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Old 25.05.2012, 16:39
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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It has little to do with 'will' or 'won't'.
And everything to do with 'Can' or 'Can't'. Expats are statistically wealthy and thus have the opportunity money brings to do something about their misery. Not seeing it coming and then moaning about it - is nothing private anymore? - seems a very first world problem, nay, 1% problem. There are countless avenues to find happiness and fulfilment in this fine country but malcontents wouldn't consider addressing their own expectations first.

Illness is not to be mocked, but the princess and the pea comes to mind when spoilt types complain there's nothing to do, the locals are hostile, I'm so unhappy! and get themselves into such a funk and state of helplessness that Doctors end up (profitably) prescribing meds.

Plenty of people face ordeals which would test Job, but they get on with it by addressing the issues which cause the underlying problem, not pointing the finger at external factors. We're responsible for our own happiness, as grown ups.

Perhaps the reason so many claim Switzerland is boring is precisely because the Swiss have it so good. People who have to fight their way tooth and nail to get to their goals are more likely to appreciate and give thanks for small mercies. A healthy approach to expectation.

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.... no, not biting....
Anecdotally, I know an education board member for Zurich, and there's lots of tales of classes where the teachers have half the kids refered to psychiatrists. In some cases it must be valid, but at the slightest level of unconventional behaviour the kids are being branded 'troubled' etc. Either we as humans are all troubled to some extent or the one size fits all expectation isn't correct.

Your mileage may vary.
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  #82  
Old 25.05.2012, 17:03
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Anecdotally, I know an education board member for Zurich, and there's lots of tales of classes where the teachers have half the kids refered to psychiatrists. In some cases it must be valid, but at the slightest level of unconventional behaviour the kids are being branded 'troubled' etc. Either we as humans are all troubled to some extent or the one size fits all expectation isn't correct.

Your mileage may vary.
I'd nibble, but it's a little OT... Another time, offline
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Old 25.05.2012, 17:51
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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gotta love Switzerland, where the trailing spouse is always a woman.
Not true. Im a trailing spouse and know quite a few male trailing spouses. Its small in proportion for sure but we do exist.
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  #84  
Old 25.05.2012, 21:37
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Not true. Im a trailing spouse and know quite a few male trailing spouses. Its small in proportion for sure but we do exist.
I was being sarcastic, sorry. here in the Land That Time Forgot, only the wives stay home.

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Old 26.05.2012, 03:19
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Bedevil - I'd say personality but even more 'attitude'. When I first went to UK I was surrounded by French, and some Swiss people who had a really negative attitude of the UK. Everything was wrong, food was bad, people were horrible, and so on and so on. I really had to put distance between them and me - as I loved it, warts and all. I wanted to travel, visit and see everything, meet people, exchange ideas, have fun, and learn the language as fast as I could -not to a superficial level, but to get the nitty gritty and nuances, the idioms and phrasal verbs in all their funny grandeur. My (Brit) OH was working hugely long hours days, nights, week-ends. I had 3 choices, be miserable, go back home or get on with it. I got on with it - there were moments when it was so hard - especially the 6 months I had to learn to walk again (after a terrible accident) and couldn't even go out as I couldn't manage the stairs of our attic flat. But little by little my language skills got better, I made friends, went back to part-time study, had our children, then to Uni and built my own career. If I had remained miserable it would have destroyed our marriage and family.

Why of why- did I think - have come to the UK to live if they have no intention of taking part, understanding, feel the vibes, etc? Why? Would never say 'go back home then' - but the question does come to mind. Why?
But, keep in mind Odile, you didn't get dragged to the UK by a male spouse with a job offer and, AND, you spoke the language to a certain degree AND, the UK was much less insular as Switzerland is even now. I lived in the UK in the 80s and remember absolutely hating the plumbing, the lack of proper heat and would have given my left boob for a decent cuppa at any point but...I loved living there. It's not the things you miss that break the deal, it's the little things that compound a misery already present which is why whining about the little things are often cathartic for the miserable since nobody wants to hear the fully story.

I'm not suggesting you didn't make a very admirable job of being a strong woman, but it does make a significant difference when you move somewhere of your own choice, work, find someone, marry, etc...vs. finding yourself in a 3rd culture that you didn't quite want to be in, but thought you'd wing it anyway only to find you're miserable. And, having lived in at least 3 countries where I didn't know the language, one of which being well outside the standard family of languages the EU languages enjoy (and, yes, every expat community has their gloomy sorts), I have to say that Switzerland presented the most challenging environment I've ever encountered both as an expat and as a visitor. Having 5yo children shun my child multiple times on the playground because she didn't speak german/swiss german...well, that was just the icing on the cake.

