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  #61  
Old 20.09.2014, 11:21
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

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I had planned to do this, when one night the lady downstairs (whom we assumed was the one to complain about our children running about as it's her ceilings they'd been running upon!) started yelling and screaming at someone in her family in Spanish, now I know a little Spanish, including swear words, and there were a lot! And it went on for a good while, sounded like she was throwing things too at one point. This happened again another 2 or 3 times that week! Occasionally I still hear her shouting but she has calmed down a lot since then. But it put me off going round there all like, "Hi, angry lady! I'm the woman with the noisy kids, are you in the mood to make friends?"! Haha nope! So I never did do it. But I've made an effort to keep the kids from being noisy at home especially lunch time and we always greet anyone we see with a smile and not had any troubles since
Assumption is the mother of all f*ups.
In fact, the neighbours upstairs could have been also disturbed and complained. When we had a dinner with a few friends and we probably were a bit loud or I don't know what (not too much for sure as we are aware of the rules, just talking and laughing) at one point, the neighbour that lives upstairs came down and (respectfully) asked us to keep it quiet. Would have thought that the move of the chairs or the noise of high heels would traumatise the ones downstairs, but no.
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  #62  
Old 20.09.2014, 14:00
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

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Not a Swiss thing at all.
If you think moving to France will bring you total peace and harmony, why don't you go and ask some French people living in Switzerland to tell you their experiences. I think you will find the grass always greener on the other side.
I do agree that everywhere there are all kind of people. Maybe it is not a Swiss-thing, but is a west-continental-European thing (or whatever you would call the surrounding region).

I have never heard someone in Bosnia or Turkey complaining at something described by the OP. On the other hand, children in Turkey will be much louder and if I was living there, I imagine I wouldn't have enjoyed it...

People do complain everywhere, but the nature of things tends to be different. And behavior of people in my opinion tends to change more gradually with the geographic region than being confined to such a small place as Switzerland.

p.s. in my limited experience of Swiss, I find Swiss people living in small places to be nicer (but I think this for any country I have experience of)

p.s.s. I would have tones of things to complain about certain, not small categories of people in my own country, I guess I am just one of those who tend to complain... I accept it to not be the best habit..
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Old 22.09.2014, 18:21
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

From my limited experience in living in the German part of Switzerland.

You have to decide what type of "Auslander" expat you are going to be. Someone who is here for a short while, not serious about integrating, and planting your flag (which is offensive). If this is you, then flying the peace sign and fitting a certain stereotype is fine.

If are you here for the long haul and sincere about integrating into Swiss life or truly interested in how the Swiss live, then you are going to have make more of an effort than flying a peace sign and find out if you have unwittingly offended someone.

My experience overall with the Swiss have been quite positive. I do find it really seems to be a location, location, location thing with passive agressives here. But be careful not to overgeneralize.

For example, you can be in one small town where there is a longstanding feud between 2 family names going multi-generations. As an outsider you would not have a clue because outwardly everyone says hi with a smile. But if someone invites you into the inner layer, you'll see the passive aggressive battle.

Although comical because of the absurdity of some of the battle lines, it's sad to see the behind the scenes level of resentment causing everyone anxiety and torment. Also the battle is a lose lose and the only pleasure is seeing others tormented. It's why there's the German word "Schadefreude" (taking pleasure in others misfortunes), there is no English word for it.

It's not just a small town thing, it's present in cities too.

Different cultures have different ways to express anger, aggression, and bullying. Many of the Swiss I've found avoid direct confrontation and are reserved. So aggression is done more passively, it's quite different from Philly which is pretty direct, hostile and direct. I find the latter to deal with easier because it's what I've dealt with my entire life, and it's not a guessing game.

What I have found that works is confronting the problem directly, respectfully and make clear what the bounds of good behavior are for both of you. Just end the stress.

If you don't speak with the person directly and acknowledge the problem or misunderstanding, then your going to have that feud of tit for tat without ever remembering what was the first pebble that caused an avalanche of contempt for one another.

I live in a small town and it has been a very positive experience as well as welcoming. One thing I've found is that if you make the effort to learn German, learn the local culture (that culture can even vary from town to town and not just by Kanton).

