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  #101  
Old 08.02.2012, 22:39
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

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Yeah, definitely true---however this idea does apply to anyone giving anyone advice on any topic. But seriously? Would you actually like to throw it in someone's face when they are just trying to be helpful? I get tons of advice daily, I disagree with reason with almost 75% of it, and have a very good track record of being right in the end. That being said, I would be quite the @sshole if I told almost everyone I talk to that they have no clue what they're talking about. Sometimes it pays to be the bigger person, smile thank them for their opinion and go about with your life!
I totally agree.

And it goes both ways. Having someone calling someone else an unfit parent is very low in my book. I wouldn't take it well.

Like everybody, I see kids being naughty to the point where they could learn from a slap or two. Mostly, it is the parents fault if kids grown up to being asocial.

I have a friend who doesn't have kids and she helps me sometimes by seeing thing from an outsider point of view. I also know a woman who like to tell to parents who they should this or that that way and their is no way her kids will do this or that.

And you also have parents who see no fault in their kids, who believe their kids are true saints and look down at your kids doing a tantrum.
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  #102  
Old 08.02.2012, 22:42
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

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But Nil, that mother on the train also thought she is doing a fine job and Nicole, who doesn't understand, should just shut up. Could it be that maybe sometimes non-parents can tell parents what they think about the behaviour of their kids?
Of course! I totally agree with that!
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  #103  
Old 08.02.2012, 23:32
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

From Family Guy (of course):

Tom Tucker
: We interrupt this program to bring you grim news out of LaGuardia Airport where a 767 has been forced to make a crash landing
Brian: Awww man I'll tell ya, now that I'm a parent I can't even watch stories like that, I just think, you know, I just think oh my god what if Dylan were on that plane?
Oh my god! I just don't know what I'd do! I don't know what I would do.
Glen: Yeah, yeah I understand that'd be tough
Brian: Oh Oh no oh no, no no no Quagmire, no you do not understand. Until you have a child, until you have a child, you do not understand. Okay
Glen: Damn it
Peter: It's been like this all week. Watch this... Hey Brian what would you do if Dylan fell out a window?
Brian: Oh my god Oh my god I don't even want to think about that! I don't even want to think about that! Oh my god! Oh god!
Glen: Brian, what would you do if Dylan was in a fire?
Brian: Oh my god Oh my god I don't even want to think about that! I don't even want to think about that! Oh my god! Oh god! Knock on wood Knock on wood Knock on wood!
Oh I can't hear anymore of this.
Joe: Peter your dog is giving me diabetes
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  #104  
Old 09.02.2012, 00:04
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

Regarding the OP's question - Switzerland is intolerant of misbehaved, noisy kids, although I see quite a few Swiss parents who clearly didn't get that memo.

If a kid kicks me intentionally, I will be a very clumsy person and might just end up bumping into them when I leave wherever I am at the time. If children are noisy, I am liable to look at them and ask them if they are not embarrassed to be behaving like that. In fact, I frequently talk directly to children who displease me as I feel they are people too and I trust them to have a few braincells in their heads. Part of the problem, in my view, is that kids get all of the rights and none of the responsibilities. Parents are often too lazy to be parents, they seem to prefer being "best friends" with their kids. Kids need proper parents, not buddies.

I don't have kids, but I have looked after kids since I was eight, starting with my little brother and then on to being a babysitter (with diploma) in my teens. I noticed that if you show kids respect and let them make certain decisions while explaining why they can't do so in other cases worked quite well. And time out even works on my cats.

What I will NOT pander to is this whole idea of "I am a parent, all kneel before me". And if I am in a certain type of restaurant, I do not want some spoiled brat going crazy next to me. I went to those restaurants as a kid and knew that if I didn't behave, my dad WOULD just get up and leave and I'd go to bed with no dinner but with a spanking. The spanking was a bit harsh but from what I understand he got a lot worse as a kid. When I think about it, I only remember one case of being spanked and that was because I was being unfairly punished - he couldn't understand that the beach he wanted to go on was no good for me as the wind was blowing sand into my eyes at eye height, which he didn't notice, being almost two metres tall. I was five at the time and I still remember it now.

