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Old 06.10.2017, 18:52
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Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

A house full of friends for my 50th birthday last week: a real mix of Brits and French (worse than that: Parisians!), all coming to Switzerland for the first time:


The Parisians disliked Switzerland: too quiet (we're talking Geneva, not some Bergdorf somewhere in central Switzerland!), too rigid, too clean, too regimented, too uptight, too wealthy (they excluded us, of course!)...


The Brits loved Switzerland: lovely and quiet, nicely regulated, pristine and clean, disciplined and respectful, politely exuberant, discreetly wealthy (they too excluded us, of course!)
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Old 06.10.2017, 18:54
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

Nobody likes the French anyway.
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Old 06.10.2017, 19:20
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

My non-family guests rarely come to Switzerland a second time.

Everyone comes excited for a big adventure and most leave disappointed. Frequently cited reasons: unfriendliness, unfriendliness, high costs relative to the quality, unfriendliness.

I think that part of the problem is that Swiss tourism does it's job too well. The adverts and tourism cmpaigns create a picture of pristine landscapes and warm, welcoming hosts, 'Swiss Quality ™' abounding - and I would guess that many come with expectations set probably far too high.

The first measures up, certainly... but from grand hotels to little Gasthäser, few of my guests have felt welcome, many have felt looked down upon, some felt they had to constantly walk on eggshells to avoid displeasing hotel staff, most felt they were paying absurd prices for 'meh' quality.

So Switzerland gets checked off the lifetime bucket list and doesn't get a second chance.

Fortunately I do get a few repeat visitors... the youngsters have to come to see me if they want to stay in the will.
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Old 06.10.2017, 19:34
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

I love my guests. We have many more when in my old home since people mingle more and hospitality is a big deal. That said, I get irked here when they do not realize we are really thrifty, and it is not only for ecological reason. They stay a short time usually, so they do not have the time to compare and realize, leaving out stuff out of fridge for too long, means we will have nothing to eat the next day...etc. Our water boiler is limited. Trash is rationed and taken out twice a week. Recycling necessary. Partypoopers, nous.

They notice the amazingly clean and functioning environment, but it is hard to imagine all the discipline behind it. Dependability is costly, people just notice it exists and do not see the effort, discipline and selflessness behind it. They like the long life span, athletic life styles and pragmatic mindset. Dislike the ordinary, uneventful and a bit drab routines. But we live in an amazingly scenic place, so it is easy to send them for a walk (get a new bread since the old one they left out is stale even for fondue) or stick their head out of windows. It is usually a proper spa time here for them and I like to promote that.

For yanks, the food seems to not be enough and bizarrely unprocessed, movies expensive and popcorn unaffordable. They think everybody walks super fast here and nobody talks loud, nor is interested to hear their opinions while taking public transport. For some it is super quaint here, like a Disney quaint. Sensible culture and polite oldtimey folks in modern city setting. The fashion is different here, more dressy? Esp guys, I think.

Happy birthday - McTavge! How about a meet up? Nov?
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Old 06.10.2017, 19:42
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

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The Parisians disliked Switzerland: too quiet (we're talking Geneva, not some Bergdorf somewhere in central Switzerland!), too rigid, too clean, too regimented, too uptight, too wealthy (they excluded us, of course!)...
Too uptight coming from Parisians....the irony.


With a few notable exceptions, everybody who visited us here really liked Switzerland. A few friends wish they could live here precisely for the qualities your Parisian friends detest it. I think they would be in their element here.
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Old 06.10.2017, 19:44
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

We've only had one couple as guests, a documentary film maker and a fine artist in their late 20's. The artist says it's the most beautiful place he's been to, and they both love Zurich HB after spending a Friday evening drinking and people watching there, which I find peculiar. They also loved the club scene and... "feeling completely safe".
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Old 06.10.2017, 20:16
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

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My non-family guests rarely come to Switzerland a second time.

