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Old 11.12.2015, 10:19
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How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

I sort of live in a bubble and also in Ticino which might be considered the most laid back area of Switzerland, so this topic is a bit tricky for me to judge personally.

I've had several conversations with people who live here, as well as those who don't, about the "oppressiveness" of Switzerland. One new friend recounted a story about her former Zurich neighbours insisting that she repark her car which was parked in her own spot. Though it was within the parking lines, it wasn't centered enough within those lines, so they made her move her car.

It seems to have been the straw to break the camel's back to make her move from the Swiss German area.

Do any of you feel oppressed here? Or do you have friends or family who don't like visiting because they find the Swiss too "uptight" and "regulated"?

Last edited by Konuku; 11.12.2015 at 10:37.
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Old 11.12.2015, 10:23
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

Compared to the oppressiveness of, say, the UK with it's increasing clamp down on civil liberties, democracy and freedom of speech? Where political correctness has gone mad and Christmas is being re-named and in many areas you can't walk down a street at night without looking behind your back?

I'll take a couple of nosy yet ultimately impotent neighbours (who I can politely tell to sod off without any worries whatsoever) any day of the week. Honestly, the inconsequential **** some people moan about...
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Old 11.12.2015, 11:03
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Compared to the oppressiveness of, say, the UK with it's increasing clamp down on civil liberties, democracy and freedom of speech? Where political correctness has gone mad and Christmas is being re-named and in many areas you can't walk down a street at night without looking behind your back?

I'll take a couple of nosy yet ultimately impotent neighbours (who I can politely tell to sod off without any worries whatsoever) any day of the week. Honestly, the inconsequential **** some people moan about...
Get used to having enemies around you. Impossible to solve that. Desert island with everything you want? Eventualy you will get soft and trivial issues will become big ones. No escape.

Put them in their place and move on. When you loose accept defeat and move forwards.

Let. It. Go.

Good luck.

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I agree.

It is absolutely ridiculous that people cannot park their cars in the middle of the parking place. We have a rule in our apartment building that all cars must be parked with the front facing the wall and the rear exactly aligned to the line of the parking place.

You cannot believe how many people break the rules. I have already written hundreds of post-its but people still continue doing so.

Happy that Lugano is better for that so I consider moving there too.
No it is not rediculous. Sometimes parking straight wont get you out of the parking space. This is europe. Made after cars arrived. Get it?

Last edited by glowjupiter; 12.12.2015 at 20:50. Reason: Merged posts - please use multiquote button.
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Old 11.12.2015, 11:19
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

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Compared to the oppressiveness of, say, the UK with it's increasing clamp down on civil liberties, democracy and freedom of speech? Where political correctness has gone mad and Christmas is being re-named and in many areas you can't walk down a street at night without looking behind your back?
Indeed. Switzerland is ironically, and increasingly, less 'oppressive' than many Western, in particular Anglophone, nations. There, in the name of the greater good, some oppressed victim minority/majority or whatever we've seen an increase in nanny state policies.

For example, in Ireland, Australia and a few other places if you cohabit for a few years with someone you're basically and automatically married (lite) to them. Don't want to get married? Well don't cohabit, or break up before the prescribed period has elapsed. Should you have the freedom to choose to simply cohabit ? No. The State knows better. And there are an increasing number of such 'protective' laws being introduced.

Switzerland places more responsibility on the individual and the community to regulate itself instead. The downside is that as a result you'll get lots of nosy individuals telling you off and policing their neighbours.

However the upside of such a system is that you have far greater personal freedom legally. Additionally, in a society where people are expected to be responsible for themselves, rather than the State, you'll get less litigation - warning labels on microwaves, telling people that they're not suitable for drying household pets, are not as necessary because the end-user is presumed to be an adult and not some idiotic man/woman-child who cannot take care of themselves without the ever-present helping-hand of the State.

So no, I'd say less oppressive, not more.
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Old 11.12.2015, 13:07
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

"Long time lurker, first time commenter", as they say ...

Ironic this should be my first post as I came to EF looking for "advice" on my situation with my Verwaltung ...

I'm here 2,5 years and am living in the same 1,5 room apartment during that period. Recently a bigger apartment became available in my house and I saw it as a welcome opportunity to get a place with my girlfriend and live somewhere I love in more spacious surroundings. Prompted by the backing of some neighbours I applied for the apartment. I emailed several times, rang numerous times and to date have not received a single response since my first email nearly 3 weeks ago. I'm being ignored outright.

