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Old 09.06.2019, 18:27
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Boredom

Is there other people out there who find life in Zürich terribly boring? I am currently looking for a new job and have a small child. Each day we visit the playground or go to Migros, and walk around, always alone. I literally do not talk to anyone all week, apart from the woman working at the Migros till. My partner is not working (due to illness) and spends most of his time in bed. I feel like I will go crazy soon if I do not find a job, but it is bloody difficult to find anything these days. Just wanted to find out if there are other people in a similar situation? I used to be fun, outgoing, love life, now I am like some couch potato who feels half dead. I guess having a child changes people but honestly this cannot be it. Just sit around, no one to meet, no interesting conversations, just killing time. Sometimes I go to a big playground close to where we live. Once I got chatting to a dad and I got the impression he thought I was going to chat him up. After that experience I stay away from other people. Nothing here is seen as 'banter', there always have to be some plan behind it. Not sure whether it is a Zürich thing, but I have honestly never felt so bored anywhere else I ever visited. Please share your thoughts on life here as a parent (or single parent).
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Old 09.06.2019, 19:05
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Re: Boredom

Sounds more like you gave up on social life when you got a kid, a big mistake I've seen happening more.

Every now and then one has to leave the kid with the partner (if not possible, have a babysitter or friends) and just go to town, a festival, visit friends, do a hike or whatever you like/liked to do.

We love this town, and have plenty of banter.
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Old 09.06.2019, 19:28
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Re: Boredom

Have you tried visiting a Gemeinschaftszentrum? Or all of them one by one?
They are run by the Zurich Municipality in conjunction with the non-profit foundation "pro juventute" (for the youth), and offer a wide range of groups and courses and most have a café (no obligation to buy anything there) and a playground, sometimes also indoors. It's a good place to have casual chats with other parents, to get to know families from the area, and at least some of the activities are geared to parents-and-babies.

https://gz-zh.ch/

Each GZ has its own focus and character.
Some have workshops for woodwork or pottery, some offer dancing or exercise classes, some hold social cafés to practice German. All of them are free to just drop in, and the courses usually have a reasonable fee plus a charge for materials used.

If you already speak German, you could help someone there to practice. If you don't, it can be quite a good place to overcome any inhibitions and just try. In my experience, just about every aspect of daily life outside of one's own home* improves in proportion to one's growing command of the local language.

Good luck. Oh, and well done for reaching out for suggestions and wanting to find a way to change somethung, rather than sinking.

EDIT: *... and inside one's own home, too, as soon as your child starts play-group and kindergarten and needs you to interact with the teachers

Last edited by doropfiz; 09.06.2019 at 19:39.
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Old 09.06.2019, 19:33
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Re: Boredom

Consider seeing your doctor. If you've got depression then that is a serious condition and needs treatment.

If it turns out you're mentally healthy, then (or even if you're a complete nutter) join a verein that interests you.
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Old 09.06.2019, 19:43
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Re: Boredom

PS re language...
If you feel you're just killing time, I'd like to encourage you to use some of it to learn German (or anything else) and/or to help someone else learn.

Last edited by doropfiz; 09.06.2019 at 20:07.
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Old 09.06.2019, 20:12
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Re: Boredom

Oops! I've just had a look at your posts and seen that you're Swiss and/or Croatian and that, since this thread of 6 or 7 years ago https://www.englishforum.ch/introduc...ml#post1655354
you've written a number of times about not finding people with whom to socialise. I'd like to understand. What do you think the causes are? And what do you think you need? Who could help, and how?
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Old 10.06.2019, 00:27
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Re: Boredom

Thank you. I appreciate your feedback and rather lovely comment at the end of your post. I thought now is the time to change something.

I live close to Freilager which is a huge housing complex and where there is a GZ. I tried mingling there with other mums but somehow I don’t get positive vibes. Everyone knows each other already and new people are not welcome.
It is hard to explain to outsiders what it is like living in certain areas of Zürich. No one would believe how lonely it is here. Even if you try everything to meet people it usually doesn’t work out.

I might try one of the courses the GZ usually offers which are usually quite cool.

Just want my daughter to have friends in future and not suffer the same fate. 😉


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Have you tried visiting a Gemeinschaftszentrum? Or all of them one by one?
They are run by the Zurich Municipality in conjunction with the non-profit foundation "pro juventute" (for the youth), and offer a wide range of groups and courses and most have a café (no obligation to buy anything there) and a playground, sometimes also indoors. It's a good place to have casual chats with other parents, to get to know families from the area, and at least some of the activities are geared to parents-and-babies.

https://gz-zh.ch/

Each GZ has its own focus and character.
Some have workshops for woodwork or pottery, some offer dancing or exercise classes, some hold social cafés to practice German. All of them are free to just drop in, and the courses usually have a reasonable fee plus a charge for materials used.