Everyone comes excited for a big adventure and most leave disappointed. Frequently cited reasons: unfriendliness, unfriendliness, high costs relative to the quality, unfriendliness.

I think that part of the problem is that Swiss tourism does it's job too well. The adverts and tourism cmpaigns create a picture of pristine landscapes and warm, welcoming hosts, 'Swiss Quality ™' abounding - and I would guess that many come with expectations set probably far too high.

The first measures up, certainly... but from grand hotels to little Gasthäser, few of my guests have felt welcome, many have felt looked down upon, some felt they had to constantly walk on eggshells to avoid displeasing hotel staff, most felt they were paying absurd prices for 'meh' quality.

So Switzerland gets checked off the lifetime bucket list and doesn't get a second chance.

Fortunately I do get a few repeat visitors... the youngsters have to come to see me if they want to stay in the will.
This has been sticking on my chest since returning from Canada, and so may as well get rid of it now. I have always been a huge lover of Switzerland, and especially Zürich since many years. So made the (financially enforced) mistake of not bothering with much else in recent years.

Having returned from a trip to Canada though - and about to be fired shortly before from my long year Swiss position just before at the age of 54, due to out-sourcing/off-shoring - I find I'm now completely disillusioned with the magic I once saw, and raised a tiny family in.

As an example: Just walking through the streets or around the lake has become a marathon of avoiding cigarette smoke ahead. Sitting in the sun outside in this wonderful Autumn weather the same

or

The "Customer care". I always thought WTF when reading posts here - Swiss customer care is exemplary after all! But it's not true is it - it's compartively crap

or

Overpriced - doesn't need further discussion

I think that Switzerland is a wonderful country and I wouldn't want to live permanently anywhere else, just yet.

But yes, I can't see the attractiveness of Switzerland compared to other destinations / price.
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Old 06.10.2017, 20:42
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

I took my American friends to Appenzell, St.Gallen and the Lake of Constance region. They were in awe, cows grazing freely, getting apples right off the tree, bathing in clean water, lots of great baroque and rococo churches around the DACH region. I never understood people just staying in the cities. Alpstein, Säntis and so on - walking without a rucksack, because on every hill you'll find a restaurant with local food and people who are eager to talk with you.

Never understood why to spend time in overcrowded cities when you travel.
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Old 06.10.2017, 21:02
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

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The Parisians disliked Switzerland: too quiet (we're talking Geneva, not some Bergdorf somewhere in central Switzerland!), too rigid, too clean, too regimented, too uptight, too wealthy (they excluded us, of course!)...
Well. I mean, they're French... So what right do they have to judge

Also, they seem to have an awful lot of opinions after a few days Granted so do the Brits.

Most my friends are not Swiss, some live her, some don't. Some genuinely enjoy it and wouldn't want to live anywhere else anymore. Others enjoy it for a while but then are happy to return to wherever they're from. Travel-wise, most enjoy it. They also don't get carried away on "expensive" - they were well aware before they came here. I have yet to have a visitor who bans Switzerland forever because it's presumably too expensive. Matter of fact, I can't even remember anyone ever really complained. There is no pattern in terms of nationality in any of this, American, Brit, Australian, Dutch, a wild mix, some of both like it, some of both don't.

Perfectly fine by me. I never quite understood the need to defend one's country no matter what. I don't have a blind love for mine, even though I'm Swiss born and bred (I realize most Swiss do though). I do defend it at times of course, if the type of complaint is just too ridiculous (such as a former colleague complaining that there are "no cheap Chinese restaurants here" Uhm and why would there be?). But I also make a lot of fun of Switzerland and am critical of many aspects of it. And if it's just a matter of taste, as are most things - so what. Not every place is for everyone. I've hated places with a passion that other people loved and vice-versa. Thank God it's this way though, how boring would it be if everyone liked and enjoyed the same things and places...
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Old 06.10.2017, 22:03
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

also you have to translate the comments your guest made into neutral language.
When parisians complain and say it's too quiet or too clean, they probably envy your quality of life. You can be sure that when they were back to Paris, they complained how dirty and loud the city was...
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Old 06.10.2017, 22:17
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

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also you have to translate the comments your guest made into neutral language.
When parisians complain and say it's too quiet or too clean, they probably envy your quality of life. You can be sure that when they were back to Paris, they complained how dirty and loud the city was...
Maybe they really missed the smell of urine.

