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-   -   Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed (https://www.englishforum.ch/daily-life/125756-personal-swiss-misconceptions-revealed.html)

jerallie 17.09.2011 13:28

Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
So I am a huge fan of EF and I like the threads about things that are expensive and all that, but I thought it would be interesting to find out what misconceptions you have about coming here. In short, what things were you told or read about that simply weren't true when you finally got here?

I was told that it was very hard to find peanut butter and that if I found it it would be expensive. Not true, 3.50 chf and you can even get it at gas station Migrolinos.

These are supposed to be personal misconceptions because they may not be the same experience for everyone.

Example: I was told I cannot get a credit card on an L permit, but I received 2 from Credit Suisse. While this was a misconception for me, it might be truth to someone else.

Guest 17.09.2011 13:31

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
The shop at my small hamlet sells fabulous and proper brown sugar, hurray.

Upthehatters2008 17.09.2011 13:43

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
I thought the Winters in Zurich would be colder and harsher...
I thought everything would be more expensive, but not as expensive as it is.
I thought cheese and bread would be better.
I thought my working days would be shorter and more relaxed.
I thought the lake would be colder...
I thought wrong...

Mowvich 17.09.2011 13:51

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
I thought CH was all Chalets and farms, was surprised to find cities
I thought people in the street would be so friendly and outgoing, definitely was so wrong
I though it would be so ethical, neutral and fair, all i found was cartels, xenophobic and corrupt.
I thought working here would be more chilled out, relaxed and more creative, definitely it's the opposite.
I thought i would have a better life style than i had back home, definitely CH was degrading of my life style / career

17.09.2011 13:53

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Relaxed working days as a preconception? In the land of trains and banks and clocks and banks? Why?

tigris330 17.09.2011 14:01

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
I thought

-parking on the street (and I don't mean in the bigger cities) was free
-full-time English teaching posts (EFL) existed
- going to the cinema didn't cost so much
- long-distance trains within the country didn't cost this much, or at least there would be long distance buses at a good price
- just the thought of doing laundy wouldn't cause panic attacks
- at least Mcdonals would be cheap
- people in Zurich didn't smoke this much and everywhere!!!

KeinFranzösisch 17.09.2011 14:09

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
"you can only have one dog" (rofl)

"no credit card company will let you carry a balance" (lies)

"you have to carry cash because you can't use your bank card for Point of Sale transactions" (I'm still laughing at that one)

"Trams are so convenient so you don't need a car" (we can debate this one again)

"you won't find creamy peanut butter" (rather that they don't sell it at Migros)

"it's rude to take a bottle of water/soda/juice with you to a meeting" (maybe it is, but I stopped caring)

"nobody wears tennis shoes unless they're going to the gym" (hahaha)

Captain Greybeard 17.09.2011 15:12

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jerallie (Post 1342348)
I was told that it was very hard to find peanut butter and that if I found it it would be expensive. Not true, 3.50 chf and you can even get it at gas station Migrolinos.

Peanut butter has been easily available since the 'fifties, but it cannot be compared to the stuff you get in the USA.

Faltrad 17.09.2011 15:27

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Greybeard (Post 1342495)
Peanut butter has been easily available since the 'fifties, but it cannot be compared to the stuff you get in the USA.

My guess: There are hundreds of Swiss expatriates in the US moaning in a forum that they thought peanut butter would be better there and that they miss the good undefeatable best ever COOP peanut butter.
Just a guess.

crimson 17.09.2011 15:35

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
i thought that the choice of crisps would be as wide as in the uk - i obviously didnt know this country's obsession with paprika

i thought the chocolates would be better

i could never imagine that cheese would be SO good

(hmmm...i just realise that all my thoughts are food related :p)

Captain Greybeard 17.09.2011 15:35

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 1342521)
My guess: There are hundreds of Swiss expatriates in the US moaning in a forum that they thought peanut butter would be better there and that they miss the good undefeatable best ever COOP peanut butter.
Just a guess.

Maybe. And they may complain about the lack of real brown sugar too. Taste always is a matter of taste.

Upthehatters2008 17.09.2011 15:36

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by economisto (Post 1342387)
Relaxed working days as a preconception? In the land of trains and banks and clocks and banks? Why?

Silly me, having spent time in France and the Netherlands on a lazy 35 hour week, I thought Switzerland was in Europe with respect to work ethic/hours/sodding around all day getting paid well.

jerallie 17.09.2011 19:13

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
I thought:

*You could at least park at big retailers for free
*Cheese would be cheaper (It is fabulous though)
*Easier and cheaper to ship things here (Damn Post handling charge)
*Dryers would dry clothes in the same amount of time as the US
*Fish would be harder to find and really bad (Not the case, although it is expensive)
*There would be brand name outlet stores (/they have them in Italy, Gemany and France)
*Marshmallows would be cheap and everywhere
*Halloween would be celebrated
*Less opportunity to swim at public pools

CH_Me 17.09.2011 19:23

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jerallie (Post 1342682)
*Less opportunity to swim at public pools

This one I agree with. We have an indoor pool < 100 m from our front door. Such a tease - it is rarely open to the public at convenient times. Weekdays, 6.15-7.45am and during lunch times and only on 1 weekday evening per week.

