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View Poll Results: How do you like your daily life as a non-native Swiss in Switzerland?
Hate it. 20 6.78%
More -ve than +ve / Don't really like it. 50 16.95%
Neutral : no better or worse than elsewhere. 36 12.20%
More +ve than -ve / Quite like it here. 96 32.54%
Love it. 93 31.53%
Voters: 295. You may not vote on this poll

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  #141  
Old 28.05.2015, 13:23
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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Is it possible to simultaneously love and hate the place?

I think I have had a tendency to be a swiss-o-holic outwardly over the years. However, if I'm going to be honest with myself (which I'm really trying to do these days) I must admit that its certainly a love hate relationship.

Reasons to dislike:
  • The weather is statistically depressing...at least in Canton Zurich it is.
  • Universally myopic HR departments. In other countries my resume would be compelling for many reasons. However here, I'm apparently unqualified to be a janitor because I don't have a certificate that says I know how to be a janitor. So...onward to a third year of underemployment!
  • Ski queues. You've got to be kidding me. It baffles me than in a land where there are so many rules and societal expectations that all is forgotten when waiting for a lift.
  • Medicine/Doctors seem to be either cutting edge or 30-years behind the times.
  • Obviously the cost of living. At times its insulting. Its subtle too. Ive seen the price of tangible objects held by the same vendor change from location to location based on the "quality" of the area in which the product is available. Laughable differences too. Another way to state this is that there is zero consistency or that one must ABSOLUTELY shop around.
  • Its possible to go on if not in a positive mind state.
Reasons to like:
  • On the days where the weather is nice...this country is beautiful.
  • Safety and honesty. Ive lost my wallet, keys or phone a few times...every time i get them back. And I know this is a common story.
  • The centralized location of CH really does allow one to travel all of Europe with ease.
  • The Swiss friends we do have are genuine and reliable. Albeit...at times...not so spontaneous.
  • Roadside cheese vendors.
  • Bio/organic groceries are plentiful and affordable.
  • Rafting on a warm day.
  • Global expats!!!
I think I'm writing these things to at least admit that CH is not all that it seems. Trying to keep a positive attitude about the negative items does not work over the long term. Its kind of like having to live with a family member you would prefer to only see over the holidays.
Thanks for intelligent posting. And, good luck job hunting. (your anecdote depicting waiting for a lift made me lol).
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  #142  
Old 28.05.2015, 13:34
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

Loving the place and being happy are two different things. I can cite some really miserable and grumpy looking people who will tell you they genuinely love the place, and I would believe them. Personally, I often hate the weather, hate yoddling, think Schlager singers should be imprisoned, and some Swiss dialects put me too sleep. There are a lot of things I don't like about the place. But in terms of loving the place, that is an active and conscious decision. This place runs great, and other alternatives in other parts of the world are dysfunctional shit holes in comparison. I would look after the well-being of Switzerland to keep it this way in whatever ways I am able to, as a mature responsible adult citizen. All those commentaries are really not a reflection of Switzerland, but a reflection of the commentator.
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  #143  
Old 28.05.2015, 13:55
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

This all reminds me on the fabled oxbridge question of 20 years ago: Could things be otherwise?

In the case of an individual expat, would they be happier or less happy having not made the decision to come to Switzerland? Do they have "movers regret" or if they hadn't come would they have had "non-movers regret"?

It could be argued that every decision we make is born out of the experiences and decisions we make prior to it - and that unless you change your very first decision/experience you could be doomed to repeat that decision. IE at the point of choosing to move to Switzerland you made it based on your life to that point, you can't argue "I wished I had researched xyz", you didn't because it wasn't in your nature to do so; nor can you argue "if I had known what I know now" because each decision is taken in a moment in the immediate past and only ever impacts your future.

There are countless situations I can think of where, if I had had a second chance I would have made a different choice. If I had made, what in theory was a better choice at that time, I'd not be here.

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  #144  
Old 28.05.2015, 14:12
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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There are countless situations I can think of where, if I had had a second chance I would have made a different choice. If I had made, what in theory was a better choice at that time, I'd not be here.
I like this.

On top, we make decisions rarely actually after some intricate, rational analysis. We think we do. But apparently, we do 80% of our decisions intuitively (Sci Am Special on Intuition, I got that a few years back).

