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  #41  
Old 22.05.2012, 15:10
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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I'd love to make a film about this, but I have no experience whatsoever!

"Expats' Adventures in Swiss" [ Spelled incorrectly on purpose ], The plot will defo involve searching for brown sugar, trying to pull Swiss girls, complaining about how expensive everything is, going to a forum meet up and driving to eat KFC in a different country! It will win a trophy somewhere I'm sure!
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Sounds good to me a nice comedy to cheer us all up.
Or a tragedy.

Isn't that what the English Forum is without the bombastic opening theme tune and wobbly special effects?



With props to pat for the image
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  #42  
Old 22.05.2012, 15:13
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Lilke being closed on Sundays
If you live in Zug, every day is like Sunday (almost). Luckily we are not far from Zurich so my advice to Izabela is to get on the train and get to know some expats in Zurich.

I have lived previously in Geneva and it is so much easier to "integrate" with people there. In the Deutschschweiz, your best bet is to get to know other expats, especially if you are here for a fixed term only.
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  #43  
Old 22.05.2012, 15:13
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Sounds good to me a nice comedy to cheer us all up.
Ok ok I'm getting even more ideas now!
The opening scene would be in Zuerich Airport, with one of the main characters arriving for the first time and after some sort of amusing / stereotypical encounter with an old Swiss lady at the info point he buys his train ticket and boards the train to the HB where he mistakenly gets on the first class carriage, being impressed with the Swiss standard trains he then realises he's in the wrong carriage as the condescending conductor slaps him with a CHF90.- fine after mumbling some Swiss German at him and all he can remember is just "Nein Nein Nein Nein Nein!"

Last edited by The_Love_Doctor; 22.05.2012 at 15:29. Reason: spelling!
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  #44  
Old 22.05.2012, 15:37
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

I have a fairly good experience of being an expat: single, married, without kids, with them...

I moved out of my country for my work. It was a very different culture and I didn't know any word of the language. The first year, I hated it daily and I wished I would go back home. But after a year of slowly learning the language, I was finally able to have a conversation with the shop clerk on the street corner and I was finally getting the local treatment and not the tourist one anymore.

I start loving it. I met lots of local friends, mixed with expats, we were going out, visiting, partying.... A real blast!!

Fast forward, met hubby, got married and felt pregnant. His company wanted to transfer him to Basel. I left my job and found myself without working for the first time in my life since I was 14 years old. Ouch!

Move to calm and slow Basel with nothing to do, no one to talk to and i was not interested to learn the language. (I hate German). But with 3 languages, I was doing well. The problem for me is that I find Germanic culture blend without real strong commitment to it. Well, compared to where I was coming from.

Basel is just too calm for me, it is a village and I am more of a city girl.

Now, I love the city so much, I have the beach, the culture and at the moment I go out of my house, I see people! I have 3 classes of Spanish per week of 1.5 hour each. I love it. We do it at home, outside, where ever I feel like. After one year, I am able to have a conversation.

My daughter goes to school, so we met friends with who we can have a nice time. We are going to visit their village on Saturday!

So yes, language is the key. I still find it difficult to not work, as every women work here, only the expats wive. I met 2 few months back and I was shocked to find out they didn't learn any of the language since here (2-3 years) I didn't see them again. I don't want to stick with the expats, I am not interested. I want a life of my own with people here, from here. Well, it is much easier to make friends here too....

When son is going to be a bit older, I will look for work but now, we are lucky enough to not have to.


Expat wife? yes! Rich? I wish! Happy? You bet!!!
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  #45  
Old 22.05.2012, 15:40
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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It's good to know others feel this way too...
That's exactly how I feel. Knowing that there is more of us helps...
I try not to blame it on anything or anyone but after 7 months it is clear l will never like the country... It didn't happen until now so it's not going to happen later.

I really hoped to adjust easily as I always loved this life style and travelling was a choice and pleasure not a must. I never wanted to live differently or stay where I was born but it looks like 7 months in Switzerland is nothing to call this place Home. Time goes so slowly here and I really see no changes... I also have no motivation to fight for it, partly because knowing the language, meeting new people and 'killing time' will not solve this problem. It is still killing time and suffering not living your life to the fullest. You try to make yourself happy where you are but it is still trying and fighting, pretending that "it's not so bad and will get better with time".