So that might also be a point and I do try and do that myself - sometimes you have to put yourself in a child's position to see why it's behaving out of order. If you do that, you suddenly realise things like how idiotic it is to take a toddler to a music festival - it's far too loud for them and ear plugs usually don't fit properly. Yet I've seen parents do this, the kid spent the whole time crying.
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  #105  
Old 09.02.2012, 00:52
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

Did anyone else listen to BBC radio 4's The World Tonight?
It had a piece about a lost generation of unruly kids in the middle/latter half of the last century (sometimes kids who'd been stigmatised from being brought up by a single or divorced mother) who were sent off to work for families in the farms in the countryside?
It said there's a new Swiss film out that documents this phenomenon. (sorry if this movie's been mentioned earlier in the thread).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16620597

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  #106  
Old 09.02.2012, 01:12
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

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Yes the question was answered. I was repeating it for making a point.

I am not saying that non-parents don't know what it is to have kids. I am saying that non-parents take the right to tell parents how to educate their kids but don't accept to be told, that maybe, just maybe they don't know what they are talking about.

Jeez.

And NO I am not talking about a kid misbehaving in the tram and the mother doesn't give a damn. I am not talking about those kind of situations!

It's because people offer each other "advice" on all sorts of things these days - from how to behave within their romantic relationships, how to deal with their parents, how and what to eat, how to get a job and how to or not to dress themselves.

So, with all this "helpfulness" being thrown about, why shouldn't one person feel just as free to say to another "You know, you may have better outcome with your kid if you did..." ...? What's the difference?

People give me rude looks and comment all the time on how much exercise I should get, what I should and shouldn't eat, etc etc.. they don't have my body, how dare they suppose they know what's best for my health? Same as someone without kids giving "advice" to someone with.

Well, except that my nice quiet fat is a lot more well behaved in restaurants than many children.
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  #107  
Old 09.02.2012, 10:05
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

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It's because people offer each other "advice" on all sorts of things these days - from how to behave within their romantic relationships, how to deal with their parents, how and what to eat, how to get a job and how to or not to dress themselves.

So, with all this "helpfulness" being thrown about, why shouldn't one person feel just as free to say to another "You know, you may have better outcome with your kid if you did..." ...? What's the difference?

People give me rude looks and comment all the time on how much exercise I should get, what I should and shouldn't eat, etc etc.. they don't have my body, how dare they suppose they know what's best for my health? Same as someone without kids giving "advice" to someone with.

Well, except that my nice quiet fat is a lot more well behaved in restaurants than many children.
You have two ways to this I believe,

1- friend telling you she is concerns for our health and give you some advices.
2- someone telling you to lose weight big fat ass!

I believe my reaction will be very different toward 1-2.

Someone may give you gentle advices but if they never been in the exact same situation, they can understand only to a certain extend.

We all know some very bad parenting are out there, but some very busy bodies who don't have a freaking idea of what they are talking about are out there too.

That's all.
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  #108  
Old 09.02.2012, 10:09
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

I'm not sure I follow the logic against non-parents giving parents advice. By that token, should we require all teachers and nannies to already have children before they can provide what is a significant contribution to raising and disciplining a child?
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  #109  
Old 09.02.2012, 10:22
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

Getting back to the original question:

Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

No, they are absolutely smashing! Some of you lot really must go through your miserable lives in a miserable way whatever country you live in.

Old people keep my children entertained in the supermarket.

They help my eldest on the ski drag lift and chat to him all the way to the top.

My my sister came to stay with her four children - they arrived on an early morning train and were quite excitable to have arrived in Switzerland. At a breakfast place in the Zurich main station, an old lady thrust 20CHF into my sister's hand - to get something for the children as they were so delightful.

I've had a lady, without word, take our baby from us in the train and keep in smiling for half an hour so we could eat our sandwiches in peace.

