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Old 04.04.2011, 22:21
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Scared or polite?

Because the parking space next to my car was taken, and I did not have my car keys with me, I could not park my motorbike in front of my car, against the wall (her usual place [yes, my bike is a "she" ]). So, I parked her on the washing place, temporarily, and of course forgot for the next two days.

Today I got an e-mail from the landlord, that several neighbours had complained. Now they obviously know very well that it is my bike, but instead of speaking to me directly, they go and whine to the landlord! Are they scared or polite?
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Old 04.04.2011, 22:25
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Re: Scared or polite?

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Because the parking space next to my car was taken, and I did not have my car keys with me, I could not park my motorbike in front of my car, against the wall (her usual place [yes, my bike is a "she" ]). So, I parked her on the washing place, temporarily, and of course forgot for the next two days.

Today I got an e-mail from the landlord, that several neighbours had complained. Now they obviously know very well that it is my bike, but instead of speaking to me directly, they go and whine to the landlord! Are they scared or polite?
Neither, but anonymously efficient...
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Old 04.04.2011, 22:27
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Re: Scared or polite?

Polite, and very much according to local custom. This is exactly what the landlord is there for - to handle complaints, so that neighbors do not have to engage in confrontational behavior with neighbors. (As you may be starting to realize, the Swiss threshold for 'confrontational behavior' is considerably lower than in many other places.)

If it looks passive-aggressive to you, remind yourself that the alternative looks aggressive-aggressive to them.

That's how I make sense of it anyway.
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Old 04.04.2011, 22:44
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Re: Scared or polite?

Plus, it is shocking to them that someone would flout the rules with such nonchalance and they probably think you may not be entirely sane / half-savage. Something like that. You left your bike in the washing area during what was the first proper stretch of good weather of the year, aka, car washing time. I bet your neighbours had changed their plans and EVERYTHING.

Seriously though, as a Swiss, I can tell you that most of us really hate direct confrontations, it's just so unpleasant and when it's about something that is against house rules, it seems so unnecessary to have to do it.
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Old 04.04.2011, 23:00
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Re: Scared or polite?

Be careful. If anything that serious happens again, you'll be evicted and possibly even face deportation...
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Old 05.04.2011, 00:03
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Re: Scared or polite?

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Be careful. If anything that serious happens again, you'll be evicted and possibly even face deportation...
Oops..., I'd better find out if one of the famous Swiss pharmas have some pills for my "Alzheimer Light"
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Old 05.04.2011, 00:16
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Re: Scared or polite?

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Oops..., I'd better find out if one of the famous Swiss pharmas have some pills for my "Alzheimer Light"
They sure do... not a problem
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Old 05.04.2011, 05:56
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Re: Scared or polite?

Forget about it. It's sort of a Swiss thing. When I took my flat the garbage bag was outside for only a few hours. Of course someone noticed and rang my bell.
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Old 05.04.2011, 11:01
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Re: Scared or polite?

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Forget about it. It's sort of a Swiss thing. When I took my flat the garbage bag was outside for only a few hours. Of course someone noticed and rang my bell.
Was that the landlord in person ringing your bell, or were you actually confronted by one of your new neighbours? (Probably an "Ausländer", then, since the Swiss seem to hate direct confrontations.)
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Old 05.04.2011, 14:27
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Re: Scared or polite?

Sounds familiar. When first here I put the paper for collection in the wrong place outside.

One of my neighbours went through the paper, found a mailshot with my name on it, and sellotaped it to my apartment door with an accompanying note saying "Mr P, please put your paper where everyone else does, it's really not so difficult". (Mine was the first paper to be put out, as it happens).

For the life of me I couldn't understand why, rather than going back to their apartment, writing out a note, and coming back to mine with the sellotape, they simply didn't ring the doorbell and tell me (I was in when they did it).

I assumed at the time I had some sort of sociopath as a neighbour, and even now six years down the line I struggle to get to grips with this kind of mentality. I understand that's what happens having since seen other new tenants treated in the same manner. Nevertheless, I can't help feeling if such things are so important to you, you should be prepared to stand up for them rather than hiding behind little slips of paper, or worse, behind someone else.

These things don't have to be confrontations, especially when someone is new to the building. A well-adjusted "hi, we're from downstairs, welcome, and by the way this is how the paper collection works" would be the epitome of politeness if that's what's so important.

I guess this is one area where I'm never going to fully integrate
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Old 05.04.2011, 14:47
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Re: Scared or polite?

Almost everyone has a similar story to tell. I had three complaints on one note (!) from our hauswart in our first flat.

Needless to say I replied in writing and told her where to shove it (there were too many hypocrisies and false accusations not to). Didn't get another complaint after that.

I would say that if any accusations are really unfounded, then stand your ground. But you do need to be reasonably (i.e. very!) sure that these accusations are indeed false and can show it (I could and did).

Anyway...

