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Old 04.07.2010, 01:02
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Is this the first time you are out?

Is it me or does it seem some people have never left their little bubble.

There is the most random questions about such basic things and that you could easily find anywhere on the net or by picking up a phone, or just going out and have a look for yourself.

I have been moving every 6 months for the last 8 years( settling a bit now) so you need to find things out for yourself.

Is it just me or does it seem like that to others also?
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Old 04.07.2010, 01:07
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

The more I expand my mind and horizons, the more the smaller minds tend to show up more... then I realise I was just like them. Rather than seeing them as they are I see myself as I was and then the potential these people have.
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Old 04.07.2010, 01:11
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

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The more I expand my mind and horizons, the more the smaller minds tend to show up more... then I realise I was just like them. Rather than seeing them as they are I see myself as I was and then the potential these people have.

Maybe thats what it is with me also then....good point

I guess I just grew up very independent and traveling only helps with that i guess
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Old 04.07.2010, 07:59
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

I am amazed too. In these times it's so easy to get information before you travel to country, that I really can't understand, why people don't do it. Sometimes I get the feeling, that they wake up in the morning, see a job offer in the internet, answer and start packing their luggage. Hey Switzerland or was it Swaziland?, here I come. And once they are here: Oh my God, what a backwards country; they don't speak English, shops are closed on Sundays and children in kindergarten don't learn to read.
Dont' take me wrong I had my surprises too, when living in foreign countries. But I always thought, hey that's their country, I have to get to grips with it.
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Old 04.07.2010, 08:00
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

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Is it me or does it seem some people have never left their little bubble.

There is the most random questions about such basic things and that you could easily find anywhere on the net or by picking up a phone, or just going out and have a look for yourself.

I have been moving every 6 months for the last 8 years( settling a bit now) so you need to find things out for yourself.

Is it just me or does it seem like that to others also?
↲↲Maybe some people are just lonely and want to communicate with an actual human? Or they communicate online like they do in real life? I mean, is it usual that before talking to someone you ask yourself if they have ever possibly heard anything like you're about to say? Do you shame yourself into thinking that nothing you could say could possibly be interesting, so you shouldn't waste other people's time before doing extensive research into every conversation they've ever had? Some would say that thinking processes like that require therapeutic intervention. But if it's so annoying that people are so ordinary and repetitive, why not suggest a rule that no one can post until they've read a certain number of other posts, say 3000? Or make people do some kind of test when they join so those who aren't witty, brilliant and extraordinary at least 90 percent of the time can be quickly weeded out? Slightly off-topic, but I'm feeling a possible generation gap for possibly the first time in my life: I was raised to be open-minded and kind to new people, but this new wired world demands nothing of the sort. Basic respect for others, remembering that we are all together in being human are no longer seen as important. Everyone has to prove how smart and interesting they are, and be judged worthy during a baptism by fire. Communication is no longer very human. We can just close the window, or insult someone til they go away, or ban them. All for the horrible sin of asking a question one too many times. It's sad, and getting back to my first sentence, not so difficult to understand why people are lonely.
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Old 04.07.2010, 09:08
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

It’s not about repetitive questions, although I have to admit the ongoing questions about salaries are a bit annoying. It’s the lack of basic knowledge that amazes me.
But I guess you are right. It’s probably a generation gap. I think the biggest advantage of living in a foreign country is to get in touch with another culture. To get know a country you have to speak and listen to the natives, possibly to learn their language and try to understand them. You can’t expect to be greeted with open arms. You are the new kid, therefore you have to try and try again. At least this was the rule before the era of the internet. Nowadays it’s different. No need to do anything yourself. Just ask you question in the internet and somebody will answer you. And of course there is no need to get in touch with natives. Join an internet group and you are never lonely.
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Old 04.07.2010, 09:35
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

Or maybe you just happen to need less than people here so, who knows. Some people measure with glasses if a measuring cup is not available, some need the specific gadget. Some people walk around town first, some would like to and don't have the time, nor for inet, and don't mind asking...I prefer to check out the city first myself but I wouldn't frown upon someone I do not know at all who asks about things.