For good, intuitive moves - one should be aware. Negative emotional state of mind actually rarely boosts self reading processes and intuition.

Interestingly enough, downers happen to see reality more critically, can come up with solutions quicker, develop a sense of survival, even if it is not a happy one.

But, on the other hand, positive souls might at the end make better intuitive decisions. Ie - move to CH because the mountains are pretty, gruyere tastes marvellous and people look like in Portlandia, stress free, happy, a bit out there. And then you realize there is so much more than just that and we might have made some good, intuitive moves.
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  #145  
Old 28.05.2015, 14:19
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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Loving the place and being happy are two different things. I can cite some really miserable and grumpy looking people who will tell you they genuinely love the place, and I would believe them. Personally, I often hate the weather, hate yoddling, think Schlager singers should be imprisoned, and some Swiss dialects put me too sleep. There are a lot of things I don't like about the place. But in terms of loving the place, that is an active and conscious decision. This place runs great, and other alternatives in other parts of the world are dysfunctional shit holes in comparison. I would look after the well-being of Switzerland to keep it this way in whatever ways I am able to, as a mature responsible adult citizen. All those commentaries are really not a reflection of Switzerland, but a reflection of the commentator.
Schlager singers should be imprisoned, LOL. Agree.

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I would look after the well-being of Switzerland to keep it this way in whatever ways I am able to, as a mature responsible adult citizen. All those commentaries are really not a reflection of Switzerland, but a reflection of the commentator.
On that one: you serious? Maybe it's not very well formulated but it sounds a bit like vigilantism...I guess you were referring to complying with the existent rules and ways of doing things, right? Not sticking out like a sore thumb, blending in.
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  #146  
Old 28.05.2015, 14:27
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

I like to yodel. Especially when people think I am a Swiss German Heidi.

Bite me, you negative anti-yodels! I like funny, absurd noises.
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Old 28.05.2015, 14:33
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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On that one: you serious? Maybe it's not very well formulated but it sounds a bit like vigilantism...I guess you were referring to complying with the existent rules and ways of doing things, right? Not sticking out like a sore thumb, blending in.
Not at all. Just the opposite. I have no interest nor desire to blend in. In fact, I think this sentiment is the biggest detriment to foreigners trying to live in Switzerland. They try way too hard to be like the Swiss, when they are not. And so get all ill-at-ease with themselves, that they just can't seem to figure out how to be. The key to happiness in Switzerland is to be yourself.

What I mean is that I live here. It's my home. My children are here. They'll inherit it. I would do my part to make sure it continues to function as it does, and not fall to disrepair like many of the other places many of us come from. It takes a responsible citizenry for it to work. Sure, foreigners come here and have no sense of this. We know that. Its duly noted.
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  #148  
Old 28.05.2015, 14:34
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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...hate yoddling, think Schlager singers should be imprisoned...
you are denying yourself some of the finest cultural delicacies known to man.



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  #149  
Old 28.05.2015, 14:45
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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Not at all. Just the opposite. I have no interest nor desire to blend in. In fact, I think this sentiment is the biggest detriment to foreigners trying to live in Switzerland. They try way too hard to be like the Swiss, when they are not. And so get all ill-at-ease with themselves, that they just can't seem to figure out how to be. The key to happiness in Switzerland is to be yourself.

What I mean is that I live here. It's my home. My children are here. They'll inherit it. I would do my part to make sure it continues to function as it does, and not fall to disrepair like many of the other places many of us come from. It takes a responsible citizenry for it to work. Sure, foreigners come here and have no sense of this. We know that. Its duly noted.
Let's stop for a moment thinking of your children etc.
You've got me confused, seriously. You have no desire to blend in, wish to be yourself even if that would mean you disrespect your hosts? I can think of some basic situations that would mortify a Swiss: showing up at his/her door unannounced, or inviting him/her with only one week in advance to dinner. Not greeting, because where you come from people don't greet strangers in the street. No shaking hands, no 3 kisses because you hate it. No chit-chat with good old Frau X...You know, things like that.
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Old 28.05.2015, 14:52
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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you are denying yourself some of the finest cultural delicacies known to man.

Yes, I do so willingly and gladly!



