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  #21  
Old 03.09.2011, 17:33
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

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Sometimes I read those posts & think I live in a parallel world.
Mine's more perpendicular, I think. I read all the problems people have here and just shake my head and wonder. I came here as a student and lost 25 kilos (that I desperately needed to lose anyway) because I couldn't afford to eat the first year - prices were way more than I thought. The year after that was kind of rough, too, bumping through temporary jobs as I worked my way into a very comfortable spot these days. And not once did I experience any kind of problem where I thought "oh, god, Switzerland is so bad because [insert reason here]."

Quite frankly, aside from a couple of stolen wallets (once when I couldn't afford it, once when it didn't really matter), nothing really bad or unfair has happened to me here. So to bring it back to DB's question, I figure my perspective is actually skewed in the other direction - I probably see CH with a bit of a rose tint and disregard everyone else's problems. I guess somebody has to skew the curve in the other direction.
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Old 03.09.2011, 17:40
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

Reading the forum is like reading the newspaper or watching the news: bad / negative reports is more interesting than sticky sweet good feeling news.

If someone is having a worse day than me, it makes me feel better.
If someone is having a better day than me, it makes me feel worse.

Of course, I'd never admit that openly.
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Old 03.09.2011, 17:57
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

...just to make it official, I am extremely grateful for many, many things here and many people through good times and bad times. I sincerely doubt that I would have survived through some things in other lands.

That said, I can find all the things complained about on EF and then some, both gross and subtle, but 1) when I point my forefinger I've got four fingers pointing back at me, and 2) I have the freedom to choose whether to grumble along with everybody else or to take the opportunity to seek insight into cause/effect and What Monkeys Do.
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Old 03.09.2011, 18:02
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

Are you really this bored ?

AYB

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that about one in four persons in Switzerland wears red shoes, many EFers observed the same.

How do I know? I checked it on a more or less scientific basis. Well, sort of, anyway.

After having read the book in early spring, I started analyzing my video collection of the past two years, with material from public places in Zürich, Chur, Scuol, Davos, Klosters, Zernez, Müstair, St. Gallen, Greifensee, Rapperswil, Glarus, Schwyz City, Brunnen, Seelisberg, Altdorf, Buochs, Stansstaad, Beckenried, Zug, Lucerne, Baden, Lenzburg, Burgdorf, Bern, Fribourg, Gruyère, Montreux, La Tour de Peilz, Lausanne, Rolle, Nyon, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Morat/Murten, Lugano, Locarno, Ascona, Ponte Tresa, Magliaso, Capolago, Mendrisio, Melide, and, just for comparison's sake, also from Midtown Manhattan, Queens (NYC), Washington, DC, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and the rather rural Grand Traverse Area (Traverse City to Petoskey) and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Result after carefully counting more than 4500 pairs of shoes on both sides of the Atlantic: About one in 120 persons wears red shoes
or, at least, shoes with a conspicuous amount of red on them, a statistically insignificant little bit more in the USA than in Switzerland.
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Old 03.09.2011, 18:09
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

While I agree with a lot of the points regarding negative reporting, here are a couple of things for the mix:

a) the culture here (in Switzerland) is conservative and blinkered. New ideas or criticism are rarely welcomed, usually ignored or not considered, especially as they come from a foreigner. Therefore the said complainant will feel that is grievance is not being taken seriously and will tenaciously continue to publicise it even to many it may seem trivial (eg old woman told me to put a hat on my baby!)

b) EF offers an outlet to share such observations with other such nonlocal people which can validate or contest such experiences.

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Old 03.09.2011, 18:24
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

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Old 03.09.2011, 18:27
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

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While I agree with a lot of the points regarding negative reporting, here are a couple of things for the mix:

a) the culture here (in Switzerland) is conservative and blinkered. New ideas or criticism are rarely welcomed, usually ignored or not considered, especially as they come from a foreigner. Therefore the said complainant will feel that is grievance is not being taken seriously and will tenaciously continue to publicise it even to many it may seem trivial (eg old woman told me to put a hat on my baby!)

b) EF offers an outlet to share such observations with other such nonlocal people which can validate or contest such experiences.

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I know exactley what you saying" Thats the way we do it here " Ups this is in Canada /USA sorry Maybe the old women was RIGHT
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Old 03.09.2011, 18:31
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

This is not America.

Otherwise the old woman would have insisted on the baby's ghetto hat to be worn backwards as convention dictates.

