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Old 27.10.2008, 15:02
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Swiss Spatial Awareness

Drove to our fantastic, brand-new Migros this morning, looking forward to being able to whizz round the aisles without hindrance.......
Wishful thinking!
Yes, it's a great big new store, much better than the poky old one - wider aisles,
nice open spaces,
but
would you believe it, the happy Swiss shoppers still managed to block up every aisle with their trolleys - usually parked sideways - whilst having a nice chat with
someone they just haven't seen for ages.....!
Even a little old couple can spread out so much as to hinder access to the whole
chocolate aisle! This means war!!

Now, it could be that I am a little bit too conscious of the people around me and am jealous at the ability of others to generally ignore the rest of the population,
but please.......!??!
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Old 27.10.2008, 15:13
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

This is not a Swiss phenomenon, this is a supermarket phenomenon.

Where ever there is a multitude of food on shelves lo there shall ye find trolleys in the aisle and morons standing around unaware of their surroundings.
leviticus 2.12 I think.
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Old 27.10.2008, 15:18
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

I have to agree with Raincookie on this one....and add that it extends outside the supermarket too!

Although these people are everywhere, Zürich seems to have more than its share of people....stopped in doorways....stopped at the top or bottom of the escalator....in front of the exit.... not to mention those who seem so oblivious to their surroundings that they just plow through crowds with their bags/packs/dogs etc regardless of who or what is in their path.....
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Old 27.10.2008, 15:43
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

Yes, also vans/tractors etc., parked on extremely narrow roads, where even your car has to breathe in when you drive by!!
And the van driver is usually standing outside, having a chat with someone, and both are staring at you, wondering why you look so worried (eyes shut, teeth and buttocks clenched......) **sigh**
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Old 27.10.2008, 15:52
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

This whole spatial awareness thing is also present in other countries but to differing levels. The "bubble" that the Swiss use seems to be particularly large and flexible being able to expand upto 90% of the actual space available. Other cultures use less flexible or smaller bubbles and have varying sensitivity metering systems meaning some allow closer proximity than others. This can lead to confusion when travelling as one is never sure whether you may be interpreted as breathing down someone's neck or standing far enough away from a person that they become paranoid and concerned that they be suffering from a deodorant breakdown. The "UN Waltz" is testament to this phenomena and allows skilled diplomats to move gracefully around a crowded room without upsetting too many people (except possibly the French but no-one much cares about that, the French possibly included).

Having a larger bubble allows the Swiss to blithely go their own way, seemingly blissfully unaware of the presence of other creatures on the planet. My personal theory is that they all subscribe to the Humian Skepticism school of Philosophy and thus are able to refuse to believe in the existence of an exterior, physical world, perhaps choosing to belive in Karl Popper's third world
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Old 27.10.2008, 15:57
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

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This is not a Swiss phenomenon, this is a supermarket phenomenon.

Where ever there is a multitude of food on shelves lo there shall ye find trolleys in the aisle and morons standing around unaware of their surroundings.
leviticus 2.12 I think.
When cat is not around the mice chase or pehaps When there is lots of cheese the mice chase
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Old 27.10.2008, 16:06
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

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This is not a Swiss phenomenon, this is a supermarket phenomenon.

Where ever there is a multitude of food on shelves lo there shall ye find trolleys in the aisle and morons standing around unaware of their surroundings.
leviticus 2.12 I think.

Lev 2.12 dealt with the tricky business of first offerings but was subsequently amended by the Papal Bull "Noneptomies" issued by Pope Ludicrous IX (Refer Dr Mudd and Prof Crisp Hydroponic Dictionary of Wunklemeets and Noneptomies, Chap 11).

The law governing the density of Swiss persons that congregate in a supermarket aisle is more closely akin to Newton's Laws of Motion, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The trick is trying to find the aisle that is essentially devoid of persons being in effect, those in reaction to their colleagues in action.
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Old 27.10.2008, 16:11
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

I really think it's not a supermarket phenomenon, but a Swiss phenomenon. I've seen it a Migros, Coop and (gasp!) even Aldi ... around trains, buses and trams ... and on a random walk down Bahnhofstrasse.

I find it highly annoying ...

Oh, and renowned Chinese philosopher Louis Wu explains the bubble analogy and the Swiss' total lack of spatial awareness very well.

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Old 27.10.2008, 16:16
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

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Drove to our fantastic, brand-new Migros this morning, looking forward to being able to whizz round the aisles without hindrance.......
Wishful thinking!
Yes, it's a great big new store, much better than the poky old one - wider aisles,
nice open spaces,
but
would you believe it, the happy Swiss shoppers still managed to block up every aisle with their trolleys - usually parked sideways - whilst having a nice chat with
someone they just haven't seen for ages.....!
Even a little old couple can spread out so much as to hinder access to the whole
chocolate aisle! This means war!!