I've got hundreds of stories like this from personal experience but I can bet that if the last one I mentioned happened to some of you here, it would have read like a Daily Mail headline - "Interfering woman snatched my baby on busy train".
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  #110  
Old 09.02.2012, 10:27
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

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I'm not sure I follow the logic against non-parents giving parents advice. By that token, should we require all teachers and nannies to already have children before they can provide what is a significant contribution to raising and disciplining a child?
It is not my logic and that was not the point.
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  #111  
Old 09.02.2012, 10:29
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

The Swiss aren't intolerant of children as so much as noise in general.

- people talking loudly on their handys (yes, I know...cell phones)
- people listening to music loudly even when wearing ear phones
- people partying on trains or anywhere where in a place where they might disrupt others
- screaming or loudly playing kids in trains, restaurants, etc....

The Swiss are a peace & quiet people who have designated places for noise.
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  #112  
Old 09.02.2012, 10:46
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

The whole point is: You need a driver's license to drive a car, a dog school course to have a dog, but for kids....?
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  #113  
Old 09.02.2012, 11:03
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

Maybe the distinction here is not really in the question of parents vs. non-parents giving advice, but rather the advice itself and the way it is given, combined with the situation.

If a stranger is going to offer advice, of course it is going to be better received if he/she says to the parent, "Would it be helpful if......." or "I have found that it sometimes works when you try........ in this situation" rather than bluntly saying, "You need to ..... with your kid" or "What is the matter with your kid?" The gentler ways seem helpful rather than judgmental. A stressed parent appreciates help, and certainly helpful suggestions re: handling kids can come from anyone, parent or not!

That being said, I personally draw a firm line between a kid just being a kid, i.e. being noisy, throwing a tantrum or being disruptive vs. a kid entering someone else's personal space. I do believe that a blunt word is needed in cases where a kid is doing something that might potentially damage someone else's things or doing something that is causing a problem for others such as the kid kicking NicoleCZ's cast or knocking her glasses off her face. I think Kittster has a wonderful idea in addressing the child rather than the parent, if possible.

In a situation which is a bit mixed, e.g. a kid being disruptive and noisy at a quiet performance or an expensive restaurant in which others have paid a significant sum for the experience, I believe that any "admonishment" is more likely to yield results when it is delivered by an employee who has a level of authority, rather than another patron.
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  #114  
Old 09.02.2012, 11:13
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

I must smile to myself when I read some of these complaints about switzerland and the swiss... in particular regarding this topic, if you think the swiss are intolerant to kids, I would invite you to go and live 17 years in germany, and then let me know who's intolerant

my children are being literally pampered here, they have only encountered smiling and caring adults in school, on the streets, at friends' homes, wherever they go...

in germany the big issue among families with young children was: can you go there with kids? applied to restaurants, museums, cinemas, in short all that makes life fun and worth living for people with or without kids.

as for my own "intolerance" even as a parent I must say that children can be a nuisance and should learn as soon as possible not to disturb. but this is a lot about common sense, you can't either forbid people with more or less difficult children to move about freely nor get on the community's nerves.
when my son was small he was a real pain, always screaming his head off as soon as we entered a shop. I decided I couldn't impose him on others but first of all to myself, so I just made arrangements and didn't take him with me when I had to go somehwere "civilized". the first time I put him in a pram and brought him in the city he was almost 1 year old. he was much happier playing in the garden or strolling in our village with grandparents and babysitter.

I think this attitude did a lot to help me get over a period in which the kids were small which I found very trying for this reason. and it took quite a bit of stress out of our relationship.
on the other hand some kids are simply very calm and serene by nature and you can take them everywhere without disturbing... difficult to generalize.
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  #115  
Old 09.02.2012, 11:25
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

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on the other hand some kids are simply very calm and serene by nature and you can take them everywhere without disturbing... difficult to generalize.
Great point. And folk who have a child (or children - I knew someone who actually had TWO like this) cannot understand themselves that it is not (only) their way of bringing up the children, but the character of the children themselves which makes a lot of difference. How then, will other adults realise this?

