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Old 17.09.2011, 13:28
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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.
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Old 17.09.2011, 13:31
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Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed

The shop at my small hamlet sells fabulous and proper brown sugar, hurray.
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Old 17.09.2011, 13:43
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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...
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Old 17.09.2011, 13:51
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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
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Old 17.09.2011, 13:53
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Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed

Relaxed working days as a preconception? In the land of trains and banks and clocks and banks? Why?
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Old 17.09.2011, 14:01
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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!!!
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Old 17.09.2011, 14:09
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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)
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Old 17.09.2011, 15:12
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Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed

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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.
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Old 17.09.2011, 15:27
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Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed

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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.
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Old 17.09.2011, 15:35
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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 )
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Old 17.09.2011, 15:35
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Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed

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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.
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Old 17.09.2011, 15:36
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Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed

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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.
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Old 17.09.2011, 19:13
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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
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Old 17.09.2011, 19:23
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Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed

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*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.
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Old 17.09.2011, 20:02
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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.
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Old 17.09.2011, 20:29
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Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed

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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.
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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.
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Old 17.09.2011, 20:39
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Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed

I thought people speak German in so-called German-speaking parts of Switzerland.
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Old 17.09.2011, 20:58
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Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed

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I thought people speak German in so-called German-speaking parts of Switzerland.
I completely agree with this one!!!
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Old 17.09.2011, 21:05
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Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed

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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.
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Old 17.09.2011, 21:17
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Re: Personal Swiss Misconceptions Revealed

I thought Switzerland's currency was the franc not the euro
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