And, ultimately, some people happen to do a lot so they have a lot of questions. Hobbies, interests, families, whatever. Some people just work, sleep and move around a lot, which, in my opinion is enough, too, but do not berate those who just happen to do things differently. If you see a group of strangers are having a discussion, do you run in and start telling people off for how they talk? I would treat threads that raise your blood pressure here the same way...
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Old 04.07.2010, 09:42
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

There are two things going on here: The OP talks about the lack of independence and narrow mindedness. Certainly we see plenty of narrow mindedness: sometimes its our sense of humour and sometimes its just, well narrow-mindedness...

As for lack of independence, well that's right too and whilst we all want to support and help each other there is an obligation to participation and that is that when somebody offers to help you, its right that you ask only once you have tried. That seems fair

Subsequent posts talk about the need to be witty and cutting. Often wit is cutting and I think that' OK. Often the most cutting posts are the most entertaining and this forum provides loads of entertainment.

I also think its OK to be dull and even boring and I would often prefer a nice dull person to an arrogant wit (not always, but being dull is kind of under rated) Often dull people can be very interesting once they get the confidence to speak. Chopping them up into little pieces rarely helps that

Here endeth my Sunday Sermon
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Old 04.07.2010, 09:59
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

This is a pretty esoteric conversation; I apologize if my comment is a bit off base, that I have missed something entirely here.

Before I moved to Switzlerand, I used to come on englishforum to learn about the country where my husband, children and I would relocate to. I remember this forum being very helpful and informative.

Now? Not so much. Just seems like people are arguing all of the time, trying to out clever each other, being ever so judgmental and, even, cruel. The forum appears to consist of a bunch of old times, new-newbies and lurkers who occasionally post. I have almost just quite it all together many, many times, but think that there are, occasionally informative posts or kind words and, so, I kept coming back. (What is that phrase about the mafia? )

I contrast this forum to one I go on about moving to New Jersey, something my family will do eventually. This is New Jersey, people: lovely people, but some pretty tough, tell it like it is, folks. Newbies will go on this forum and ask the same questions again and again and again (where should I buy a house? that kind of thing) and the old-times on that forum are, universally, kind and supportive of them.

Lots of expats grapple with decisions here - everything IS different from "back home" - where should I live? how do I deal with sharing a washing machine for the first time in my adult life? I have noisy children and a neighbor complaining about them - help! And, for God's sake, could somebody please tell me where to send my kids to school, because, yes, I am overwhelmed by the decision.

It sure can be lonely to move here and it sure would be lovely to have some sort of supportive online community for that.

The esotericism of this thread points to, I think, how far englishforum has come from what I think is, its original intention of the above.
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Old 04.07.2010, 10:15
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

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This is a pretty esoteric conversation; I apologize if my comment is a bit off base, that I have missed something entirely here.

Before I moved to Switzlerand, I used to come on englishforum to learn about the country where my husband, children and I would relocate to. I remember this forum being very helpful and informative.

Now? Not so much. Just seems like people are arguing all of the time, trying to out clever each other, being ever so judgmental and, even, cruel. The forum appears to consist of a bunch of old times, new-newbies and lurkers who occasionally post. I have almost just quite it all together many, many times, but think that there are, occasionally informative posts or kind words and, so, I kept coming back. (What is that phrase about the mafia? )

I contrast this forum to one I go on about moving to New Jersey, something my family will do eventually. This is New Jersey, people: lovely people, but some pretty tough, tell it like it is, folks. Newbies will go on this forum and ask the same questions again and again and again (where should I buy a house? that kind of thing) and the old-times on that forum are, universally, kind and supportive of them.

Lots of expats grapple with decisions here - everything IS different from "back home" - where should I live? how do I deal with sharing a washing machine for the first time in my adult life? I have noisy children and a neighbor complaining about them - help! And, for God's sake, could somebody please tell me where to send my kids to school, because, yes, I am overwhelmed by the decision.

It sure can be lonely to move here and it sure would be lovely to have some sort of supportive online community for that.

The esotericism of this thread points to, I think, how far englishforum has come from what I think is, its original intention of the above.
But is overwhelmingly helpful, mostly very friendly and wouldn't you agree that for things like "what is the German for celery?" people should visit google translate themselves rather than asking someone to do it for them?