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Let's stop for a moment thinking of your children etc.
You've got me confused, seriously. You have no desire to blend in, wish to be yourself even if that would mean you disrespect your hosts? I can think of some basic situations that would mortify a Swiss: showing up at his/her door unannounced, or inviting him/her with only one week in advance to dinner. Not greeting, because where you come from people don't greet strangers in the street. No shaking hands, no 3 kisses because you hate it. No chit-chat with good old Frau X...You know, things like that.
I think your linkages confuse you.
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  #151  
Old 28.05.2015, 14:54
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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I think your linkages confuse you.
Ok. Thanks for your explanation.
I guess there's nothing more to be added, but I was genuinely curious to find out why "blending in" seems such a bad idea. I'm not curious anymore.
P.S. I think you're confusing "blending in" with trying too much to be " Swiss". I, for one, can't seriously imagine that there are people who're doing this. There might be, not in my circle anyway.


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What I mean is that I live here. It's my home. My children are here. They'll inherit it. I would do my part to make sure it continues to function as it does, and not fall to disrepair like many of the other places many of us come from. It takes a responsible citizenry for it to work. Sure, foreigners come here and have no sense of this. We know that. Its duly noted.
Of course responsible foreigners have a sense of "responsible citizenry", you're assuming/projecting too much. This comment is a reflection of yourself, not of (all) foreigners living in Switzerland. Same logic applies.....

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All those commentaries are really not a reflection of Switzerland, but a reflection of the commentator.

Last edited by greenmount; 28.05.2015 at 15:33.
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  #152  
Old 29.05.2015, 21:18
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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I just watched Still Alice. We are lucky souls.
You might want to watch Der Verdingbub. If you've been a while around the Alps it'll make sense.

As for the rest of the posts, it seems most focus on infrastructure. I keep observing what drives people, how do they solve problems — and beating around the bush and retreating to sit in your garden and watch the paint dry, is what I see. But it must be me feeling like running up the mountains to yodel my heart out
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  #153  
Old 30.05.2015, 13:11
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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Schlager singers should be imprisoned.
Not just the singers. Absolutely anyone associated with it. I hate it with a passion.
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  #154  
Old 30.05.2015, 13:13
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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Schlager singers should be imprisoned.
Well, listen: They'll go over to gangsta rap in prison and frankly, nobody needs more of that sort either.
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Old 30.05.2015, 16:40
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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I like to yodel. Especially when people think I am a Swiss German Heidi.

Bite me, you negative anti-yodels! I like funny, absurd noises.
... well you should learn Swiss German then
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  #156  
Old 30.05.2015, 17:06
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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Let's stop for a moment thinking of your children etc.
You've got me confused, seriously. You have no desire to blend in, wish to be yourself even if that would mean you disrespect your hosts? I can think of some basic situations that would mortify a Swiss: showing up at his/her door unannounced, or inviting him/her with only one week in advance to dinner. Not greeting, because where you come from people don't greet strangers in the street. No shaking hands, no 3 kisses because you hate it. No chit-chat with good old Frau X...You know, things like that.
yea, but there is a difference between being yourself, assimilating, or just being polite and maybe also the culture, flexibility of the people (swiss, i mean) and region. i regularly show up at peoples house unannounced. if they are not home, so be it, if they are- some are a bit awkward, busy or surprised- i just say hello, i was just by your street and thought i'd give you a hug (soooo not swiss, but so far, it's been accepted) and either i get a smile and a 'see you soon' or a coffee and a chat or a beer and a rant or whatever else. but the same would happen anywhere i just stopped by. and that's the consequence of just stopping by.

inviting people here in romandie, in lausanne at least- is also dependent on the person. some makes plans way in advance but most are quite ok with last minute plans. or at least accept that we may get in touch saying we are having a bbq tomorrow and they often come by even if for a quick drink, or they can't. it's the way i work and that won't really change too much and i don't want it to, nor, does it seem to really bother anyone (that i know of )

in terms of 3 kisses, greeting and chit chat- that's more about being polite, assimilating to the way it's done here. it doesn't make me change who i am, but perhaps the way i react towards others. and that's fine.

i don't get this changing yourself to be 'swiss' when i couldn't really put a finger on what exactly that means... i am a hugger- therefore i hug. and people seem to accept it and even like it

enjoying where you live (here) and the people you live with (swiss) is easier if you just are yourself, but perhaps a polite version of it. but there are always gonna be a***holes. that's what makes life interesting and gives you something to talk about on the ef.

