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Old 28.05.2012, 20:20
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What is a high standard of living?

I have lived in Switzerland for nearly three years, and have a really nice life here. One always hears about the great standard of living here, and I agree, it is clean, safe, punctual, and beautiful, and I am lucky to live in such a lovely place. But standards of living can be measured in different ways. I don't have children yet, so my idea of a good living standard may differ from those who have children.

My question is: What do you value most in life, aside from family and friends?

My list would probably be as follows:

Interesting, historic surroundings (what I find interesting, of course!)

Safety

Variety of English bookshops, including secondhand shops

Museums, exhibitions, theater, etc.

Friendliness/politeness

Nice flat/home

Variety of affordable, good restaurants

I'm not saying that Switzerland doesn't have these things, sure they do. Just got to thinking about what people value in life...
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Old 28.05.2012, 20:32
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

Oh yeah, I forgot to add that above all I miss humour in everyday situations!
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Old 28.05.2012, 20:34
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

IMHO a high standard of living is (as well as those mentioned by you) a safe environment with good educational institutions but not a police state or a place dominated by religious doctrine.

Switzerland (Scandinavia), England, New Zealand and Australia come to mind...I'm sure there are others too.
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Old 28.05.2012, 20:39
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

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My question is: What do you value most in life, aside from family and friends?
Water that is safe to drink
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Old 28.05.2012, 20:46
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

additionally to freedom of movement by not having restrictions due to the government,
also freedom to have time for oneself. having time to go for a drink with friends after work. having time to ride your bicycle somewhere for a weekend. having time for that special someone. having time to relax and reflect on your life
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Old 28.05.2012, 20:56
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

Aside from factors that might be considered as a normal decent level of living (not in a war zone, clean air/water, food and shelter available), then:

Friendly people who take time to help you and talk to you
Lot's of different things happening so that no day is 'routine'
An environment that surprises and inspires you
A lively social scene
A variety of restaurants with good and cheap food
A variety of artistic and cultural events
An environment which allows you to live conveniently and with the minimum of hassle
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Old 28.05.2012, 21:06
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

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Water that is safe to drink
.... and doesn't smell like an indoor pool.
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Old 29.05.2012, 16:02
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

Sorry, I guess I was thinking of the more superficial things in life. I am very happy that I have safe, clean water that doesn't smell like an indoor pool!

Looking at some of the other threads now, this subject is not dissimilar to 'the Expat Blues"...
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Old 29.05.2012, 20:49
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

<rant>not to be flippant but since the thread went there, the water in New Orleans is completely nasty, it is either brown or chlorine with no normal in between. Katrina only made it worse. I'm sure it is technically safe to drink (but not safe to neti pot with) but it takes like either dirt or bleach or bleachy dirt. Until I came to CH I never lived anywhere with tasty tap water. It is easily number one on what I love about Switzerland.
</rant>
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Old 30.05.2012, 00:01
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

For me, one of the best things about Zurich is being able to be at the beach by the lake in the morning and in the mountains in the afternoon. This is a great standard of living, take it from someone who has lived in the UK, France and the USA in the past 15 years! OK, I do take safe drinking water for granted...
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Old 30.05.2012, 00:25
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

I would take noting less then charlie harper in 2 1/2 man
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Old 30.05.2012, 00:32
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

It is all relative though. If you live in a shack in a shanty town, the water tap is 2 miles away, the roof is leaking and the latrines 500 m away and your roof leaks - then another shack with dry roof, a latrine behind the house for only 10 families and a water tap in the next block- you'll think yourself really privileged and lucky.
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Old 30.05.2012, 00:36
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

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IMHO a high standard of living is (as well as those mentioned by you) a safe environment with good educational institutions but not a police state or a place dominated by religious doctrine.

Switzerland (Scandinavia), England, New Zealand and Australia come to mind...I'm sure there are others too.
I feel a lot safer here, and in other European and Asian countries I have lived in, than I ever did in Christchurch. I feel safer cycling, safer walking home at nighttime, and safer sitting with my doors open to the street at almost midnight on this glorious, balmy evening.
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Old 30.05.2012, 03:23
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

Variety of English bookshops....riiiiiiight.

You do sound like a very cosmopolitan person ready to go out your ways and explore and blend in with the local culture though.

Pity it'll only work in an English-speaking country.
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Old 30.05.2012, 05:44
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

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Variety of English bookshops....riiiiiiight.

You do sound like a very cosmopolitan person ready to go out your ways and explore and blend in with the local culture though.

Pity it'll only work in an English-speaking country.
Not so. There are plenty of other non-English countries where there are several English bookstores. Do you want me to a Google search and list the English bookstores in Paris?

If EmpressOfBlandings considers the availabilty and variety of English bookstores available to be important, that is her right. For that matter, Nil would be entitled to consider the availability of French bookstores, or Wolli the availability of German bookstores in their definition of places with high standards of living. I don't think that reading books in your native language and blending in with the native culture is mutually exclusive.

Speaking of bookstores, it's possible that somebody could be fluent or willing to become fluent with the native language of their Swiss canton, and find that part of Switzerland wanting for the lack of LOCAL bookstores or libraries that have books in German, French, or Italian.
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Old 30.05.2012, 06:39
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

For me a high standard of living means somewhere where I don't have to work in shift any more, am home every evening and not burnt out by work so that when I finally am off work, have enough energy and time to thoroughly enjoy my wife and children.

Money isn't everything and if I don't get to see my family then the job's not worth it.
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Old 30.05.2012, 09:15
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

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Variety of English bookshops, including secondhand shops
Really? How quaint. Time to discover the Kindle, I reckon
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Old 30.05.2012, 14:49
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

When South African friends of ours wanted to retire in Europe [they had been living in Belgium for 15 years], they wrote out a list of priorities : the first one was safety [not really surprising if you are from SA]. So they started looking all around Europe and tried the Monpellier area of France. The latter they rejected because of inheritance laws [three children, one in SA, one in USA, one in Belgium] so they moved in Umbria. Although they have not been directly affected by the two earthquakes there in the past two weeks, they are beginning to wonder...... ergo, talk now is going to live in the UK. Nowhere is paradise, although CH has a great deal to offer if one can come to grips with the somewhat/sometimes curious ideas of thinking there.
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Old 30.05.2012, 15:00
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

I'm quite surprised by some of the comments on here I've been in Zurich for just over two weeks and where my appartment is all I've heard is Police Sirens. Not to mention the graffiti and fact there are cigarette butts everywhere even though the appropriate bins are provided. Am I not seeing the real Switzerland?
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Old 30.05.2012, 15:02
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Re: What is a high standard of living?

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I'm quite surprised by some of the comments on here I've been in Zurich for just over two weeks and where my appartment is all I've heard is Police Sirens. Not to mention the graffiti and fact there are cigarette butts everywhere even though the appropriate bins are provided. Am I not seeing the real Switzerland?
Heh,

What you see IS Switzerland, but what you think of is a postcard picture...

It takes time to adapt to reality...
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