Its that kind of thing that prompts the sharp word here

Last night at a party somebody Swiss made a great point that Swiss people can be very honest and in her time in the US, people are more concerned with being friendly. It is Ok to be sharp and many people are sharp even with their friends from time to time

I think we are very nice indeed!
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Old 04.07.2010, 10:38
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

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But is overwhelmingly helpful, mostly very friendly and wouldn't you agree that for things like "what is the German for celery?" people should visit google translate themselves rather than asking someone to do it for them?

Its that kind of thing that prompts the sharp word here
I find online translators to be "almost adequate" and not truly entirely helpful.

When I was looking for apartments I used to plug blocks of text into a translator and while most of it would be translated just fine there were words which would not translate.

A lot depends upon the source, "common" terms which we would use in English do not necessarily translate to the "common" term which actually is USED here.

The best example (with your example of veg in mind) is "bell pepper" which translates the same as "green pepper" into "grüner Pfeffer" HOWEVER you will not find a sign for "grüner Pfeffer" here but rather a sign for "pepperoni." So, while I can understand it is frustrating to think that people are too lazy to translate things or figure them out for themselves, perhaps it is that the "lazy" person has gone beyond frustration and learned that such translations are unreliable. One is more certain to get actually applicable information from the folks who've been around, or it certainly seems that way to me.


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Last night at a party somebody Swiss made a great point that Swiss people can be very honest and in her time in the US, people are more concerned with being friendly. It is Ok to be sharp and many people are sharp even with their friends from time to time

I think we are very nice indeed!
My (Swiss) husband used to give me a hard time for "sugar coating" everything I said instead of being more blunt and direct.

I think these days he's starting to wish I'd go back to doing that a bit more.
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Old 04.07.2010, 11:56
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

On the "repetitive questions" thing : The internet is NOT real life. When you meet a group of people in a bar, cafe or wherever and ask whether the salary you're about to accept is a good one, people will all at once start giving their opinion. They'll interrupt themselves and quickly get to some kind of consensus.

On the internet, on forums such as this, it's possible to search previous conversations. Technology. So why not use it? Also, when people post, they have the opportunity to keep writing what they think and no one can interrupt. People can scan the post, but the entire post is written and submitted. So it quickly becomes very repetitive.

In other words, internet and real life is not the same, so expect people to be bollocked for not doing a search before asking a question. When doing maths, you don't sit there with pen and paper, with a calculator right next to you that you don't use, but when you get stuck you phone a stranger and ask him/her to use their calculator to help you.

Last edited by adrianlondon; 04.07.2010 at 12:13. Reason: Changed friend to stranger to help my analogy ;)
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Old 04.07.2010, 12:02
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

MODS - Please don't merge this - two posts, two points, and I want people to agree or pull them apart independently ;)

On the "friendly" thing : Noisy people get the most noticed. If someone posts "how do I buy a tram ticket in Basel?" and a couple of people reply with decent answers, everyone's happy and the thread dies. If someone posts "err, have you used a bus before?" and it goes off on one, then the thread goes on and on, many people read it, and then threads like this one pop up and everyone says the forum is negative.

In actual fact, not only is it very likely that the original question IS answered (one or two helpful posts in a long thread) but the fact the forum appears to be full of negativity is just because of ONE question that went awry. Which caused two threads (the original one, and then this kind of meta thread).

And if this thread gets closed, someone will start a new one saying "why did it get closed?" and some newbie will say "everyone is unfriendly!" and it'll go on and on. Because those "friendly" people are prolonging just the ONE issue.

If one person says "Switzerland is pretty", anothe says "I love Swiss cheese" and a third says "Shops shut on Sundays" then one can easily say there are more positive posts than negative ones. If the final comment generates 100 replies on the same subject, it's STILL a positive forum, it's just that the single negative post generated more noise. But many people will suddenly say how negative the forum is. And start other threads saying so.

Long post, I know, but nearly every internet forum works the same way, and nearly every one ends up in meta discussions like this. And I wanted to have my say ;)
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Old 04.07.2010, 12:11
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

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On the "repetitive questions" thing : The internet is NOT real life. When you meet a group of people in a bar, cafe or wherever and ask whether the slary you're about to accept is a good one, people will all at once start giving their opinion. They'll interrupt themselves and quickly get to some kind of consensus.