Guest 17.09.2011 20:02

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Bizarre - our Olympic size outdoor heated pool opens about 7.30 to sunset, and the indoor pool about 7am to 10pm. Brilliant.

Guest 17.09.2011 20:29

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MarieZug (Post 1342688)
This one I agree with. We have an indoor pool < 100 m from our front door. Such a tease - it is rarely open to the public at convenient times. Weekdays, 6.15-7.45am and during lunch times and only on 1 weekday evening per week.

Quote:

Bizarre - our Olympic size outdoor heated pool opens about 7.30 to sunset, and the indoor pool about 7am to 10pm. Brilliant.
Does it perhaps depend on whether the pool is publicly or privately owned?

Our local pool is open 7 days a week, all day, with a crack-of-dawn start on Wednesdays.

ullainga 17.09.2011 20:39

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
I thought people speak German in so-called German-speaking parts of Switzerland.

chango 17.09.2011 20:58

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ullainga (Post 1342740)
I thought people speak German in so-called German-speaking parts of Switzerland.

I completely agree with this one!!!

CH_Me 17.09.2011 21:05

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Does it perhaps depend on whether the pool is publicly or privately owned?

Our local pool is open 7 days a week, all day, with a crack-of-dawn start on Wednesdays.
Ours is in the grounds of the high school. It seems to be mostly booked out every afternoon for school run and privately run swimming courses. One cool thing is that the floor can be raised for the beginning level swimming lessons.

17.09.2011 21:17

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
I thought Switzerland's currency was the franc not the euro :D

olygirl 17.09.2011 21:20

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
I thought all EF posters were socially inept.

John McClane 17.09.2011 22:39

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
i never ever thought summers in Switzerland would go as high as 35degree.
i thought it would be easy for me to just get work anywhere,even as a helper/assistant.

Pancakes 17.09.2011 22:51

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
1. Didn't expect Swiss-German to be even more unpleasant to my ears than German (didn't think that was even possible!) :p

2. I expected many things here to be more convenient (I know some say that they think CH is very convenient because of its consistently on-time public transport, but things like no shopping or doing laundry on Sundays, etc. still just don't make any sense to me).

3. I remember once reading that Zurich is known as a "Shopper's Mecca." So I expected there to be a much wider variety of stores and products here.

4. I expected a better and more diverse music scene -- especially in Zurich, but it seems like a lot of the people here are still into the goth, industrial or rave thing... or bad 80s music. I also expected the art/music scene here to be more avant garde.

5. For some reason, I had always envisioned Switzerland to be very progressive and liberal. So I was surprised to find out how conservative and traditional it is -- and how passive/inactive the Swiss seem to be when it comes to making changes -- especially considering that CH is the only (?) direct democracy.

jerallie 17.09.2011 23:42

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
I always assumed that CH would have the same variety of groceries and products as all their neighboring countries. Not sure why it is so limited compared to France, Germany, Italy, Austria. My wife loves Oasis juice. In CH...2 varieties (orange and tropical), in France/Germany they have over a dozen varieties. WHY?

ecb 17.09.2011 23:48

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jerallie (Post 1342848)
My wife loves Oasis juice. In CH...2 varieties (orange and tropical), in France/Germany they have over a dozen varieties. WHY?

And they are half the price of the ones available in CH ... why oh why???

17.09.2011 23:53

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
I didn't think the weather would be so pleasant.

marton 18.09.2011 00:00

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by porsch1909 (Post 1342857)
I didn't think the weather would be so pleasant.

Seems to have improved a lot in 17 years; when I was first here the fountains in Zürich city would be frozen for long periods in Winter.

I thought the petrol would be expensive; cuban cigars are really inexpensive here contrary to my expectation.

J_T 18.09.2011 01:54

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jerallie (Post 1342682)
I thought:

*There would be brand name outlet stores (/they have them in Italy, Gemany and France)

What do you call Aubonne and a bunch of other such centers?

http://www.outlet-aubonne.ch/en/

Wollishofener 18.09.2011 03:35

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mowvich (Post 1342381)
I thought people in the street would be so friendly and outgoing, definitely was so wrong

-
in small villages people in the street are friendly and outgoing but in the cities, just as in cities elsewhere, people go along their own affairs

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mowvich (Post 1342381)
I though it would be so ethical, neutral and fair, all i found was cartels, xenophobic and corrupt

> cartels ? exist everywhere. The relative exception in Europe is Germany which in 1949 under the dictate of General Julius Clay, the commander of the Western Zones, introduced a decent anti-cartel leglisation
> neutral ? I think you misunderstood the term. The country/nation is and has to be neutral, but NOT the people
> xenophobic ? just the 10 to 25% as elsewhere

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mowvich (Post 1342381)
I thought working here would be more chilled out, relaxed and more creative, definitely it's the opposite