(Paris metro stinks like hell if you ask me)
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Old 07.10.2017, 08:46
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

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Well. I mean, they're French... So what right do they have to judge

Also, they seem to have an awful lot of opinions after a few days Granted so do the Brits.

Most my friends are not Swiss, some live her, some don't. Some genuinely enjoy it and wouldn't want to live anywhere else anymore. Others enjoy it for a while but then are happy to return to wherever they're from. Travel-wise, most enjoy it. They also don't get carried away on "expensive" - they were well aware before they came here. I have yet to have a visitor who bans Switzerland forever because it's presumably too expensive. Matter of fact, I can't even remember anyone ever really complained. There is no pattern in terms of nationality in any of this, American, Brit, Australian, Dutch, a wild mix, some of both like it, some of both don't.

Perfectly fine by me. I never quite understood the need to defend one's country no matter what. I don't have a blind love for mine, even though I'm Swiss born and bred (I realize most Swiss do though). I do defend it at times of course, if the type of complaint is just too ridiculous (such as a former colleague complaining that there are "no cheap Chinese restaurants here" Uhm and why would there be?). But I also make a lot of fun of Switzerland and am critical of many aspects of it. And if it's just a matter of taste, as are most things - so what. Not every place is for everyone. I've hated places with a passion that other people loved and vice-versa. Thank God it's this way though, how boring would it be if everyone liked and enjoyed the same things and places...

Deep down, you're British!
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Old 07.10.2017, 10:08
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

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A house full of friends for my 50th birthday last week: a real mix of Brits and French (worse than that: Parisians!), all coming to Switzerland for the first time:


The Parisians disliked Switzerland: too quiet (we're talking Geneva, not some Bergdorf somewhere in central Switzerland!), too rigid, too clean, too regimented, too uptight, too wealthy (they excluded us, of course!)...
Let's admit, Switzerland is not match for a Parisian!

How could you not appreciate the loud car noises or people shouting often? How one cannot appreciate the flexibility ?
What about the wonders of human faeces in the metro? The lovely pungent smell of urine? Or smog in the Champs Elyses The artistic slide marks of dog poos on the pavement, along with the various colours displayed from the ingredients? Sometimes it's "50 shades of brown" there, a masterpiece on every corner!

How could you not appreciate the freedom of parking poorly, getting mugged in Seine St Denis without any formalities or regulations.
The ability to see accommodations growing under the bridges or next to the roads, in the business centre, without any permit or regulations?

Oh and the proximity and friendliness of people, so close in the metro you can appreciate the underarm spray perfume, when one was used.
It's also so many interactions with people there, so quickly to remove any boundaries! I was hardly in the metro for a few minutes, some little innocent gipsy children were already very close to me and putting their hands in my pockets, to keep themselves warm, surely. Very peaceful people too, not one complaining about that, everyone seeing but staring away.

ah Paris and Parisians, what the world would be without them...

I think a visit to Paris should be mandatory for every citizen, it would make the world a better place. Everyone would start appreciating what they have after that.
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Old 07.10.2017, 10:34
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

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Nobody likes the French anyway.
Well, he said they're not. The Parisians I worked with in Paris a few years ago considered themselves Parisians, not French. The non-Parisians also considered the Parisians not to be French (Stuck up bastards, IIRC )

Being British with the in-built knowledge of self-superiority that brings, I quite like both Parisians and French folk.
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Old 07.10.2017, 19:23
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

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Let's admit, Switzerland is not match for a Parisian!