personally i don't find people here in ch. anymore anything than anywhere else.
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Old 30.05.2015, 19:17
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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yea, but there is a difference between being yourself, assimilating, or just being polite and maybe also the culture, flexibility of the people (swiss, i mean) and region. i regularly show up at peoples house unannounced. if they are not home, so be it, if they are- some are a bit awkward, busy or surprised- i just say hello, i was just by your street and thought i'd give you a hug (soooo not swiss, but so far, it's been accepted) and either i get a smile and a 'see you soon' or a coffee and a chat or a beer and a rant or whatever else. but the same would happen anywhere i just stopped by. and that's the consequence of just stopping by.

inviting people here in romandie, in lausanne at least- is also dependent on the person. some makes plans way in advance but most are quite ok with last minute plans. or at least accept that we may get in touch saying we are having a bbq tomorrow and they often come by even if for a quick drink, or they can't. it's the way i work and that won't really change too much and i don't want it to, nor, does it seem to really bother anyone (that i know of )

in terms of 3 kisses, greeting and chit chat- that's more about being polite, assimilating to the way it's done here. it doesn't make me change who i am, but perhaps the way i react towards others. and that's fine.

i don't get this changing yourself to be 'swiss' when i couldn't really put a finger on what exactly that means... i am a hugger- therefore i hug. and people seem to accept it and even like it

enjoying where you live (here) and the people you live with (swiss) is easier if you just are yourself, but perhaps a polite version of it. but there are always gonna be a***holes. that's what makes life interesting and gives you something to talk about on the ef.

personally i don't find people here in ch. anymore anything than anywhere else.
Exactly, that was my point. Neither do I, because I wouldn't really know to define "Swissness", especially given the fact that there are regional (and within a region, between cantons) differences, 4 languages (OK; 3 actually) etc. But in my opinion most of us try, even involuntarily, to adapt to new customs, and I'm not talking just about being polite, I'm thinking about how people do things and communicate with each other. It changes you a bit, not in the sense that you become "Swiss" (whatever that means). I don't see how else one would survive relatively happy here and get things done, or get to do things. That's not a complaint, mind you. Of course you don't have to change your personality, temperament or who you are (that would be silly).
Romandie is for sure more laid-back than certain Swiss-German cantons, probably we can't really relate to each other's Swiss experience.
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Old 31.05.2015, 02:17
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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Exactly, that was my point. Neither do I, because I wouldn't really know to define "Swissness", especially given the fact that there are regional (and within a region, between cantons) differences, 4 languages (OK; 3 actually) etc. But in my opinion most of us try, even involuntarily, to adapt to new customs, and I'm not talking just about being polite, I'm thinking about how people do things and communicate with each other. It changes you a bit, not in the sense that you become "Swiss" (whatever that means). I don't see how else one would survive relatively happy here and get things done, or get to do things. That's not a complaint, mind you. Of course you don't have to change your personality, temperament or who you are (that would be silly).
Romandie is for sure more laid-back than certain Swiss-German cantons, probably we can't really relate to each other's Swiss experience.
hahaha. yes to all although you should see what people say about the vaudois.... they don't have the reputation of being very 'open' altough my experience is that they are. either way- i'm a firm believer in you get what you give (for the most part, there's exceptions) and if you give an honest- i respect and like you, you'll get it back.

either way. my answer is that i like switzerland. just like i like anywhere. i have to good luck to be able to live a nice, comfortable and enjoyable and when i choose, exciting (culturally) life. i found wonderful people and lovely places... the only thing missing is the salt water. but for 10 months of the year the lovely lake will do fine
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Old 03.06.2015, 19:36
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

Always interesting to see the different cultures that exist here.
Was in a supermarket today and there was a woman in the traditional headscarf and tent like dress from chin to floor, with her was her teenage daughter wearing almost nothing; short shorts and a skimpy top.
Interesting contrast in styles, wished I could have found a discreet way to take a photo.
It was like seeing two different worlds meeting
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Old 03.06.2015, 20:00
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Re: Switzerland: Love it or Hate it? (version 2)

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It was like seeing two different worlds meeting
Parents and their children?
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