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I know exactley what you saying" Thats the way we do it here " Ups this is in Canada /USA sorry Maybe the old women was RIGHT
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Old 03.09.2011, 18:32
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

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a) the culture here (in Switzerland) is conservative and blinkered. New ideas or criticism are rarely welcomed, usually ignored or not considered, especially as they come from a foreigner. Therefore the said complainant will feel that is grievance is not being taken seriously and will tenaciously continue to publicise it even to many it may seem trivial (eg old woman SCREAMED AT me to put a hat on my baby!)
Fixed that for you. It is rare that anyone will report it as it was said (probably a quick comment whilst stood at a tram stop). Always makes it a juicy post if you report that you were SCREAMED or YELLED at...
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Old 03.09.2011, 18:33
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

DId I say that she was : 20cm FROM MY FACE ???

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Always makes it a juicy post if you report that you were SCREAMED or YELLED at...
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Old 03.09.2011, 18:46
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

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While I agree with a lot of the points regarding negative reporting, here are a couple of things for the mix:

a) the culture here (in Switzerland) is conservative and blinkered. New ideas or criticism are rarely welcomed, usually ignored or not considered, especially as they come from a foreigner. Therefore the said complainant will feel that is grievance is not being taken seriously and will tenaciously continue to publicise it even to many it may seem trivial (eg old woman told me to put a hat on my baby!)

b) EF offers an outlet to share such observations with other such nonlocal people which can validate or contest such experiences.

AYB
One problem is that often living in one place in one country- some people take it as 'the norm' for that country. In the UK I lived in quite a few locations over a period of 40 years. After a decade or so, I realised that things can be very different depending on where you live. CH is much smaller, but I'd say it is even more diverse than England- as we are an eclectic mixture of very different cultures. I've never lived in Wintherthur, and yet I am guessing that it might be very different to living in Lausanne or Lugano- where the 'conservatism' you attribute to all Swiss, may not be so prominent. Generalisations based on a few months or years in one location may not be representative. Life in London is not the same as life in deepest Yorkshire. Living in Prescott AZ is vastly different from life in NY. Same here on a smaller scale. I often think about our friend Nil, and wonder if she might have felt much more comfortable living in Neuchatel or Lausanne than Basel.
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Old 03.09.2011, 18:50
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

Another point to consider is the possibility that many EF members, prior to relocating to CH, had many different people with whom to daily share their negative and/or problematic experiences. When you are in your comfort zone, you share those experiences with you friends and family, the store clerk, your hairdresser, your kid's daycare provider, the stranger behind you in line at the grocery, etc.

I find that now that I am here in CH, even those family members with whom I am closest are unable to identify with even the minor daily annoyances that are part of living here. Therefore, what I share with them is doled out in limited doses. Not knowing enough French yet to speak comfortably with local people (and assuming that if I did, throwing out a heap of problems to be discussed would be frowned upon, at best), I can understand how this forum could become somewhat negatively skewed since it is likely one of the best (and maybe the only) resources that some English speakers have to get advice and validation. Even if no advice is given, it does make one feel better when someone responds, "Oh, I made that mistake as well," or "Yes, I completely understand what you are saying!"

Lastly, it is my observation that EF members seem to risk being made the target of somewhat snide comments if they put up a thread that others feel is too "fluffeh." I am not saying that this is good or bad, however, because the fact of the reality is that fluffy threads, while uplifting to some, do not provide as much useful information that can be referred back to time after time compared to complaint threads. I am just suggesting that this affects the balance of this forum when observing an overall positive/negative ratio.
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  #33  
Old 03.09.2011, 18:50
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

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...So...do you think life in Switzerland is as bad as we paint it...?
FWIW, overall, EF has been very helpful in adjusting my own perspective in a more realistic direction, without spoiling things for me. The longest I've spent in CH has been a few months (and even then, it wasn't "living" in the sense of paying bills and dealing with all the mundane, bureaucratic details). But I've long known what I liked about the prospect of life in CH, and the negative stuff that peppers EF has balanced that out, even if some of has to be taken with a grain of salt (or, in some cases, completely ignored).

