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Old 13.05.2021, 18:53
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

I would say it is like farting loudly - sometimes you you feel an urge to do it, if there are people around you, then most of them will not like it, and the more the people around - the more the chances, that someone will tell you something unpleasant about it and ask you to stop it. It can also smell bad. So better do it alone or in a way, that no one can see and smell it.

Bare feet in public is not a big issue for most people here (at least from my experience a rare hero will groan at you).

On a personal level I would be annoyed of such behavior in any urban setting, or any mean of public transport with seats protected from elements. Still hold some grudge about that one case, when I had to treat a tinea pedis, that got onto my hand in a picnic area thanks to [most likely] a friend's kid (he was later diagnosed with it on his feet, which he was walking with all over our bench). And simple sanitizer or a soap is not killing this bacteria efficiently enough (as well as some others).

A bare foot or a shoe on any surface (especially meant for seating, touching with hand or eating from) not specifically meant for them is wrong, but acceptable by many. Germs, dirt and road chemicals can be transferred to clothes, belongings and skin of unsuspecting people and cause a lot of trouble for them. An open deck of a boat, a beach, a forest, a glacier etc., even some random bench on a hike - absolutely no problem, since it is a common sense to expect all surfaces there to be dirty and exposed to elements in one way or another. And act accordingly. But in an urban area it just very inconvenient or simply impossible to avoid common surfaces or clean every single one of them before use, so you would hope them not to be heavily contaminated with dirt, sweat, germs and road chemicals or any combination thereof from either footwear or bare feet.

Last edited by evop; 13.05.2021 at 19:15.
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  #22  
Old 13.05.2021, 18:57
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

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How likely is it that someone would come up to me and scream at me for taking my shoes off? He says this will happen and I will learn from it this way since I dont take his word for it.
0% likely.

Tom
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Old 13.05.2021, 19:45
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

I cannot answer the question whether it is acceptable to put your bare feet on a public ferry in Switzerland.

Perhaps the best person to advise would be a born-and-bred Swiss, or possibly it is covered in a book such as "Der Schweizer Knigge".

In every society there are various unwritten rules, seemingly designed to catch out us expats/foreigners/ausländers and consign us to the heap of the uncouth. Over the years I myself have made numerous faux pas in various countries. Some of them rather embarrassing, and in hindsight, some highly amusing!

These are my observations:
(1) having lived most of my life in Anglo-Saxon countries, the attitude to one degree or another is "I'll do what I like, and if you don't like it foxtrot oscar"
(2) in northern European countries my impression is that there is more emphasis on observing etiquette
(3) In the short time that I have been in Switzerland, my general impression is that there is considerable emphasis on politeness and etiquette
(4) In Germany for example it is acceptable to put your feet on a seat on a train, providing your are wearing socks (absolutely no shoes)
(5) As an expat one carries a rich, cosmopolitan view of the world that is unmatched by any stay-at-home-never-been-more-than-5-miles-from-where-I-was-born-bod
(6) Equally as an expat it is incumbent for us to adapt to our host country
(7) If a local-born-and-bred gives you advice regarding local customs, perhaps its worth considering until you are able to observe and prove them otherwise
(8) If in doubt, look around you and observe what others are doing.
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Old 13.05.2021, 19:51
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

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How likely is it that someone would come up to me and scream at me for taking my shoes off? He says this will happen and I will learn from it this way since I dont take his word for it.
There’s nothing wrong with your feet, nor with what you did.
Nobody will yell at you for it.
There is something definitely wrong with your bf’s reaction to you.
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Old 13.05.2021, 20:24
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

Barefoot, your resting your feet on the top of your sandalls which are still on the floor, is completely, 100% alright, on a boat. I think it is highly unlikely that anyone in Switzerland would tell you off for that (although you partner did), let alone ever screaming.

If you would like to put your feet up on a bench or seat that is opposite you, that's also okay, in some circumstances. Then, you'd need to check that
  • you wouldn't be occupying a seat someone needs to sit down
  • no-one is seated immediately next to the place you'd like to put your feet up
  • you have first placed your own covering on the seat (your backpack, a newspaper, your jacket) and then rest your feet on that, so that your feet never touch the seat. In that case, it doesn't matter whether they are in your sandalls or out of them.

The above would apply on the open deck of a boat/ship, or in a park, or in a casual garden café where the seating is not smart, at the snack restaurant at an outdoor swimming pool, or at a camp-site.

In the closed space of a train, do not put your bare feet up, but if you've covered the seat, and there's plenty of room for everyone else, and your shoes (or socks) are clean and odour-free, it is fine to put them up on top of your seat covering, in your shoes, or in your socks.

In formal settings such as an indoor restaurant, or any kind of dinner or ball, do not take your feet out of your shoes, even under the table, nor put them up. Exception: if you really need to do so for medical reasons (backache, pregnancy, etc.). In that case, ask the waiter to provide you with a stool or chair for your feet, and you will very likely be accommodated.
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  #26  
Old 13.05.2021, 20:24
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

You could try going out on such boats and ships a few times, alone or with someone else, but without your partner, and behave as you please, and watch whether anyone at all reacts to what you do.
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  #27  
Old 13.05.2021, 20:42
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

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Thank you, yeah he mentioned I could get stared at but screamed at!? That's so extreme in my opinion, if someone is not hurting you and minding their own business there should be absolutely no reason to get up and scream at someone.
Next time just take a bet. 100CHF if nobody screams at you during the boat trip.
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Old 13.05.2021, 20:56
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

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You could try going out on such boats and ships a few times, alone or with someone else, but without your partner, and behave as you please, and watch whether anyone at all reacts to what you do.
Maybe I will do this! I will maybe do this after covid and see what people do on the ferry/boat. Thank you for the suggestion.
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Old 13.05.2021, 20:57
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

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Next time just take a bet. 100CHF if nobody screams at you during the boat trip.
Haha, that's a good suggestion! I might actually do that...
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  #30  
Old 13.05.2021, 20:59
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

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Barefoot, your resting your feet on the top of your sandalls which are still on the floor, is completely, 100% alright, on a boat. I think it is highly unlikely that anyone in Switzerland would tell you off for that (although you partner did), let alone ever screaming.