If nothing else, my outrage and ultimatum has led to my OH's company being Much MUCH more cautious with transfers to Zurich. I can be happy about that.

I had to laugh the other day when, as I was chatting with another mom while we were watching our kids swim, that I found that she had spent a year in Switzerland in college and...well, yes, she enjoyed it but was thrilled to leave at the end of the year (about 20 years ago). We shared some common complaints and giggles. It was a bit interesting that so little has changed over the years...
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  #86  
Old 26.05.2012, 10:58
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

I came here as a trailing spouse, but was able to keep my job in the US and worked remotely for awhile. After a few years, when it appeared we would be extending our stay, I found work here with an international company, and that has made a significant difference. Yes, i still struggle with the language (it's an ongoing work in progress), and some of the cultural quirks. But I've made some great friends here, both Swiss and other expats, and kept myself busy pursuing my interests and activities. I have tried to "bloom where I'm planted" and make the best of it. Overall, I would say I'm pretty happy here.

So, no blues here, unless it's singing along to Billie Holiday
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  #87  
Old 26.05.2012, 23:22
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

This is a post I wrote ages ago - I still think it has more than a grain of truth in it. Those of us who came over BC (Before Computers) seem to have expected 'abroad' to be more different from our place of birth than many who moved here for jobs more recently.
For one thing, both the bread-winner and the trailing spouse are often lead to believe that 'everyone talks English'. But there are many situations when it is, to put it mildly, very useful to be able to talk German/French/Italian. Judging by the posts from newer members on here, quite a high proportion of newcomers had no idea until after they had committed themselves to working here that most Swiss are not home-owners and most of them live in flats. The list of nasty surprises is quite long. If you have school-aged children you'll not know what hit you for a month or two.

I'm a great believer of making the best of whatever situation you're landed with, but I can understand people who feel 'cheated' when they get here and find it very hard to come to terms with their new life. .
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  #88  
Old 27.05.2012, 00:48
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Oh, come on. Money isn't everything

Why should their feelings and perceptions be belittled, just because their husbands have money??
Well they came here for the money right ? I am sure they are getting plenty.

To have everything else was not part of the contract.
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Old 27.05.2012, 02:13
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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I didn't read it. This is a forum for people who speak/read English. The OP was a single URL, with no description or discussion, and the URL pointed to an article in a foreign language.

This type of spam is usually deleted, but wasn't in this case.

The OP should have translated it for everyone's benefit here.
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Old 27.05.2012, 10:48
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Well they came here for the money right ? I am sure they are getting plenty.

To have everything else was not part of the contract.
Not true. That is NOT why my husband and I came. Money was the least of our criteria in the decision making process. I have noticed a lot of generalizations about money in this post, and it only contributes to the stereotype of the expat in Switzerland, a stereotype which, in my experience, is not accurate. There are as many circumstances as there are expats, and no single generalization fits all.
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  #91  
Old 27.05.2012, 11:03
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Not true. That is NOT why my husband and I came...
*Some* very privileged foreigners blame the hand that feeds them for their problems while all along not doing anything to improve their misery despite having options in life.

Which is called whining.

And sounds a bit spoilt.

And has nothing to do with Switzerland but their expectations.
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Old 27.05.2012, 11:30
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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The OP should have translated it for everyone's benefit here.
you people never heard of google translate?? or get a modern browser that autotranslates.
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  #93  
Old 27.05.2012, 13:08
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Well they came here for the money right ? I am sure they are getting plenty.

To have everything else was not part of the contract.
WRONG. We earn less here than we previously did. We moved here for the quality of life (my wife not finishing work before 8pm EVERY night) and we definitely get that. Thank you Switzerland.

I know others who moved here as their jobs at home were disappearing with no other prospects in that area. So they didn't have a lot of choice and all of those are happy to be here. I also know expats who didn't like it here and have left and are very happy in other lands.

So its not all "would you like to earn 50% more and pay less in taxes"
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Old 27.05.2012, 13:35
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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you people never heard of google translate?? or get a modern browser that autotranslates.
I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that you understood the article, without the aid of a translation tool, and that for this reason you could have posted a short summary of the article in English for everyone's benefit.