Now that CH has become my legal Heimat, I'm all the more looking forward to an opportunity to live and work there, but thanks to EF's "dark" side, I think I'll be much better prepared for the change. So no, taken as a whole, the net message I get from this community is that life isn't as bad as one might perceive from this forum, but nor is it 100% paradise.
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Old 03.09.2011, 18:54
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

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One problem is that often living in one place in one country- some people take it as 'the norm' for that country. In the UK I lived in quite a few locations over a period of 40 years. After a decade or so, I realised that things can be very different depending on where you live. CH is much smaller, but I'd say it is even more diverse than England- as we are an eclectic mixture of very different cultures. I've never lived in Wintherthur, and yet I am guessing that it might be very different to living in Lausanne or Lugano- where the 'conservatism' you attribute to all Swiss, may not be so prominent. Generalisations based on a few months or years in one location may not be representative. Life in London is not the same as life in deepest Yorkshire. Living in Prescott AZ is vastly different from life in NY. Same here on a smaller scale. I often think about our friend Nil, and wonder if she might have felt much more comfortable living in Neuchatel or Lausanne than Basel.
With a Quebec accent,don`t think so .At least in Basel she could fight with does damed angles
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Old 03.09.2011, 18:57
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

The Romands just love the Québec accent - really.
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Old 03.09.2011, 19:27
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

There is another perspective this forum is not only for people who flee their home lands and come here to stay..

I do feel that the home culture here, even on EF really expect for people to slowly accept the fact that there ain't a better place on earth and forget their home and assimilate.

When, there are so many families that only show up for a couple of years, and move on. Of course they will be judging the place differenly, and why should that be considered subpar. Nor why shouldn't we realize that this modern nomad life is extremely fast becoming the norm for bigger and bigger part of the world. People who are here on a short stint will assess fast, who cares to who's detriment, and will use their own parameters and other civilized places to compared to. And they are every now and then bound to come up with notions like "why the hell is everyone bumping into me on the street", "why are people cutting in front of me in the line", " why are shops wenches rude to me". "why did our kiddo get laughed at in the school because we care for him a lot", "why are our neighbors complete nutters"..

Just the fact that a lot of folks are geared to stay for good and are more patient and probably many with other affiliation to CH (partners, other family, biz, country invested in them through schooling, etc), which enables them access to absolutely different info/help/integration pace/connections, does not mean the passerbyers are not making valid points, nor that the attitude they have, in their particular position, would be wrong. They often point out positives, too.

Locals, when they read these points, do not have to jump in and point fingers immediately to the US or Italy saying "it's worse there", nor make comments about spoilt entitlement folks, or feel like they have to deffend and represent, since these temporary settlers aren't nobody's ambasadors, only their own.

People just come here for different purposes, different goals and differently ready to get rid of part of themselves, that integration actually does call for, irrespectively if we want it, or not. Loads of people do bail out, though, despite what the crazy campaign against mass immigration wants us to believe.
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Old 03.09.2011, 21:13
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

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Reading the forum is like reading the newspaper or watching the news: bad / negative reports is more interesting than sticky sweet good feeling news.

If someone is having a worse day than me, it makes me feel better.
If someone is having a better day than me, it makes me feel worse.

Of course, I'd never admit that openly.
You're not serious are you ?
Honestly can't say that bad new makes me feel better, it makes me feel awful. As for seeing people happy over the silliest things, just is worth a smile.

-----------------

Perspective DB ? or just human nature ?
Englishforum is little like after sales services
If a customer is pleased he'll tell only 3 to 5 people, if a customer is unhappy with the service he'll tell 9 people.

Basic customer service me thinks

We almost never tell people when we're pleased with them, it's like it's to be expected. Nevertheless we rant and rave at their smallest transgression.

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Old 03.09.2011, 21:28
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

I think the explanation is more prosaic...more or less people you know shouldnt make much difference

If real life involved sharing bad experiences with 600 people round a table, and instead of your best friend saying "thats a bit crap", each one of the 600 people listening said "well, if you think thats bad, wait til you hear what happened to me" ad (sometimes literally) nauseam.

So i think its none of the deep things above....its just that real life doesnt have a reply button.
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Old 03.09.2011, 21:31
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

A great proverb this : will make a note, lol.

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Old 03.09.2011, 22:05
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Re: Perspective: doz we haz it?

It is all about perspective along with the situation one finds oneself in; sometimes it is "those foreigners" and other times it is "the Swiss" and the opposite as well as in positive experiences.

We each have our view of the world through which we see others and we are also aware of how each nationality is typified. If we then come up against the "typical" negative, we think "hrumph, those <fill in the blank> but if they behave "atypically" positively, we are all the more impressed.

Wherever we live, we will find the good and the bad; each person just needs to decide whether the good outweighs the bad for him or herself wherever it is that he/she decides to live, work and contribute.
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