If you would like to put your feet up on a bench or seat that is opposite you, that's also okay, in some circumstances. Then, you'd need to check that
  • you wouldn't be occupying a seat someone needs to sit down
  • no-one is seated immediately next to the place you'd like to put your feet up
  • you have first placed your own covering on the seat (your backpack, a newspaper, your jacket) and then rest your feet on that, so that your feet never touch the seat. In that case, it doesn't matter whether they are in your sandalls or out of them.

The above would apply on the open deck of a boat/ship, or in a park, or in a casual garden café where the seating is not smart, at the snack restaurant at an outdoor swimming pool, or at a camp-site.

In the closed space of a train, do not put your bare feet up, but if you've covered the seat, and there's plenty of room for everyone else, and your shoes (or socks) are clean and odour-free, it is fine to put them up on top of your seat covering, in your shoes, or in your socks.

In formal settings such as an indoor restaurant, or any kind of dinner or ball, do not take your feet out of your shoes, even under the table, nor put them up. Exception: if you really need to do so for medical reasons (backache, pregnancy, etc.). In that case, ask the waiter to provide you with a stool or chair for your feet, and you will very likely be accommodated.
Thank you for the very thorough explanation. I never do this in public transport such as trains and buses, and I never put my feet up either. I'm very anxious in everything I do so I always try to make sure people are as comfortable as they can be around me. It never struck me that taking off your sandals could offend people until my partner mentioned it.

I'll heed these things and let my feet breath whenever I can on boats during the summer, I'll probably report back here if I do get screamed at haha. But hearing that most people here do not find it a problem while my partner was saying that the general population of Switzerland does find it highly offensive and uncultured, reassures me a bit. Thank you!
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  #31  
Old 13.05.2021, 21:32
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

I also do it on trains and airplanes, but I also drink wine and eat stinky cheese cut with a large knife.

Next train trip, I will open one of my cans of surstroemming (I still have two)

Tom
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  #32  
Old 13.05.2021, 21:39
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

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I also do it on trains and airplanes, but I also drink wine and eat stinky cheese cut with a large knife.

Next train trip, I will open one of my cans of surstroemming (I still have two)

Tom
You have no mercy!
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Old 13.05.2021, 21:40
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

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You have no mercy!
I'm Swiss, I do what I want!!

Tom
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Old 13.05.2021, 22:26
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

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I would say it is like farting loudly - sometimes you you feel an urge to do it, if there are people around you, then most of them will not like it, and the more the people around - the more the chances, that someone will tell you something unpleasant about it and ask you to stop it. It can also smell bad. So better do it alone or in a way, that no one can see and smell it.
Lol. I first read this as "I would say it is like farting loudly - sometimes you feel an urge to do it if there are people around you."
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  #35  
Old 13.05.2021, 22:39
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

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Lol. I first read this as "I would say it is like farting loudly - sometimes you feel an urge to do it if there are people around you."
I can't deny, that my weird wordings are as they are without a purpose to cause giggles or a blush for a reader in a right mood.
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  #36  
Old 14.05.2021, 11:57
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

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Next time just take a bet. 100CHF if nobody screams at you during the boat trip.
Being Swiss he probably pays someone 20 chf to shout then...
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  #37  
Old 14.05.2021, 13:04
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

this thread is hilarious but also useless without pics. also i agree with whoever said this is like farting in public, not that it's the same but sometimes you need to let it out. oh also it's friday and i hear there is free beer?
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  #38  
Old 14.05.2021, 13:21
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

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Thank you for the very thorough explanation. I never do this in public transport such as trains and buses, and I never put my feet up either. I'm very anxious in everything I do so I always try to make sure people are as comfortable as they can be around me. It never struck me that taking off your sandals could offend people until my partner mentioned it.

I'll heed these things and let my feet breath whenever I can on boats during the summer, I'll probably report back here if I do get screamed at haha. But hearing that most people here do not find it a problem while my partner was saying that the general population of Switzerland does find it highly offensive and uncultured, reassures me a bit. Thank you!
Some Swiss/people in general do not like to be different. They stick to the social norms and rules in order not to stand out from the "crowd" and expect their partners to do the same. I don't know your boyfriend but I do know the type of Swiss you're talking about. They choose a foreigner as a partner (the irony!) and yet want that partner to adhere to their views of Swiss culture. It's a paradox I've never really understood.

Good luck
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  #39  
Old 18.05.2021, 22:31
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

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I'm Swiss, I do what I want!!

Tom
and here you are on this English Forum... with "us" - not very "swiss alike"
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  #40  
Old 18.05.2021, 22:33
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Re: Sandals OFF on boat

Normal etiquette is actually to go bare foot on yacht (and ask permission to enter aboard prior anyway) so I'd expect same may be the case on boat

Swiss have no sea so no idea about it
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