If you already speak German, you could help someone there to practice. If you don't, it can be quite a good place to overcome any inhibitions and just try. In my experience, just about every aspect of daily life outside of one's own home* improves in proportion to one's growing command of the local language.

Good luck. Oh, and well done for reaching out for suggestions and wanting to find a way to change somethung, rather than sinking.

EDIT: *... and inside one's own home, too, as soon as your child starts play-group and kindergarten and needs you to interact with the teachers
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Old 10.06.2019, 00:29
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Re: Boredom

I would love to give German lessons I am a bit of a language talent. I made an ad in the local Migros once sadly no one replied to it. I already saw myself as a teacher. I guess there are just too many out there already

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PS re language...
If you feel you're just killing time, I'd like to encourage you to use some of it to learn German (or anything else) and/or to help someone else learn.
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Old 10.06.2019, 00:32
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Re: Boredom

I wouldn’t say depressed just bored, without a daily challenge - apart from changing nappies and making sure my child doesn’t run riot in the Migros. I rather not see any doctors considering how high the bill is each time. Now that would really make me depressed. 😉

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Consider seeing your doctor. If you've got depression then that is a serious condition and needs treatment.

If it turns out you're mentally healthy, then (or even if you're a complete nutter) join a verein that interests you.
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Old 10.06.2019, 01:28
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Re: Boredom

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I would love to give German lessons I am a bit of a language talent. I made an ad in the local Migros once sadly no one replied to it. I already saw myself as a teacher. I guess there are just too many out there already
Oh, that's good that you'd like to teach German. For a formal job you'd probably need qualifications, but to make a big difference to someone's life... you could probably start right away.

Here's an - incomplete! - range of different language-learning projects. Perhaps you could teach the or just participate to help others to practice, or give the students extra lessons.

This school teaches and facilitates learning of many kinds, for free.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_School_Zurich

Or at a language café?
https://www.benevol-jobs.ch/en/volun...encafe-deutsch

Or in an Integration Programme for immigrants? This is more diverse than language alone, as there are projects to team up new families with those who already live here and can show them the ropes. I don't have personal experience but have read and been told that some good friendships have been formed that way, which might be a happy thing for you and your daughter (and her father).
http://www.migrantenvereine.ch/aktuell_en
Or perhaps through this Municipal office
https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/prd/en/...oerderung.html

Here's another one, where you might be able to offer support to someone with a low budget who is attending a basic German course.
http://caritas-zuerich.ch/hilfe-find...fuer-anfaenger

Or else you could page through the five or ten most recent threads on this forum, by people wanting or needing to improve their command of German, and write them each a PM offering to meet them and help them with their homework or comprehension skills. As long as you can accept a simple no, or that someone might not respond at all, you have nothing to lose by offering to help.

Go for it!
Be the change you want to see.
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  #11  
Old 10.06.2019, 09:19
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Re: Boredom

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Is there other people out there who find life in Zürich terribly boring? I am currently looking for a new job and have a small child. Each day we visit the playground or go to Migros, and walk around, always alone. I literally do not talk to anyone all week, apart from the woman working at the Migros till. My partner is not working (due to illness) and spends most of his time in bed. I feel like I will go crazy soon if I do not find a job, but it is bloody difficult to find anything these days. Just wanted to find out if there are other people in a similar situation? I used to be fun, outgoing, love life, now I am like some couch potato who feels half dead. I guess having a child changes people but honestly this cannot be it. Just sit around, no one to meet, no interesting conversations, just killing time. Sometimes I go to a big playground close to where we live. Once I got chatting to a dad and I got the impression he thought I was going to chat him up. After that experience I stay away from other people. Nothing here is seen as 'banter', there always have to be some plan behind it. Not sure whether it is a Zürich thing, but I have honestly never felt so bored anywhere else I ever visited. Please share your thoughts on life here as a parent (or single parent).
That sounds pretty boring indeed. Can you afford a babysitter once in a while?
I personally find it easier to socialise through kids. That one experience with the moron who thought every woman is out there "to get him" shouldn't make you decide to stay away from other parents.
If you can't afford a babysitter there's not much to do apart from finding places to go with your child, and there are plenty of baby-mama groups organised through Quartiervereine or municipalities. Some language courses offer child care too, why don't you try finding something something like that.
I think many people are good at starting a conversation but few are capable or willing to take things a step further and propose a meeting, invite someone over. Everyone expects the other to do the next move. Socialising here is a harder work than many of us were used to, but it is possible, trust me. It is not as spontaneous as in other parts, but it can happen if you put some effort. Sitting on a couch and complaining is not gonna get you anywhere. Get up and make it work!
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Old 10.06.2019, 09:21
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Re: Boredom