I've encountered one neighbor who was starting the passive aggressive battle. Rather than fight back or dismiss it. I confronted it in a non-confrontational and reassuring manner. We get along great now and they even watch the pets if I go away. I am glad that I turned a misunderstanding that created an adversarial situation into developing a mutual understanding with an ally now.

It's all your choice how you want to experience things here.
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  #64  
Old 22.09.2014, 18:36
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

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So, I shot her a peace sign and walked in, to do the right thing as a newcomer. Believe me, I felt like telling her off.
I think dropping the index finger from that peace sign would save you a lot of more trouble with that neighbor in the long run. You are allowed to pretend to be thick-skinned in Switzerland. Hell, half of them come off as pretty thick skinned to me anyway. The ones I have stood up to have been more thoughtful in their approaches towards me. I let them know I don't take wooden nickels, and be real. They get it. They have to. -just my 2 cents.
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  #65  
Old 22.09.2014, 22:46
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

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I think dropping the index finger from that peace sign would save you a lot of more trouble with that neighbor in the long run.
I have to agree with you on dropping the finger.

Say what you mean with gestures or don't say anything at all.

I give more respect to someone flipping me the finger because at least it's blunt, honest, and sincere - it actually wouldn't upset me. Your not getting crossed signals with one finger.

Flipping someone a peace sign while showing disgust just sounds immature and far from doing the right thing. It's sending crossed signals with 2 fingers when it's insincere. That is much worse in the long run and begs for more problems ahead.
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Old 23.09.2014, 02:22
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

LOL,good way to set the tone upfront.

We took our 8 year old son to an expensive restaurant and the locals Swiss stared us down mad as can be. I presume its not 'appropriate" to take children to nice restaurants in CH.

Welcome to Switzerland!!

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I think dropping the index finger from that peace sign would save you a lot of more trouble with that neighbor in the long run. You are allowed to pretend to be thick-skinned in Switzerland. Hell, half of them come off as pretty thick skinned to me anyway. The ones I have stood up to have been more thoughtful in their approaches towards me. I let them know I don't take wooden nickels, and be real. They get it. They have to. -just my 2 cents.
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  #67  
Old 23.09.2014, 08:11
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

They just stare anyway at strangers full stop. If you're a native Swissy from a different canton I'm sure you'd still get stared down. There seems to be not taboo or shame in it.


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LOL,good way to set the tone upfront.

We took our 8 year old son to an expensive restaurant and the locals Swiss stared us down mad as can be. I presume its not 'appropriate" to take children to nice restaurants in CH.

Welcome to Switzerland!!
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  #68  
Old 23.09.2014, 08:42
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

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We took our 8 year old son to an expensive restaurant and the locals Swiss stared us down mad as can be. I presume its not 'appropriate" to take children to nice restaurants in CH.
No, you presume incorrectly.

My children have been going to expensive (i.e. Michelin starred) restaurants since they were babies.

Tom
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Old 23.09.2014, 12:28
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

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LOL,good way to set the tone upfront.

We took our 8 year old son to an expensive restaurant and the locals Swiss stared us down mad as can be. I presume its not 'appropriate" to take children to nice restaurants in CH.

Welcome to Switzerland!!
How was your child behaved?

A while back, there was a group of people on this forum, who organized a group of folks, to do dinner parties at each other's every other week or so. Almost everyone in this group was not Swiss. I proposed bringing my two children along, because it sounded like a great idea, and I got slammed for it. Almost like I was a real a**hole or a downer. That no one wanted to deal with that atmosphere. On this forum.

So before you assume that children are an anti Swiss thing alone, sample a few more cultures please before making that statement. I used to take my two boys to Michelin restaurants in France(most of the time I would know the owner), and the whole room would gasp in fear. My two boys are well behaved, and don't want to dis respect Daddy's profession, but I don't assume all French people deem children as in appropriate.

I just think, when people are looking forward to one kind of evening, they don't want to think it will be like the play area at McDonalds.
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Old 23.09.2014, 12:38
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

We took our children and now our grand-children to all sorts of restaurants in CH, from a very young age, and they've always been welcomed, etc, by both owner and guests.

Recently we were at a restaurant in nearby France- quite a few families around- but one table had children who were really loud, throwing food around, and altogether really annoying all and spoling it for others. A couple of the children got up and stating kicking a pillar in the room which has just been redecorated- the owner finally lost it and told the children off and told them to go back and sit with parents. Many applauded and the parents then stated to mouth off about intolerant people, blabla.

