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Old 18.08.2010, 22:57
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Is Switzerland really that boring?

I am starting masters at EPFL this September. I was just surfing the web about Swiss people and meeting new people in Switzerland and I came across many offensive posts complaining about not being able to make friends there because all CH people are boring and unfriendly.

In my opinion, if one is not able to make friends, he should blame it on himself. I mean, everyone can make friends if they smile and spend some effort to be social, independent of the country, right?

I would like to hear your opinions on this topic, especially if you have been in CH for some time and would like to share your experience.
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Old 18.08.2010, 23:02
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

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I mean, everyone can make friends if they smile and spend some effort to be social, independent of the country, right?
Come to Schwyz, my friend, and all will become clear.
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Old 18.08.2010, 23:02
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

My humble opinion is, that there has been many similiar threads on this with loads of opinions. Choose your pick - Daily Life or Complaints Corner ( as this thread is now located ).
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Old 18.08.2010, 23:08
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

Honestly, I have found it much more difficult to meet new Swiss friends than new expat friends....
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Old 18.08.2010, 23:12
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

Switzerland is the birthplace of Absinthe. Don't let the French fool you. And Absinthe is a sure fire way to make friends and get drunk, both very quickly.
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Old 18.08.2010, 23:18
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

Yes it really is that boring but it is a refreshing break from all the hustle and bustle of normal life in the 21st century. switzerland known for time keeping is actually quite a timeless place. A friend of a friend described switzerland as a giant retirement village haha! I love this beautiful yet slightly boring country.A few highlights...
food -no need to worry about loads of choices of interesting foods, keep it simple filet de perche, pizza margarita, or any dish with lardons, key dishes on pretty much every swiss menu.
Shopping -no pressure to wear the latest trends, shops are never open so you won't be able to waste your money, especially not on sundays.
Noise, laughing, merry making - strictly forbidden, keeps life nice and quiet.
you won't have to waste your time with pesky friends inviting you out because the chance of making friends is slim to none.

Besides all that it is deeply gorgeous and you will make great friends with people holding passports of other countries and who says normal life in the 21st century is all that great. Timelessness has it's own appeal.
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Old 18.08.2010, 23:45
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

Get yourself a cute dog. Since mine arrived everyone wants to say hello and pat the dog. Gone are the stares and have been replaced by smiles

Am also finding it far from being boring so far, maybe after a little while my views will change but after Street Parade and the after do Energy I am certainly not bored.......just tired! Was great seeing the kids faces at some of the 'sights' as well.
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Old 18.08.2010, 23:51
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

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Get yourself a cute dog. Since mine arrived everyone wants to say hello and pat the dog. Gone are the stares and have been replaced by smiles
Reality-check: they smile at the dog, not at you.
;-)
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Old 18.08.2010, 23:56
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

One thing you have to keep in mind is that many of the comparisons made on this forum are a bit err... apples'n oranges.

"In the UK" usually means "in London". Considering that Zürich as the biggest city is comparable (populationwise) to such bustling mega cities as Kingston upon Hall, Leicester or Coventry...

As to making friends: I (as a swiss, full disclosure) with many foreign friends actually agree with the sentiment that we are a bit hard to crack open. On the other hand, many of these foreign friends have integrated pretty well after a certain time and enjoy their time a lot.

One thing (good for you) is that for a university student, it will probably be very easy to meet swiss people in an natural way (where you get over the hard initial step of "someone I met at the U" to "hey, weren't you the one I talked to at XYs party for 2 hours"). That one gets a lot harder when you come to switzerland working for a multinational.
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Old 19.08.2010, 00:08
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

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Come to Schwyz, my friend, and all will become clear.
And I thought we were friends.
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Old 19.08.2010, 00:12
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

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"In the UK" usually means "in London". Considering that Zürich as the biggest city is comparable (populationwise) to such bustling mega cities as Kingston upon Hall, Leicester or Coventry...
It's Kingston Upon Hull old chap. Which is, altogether, a much more fun place to be
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Old 19.08.2010, 00:34
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

yes, they are boring and unfriendly compared to many other cultures and they are funny and warm to their own.

There are two sides on each coin.

I've seen people arriving and getting into a rich social group and be happy.

I've seen others living solitary lives and justifying it saying, that's life.

a matter of luck and personal appeal, not necesarily about your own attitude, you could have the best attitude and fail or not have it and find the right people.