I try to work, travel and make friends. I am open for new ideas, meetings, visits, organizing activities with (new) friends so I can't say it was my choice to feel isolated but there are weeks when I'm totally depressed... It is exactly how you described it here. It feels like I made this decision for someone but I forgot about myself... I have no goal, no plans, no pressure, no purpose to exist and no job to do on this planet... it feels awful to feel like you are living for nothing, not having any plans for yourself or hopes to change things...
Hmm..everything you say is in this film...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=

Maybe the place where you're living now it's not good for you.. Switzerland it doesn't fit everyone. (as posh a location might be)
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  #46  
Old 22.05.2012, 15:51
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Adrian,

They probably thought your dinner parties were dull too, that's why they stopped visiting
I'm sure that's the reason! They found everything else dull, so why not 30 totally different people. And me! Wow!
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  #47  
Old 22.05.2012, 16:00
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Adrian,

They probably thought your dinner parties were dull too, that's why they stopped visiting
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I'm sure that's the reason! They found everything else dull, so why not 30 totally different people. And me! Wow!
Adrian is everything but dull...
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  #48  
Old 22.05.2012, 16:43
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

Having been inSwitzerland now for a month i must agree it has to come down to effort when you chose to follow your partner with his job.
My husband is fluent in german, got offered a job he really wanted and too good an opportunity for him to turn down.
I however speak no german and i had the choice of following my husband and allowing him to progress in his career or stamp my foot down and say no.
I had a fantastic social life and circle of friends before i left, always someone to see and things to throw myself into.
We did discuss the option of me staying behind in the uk while he came here and travelled around but its not a realistic option in a marriage.
I decided it was better to go with what opportunities life had thrown our way and hey one day when i want to do something to build up my life expereinces he wont say no. The world of karma!
We Arent particulary wealthy over here, and i am desperately missing doing things. I miss having my house full of my girls and their friends, randomly baking for friends and coffee mornings, running a toddler group and being an active member on the school pta.
I am relatively sane at the moment with how quite things have gone but know ill be craving my life back soon.
I dont get to meet parents at the school, as there arent such things as school runs here in the swiss system and it takes time to meet people anywhere else. Have joined WAC in uster but only go to one toddler group a week and as the newbie will take time to meet anyone.
I do agree with the rich ladies of leisure moaning about how miserable things are, if i had money coming out of my ears i can tell you i would be more productive with it! How can anyone be bored with disposable money?
If you are, get a Hobby and a life! Lol
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  #49  
Old 22.05.2012, 16:55
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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I have a fairly good experience of being an expat: single, married, without kids, with them...

I moved out of my country for my work. It was a very different culture and I didn't know any word of the language. The first year, I hated it daily and I wished I would go back home. But after a year of slowly learning the language, I was finally able to have a conversation with the shop clerk on the street corner and I was finally getting the local treatment and not the tourist one anymore.

I start loving it. I met lots of local friends, mixed with expats, we were going out, visiting, partying.... A real blast!!

Fast forward, met hubby, got married and felt pregnant. His company wanted to transfer him to Basel. I left my job and found myself without working for the first time in my life since I was 14 years old. Ouch!

Move to calm and slow Basel with nothing to do, no one to talk to and i was not interested to learn the language. (I hate German). But with 3 languages, I was doing well. The problem for me is that I find Germanic culture blend without real strong commitment to it. Well, compared to where I was coming from.

Basel is just too calm for me, it is a village and I am more of a city girl.

Now, I love the city so much, I have the beach, the culture and at the moment I go out of my house, I see people! I have 3 classes of Spanish per week of 1.5 hour each. I love it. We do it at home, outside, where ever I feel like. After one year, I am able to have a conversation.

My daughter goes to school, so we met friends with who we can have a nice time. We are going to visit their village on Saturday!

So yes, language is the key. I still find it difficult to not work, as every women work here, only the expats wive. I met 2 few months back and I was shocked to find out they didn't learn any of the language since here (2-3 years) I didn't see them again. I don't want to stick with the expats, I am not interested. I want a life of my own with people here, from here. Well, it is much easier to make friends here too....