Turns out, however, the lady from the Verwaltung has found time to be chatting about my unsuitability with some of the other neighbours.

Tell me which is more oppressive, that I am unsuitable because:

a) the Verwaltung would prefer a couple or family living in the larger apartment. My neighbour pointed out I would be moving in there with my partner (who just happens also to be female, and which was already explained in the application), the Verwaltungs-lady laughed in reply, "Oh I mean between a man and a woman ..." "Wir wollen keine Frauen-WG..."

or

b) The pressing concern that my walls are not painted white and that it would be such an effort to consider renting the larger apartment to me as I would have to go to the bother of painting my walls ... This seems to be the biggest deal breaker of all!

The result being, I now feel trying to create a life here is becoming more of an uphill battle as you have to justfy yourself and your presence here!
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Old 11.12.2015, 13:13
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

I think the problem here is that you can't sufficiently argue back. Language perhaps? I think for me, things opened up when I learned how to argue back.
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Old 11.12.2015, 13:53
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

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I think the problem here is that you can't sufficiently argue back. Language perhaps? I think for me, things opened up when I learned how to argue back.
I'm actually not as argumentative in real life as I come across on this forum.

My way, especially with wanabee officialdom such as Verwaltungs, is mostly to pretend to agree with them while offering "improvements" on their ideas that actually turn them into my ideas, or at least meet half way.

Also, it is important to distinuish between the messenger and the person making the decision. So it pointless to argue with, say, the secretary if all she's doing is implementing the orders of her boss. You have to recognize who has the power and who is just pretending (a lot of secertaries in Switzerland are very protective and will pretend to take ownership of the decisons of their bosses). So you have to smell that before you waste too much energy arguing it out with her, and find her boss and have a friendly chat with him directly and suddenly things become possible that seemed so impossible just minutes previously.

I find this works quite well in Switzerland. The Swiss don't like open confrontation as they are very much a consensus based society. If you stick out too much by disagreeing too much you end up getting isolated and acheiving nothing at all. But they like talking about stuff consensually and they like it if you tell them how you fully agree with everything and support it except this one little detail.
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Old 11.12.2015, 17:23
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

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I'm actually not as argumentative in real life as I come across on this forum.
Neither am I. But as for a breakthrough with living in Switzerland, I kind of slipped into this "F** you" phase at one point. When things kind of got more unpleasant than I wanted, my initial reaction went to, "Well, F** you!". Although I didn't really say it, I only felt it, and you can probably read it. There were a few times I might have flipped a bird at some people somewhere. But that was just a short phase, I assure you. Not something I do, normally. Since then, I simply learned to say "No, thank you". Or just having confidence and poise does cause people to think twice before they hassle you. At most, with some short attempts to hassle, I just give them a "You've got to be kidding" look, and they back up. The point is, you've got to be yourself, you know?
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Old 13.12.2015, 17:51
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

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"Long time lurker, first time commenter", as they say ...

Ironic this should be my first post as I came to EF looking for "advice" on my situation with my Verwaltung ...

I'm here 2,5 years and am living in the same 1,5 room apartment during that period. Recently a bigger apartment became available in my house and I saw it as a welcome opportunity to get a place with my girlfriend and live somewhere I love in more spacious surroundings. Prompted by the backing of some neighbours I applied for the apartment. I emailed several times, rang numerous times and to date have not received a single response since my first email nearly 3 weeks ago. I'm being ignored outright.

Turns out, however, the lady from the Verwaltung has found time to be chatting about my unsuitability with some of the other neighbours.

Tell me which is more oppressive, that I am unsuitable because:

a) the Verwaltung would prefer a couple or family living in the larger apartment. My neighbour pointed out I would be moving in there with my partner (who just happens also to be female, and which was already explained in the application), the Verwaltungs-lady laughed in reply, "Oh I mean between a man and a woman ..." "Wir wollen keine Frauen-WG..."

or

b) The pressing concern that my walls are not painted white and that it would be such an effort to consider renting the larger apartment to me as I would have to go to the bother of painting my walls ... This seems to be the biggest deal breaker of all!

The result being, I now feel trying to create a life here is becoming more of an uphill battle as you have to justfy yourself and your presence here!
Hi, I think that this needs to go into another thread - see you're from Zurich and welcome!

