Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Daily life
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41  
Old 27.02.2007, 00:33
Tim's Avatar
Tim Tim is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Herts UK
Posts: 416
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 136 Times in 80 Posts
Tim is considered knowledgeableTim is considered knowledgeableTim is considered knowledgeable
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

I've found that people are always saying Grüezi to me...and i can tell you that some dictionaries put me alongside "attractive" just after the word antonym.... .

I've often considered that I must be the one that seem rude as I sometimes stumble to respond except with a form of grunt, never sure whether to go English or Swiss in my response.

I've always found it a little disconcerting in lifts especially when wished a nice day when they get out. I've often wished my Swiss German was better (ie existed) so as not to seem so rude.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 11.03.2007, 19:30
California Dreamer's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 978
Groaned at 58 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 951 Times in 474 Posts
California Dreamer has an excellent reputationCalifornia Dreamer has an excellent reputationCalifornia Dreamer has an excellent reputationCalifornia Dreamer has an excellent reputation
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

My nose is too far up in the air to notice rude people let alone worrying if they will accept me, I can tell if they have an open mind and are friendly just by looking in their eyes. If they are not, I waste no energy on them as most likely they have nothing to offer that will make my life any better.
Instead I look for the open minded people and when I see one I say hello and always get one back, and sometimes even a conversation. Point of this is dont waste your time on people who are only different shades of gray, but spend time with those who are colorful and open and your life will be better. "The eyes say more than the mouth will"- Me
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 11.03.2007, 19:33
AbFab's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 6,872
Groaned at 311 Times in 208 Posts
Thanked 8,859 Times in 3,143 Posts
AbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

Quote:
View Post
My nose is too far up in the air to notice rude people let alone worrying if they will accept me, I can tell if they have an open mind and are friendly just by looking in their eyes. If they are not, I waste no energy on them as most likely they have nothing to offer that will make my life any better.
Instead I look for the open minded people and when I see one I say hello and always get one back, and sometimes even a conversation. Point of this is dont waste your time on people who are only different shades of gray, but spend time with those who are colorful and open and your life will be better. "The eyes say more than the mouth will"- Me
Mmmmmm. I see why you call yourself 'Calif Dreamer'...
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 11.03.2007, 21:38
Monty
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]


I've been back and forth between Zurich and London recently...

Here: I always smile & ask if the seat is free on the train.
There: I dare not catch anyone's eye even accidentally...

Overall, I've found it's a lot more polite & there is normally eye contact - even briefly!

Having said that - I have found that everytime I sit next to elderly women they move....I'm your average girlie so find that a little odd....or maybe it's just the state of dishevellment of a commuter that scares them off ?!

Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 11.03.2007, 22:49
Filton Kingswood's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: East
Posts: 88
Groaned at 9 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Filton Kingswood has no particular reputation at present
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

Personaly I dont find the Swiss to be more/less friendly than any other European nationality. What does bug me though is when strangers will 'Grutzi' you at the last moment before you pass and you are forced into a late 'Grutzi' manouver to stop yourself looking like an ignorant twat. Not such a problem in the cities where 'Random Grutziing' is not so common but in the countryside where I live an inocent country stroll can end up into a positive 'Grutzifest' if you pass enough strangers. If any brits are reading this a reply of 'Ow Do' usualy phases our swiss friends.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 22.03.2007, 18:07
swissvan's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Zug
Posts: 188
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 71 Times in 41 Posts
swissvan is considered unworthyswissvan is considered unworthyswissvan is considered unworthy
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

Yes the greeting habit of the locals is definetly strange...

What ive noticed is that most will Gruezi, but my impression is they do it out of habit and not because they really want to.

I travel to work by train everyday, sitting in the virtualy the same place every day, seeing the same faces yet very few people talk to each other... me included but then I have a good excuse (dumb auslander still struggling to learn deutsch / schweizer deutsch). Not that I have not tried to smile or strike up a conversation, but after 4 years I dont bother anymore.

When I go out jogging / cycling and come across other runners / cyclists I find that they hardly ever gruezi, on one occasion the wife (she always greets other runners) greeted a chap running in the opposite direction and he stopped dead in his tracks, looked at her and then carried on running...without saying a word.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 22.03.2007, 18:22
ExoticLatic's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK - Manchester
Posts: 702
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 65 Times in 55 Posts
ExoticLatic has no particular reputation at present
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

As someone living in a large urban center, I would get pretty nervous if some random stranger, particulalry a foreign one, started to get all friendly just because I sit next to him/her in the bus/tram.

Thank God, they are just as unfriendly in the UK as in Switzerland, I did not have to change my ways too much.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 22.03.2007, 18:29
swissvan's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Zug
Posts: 188
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 71 Times in 41 Posts
swissvan is considered unworthyswissvan is considered unworthyswissvan is considered unworthy
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

Yes very true, if you have never seen the person before - but when you see them most days on the train...