How could you not appreciate the loud car noises or people shouting often? How one cannot appreciate the flexibility ?
What about the wonders of human faeces in the metro? The lovely pungent smell of urine? Or smog in the Champs Elyses The artistic slide marks of dog poos on the pavement, along with the various colours displayed from the ingredients? Sometimes it's "50 shades of brown" there, a masterpiece on every corner!

How could you not appreciate the freedom of parking poorly, getting mugged in Seine St Denis without any formalities or regulations.
The ability to see accommodations growing under the bridges or next to the roads, in the business centre, without any permit or regulations?

Oh and the proximity and friendliness of people, so close in the metro you can appreciate the underarm spray perfume, when one was used.
It's also so many interactions with people there, so quickly to remove any boundaries! I was hardly in the metro for a few minutes, some little innocent gipsy children were already very close to me and putting their hands in my pockets, to keep themselves warm, surely. Very peaceful people too, not one complaining about that, everyone seeing but staring away.

ah Paris and Parisians, what the world would be without them...

I think a visit to Paris should be mandatory for every citizen, it would make the world a better place. Everyone would start appreciating what they have after that.


We can accommodate in Geneva with some at least of what you've listed above! Try the tram in summer months at rush hour and see for how long your pockets will remain untouched!
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Old 07.10.2017, 22:09
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

They are both right but the French more so
Remember they live next door to the Swiss !
The French are deep thinkers with critical minds (think Lumieres, French revolution)
The Brits are a people of more or less civilized sailors
who like to marvel at newfound lands and they are certainly
more polite.

However where the Brits get it wrong is on the discreetly wealthy thing.
Even the Swiss acknowledge that, discretion went out the window in the past couple decades.
And personally I would say that good taste is no longer a Swiss virtue .

Last edited by ohmy; 07.10.2017 at 22:22.
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Old 07.10.2017, 22:13
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

Was thinking of you today McTavge. In Lauterbrunnen I saw some adverts from the local yodel verein with an announcement of a concert.

More on topic: this country must be interesting to a lot of foreigners, I had the feeling of being the only non resident and non japanese speaking person in Grindelwald today....
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Old 07.10.2017, 23:23
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

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A house full of friends for my 50th birthday last week: a real mix of Brits and French (worse than that: Parisians!), all coming to Switzerland for the first time:


The Parisians disliked Switzerland: too quiet (we're talking Geneva, not some Bergdorf somewhere in central Switzerland!), too rigid, too clean, too regimented, too uptight, too wealthy (they excluded us, of course!)...


The Brits loved Switzerland: lovely and quiet, nicely regulated, pristine and clean, disciplined and respectful, politely exuberant, discreetly wealthy (they too excluded us, of course!)

After additional feedback, I think the Parisians were too proud to say there were many things they liked about Switzerland and the Brits were too polite to mention the ones they did not like! In the end, I think they all loved a lot of CH and found a few things at best disconcerting, at worst too superficial.
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Old 07.10.2017, 23:37
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Re: Switzerland love/hatred of our guests

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I took my American friends to Appenzell, St.Gallen and the Lake of Constance region. They were in awe, cows grazing freely, getting apples right off the tree, bathing in clean water, lots of great baroque and rococo churches around the DACH region. I never understood people just staying in the cities. Alpstein, Säntis and so on - walking without a rucksack, because on every hill you'll find a restaurant with local food and people who are eager to talk with you.

Never understood why to spend time in overcrowded cities when you travel.
Stealing apples?
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Old 07.10.2017, 23:51
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Maybe they really missed the smell of urine.

(Paris metro stinks like hell if you ask me)
Not that urine smell you can get when visiting every famous touristic spot, especially old palaces and such, but the dog poo poo........REALLY!


Walk to Jardin du Luxembourg and you can have a wonderful afternoon if you're careful enough not to step into one.


Oh, the Parisians... such a self-deluding, arrogant bunch. More like the French as a whole, actually.

(also, if you want your appetite gone, check the toilet before going to most Parisian restaurants)
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