> why should working here be chilled out and relaxed ?? there is absolutely no reason for this. Quite to the contrary, the customers of both the export industry and of inbound tourism expect Switzerland to preform supremely which means a considerable pressure
> creative ? yes and no. on one side, it is obvious that the sense for innovation and creativeness suffers if you have problems to fufil the demands of your customers. At the other hand, Switzerland is on the records with a considerable number of innovations and Swiss industry shows quite some creativeness all the time

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mowvich (Post 1342381)
I thought i would have a better life style than i had back home, definitely CH was degrading of my life style / career

-
In such considerations, you quite obvious were not aware of and so never considered why so many Swiss either short-term or long-term go abroad to improve their lives (careers) ..... and you apparently have never realised why most Swiss people going abroad for either business or tourism so eagerly try to bring life-style back home ! I mean, if I compare what was the boring and dreary lifestyle of the Zurich of the 1950ies and 60ies with what it is today, I can only marvel about the tremendous progress achieved. True, in the 1960ies and 70ies, ZHers went to Geneva to experience "le savoir vivre" and a "Légčre lifestyle" and to experience liberal freedoms in those times far from standard overhere

*** so that there are two conclusions
A) you simply overestimated the career-chances in Switzerland in general and in Geneva in particular ... and did not see that Swiss went abroad and/or emigrated in order to get ahead
B) that lifestyle does not depend on money but on "cultural values". To give you an example. The Godfather of my brother was a highly successful businessman and a millionaire. My Godfather was not rich, but in his long years of an international career had acted as a semi-diplomat in WWII in Budapest and had lead an interesting life. The, to use the words of the reverend at the burial in Geneva, "la personlité éxtrčmement riche de Mr Ch.... S..." not only as long as he lived but since then and always was and is a source of inspiration for me. And his style was unique

olympe 18.09.2011 05:39

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
I moved to Switzerland thinking I would work again... did not know it was mission impossible.

jerallie 18.09.2011 10:41

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
I thought I would never get to watch American Football live again.

Thanks NFL Gamepass......tired though after late games :)

OSueco 18.09.2011 11:08

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wollishofener (Post 1342920)
-
in small villages people in the street are friendly and outgoing but in the cities, just as in cities elsewhere, people go along their own affairs

> xenophobic ? just the 10 to 25% as elsewhere

...it's about misconceptions he had about Switzerland...it's irrelevant about "elsewhere"....:rolleyes:

my misconceptions
- I never thought that bosses would/could scream at you at work...
- I thought that "customer is king" would also apply here, at least not getting yelled, "sighed" or "roll-eyed" at in restaurants and stores
- people would have more common sense...
- that people here would be more happy/satisfied since it's one of the richest countries in the world

Guest 18.09.2011 11:10

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wollishofener (Post 1342920)
-
snip

Monumental point-misser misses point.

HollidayG 18.09.2011 11:18

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
I thought the Swiss would be efficient. Contrary, they create
huge bureaucracies that only a few people understand.

Also, I find that the Swiss rarely take responsibility at work. They
are really good at passing the back.

Wollishofener 18.09.2011 12:19

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ullainga (Post 1342740)
I thought people speak German in so-called German-speaking parts of Switzerland.

Sounds as if you do not appreciate the superb and supreme variants of German spoken here :D

Wollishofener 18.09.2011 12:48

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by OSueco (Post 1343050)
...it's about misconceptions he had about Switzerland...it's irrelevant about "elsewhere"....:rolleyes:

my misconceptions
- I never thought that bosses would/could scream at you at work...
- I thought that "customer is king" would also apply here, at least not getting yelled, "sighed" or "roll-eyed" at in restaurants and stores
- people would have more common sense...
- that people here would be more happy/satisfied since it's one of the richest countries in the world

Sure, I fear he thought that also people in the city would greet you everywhere in the most friendly way and would enter into a nice chat with everybody ;)
and possibly thought that there would be no xenophobism in Switzerland :p
-
"The customer is king" ("der Kunde ist König") is a basic principle here in retail, gastronomy and hotellery.
-
Since when are people in rich countries happy and satisfied ? So, why should the Swiss be satisfied and happy ? Should people be happy about the weather today ?

Wollishofener 18.09.2011 12:57

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Monumental point-misser misses point.
And what exactly is the point ? Is there really one ? :D

Sagitta 18.09.2011 13:11

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wollishofener (Post 1343179)
And what exactly is the point ? Is there really one ? :D

The point is that there are no facts, only interpretations. (Nietzsche) :)

meloncollie 18.09.2011 13:21

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
I stepped off the plane expecting Heidiland.

Instead, I found Kloten.

Guest 18.09.2011 13:25

Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wollishofener (Post 1343139)
Sounds as if you do not appreciate the superb and supreme variants of German spoken here :D

Yeah, I went to Stoke, Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Glascow, deepest Yorkshire and Devon - at least most people in Swiss German CH can speak standard German too :p:msntongue::msngrin:

Meloncollie I thought Jimmy Hendrix and Mick Jagger would be there to meet me at the station and take me straight to Carnaby Street - and instead I found ... Brentford. Now that was a shock, lol.


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