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...Nevertheless, I can't help feeling if such things are so important to you, you should be prepared to stand up for them rather than hiding behind little slips of paper, or worse, behind someone else....
I've send a message for you via a mod...



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Old 05.04.2011, 14:49
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Re: Scared or polite?

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I've send a message for you via a mod...



Touché
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Old 05.04.2011, 16:45
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Re: Scared or polite?

Thanks for sharing your similar stories. It's only a bit consoling that they consider this to be polite, and not that they are too scared of me to get to know me. Although they make no efforts in that direction either. The ones I do chat up with occasionally, seem so forgetful that they won't greet me the next day. A peculiar form of politeness...
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Old 07.04.2011, 21:29
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Re: Scared or polite?

I got a worse story (who hasn't?), my was pregnant so she had nausea from the car exhaust gas, (we were living in a apartment with a garage) so I choose to pick up her outside, once there and she sat in there car, she felt sick and wanted to throw up, so I escorted her to the apartment (car still parked "half" up on the pavement), and went to the bathroom, it went on for 10 minutes, I went to the kitchen and I saw a police car stopping and gave us a ticket, and ran out and of course they were gone, I gazed up and I saw a curtain getting pulled back over the window...

Later I asked the landlord if there is somebody who is watching people parking habits, and he said that it is an old lady who continuously reports to the local police about "falsely" parked cars...

And yes your are allowed to park there temporary if you're moving things, but I guess the old hag didn't think that applied to pregnant women...although I complained to police, I had no proof that we only were away 10 minutes...even though I told them of our situation they didn't care...the law is the law..blablabla..

Needless to say, we moved out 3 months later...
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Old 07.04.2011, 22:10
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Re: Scared or polite?

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I got a worse story (who hasn't?), my was pregnant so she had nausea from the car exhaust gas, (we were living in a apartment with a garage) so I choose to pick up her outside, once there and she sat in there car, she felt sick and wanted to throw up, so I escorted her to the apartment (car still parked "half" up on the pavement), and went to the bathroom, it went on for 10 minutes, I went to the kitchen and I saw a police car stopping and gave us a ticket, and ran out and of course they were gone, I gazed up and I saw a curtain getting pulled back over the window...

Later I asked the landlord if there is somebody who is watching people parking habits, and he said that it is an old lady who continuously reports to the local police about "falsely" parked cars...

And yes your are allowed to park there temporary if you're moving things, but I guess the old hag didn't think that applied to pregnant women...although I complained to police, I had no proof that we only were away 10 minutes...even though I told them of our situation they didn't care...the law is the law..blablabla..

Needless to say, we moved out 3 months later...
That is a sick habit... Especially when the police are so dedicated in granting her wishes on the spot. Good decision to move out, although there must be enough people here with stories that they could not terminate their apartment lease on such short notice
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Old 08.04.2011, 00:23
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Re: Scared or polite?

I don't know, I think they are just different. I remeber when I went to live to France for a while. There it is very bad manners to show someone you don't like him/her while in my home country (Spain) is the other way around.
Here I've been trying to make some swiss friends but it takes ages and I don't see real progress, when I meet them I can't tell whether they are really happy to see me or they are just being polite as there is not a big feed-back. But I like somethings here though: nature...nature...nature
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Old 08.04.2011, 01:29
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Re: Scared or polite?

I am an American who married a Swiss...and he has told me all sorts of stories similar to these...people who get angry about others who just aren't "following the rules". I have to tell you...we are getting quite a laugh out of some of these stories. A similar one I can add is once I didn't realize that I was not supposed to cross the street at a certain intersection and a very kind elderly lady stopped me (2 blocks down the road--she was so concerned that she followed me until able to catch up) and told me what a wrong thing I had done at that intersection.
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Old 08.04.2011, 01:45
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Re: Scared or polite?

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Sounds familiar. When first here I put the paper for collection in the wrong place outside.

One of my neighbours went through the paper, found a mailshot with my name on it, and sellotaped it to my apartment door with an accompanying note saying "Mr P, please put your paper where everyone else does, it's really not so difficult". (Mine was the first paper to be put out, as it happens).

For the life of me I couldn't understand why, rather than going back to their apartment, writing out a note, and coming back to mine with the sellotape, they simply didn't ring the doorbell and tell me (I was in when they did it).
Yes and wouldn't it have been easier to simply move your paper to the correct place?

I put old newspapers in a Migros paper carrier bag, outside next to the road, in the correct place, at the correct time. One hour later I noticed someone had tied the handles together with a short piece of string!

.
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Old 08.04.2011, 10:10
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Re: Scared or polite?

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Yes and wouldn't it have been easier to simply move your paper to the correct place?
.
What do you think I did?

EDIT: Sorry, misinterpretation. Thanks Paddy for clearing that up

Last edited by Ed Pummelon; 08.04.2011 at 10:26.
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Old 08.04.2011, 10:20
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Re: Scared or polite?

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What do you think I did?
I think Ittigen is referring to what the neighbour could have done, not you personally.
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