But if you have to ask....
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Old 19.08.2010, 00:38
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

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It's Kingston Upon Hull old chap. Which is, altogether, a much more fun place to be

Right It certainly left a deep impression...

OT: Some years ago I spent some time trying to locate an address in the posh south London suburb called St. Reatham ... Asked a few people and they told me they'd never heard of such a place. I'm pretty sure they laughed their a. off behind my back...
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Old 19.08.2010, 00:42
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

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Right It certainly left a deep impression...

OT: Some years ago I spent some time trying to locate an address in the posh south London suburb called St. Reatham ... Asked a few people and they told me they'd never heard of such a place. I'm pretty sure they laughed their a. off behind my back...
Could you be talking about Steatham? Posh it isn't, probably why they were laughing their @ss off.
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Old 19.08.2010, 02:54
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

Yep Switzerland is so boring I've been asleep since I got here. 29 years and not a wrinkle.
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Old 19.08.2010, 10:12
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

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Get yourself a cute dog. Since mine arrived everyone wants to say hello and pat the dog. Gone are the stares and have been replaced by smiles
But get yourself more than one cute dog and the smiles disapear. The stares return in full force.
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Old 19.08.2010, 10:20
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

Define boring and then I'll let you know. If you're expecting clowns, court jesters and stand up comedians to come knocking at your door, you're in the wrong country.

If you're used to getting your kicks from the media, forget that too, there is very little charm in homegrown Swiss created fodder, but if you seek, you too shall find that the outdoor world, the social contacts and charms of this nation has much to offer.
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Old 19.08.2010, 10:24
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

There are more than enough things to do, places to see, people to meet and experiences to be had in Switzerland to last you a lifetime.

You just have to put the effort into making it happen.

If your freetime majors around hopping from 24hr fast food place to the next - you might be a little disappointed.
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Old 19.08.2010, 10:31
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

If the countryside excites you more than people, then it's not boring. But if people excite you more than the countryside, it's boring.

If you like winter activities over all, it's not boring. But if you're an urban type of person, it is definitely boring after a couple of years (Zurich).

If you polled most people around the world after living here, they would consider it a boring place. But a 'special' kind of person finds CH interesting.

So depends if you're one of those freaks or not. It's def difficult to meet people. But once you realise that, it become easier to meet people as you'll make a bigger effort that is not required in other places. Worst case (best case?), you'll make a lot of expat friends.

But the Swiss fanboys will tell you otherwise. They are very sensitive to criticism. No coincidence Apple is so popular here.

However, I heard EPFL is a fun place. Especially when compared to ETH Zurich. It's def hard to meet local students at ETH but I made a lot of foreign student friends.
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Old 19.08.2010, 10:44
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Re: Is Switzerland really that boring?

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But if people excite you more than the countryside, it's boring.
Yes ... and no. I'm from London and the buzz (night life, bars, restaurants, cafes, shops, just walking around) is very obviously missing from here. But that's to be expected as the population of London is greater than that of Switzerland.

However, and this is a personal thing, I like meeting new and interesting people. Admittedly not all expats fit into that category but a lot do. I've got friends in Basel from this forum, from couchsurfing.org (they tend to be a bit wacky!), the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars in Basel (don't ask), Facebook and the University. A very diverse bunch of people, most of whom have travelled and worked in many countries.

In London I sometimes find my "old" friends a bit boring, especially once I'm back there after a few months of living abroad. Here, I can meet people who, for random examples, own a chain of restaurants in Belgium, are studying neuroscience, are musicians, teachers, IT consultants, a Japanese guy who'd spent 3 years cycling around the world, a chef etc etc.

Now, all the above must exist in London but when the population of a city is 8 million people tend to clump together. In other words, I don't meet such a diverse bunch of people all in one group/place when living in London.

So, (wow, what a long post and not even one sarcastic or witty comment about shop opening hours!) it's not being in Switzerland that I find exciting, it's working away from home. You'll also notice that all my friends are expats or travellers of one sort or another. I don't speak any German and haven't integrated. I don't feel I need to, or want to. I'm happy as it is. Of course, I like to think that even without integrating I'm adding to the richness of Basel in my own way.

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But if you're an urban type of person, it is definitely boring after a couple of years
That I can believe. I usually move on after 12 to 18 months.
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