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Is there other people out there who find life in Zürich terribly boring? I am currently looking for a new job and have a small child. Each day we visit the playground or go to Migros, and walk around, always alone. I literally do not talk to anyone all week, apart from the woman working at the Migros till. My partner is not working (due to illness) and spends most of his time in bed. I feel like I will go crazy soon if I do not find a job, but it is bloody difficult to find anything these days. Just wanted to find out if there are other people in a similar situation? I used to be fun, outgoing, love life, now I am like some couch potato who feels half dead. I guess having a child changes people but honestly this cannot be it. Just sit around, no one to meet, no interesting conversations, just killing time. Sometimes I go to a big playground close to where we live. Once I got chatting to a dad and I got the impression he thought I was going to chat him up. After that experience I stay away from other people. Nothing here is seen as 'banter', there always have to be some plan behind it. Not sure whether it is a Zürich thing, but I have honestly never felt so bored anywhere else I ever visited. Please share your thoughts on life here as a parent (or single parent).
Don't expect the people to come to you. It requires an effort on your part to go out to the people. It starts with you. Just requires that you overcome the initial inertia.

In COOP St Annahof Zurich I have seen that alot of mothers with their children gather in the early morning-coffee chatting etc. Have a look there

And yes. Zurich can appear like a wasteland sometimes
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Old 10.06.2019, 09:22
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Re: Boredom

In your case I would start doing volunteer work. Drive a Tixi, push beds in a hospital, help out at an animal shelter, things like that. Have a look at

https://www.benevol-jobs.ch/de

This one for instance, theyre looking for someone to lead a German conversation group

https://www.benevol-jobs.ch/de/einsa...-bruettisellen
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Old 10.06.2019, 09:47
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Re: Boredom

When you already manage to get attention and chat on the EF, then it cannot be that bad. Remember, it’s just about it though (or in the whole of Switzerland).

P.S. Did you try Meetup or Connect groups in ZH yet?
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Old 10.06.2019, 13:36
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Re: Boredom

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When you already manage to get attention and chat on the EF, then it cannot be that bad. Remember, it’s just about it though (or in the whole of Switzerland).

P.S. Did you try Meetup or Connect groups in ZH yet?
Yes, I wouldn't describe life as a mother as "boring" in Zürich - but it can be terribly lonely if you don't have any social contact with other people / groups of other Moms.

The summer is a wonderful time to start going down to the lake - even at the Frauen Badi you get plenty of Moms on their own in the shady bits with their babies. Even better when the kids are a tiny bit older are the badis with family and sand - even if you have no social circle to speak of, that can provide so much joy to both Mom and child.

I wish that sites like Meetup.com had existed when my daughter was small. There appear to be so many opportunities nowadays to meet-up with others in the same position.

I don't however have any experience of them, as my daughter was already "big" when they arrived, so don't know what the reality today is like.

Would definitely start here though.
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Old 10.06.2019, 13:38
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Re: Boredom

https://www.heks.ch/unser-angebot/sprachkurse
Two of my retired neighbours teach refugees. Maybe that would be something for you?
I know it is very hard to make friends in Zurich if you don't work. I do hope you find something to make your daily live more worthwile.
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Old 10.06.2019, 13:41
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Re: Boredom

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https://www.heks.ch/unser-angebot/sprachkurse
Two of my retired neighbours teach refugees. Maybe that would be something for you?
I know it is very hard to make friends in Zurich if you don't work. I do hope you find something to make your daily live more worthwile.
Apologies if I missed it, but I don't think the OP was talking from a refugee perspective
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Old 10.06.2019, 13:55
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Re: Boredom

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Apologies if I missed it, but I don't think the OP was talking from a refugee perspective
No, but she wants to teach and that is a good opportunity to start teaching and do something?
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Old 10.06.2019, 14:04
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Re: Boredom

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I live close to Freilager which is a huge housing complex and where there is a GZ.

Just want my daughter to have friends in future and not suffer the same fate. 😉
Living in Freilager also means that great public transport is available to the lake.

As I'm writing this at 14:00, it's pouring down with rain, but I was on the public tennis courts at the lake at 9:00, and it was a fantastically blue sky and t-shirt and shorts weather on my walk-back along the lake - where I saw many moms enjoying times with their kids carrying buckets to the Badi Mythenquai.

Make a plan - use Meetup.com or similar - you have nothing to lose. Can imagine that the GZ etc. is a little non-international. even as a UK / Swiss, I probably still wouldn't feel that connection. Use the public transport and just GO when the weather looks good (summer is very slow to arrive this year).

There's actually quite a bit around. You only need to make one good connection amongst all that you meet, and it could put you and your daughter on the right track for both.

Good luck!
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Old 10.06.2019, 14:10
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Re: Boredom

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No, but she wants to teach and that is a good opportunity to start teaching and do something?
My BF also teaches refugees German here. What you need for this above all is the ability to be-able to teach and keep the attention of a classroom of both both Doctors and analphabets concurrently, in addition to your teaching skills, to reach a similar level.

Emphasis is not on skilled language teacher. Was just confused by the reference to refugee in this instance.
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