In the case of out jogging / cycling i think its just plain friendly to greet (just greet them not asking for a telephone no. ) someone with a similar interest / pastime. Maybe after another 10 years ?
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 22.03.2007, 18:41
AbFab's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 6,872
Groaned at 311 Times in 208 Posts
Thanked 8,859 Times in 3,143 Posts
AbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

Quote:
View Post
Yes very true, if you have never seen the person before - but when you see them most days on the train...

In the case of out jogging / cycling i think its just plain friendly to greet (just greet them not asking for a telephone no. ) someone with a similar interest / pastime. Maybe after another 10 years ?
This has all been covered before - even in this thread: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

You may find it unfriendly, but this is not South Africa. And you obviously have never commuted into a large European city on a regular basis. I commuted into London on the same train and usually same carriage every day for 5 years, yes with broadly the same people every day - and we never spoke a word. Better still, that's the way we like it.

If you continue to use 'foreign' habits, expect to get odd looks. Remember the movie Crocodile Dundee and the looks he got in New York?
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 22.03.2007, 18:54
ExoticLatic's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK - Manchester
Posts: 702
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 65 Times in 55 Posts
ExoticLatic has no particular reputation at present
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

I see a number of people at work each day, some I have seen for yonks and I royally ignore them and they do likewise. I don't think it's really an act of unfriendliness rather than keeping your little bubble intact and only open up in specific circumstances. I don't have to commute anymore, I live a brisk 15min walk from work, but back in my tram commute days, I never really felt the need to chat with users, even those I regularly saw on it and by their reaction, neither did they. I guess you just want to be a bit in peace before you get into the office and the mad rush starts.

However, bump into me in a pub, when relaxing and I'll always accept a conversation with a stranger.

Re the jogging, I like going walking and the code out there in the wilds is quite confusing, on occasion other walkers greet you and I always reply in kind, but an equal number of times I have greeted someone only to have a puzzled stare in return. Generally the more enthusiastic greeters are locals, used to life in a small community whilst those who look like rabbits caught in headlights upon being greeted do generally belong to the urban visitors.
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 23.03.2007, 12:04
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: zürich
Posts: 746
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 74 Times in 42 Posts
Diem is considered knowledgeableDiem is considered knowledgeableDiem is considered knowledgeable
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

A swiss friend of mine explained the Gruezi thing as simply as "the further you are away from the city, the more people say hello".

So when I walk on Züriberg, no-one says hello. On Uetliberg, it's about 50/50. Way out, it's hello to everyone.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 23.03.2007, 12:16
alessione's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lugano
Posts: 45
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
alessione has no particular reputation at present
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

Sometimes I have the feeling that fear is a big problem in our society, and aggressiveness, one of its most frequent consequences. So we just walk along our way, like lonely islands completely detached from the rest of the world.
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 24.03.2007, 00:03
ignorant bliss's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: lausanne
Posts: 46
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
ignorant bliss has no particular reputation at present
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

My experience in CH has been different when in Geneva and in Zürich, yet overall compared to my home country, I agree that the eye contact is less than and different than back home.

We have the same aversion to eye contact here in DK, as well as speaking on the trains, etc., as observed in this thread. It was hard at first, fo rI myself like to make eye contact and smile as I go along my way.

There was an essay in the book *Cupid's Wild Arrow*, a book of collective stories from those who are in international partnerships, that brought some light to these differences. The writer (escapes my mind, yet I definitely recommend the book-- I have seen it at the English bookstore in ZH, the one by the main train station) notes that maybe the indigenous culture consider it an invasion of their space, in as much we feel an invasion of our being when things are different-- where we customarily make eye contact and there is no reciprocity.

Yes, I have found that when I go home, I avert eye contact a bit as well, and that is secondary to living in DK for three years. Funny how when we leave our *home* it is never the same when we return, and neither are we.
__________________
"anticipate everything and expect nothing"
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 03.04.2007, 14:00
Mowvich's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Genève
Posts: 1,428
Groaned at 28 Times in 20 Posts
Thanked 1,308 Times in 607 Posts
Blog Entries: 1
Mowvich has a reputation beyond reputeMowvich has a reputation beyond reputeMowvich has a reputation beyond reputeMowvich has a reputation beyond reputeMowvich has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

HI everybody, i m writting from my husband account (as mine isn't activated yet).

After i went through all the post in this topic i really felt like i have to tell all of you this:

I'm originally Italian and i were born in Switzerland and spent my whole life here thinking that i'm having a psychological problem because i were feeling i was different.

Few years after i've been travelling for almost 4 years out of Switzerland and i suddenly realized that i was a normal person and that the people here is having a serious problem.

What i mean is that they are this way and it's not against you guys, it is a society disorder, they're all kind of robot and for them getting out human feeling it's a bad( this doesn't mean they don't have feelings).