If I am mistaken, well then I guess you could have also posted the link showing the translator that you used. with the translated text result.
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Old 27.05.2012, 13:45
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that you understood the article, without the aid of a translation tool, and that for this reason you could have posted a short summary of the article in English for everyone's benefit.

If I am mistaken, well then I guess you could have also posted the link showing the translator that you used. with the translated text result.
i read only the title and translated that. what more do you want*? (*I charge 500chfs per hour for additional requested services, minimum charge 500chfs).
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Old 29.05.2012, 12:21
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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Well they came here for the money right ? I am sure they are getting plenty.

To have everything else was not part of the contract.
That was certainly not the reason my husband applied for his job here in Switzerland. It was as other posters have said, for the lifestyle, to get away from the stress of his previous work and the daily three hour return commute.
Since I gave up work to be here with him, we are comparatively worse off financially, but wealthy in many other ways.
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Old 29.05.2012, 12:37
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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That was certainly not the reason my husband applied for his job here in Switzerland. It was as other posters have said, for the lifestyle, to get away from the stress of his previous work and the daily three hour return commute.
Since I gave up work to be here with him, we are comparatively worse off financially, but wealthy in many other ways.
the same for us as a family: our new "wealth" is not measurable financially but in terms of more time together, of walking to work instead of sitting in a car for hours every day, cycling or taking the tram - DOWNSIZING worked miracles for our wellbeing.

the only that worries me in the long run as a trailing spouse is that my permit is connected to my husband's... my biggest preoccupation for now is to find some sort of job (soon I will be ready to do almost anything) to live here in my own right.
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Old 29.05.2012, 13:25
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

well i can definitly say I fell victim to these blues when moving to Switzerland. We are orginally from Seattle,exact same scenery,more out going and happy people who welcome different races from all over,but also the serial killer capitol of the world. Now living here three years I can say "you have to get yourself out there!" Being a stay at home mother,relocating,trying to teach yourself as well as your three year old the language can for sure give you the blues. I have joined a Muki course with my son and We have made some friends here,but the friends I have made are from Brazil. It's just too bad that people don't realize we are all human and we need to get along and be KIND!!!! We did our first international move to London,a bit more fast paced but enjoyed it. I had no problem with finding work in my field, film and tv makeup. Now that my son will be starting school I can have a bit more time for my job. And no we are not rich,its called a TI package,the cost of living here is crazy,especially since we have to pay double the insurance for being an outsider. It makes me chuckle when men think just because we are at home taking care of our child,the house,bills and everything else that its easy,and we dress up like June Cleaver and live this easy life,thats bulls&%t. Its not easy whom ever you are,people just need to be nice and the swiss need to learn how to relax and enjoy life,and to drive a bit slower!
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Old 29.05.2012, 13:58
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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And everything to do with 'Can' or 'Can't'. Expats are statistically wealthy and thus have the opportunity money brings to do something about their misery. Not seeing it coming and then moaning about it - is nothing private anymore? - seems a very first world problem, nay, 1% problem. There are countless avenues to find happiness and fulfilment in this fine country but malcontents wouldn't consider addressing their own expectations first.

Illness is not to be mocked, but the princess and the pea comes to mind when spoilt types complain there's nothing to do, the locals are hostile, I'm so unhappy! and get themselves into such a funk and state of helplessness that Doctors end up (profitably) prescribing meds.


But it is all relative! I'm sorry, I know as an expat in Switzerland I have it better than most of the world, but at the same time, I don't live in Somalia, I don't live in Mongolia, I don't live in North Korea! I moved to Switzerland, a rich, first world country with first world problems. BUT just because other places are relatively worse, that does not make it perfect here. Yes, the locals are sometimes hostile, yes it is sometimes boring here - those perceptions are no less valid just because they come from someone you consider should be automatically happy because they have money.


You say, ''Expats are statistically wealthy and thus have the opportunity money brings to do something about their misery.'' - and so they do, some by taking expensive prescription meds like you mentioned above..but you seem to criticize that too.

I'm sorry but life happens to all of us, not just to the globally poor...
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Old 29.05.2012, 14:03
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Re: are you singing the expat blues?

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If nothing else, my outrage and ultimatum has led to my OH's company being Much MUCH more cautious with transfers to Zurich. I can be happy about that.
What exactly did you complain about and to whom? Sorry, I can't find it in any previous post.
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