looking white guy and get stared at all the time. The Swiss just love to stare regardless of who it is. I just stare at them in return to see who backs down first. This really passes the time on train rides.
Absolutely agree. Next time you get on a tram in Zürich, just observe the other passengers. As soon as someone starts a conversation (people do not seem to talk to each other on the trams), or anyone walks in dressed only slightly more stylishly than the normal, or a mom comes in with a baby in a pram... everyone will stare.

And the number of times the swiss complain to me about people staring at them when they travel in Asia...
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  #118  
Old 09.10.2008, 16:18
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

So the Swiss like the stare?

We have an old villa on the lake and all day people stand in front of our house and stare. This I could handle, but sometimes they climb up on our fence or even come inside the yard to take a closer look. It drives me crazy, especially when sitting in the yard or on the terrace just trying to relax in my PJ's. I assumed they were all tourist. I would have thought the Swiss would be too polite to stare so blatantly. Now I know better.
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  #119  
Old 09.10.2008, 23:24
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

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So the Swiss like the stare?
This I could handle, but sometimes they climb up on our fence or even come inside the yard to take a closer look. It drives me crazy, especially when sitting in the yard or on the terrace just trying to relax in my PJ's.
Motion Sensor + Sprinklers.

Motion Sensor + Loud Playback of a Big Snarling Doberman

You might want to put up a sign that says.. Warning Automatic Sprinklers or something just to be fair.
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  #120  
Old 09.10.2008, 23:32
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Re: We are not all mail-order brides!

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...

Does anybody know if the saying "it's not polite to stare" is a common saying for Swiss parents to say to their children? It's very common in the US and might be why we as a society stare less

Where I come from, parents ( excepting the bad ones surely ) teach their children that they should not be selfish, individualist, superficial and double faced ( among other niceties ) .

Here is evidently not the case.

So I guess the staring thing is a very minor thing in comparison.
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