I love to see well-behaved but chatty/smily kids in restaurants -but if they behave like spoilt brats and parents ignore the fact they are spoiling it for others, it does annoy me (and yes, I can distinguish a child with special needs and make allowances).
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Old 23.09.2014, 13:03
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

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So before you assume that children are an anti Swiss thing alone, sample a few more cultures please before making that statement.
I was with a new arrival, and she ranted on and on about the unfriendliness and rudeness of the Swiss in a restaurant. Only problem is the people she was complaining about were not even Swiss.
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  #72  
Old 23.09.2014, 14:06
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

Give some time and you will soon be shouting at new comers too, we all love to pass along the mean things done to us don't we? lol

You have to see how adults communicate with children here. I live near a football field where they coach children it looks more like the army. Shouting swearing lol no wonder they grow up and do that to others too.
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  #73  
Old 23.09.2014, 14:22
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

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Give some time and you will soon be shouting at new comers too, we all love to pass along the mean things done to us don't we? lol

You have to see how adults communicate with children here. I live near a football field where they coach children it looks more like the army. Shouting swearing lol no wonder they grow up and do that to others too.
Isn't that what a football field is made for? Shouting, swearing lol?
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Old 23.09.2014, 14:24
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

not with 8/9 years old lol
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  #75  
Old 23.09.2014, 17:28
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

My kids have been very well received in restaurant so far. But it is mostly because we keep them under control. I don't want to endure the other people's kids so I make sure I do the same with mine.
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Old 23.09.2014, 17:45
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

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not with 8/9 years old lol


No, with 5 or 6 or 7 (at the latest)
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Old 23.09.2014, 17:53
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

Where do you live? Must be out of Zurich...
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  #78  
Old 23.09.2014, 18:09
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

it's really just a matter of teaching kids how to behave in different circumstances- i know plenty of adults, swiss or not- doesn't matter much, who obviously haven't learned that either. with my boy, it;s a treat to go out and be treated like an adult and he knows if he f***s it up, there'll be no more of the good life for him and the boy loves his grub, quality especially, so he's learned to behave appropriately.

though if i see a kid acting out, i feel for the parents you certainly can't schedule when your kid is gonna have a meltdown, most of the time. but i've been pretty impressed her on how kids behave around adults. and i can't stand the "swiss are..." schtick. but i'm from the u.s so i'm sensitive to that sh** nobody likes to be lumped as anything because of where they live/were born.

in terms of crying and carrying on in apartments- around here i've never had/seen any problem with people complaining about kids or noise in general. and occasionally, we throw some good parties, never a problem
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  #79  
Old 23.09.2014, 18:30
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

Oh, this is not a pleasant experience. I am sorry that you experience this in your first month. Things will get better, I am sure.

As with everything in a country that is not home, you need to try hard to focus on the positives and not the negatives. Say for that neighbor who came out and told you to take your kid in , there probably have been tens of them smiling and nodding their head at you as you walk by, and throwing a reserved "Gruezi" your way.

What is the beauty of living in Zurich? Zurich is a big(ish) city but our kids can walk around and play on the playground. In my hometown, we would have to come first and clean out all the needles and watch that no pedophile is lurking by.
I am not saying these things don't happen here, but they are so minimal compared to the rest of it.

The only thing is that, here, when you don't fit in, they make your life miserable.
Understand this, your child playing at the early hours of the morning disturbed someone, not a Swiss person, but a someone. Maybe this person was not even Swiss, maybe she was ill, tired, sad...
Kids here should be quiet, and mostly this is an adult world at school, they are taught to listen to adult and not answer. BUT they can sit in the street and drink beer during Chilbi, and believe me, no one seems to notice!

Still, I encourage to look at the other signs, the positive ones. It is clean here (I know, everything is relative, but still), it is safer than many other places. As everywhere else, some areas are easier to live in when you have kids...
I wish you good luck in settling in.
FT
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Old 23.09.2014, 21:35
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Re: Are the Swiss really like this?

Oh my...the number of times I've been told off in this place! It gets exhausting. I guess after a while you build up a resistance to being spoken to like you're an idiot. Not to generalise or anything... not everybody's the same
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