Maybe it's kind of curse for Switzerland.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 03.04.2007, 15:09
chemgoddess's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: somewhere, USA
Posts: 1,345
Groaned at 41 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 950 Times in 459 Posts
chemgoddess has an excellent reputationchemgoddess has an excellent reputationchemgoddess has an excellent reputationchemgoddess has an excellent reputation
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

Quote:
View Post
Gee this forum can turn mean pretty quick, all I was saying was its hard when you go to a new place and everything is different, esp the way people treat you etc... heres where I bail out...
Yeah, it really can. I almost feel like some of the people who I constantly see posting replies almost enjoy it. I don't know, maybe it makes their day go faster?
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 03.04.2007, 15:32
Glorianna's Avatar
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lugano
Posts: 5
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Glorianna has no particular reputation at present
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

Quote:
View Post
Let me guess. It's not the swiss who have serious issues here.

Hey Andres dont take it out on all the Aussies.. Pretty Please ..
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 03.04.2007, 15:55
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Zürich
Posts: 42
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 15 Times in 6 Posts
ellerenae has no particular reputation at present
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

I would have to agree that I sense a 'general hostile feeling' when I am out, or a suspicion of anything that is not perfectly fitting in with the 'norm'. I really think there is a bit of an agitated general feeling as a whole in Switzerland, but then you meet one on one an amazingly friendly person, who is Swiss. I met a very nice Swiss mom(finally) in my town, and she, being Swiss raised here her whole life, even says that she always senses that people here are very closed, suspicious and not 'warm'. I would say, as a general sense someone will most likely have to deal with the 'reservations of the culture' if they immigrate here. There is just too many people I meet from other countries who experience a similar feeling. It is definitely not like Italy where I get every one on the street coming up to me and pinching my kids cheeks saying bello!! bella! very loudly and smiling and laughing and talking very loud.

In the beginning, I was smiling and trying to chat up everyone in the playgrounds, or on the street or in the shops. Now I keep my self busy with my kids, do my own thing, focused on my own life, and I feel less 'let down' to the response of people looking shocked or bothered by my overly bubbly personality.

Still, I must end it by saying I have met some AMAZING Swiss people one on one. But I generally expect a grumpy feeling when I am out in society, maybe I shouldn't but I do.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 03.04.2007, 16:31
Music Mole's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: SO
Posts: 240
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 21 Times in 17 Posts
Music Mole has earned some respectMusic Mole has earned some respect
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

I know I have made this recommendation before on the forum, but I really, really, really recommend the book Beyond Chocolate for an introduction to the Swiss culture, from the perspective of expats living and working amongst the locals. It will help you understand the reserve you are encountering, among other things.

Folks - we're not in Kansas (or London, or [fill in the name of your city here]) any more. Things will be different and it is at times disorienting, discouraging, even embarrassing. But personally I've found that the more I educate myself about the local customs and culture, the less of that I experience. Take a German (or French Italian) class - if you have a good teacher, they will touch on cultural things as they are teaching you the language. Read some books. Just a few ideas of ways you can develop a greater understanding of the people whose country we are in.
__________________
Thus far you have been adrift in the sheltered harbour of my patience. ~ Cobra Bubbles

Last edited by Music Mole; 03.04.2007 at 16:42. Reason: to add more languages
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 03.04.2007, 16:42
zanskar's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Baden
Posts: 184
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 42 Times in 32 Posts
zanskar has made some interesting contributions
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

hello..

when going to work one shoud observe the faces of people.. they are usually glum and they tend not to be cheerful! even on a nice sunnny day... SMILE is something the Swiss just cant do!!!
This sounds like a generalization ... but I cant avoid noticing such behaviour...
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 03.04.2007, 16:57
jonnyt's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 65
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 17 Times in 11 Posts
jonnyt has made some interesting contributions
Re: Why can't you look people in the eyes anymore? [aggression in Swiss society]

Having spent a bit of time in Paris, New York, London and Manchester/ Liverpool, I'd say the amount of smiles, nods, "hello/ gruetzis" in the city centres and in the sticks is no better or worse here in Zurich. I'll glance at passers-by and if they nod/ smile/ greutzi, I'll do the same. If they don't, it doesn't bother me at all.

However, what does produce a near apocalyptic rage in me is when I hold a door open for someone or stand back to let them through a space etc and they walk past me as if I'm their paid servant, without any acknowledgement at all. It's usually followed by a sarcastic "MY PLEASURE" but it's like water off a duck's back, they don't even realise I'm talking to them.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
stare, staring




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Are the rumours about swiss people true meister_staefa Daily life 346 17.05.2016 12:45
Swiss Rudeness nickatbasel Complaints corner 255 20.04.2015 10:05
[Learn] Swiss German or High German mark Language corner 134 01.06.2010 16:21
Top 5 Myths About China (I believe most of the Swiss do have) champson International affairs/politics 355 08.08.2008 13:13
Are the swiss racist? Destiny Complaints corner 1977 27.04.2008 04:23


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 23:32.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0