Now, it could be that I am a little bit too conscious of the people around me and am jealous at the ability of others to generally ignore the rest of the population,
but please.......!??!
I'm curious: how did u handle the situation? i mean, did u make a detour to get to your aisle of choice, ask them nicely to get out of the way or cough/*ahem* loudly? and also, how did they react?
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Old 27.10.2008, 16:27
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

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I'm curious: how did u handle the situation? i mean, did u make a detour to get to your aisle of choice, ask them nicely to get out of the way or cough/*ahem* loudly? and also, how did they react?
If you are brave enough a large, smelly, silent-but-deadly bottom cough usually disperses aisle blockers.

Now, if I could just take my windy old Dad shopping with me every time...
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Old 27.10.2008, 16:34
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

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If you are brave enough a large, smelly, silent-but-deadly bottom cough usually disperses aisle blockers.

Now, if I could just take my windy old Dad shopping with me every time...

Have you ever tried to come up with a silent but violent upon demand? Not an easy feat to master and can result in some follow through issues.

My method of dealing with the aisle blockers is to say " 'schuldige" und push past, I have been now to actually dare to touch and then even move another person's trolley slightly too. (with apologies to those with over developed Britishness, I found it hard to cope with the enormity of what I'd done)
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Old 27.10.2008, 16:37
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

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Have you ever tried to come up with a silent but violent upon demand? Not an easy feat to master and can result in some follow through issues.

My method of dealing with the aisle blockers is to say " 'schuldige" und push past, I have been now to actually dare to touch and then even move another person's trolley slightly too. (with apologies to those with over developed Britishness, I found it hard to cope with the enormity of what I'd done)
I kind of go one step further and rather rudely just push the trolies aside. When there is people blocking doors or excalaters I just bump them aside while giving them an angry look. Never had any comments....

P.S. I am Dutch
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Old 27.10.2008, 16:37
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

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I'm curious: how did u handle the situation? i mean, did u make a detour to get to your aisle of choice, ask them nicely to get out of the way or cough/*ahem* loudly? and also, how did they react?
I tried a mix of detours, saying "excuse me, please" and standing / staring tactics, when I tired of the first two options. The reactions (if you can call them reactions) were perplexed looks, followed by slow shuffles out of the way - just a bit though!

Sandgrounder's option beats them all - I must try it next time!

I even considered buying dog food this morning, because this was the only aisle which was empty - and I don't even have a dog!!!!

Last edited by raincookie; 27.10.2008 at 16:38. Reason: missed a bit
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Old 27.10.2008, 16:40
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

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I tried a mix of detours, saying "excuse me, please" and standing / staring tactics, when I tired of the first two options. The reactions (if you can call them reactions) were perplexed looks, followed by slow shuffles out of the way - just a bit though!

Sandgrounder's option beats them all - I must try it next time!

I even considered buying dog food this morning, because this was the only aisle which was empty - and I don't even have a dog!!!!
Nevertheless, the idea is not without merit, the dog food diet could help bring Sandgrounders nether-region-bark into play.
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Old 27.10.2008, 16:41
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

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I kind of go one step further and rather rudely just push the trolies aside. When there is people blocking doors or excalaters I just bump them aside while giving them an angry look. Never had any comments....

P.S. I am Dutch
I applaud your Dutchness!!
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Old 27.10.2008, 16:43
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

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Have you ever tried to come up with a silent but violent upon demand? Not an easy feat to master and can result in some follow through issues.
Which is why I need my dearest Daddy with me in these cases but any more information on this would be TMI...

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My method of dealing with the aisle blockers is to say " 'schuldige" und push past, I have been now to actually dare to touch and then even move another person's trolley slightly too. (with apologies to those with over developed Britishness, I found it hard to cope with the enormity of what I'd done)
Oooh, yes, I have experiemented with subtle trolley displacement, too. It actually works quite well because their first reaction is that you are nicking their stuff (especially if there is an umbrella or handbag in there) and as they dive back to their trolley like a shot, hey presto, a gap opens up.
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Old 27.10.2008, 17:03
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

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If you are brave enough a large, smelly, silent-but-deadly bottom cough usually disperses aisle blockers.

Now, if I could just take my windy old Dad shopping with me every time...
that was my tactic at the 1993 boys under-18 squash open. just remember to bring old Dad for chicken tikka masala first...
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Old 27.10.2008, 17:06
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

Have you noticed the luggage belts at the airport. Everyone stands against the belt waiting for their bags which are no where in sight much to the annoyance of those who see their bags but can't get near the belt. Why doesn't everyone stand back five paces. They then can see their bags coming off the conveyer then step forward and pick up their bags unimpeded. You would think after 100 years of aviation someone would have though of this a while ago.
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Old 27.10.2008, 17:07
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

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that was my tactic at the 1993 boys under-18 squash open. just remember to bring old Dad for chicken tikka masala first...
That's just cruel. At least in a supermarket you can run for the Baking Goods aisle or even to Cosmetics. Where are you going to run to in a squash court??
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Old 27.10.2008, 17:16
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Re: Swiss Spatial Awareness

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Where are you going to run to in a squash court??
according to my opponent, into the wall, apparently
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