When son is going to be a bit older, I will look for work but now, we are lucky enough to not have to.


Expat wife? yes! Rich? I wish! Happy? You bet!!!
yes, it's much easier to integrate in Spain than in Switzerland
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  #50  
Old 22.05.2012, 16:56
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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I do agree with the rich ladies of leisure moaning about how miserable things are, if i had money coming out of my ears i can tell you i would be more productive with it! How can anyone be bored with disposable money?
If you are, get a Hobby and a life! Lol
Only boring people allow themselves to get bored
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  #51  
Old 22.05.2012, 16:59
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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How can anyone be bored with disposable money?
i guess if you just sit around counting it all day, it gets a bit boring.
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Old 22.05.2012, 17:00
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Only boring people allow themselves to get bored
i get bored all the time.

are you calling me boring???
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Old 22.05.2012, 17:21
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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i get bored all the time.

are you calling me boring???
Yes.
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  #54  
Old 22.05.2012, 17:49
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Yes.
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  #55  
Old 22.05.2012, 17:54
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Adrian is everything but dull...
Of course he's not dull. I noticed long time ago.
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Old 22.05.2012, 18:19
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

As a trailing spouse and in the minority I am a husband let me tell you this is one tough gig. This is my FIRST move as an Expat previously having moved three times internationally to and from English speaking countries. As one of the posts alludes to yes it was my choice and yes I gave up a career thinking I would relish the opportunity of playing a supporting role. The reality is I have hit some low points and luckily have managed through working at it together with my wife to respond positively. Not everyone is so lucky...The supporting role can be a double edge sword especially when in a culture and you can’t speak the language just to get by..our natural tendencies tell us - get likeminded people - seek out fellow countrymen in the hope that a support mechanism is already in place....Well it’s not! Yes we have forums yes we have social interaction but that will never suffice the person who is slowly loosing emotional control...We have many groups trying to assist with Spouses / Partners finding jobs / employment but there is a huge void IMHO when it comes to dealing with emotional stability for the family...this should be the goal the employer of the Expat because I feel it has a direct correlation to productivity.

Last edited by MusicChick; 22.05.2012 at 18:42. Reason: fixed font and punctuation for easier read
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Old 22.05.2012, 18:34
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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As a trailing spouse and in the minority I am a husband let me tell you this is one tough gig. This is my FIRST move as an Expat previously having moved three times internationally to and from English speaking countries. As one of the posts alludes to yes it was my choice and yes I gave up a career thinking I would relish the opportunity of playing a supporting role. The reality is I have hit some low points and luckily have managed through working at it together with my wife to respond positively. Not everyone is so lucky...The supporting role can be a double edge sword especially when in a culture and you can’t speak the language just to get by..our natural tendencies tell us - get likeminded people - seek out fellow countrymen in the hope that a support mechanism is already in place....Well it’s not! Yes we have forums yes we have social interaction but that will never suffice the person who is slowly loosing emotional control...We have many groups trying to assist with Spouses / Partners finding jobs / employment but there is a huge void IMHO when it comes to dealing with emotional stability for the family...this should be the goal the employer of the Expat because I feel it has a direct correlation to productivity.
I feel your pain, more so since I so have been there..But as anything in life, it is ultimately you who has your own emotional stability in your own hands...Expat relocation agencies, nor employers will not organize spouses free time, nor work hook ups, in my experiences, and I wouldn't even rely on it, personally, to be honest, nor expect it as a normal thing. It's good to go get what you need, not wait for things to happen.

There is a world of opportunity for you out there..you are not alone. World is your oyster. You need the language, then work, your own world, baby daycare. And, should you put together a fishing group, I am in.
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Old 22.05.2012, 19:08
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Hmm..everything you say is in this film...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=

Maybe the place where you're living now it's not good for you.. Switzerland it doesn't fit everyone. (as posh a location might be)