What you're experiencing doesn't necessarily have to do with "Swissness". Are you aware that the Zurich Stadtspresidentin Corine Mauch is living in an established relationship since many years?
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Old 11.12.2015, 16:37
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

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Compared to the oppressiveness of, say, the UK with it's increasing clamp down on civil liberties, democracy and freedom of speech? Where political correctness has gone mad and Christmas is being re-named and in many areas you can't walk down a street at night without looking behind your back?
I hope this is meant as humour, ironic or trolling
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Old 11.12.2015, 17:07
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

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I hope this is meant as humour, ironic or trolling
Nah, I think he just really thinks like that
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Old 11.12.2015, 17:19
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

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I hope this is meant as humour, ironic or trolling
Did he dare to say Jehovah?
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Old 11.12.2015, 19:23
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

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Compared to the oppressiveness of, say, the UK with it's increasing clamp down on civil liberties, democracy and freedom of speech? Where political correctness has gone mad and Christmas is being re-named and in many areas you can't walk down a street at night without looking behind your back?

Good grief! Where on Earth is this place? Or are you exercising your right to gross generalisation? No wonder you moved.


Scenario: We need a new dog tag for the RufusHound (old one looking a bit worn, we like to be prepared in the Swiss way....). So Mr Rufus goes to our local dog tag engraving chappy (he provides other mythically mysterious services also, including directing me to another shop on the last three occasions I've been in to try and give him some business) who said he would be happy to engrave said dog tag.


Engraver Man: "Yes, no problem. That will be 25 of your Swiss chuffs. MR R: Er, Ok. I only want one, but ok. How long do you need? 10 minutes? 20?


(This was Saturday morning).


Engraver Man: Nope. You can collect on Tuesday.


I guess what I'm saying is that there are rules, there are habits and there are some very interesting ingrained behaviours that make me, as a politically correct, oppressed and terrified (!) Brit shake my head.


For those of you who are interested, you can get a dog tag for a fiver in around 20 minutes in my home town and we still call it Christmas.

Last edited by RufusB; 11.12.2015 at 19:24. Reason: Typo
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Old 11.12.2015, 10:24
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

I agree.

It is absolutely ridiculous that people cannot park their cars in the middle of the parking place. We have a rule in our apartment building that all cars must be parked with the front facing the wall and the rear exactly aligned to the line of the parking place.

You cannot believe how many people break the rules. I have already written hundreds of post-its but people still continue doing so.

Happy that Lugano is better for that so I consider moving there too.
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Old 11.12.2015, 10:26
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

I like the fact that the Swiss are "too uptight and regulated"
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Old 11.12.2015, 10:30
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

There are 2 types of people when it comes to parking.

Those who can reverse into a parking spot and women.
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Old 11.12.2015, 11:47
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

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There are 2 types of people when it comes to parking.

Those who can reverse into a parking spot and women.
Three types, you forgot the Maltese...

Fun on a lazy Sunday afternoon is getting the popcorn and watching them try to parallel park.
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Old 11.12.2015, 11:52
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

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Three types, you forgot the Maltese...

Fun on a lazy Sunday afternoon is getting the popcorn and watching them try to parallel park.
When I'm teaching my wife how to try parallel parking on Sunday morning in AG, all neighbour's cars are already gone on Saturday ...
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Old 11.12.2015, 11:57
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

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Three types, you forgot the Maltese...

Fun on a lazy Sunday afternoon is getting the popcorn and watching them try to parallel park.
In Malta the Germans drive on the right, the Brits drive on the left and the Maltese drive in the shade.
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Old 11.12.2015, 10:31
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Re: How many people feel Switzerland is oppressive?

Konuku (as a French speaker your name does make me smile every time I see it ...) I won't speak about the oppresiveness or not of Switzerland- but about the parking. We have a large 4x4 and I have a bad knee- so if someone next to us parks near the line and not in the centre of the parking place- we can't park in the parking place. So yes, asking someone to park centrally in a narrow parking area, makes total sense, here, there, or anywhere. It's not for aesthetics!

If you feel oppressed, it is a shame, but then you will have to balance it all out and if 'back home' wherever that is, comes on top, or elsewhere for that matter- I wish you Bon Voyage- life's too short to be oppressed to such an extent that you have to park your car carefully, I agree.
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