I have worked with children nearly all my life and my 'complaint' is often more the attitude of the parents than the children's actions themselves. However, I usually speak to the child if what he is doing annoys me too much.
'I know slamming the doors of the lockers at the swimming pool makes a lovely noise and is great fun, but would you like to go to where your Mummy is chatting with her friend and slam them behind her, instead of behind me'.
Loudly enough for Mum to hear. Doesn't make me very popular but it does me good and lowers my intolerance level.

Re children with any form of disability - it should be enough for the parent to say 'sorry but Alexander reacts in this way to new situations. There is nothing I can do about it at the moment'.
But I appreciate that it isn't. My sympathies to anyone who has to go through this again and again.
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  #116  
Old 09.02.2012, 11:42
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

regarding advice, I must admit as a sometimes stressed mother that it can be actually more effective if someone from outside scolds you children.
I have always appreciated the italian or southern approach, where children are seen as "common interest" much more than in the northern countries. so you get more people interfering but this can also really help. actually, many italian mothers do it proactively: they say out loudly in front of their children: "be quiet or else the conductor will chuck you/us our of the bus". usually then a conversation between all parties insues "but no, signora, they're just children..." "oh, but they can be really terrible, you know?" and so on, and so the child is distracted...

what I enjoy is that I, like Longbyt, in my turn feel free to scold or correct someone else's child if they're doing something stupid. I find it is my duty, even. but this "communal" thing works only if certain rules of politeness and friendliness among adults are observed so that the parent does not feel his or her authority is being diminished in the eyes of his own children but that, on the contrary, he has an ally in educating them.

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I have worked with children nearly all my life and my 'complaint' is often more the attitude of the parents than the children's actions themselves. However, I usually speak to the child if what he is doing annoys me too much.
'I know slamming the doors of the lockers at the swimming pool makes a lovely noise and is great fun, but would you like to go to where your Mummy is chatting with her friend and slam them behind her, instead of behind me'.
Loudly enough for Mum to hear. Doesn't make me very popular but it does me good and lowers my intolerance level.
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  #117  
Old 09.02.2012, 11:42
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

I just tend to see the same sort of theme throughout threads & posts here in EF...A lot of ex pats who live en Suisse and complain but typically complain ultimately about nuances and cultural differences that are part & parcel of living in a different country

Yet, even for many who have lived here for years (And from the sound of it, the OP has as well), it still inexplicably seems to be some sort of mystery to them...I've been visiting for more than 7 years but only now completing my first year living here and there is increasingly a malignant air in EF stemming from the same key issue over & over again - culture

Most of us who are Americans or Brits are coming from very proud or even arrogant countries and seemingly think it's incumbent upon the Suisse to integrate us rather than the other way around...That somehow it's necessary that things here need to be the same or similar to how it was back in the US or UK...Well, that's not going to be the case no matter how much you cry & beg it to be

There is, after all, a reason why many of you left your respective countries (Although I suspect money was at the heart of it for many here)...Personally, I came because of my wife & the quality of life here...I have had and continue to have hurdles in adapting to life here...There are countless cultural nuances I am learning about but I am learning about them...I suppose I have an advantage in that I am not without plenty of help through many Suisse relatives although it can be difficult just the same...Yet, I see many if not most of the English speakers doing precious little to bridge that gap apart from perhaps just learning the language...We fault immigrants in our own home countries for failing to integrate properly or appreciate how things are done in the US/UK but somehow that fails these same people when living en Suisse - I find it repugnant but sadly predictable

My advice for the complainers and the ones still in shock about the cultural differences is to accept that it's different here and attempt to understand it rather than dismiss it due to a lack of familiarity...You don't have to, of course, but I imagine you'll need to accept too that you'll continue to live on the fringe of society...That sort of closed mindedness is part of the problem both in terms of integrating and in terms of gaining acceptance from locals...I find myself lamenting the fact that the window to purchase things is much smaller than it was in my 24/7 life back in the US but appreciate that perhaps there is merit to why it isn't like that here...My Sundays are now almost always filled with a relaxing hike with friends and or family...I love how my 3 year old niece gets ready for bed on her own, without being coaxed or forced to brush their teeth etc...That she helps with cleaning the house or not wasting food on her plate etc...And she's no less a wonderful child than my niece back in the US - just more mature for many things...I've picked up on this over the last 7 years very clearly, in terms of children, we come from societies where children are far more spoiled than they are here...Children don't hold that sort of privileged place in society that they do back home