You might be right about that one but so far I will hang in here although my hopes are small.
It is not about being bored or boring but more about not feeling accepted as a foreigner in the country, not feeling at home and not being able to make it home no matter how hard you try... It looks like I need lots of time (as many of us) to get over so called "culture shock".
I'm doing as much as I can at this moment to change the way I feel about my life here but it seems not to be enough.
After you realize you have done a lot and the situation is only getting worse then you really start thinking if it's worth it...
I/We have relatively good social life here. We do get invitations for parties, picnics, day trips, ski trips etc. and I try to take every opportunity to meet up with new people. I also find it easier to make friends with expats here than in other countries as we are all on the same boat, trying to make the best of it. Sometimes it feels like being an exchange student again but apart from it, it is boring and pointless. I would say the problem is not lack of activities but not having a job and/or career, no plans for yourself and no real schedule or daily rhythm. How long can you be on vacation?
How long can you be going for lunches and coffees spending your husband's money? I would say it is as a social life that is fairly good and it's changing and growing. I am not a party animal and I never had this desire to be one so I can't say I have very rich social life or that I party hard as I prefer to sleep at night and that's O.K. too. I wouldn't like to change my lifestyle so much just because I'm an expat wife now and I MUST go out and party but I do a lot to be active and stay positive. I even joined the drawing/painting course - something I always liked but never had patience as a teenager and then I got involved in other things so I gave it up. The only problem is German. I also hate the sound of it. It means "I love you" but it sounds like mass murder (sorry).
Maybe the solution is to generally escape the Cowland but let's see what life brings.... it's a challenge and I am learning a lot.

Ps. Your link does not work

Last edited by IzabelaInZug; 22.05.2012 at 19:18.
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Old 22.05.2012, 19:29
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

'Ich liebe Dich' in good German sounds lovely actually - but not in Zuggertutsch perhaps? And yet, language is probably the key to going onwards and forwards. I don't want to sound unsympathetic - as I've been there and got so many of those T-shirts at the beginning of my married life abroad. So I know what it feels like. But I suppose your 3 choices are very similar to the ones I had all those 41 years ago-

- be miserable and stay miserable (for me never was an option - is it for anybody really - life's too short)

- go back home or somewhere new (with or without)

- or accept that it is the way it is - and the only thing to do is to learn the language, and learn to love it, somehow - and make a huge effort to adapt and make it work.

Sounds easy? Hell it's not - I know. But what other alternatives are there?

Last edited by Odile; 22.05.2012 at 20:38.
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Old 22.05.2012, 20:01
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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You might be right about that one but so far I will hang in here although my hopes are small.
It is not about being bored or boring but more about not feeling accepted as a foreigner in the country, not feeling at home and not being able to make it home no matter how hard you try... It looks like I need lots of time (as many of us) to get over so called "culture shock".
I'm doing as much as I can at this moment to change the way I feel about my life here but it seems not to be enough.
After you realize you have done a lot and the situation is only getting worse then you really start thinking if it's worth it...
I/We have relatively good social life here. We do get invitations for parties, picnics, day trips, ski trips etc. and I try to take every opportunity to meet up with new people. I also find it easier to make friends with expats here than in other countries as we are all on the same boat, trying to make the best of it. Sometimes it feels like being an exchange student again but apart from it, it is boring and pointless. I would say the problem is not lack of activities but not having a job and/or career, no plans for yourself and no real schedule or daily rhythm. How long can you be on vacation?
How long can you be going for lunches and coffees spending your husband's money? I would say it is as a social life that is fairly good and it's changing and growing. I am not a party animal and I never had this desire to be one so I can't say I have very rich social life or that I party hard as I prefer to sleep at night and that's O.K. too. I wouldn't like to change my lifestyle so much just because I'm an expat wife now and I MUST go out and party but I do a lot to be active and stay positive. I even joined the drawing/painting course - something I always liked but never had patience as a teenager and then I got involved in other things so I gave it up. The only problem is German. I also hate the sound of it. It means "I love you" but it sounds like mass murder (sorry).
Maybe the solution is to generally escape the Cowland but let's see what life brings.... it's a challenge and I am learning a lot.

Ps. Your link does not work
Nothing is worth being unhappy, not even Switzerland.. I understand your feelings, but I must add that even when you do have a job there are days when you feel really down - maybe it is the weather, the people, homesickess, maybe alltogether...but I guess you already know it. Try to have structured days, as if you would work. And meet people, not necesarily for partying..
Yeah, whether it is about love or career, sometimes life is a struggle, so hang in there. I recently discovered this video and enjoyed watching it, so you might want to try again.
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