There are, of course, so many subtleties to how things are different here but I am willing to make allowances for how it is indeed different...Because at the end of the day, it's a wonderful world here en Suisse...Say what you will about the differences but for a nation that has been around longer, been democratic longer, safer, cares about the environment, people & future of the planet like it does I say there isn't a person on the planet who shouldn't be taking note...They're doing something right here and most of you would do well to get off your high horses

Sure there are difficulties and differences that can be hard to understand or even adjust to, particularly in the short term, but that's part of integration...And until you integrate, it's going to continue to be that thorn in your side and consequently leave you on the outside looking in - so complain less if you have decided to take your ball & go home rather than make such utterly ridiculous assessments about Suisse people or their culture...Because last I checked, you're here and if you intend to stay, it's you that will need to change, not the other way around...And if changes do occur for the country, it'll be decided as a collective as is the case in a direct democracy...Look how well our respective countries are doing back home with their glorious ways of doing things, eh?

Perhaps I came off insensitive to the OP initially but it's so tiresome to hear such outlandish generalizations about life here...I mean intolerance to children?...I'm sorry but it's a ludicrous conclusion to draw and not even very imaginative - I can only conclude you've seen precious little of the world outside of the spas & resorts of the planet...More & more I see very privileged people living here with such a sense of entitlement that I fail to comprehend how these same people thought they'd ever be able to live here longterm...Increasingly, the perception among locals is that the US/UK immigrants, in particular, are intent on trying to shape this land in the image of their past lives - that will be met with a lot more intolerance than any perceived one towards children...So meanwhile, sure, stuff your money in the mattresses or wherever the IRS allows you to but try heading to Les Bains de Lavey to unwind and perhaps learn to adapt better in your new home

Last edited by FCBarca; 09.02.2012 at 12:59.
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  #118  
Old 09.02.2012, 11:58
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

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The reality is there are days when it gets so bad that I just feel like never going outside the house ever ever again. And to be honest, his behaviour is not so bad - it is the reactions to his behaviour that tip me over the edge.

But yesterday, he had a mini meltdown (mini is when the meltdown is 2 minutes and under in duration) in the queue at Aldi. I had the shopping on the belt at the till, so didn't have the usual option of running out (which is what I tend to do) so had to brazen it out. For what seems like the first time in months, if not years, the people infront and behind me in the queue and the cash till lady said nothing. Nada. Eyes down and got on with it.

He suddenly spied the sliding cashtill operators door which totally distracted him and he stopped screaming and started playing sliding the door open and shut. Tantrum over. No comments. I even had a chance for some deep breaths before it was my turn to pay.

How I wanted to kiss the people on either side of me in the queue...
That's interesting. I've noticed that Aldi shoppers are more likely (than ones at Coop or Migros) to be immigrants and with more humble means. Have you noticed any difference between your experience shopping with your child at Aldi vs. other higher-end stores?
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Old 09.02.2012, 12:01
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

Complaints Corner:
This strange woman kissed me in the supermarket. Should I inform the police?

ecb -You honestly have my deepest sympathy (in the real sense of the word - almost been there, almost done that!) in your situation. I'll remember your posts if ever I see a really distraught parent with a child who behaves what we would call 'out of character'. Thanks for posting.
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  #120  
Old 09.02.2012, 12:02
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Re: Are the Swiss intolerant of kids?

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That's interesting. I've noticed that Aldi shoppers are more likely (than ones at Coop or Migros) to be immigrants and with more humble means. Have you noticed any difference between your experience shopping with your child at Aldi vs. other higher-end stores?
Migros and Coop? Higher end??
Globus, maybe.....
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