On the internet, on forums such as this, it's possible to search previous conversations. Technology. So why not use it? Also, when people post, they have the opportunity to keep writing what they think and no one can interrupt. People can scan the post, but the entire post is written and submitted. So it quickly becomes very repetitive.

In other words, internet and real life is not the same, so expect people to be bollocked for not doing a search before asking a question. When doing maths, you don't sit there with pen and paper, with a calculator right next to you, but when you get stuck you phone a friend and ask him/her to use their calculator to help you.
Well, it's true. But while I absolutely agree with you and get annoyed by people who show up and expect to get info pour into their heads without any effort nor contributing themselves, or are too lazy to google, search here and what not, think that the old timers patrol here to just advise and parent the newbies, I also know people who are not used to talking online and live mainly offline. They are not familiar with the netiquette and expect to be a tiny bit walked through the technology bit, I am not an expert on netiquette either and have to confess like it that way, I would feel a complete nerd to be a master of it. Or people just simply do not know how to search efficiently, I don't know why but I had troubles using the search button myself when I first showed up here, the links I got at the beginning weren't helpful. To have info on one topic spread up over dozens of threads is kinda pointless so it is good to continue a thread, people just need enough IT IQ for that. I do think that the stickies should be shoved people's faces a lot more, though.
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Last edited by MusicChick; 04.07.2010 at 17:16.
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Old 04.07.2010, 12:19
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

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Agreed, but most forums (and I expect this one does too, although as someone who has used forums before I of course never read it) give a welcome email to people pointing out that they should "lurk" a bit first, get to know how it works, search for info etc etc.

In other words, they register for this forum and get sent some instructions. People who haven't used internet forums before are most likely to go "oo, what's this? I'll read it", surely? So they should be a bit aware of how to behave.

Plus, this being an expat forum makes it slightly different. Many people spend large parts of their day either conversing with people who don't speak totally fluent English, or spend that time speaking in a second langauge they themselves aren't totally fluent in.

So expat forums tend to also be used by people finally being able to let their wit and verbal dexterity show. For example, my French colleague is now beginning to understand my dry sense of humour but it still takes him a few minutes of thinking before he suddenly bursts out laughing. And by then I've forgotten what I said ;)
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Old 04.07.2010, 12:31
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

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Agreed, but most forums (and I expect this one does too, although as someone who has used forums before I of course never read it) give a welcome email to people pointing out that they should "lurk" a bit first, get to know how it works, search for info etc etc.

In other words, they register for this forum and get sent some instructions. People who haven't used internet forums before are most likely to go "oo, what's this? I'll read it", surely? So they should be a bit aware of how to behave.

Plus, this being an expat forum makes it slightly different. Many people spend large parts of their day either conversing with people who don't speak totally fluent English, or spend that time speaking in a second langauge they themselves aren't totally fluent in.

So expat forums tend to also be used by people finally being able to let their wit and verbal dexterity show. For example, my French colleague is now beginning to understand my dry sense of humour but it still takes him a few minutes of thinking before he suddenly bursts out laughing. And by then I've forgotten what I said
Haha, at least he laughs and you don't get those blank stares after a joke you throw in....

I think, the newcomers would actually take things a lot better if they got a welcome note summarizing a bit what is expected from posters, I have to say there are 2-3 rules expected from people who cotribute so it would not be a large message (no vulgarites, trolling, search to add up to consiting threads, contribute..). People do not read stickies. The newbies would also take the "go google, read stickie, go intro yourself first, search the forum" way better and not get all so wrapped up in feeling hurt if people would actually add a little "as per forum regulations, stickies, etc." right in front of the "go search" first. I know. Some people need things spelled, especially those who don't spend too much time online. But for some, it is not embarrassing to ask a silly question rather than some time (a lot of time for some not so PC literate) of getting frustrated with their own inability. It's not a big deal for some to be laughed at, but I do know some who hate it, so maybe for those the spelled out rules save the confusion.
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Old 04.07.2010, 14:59
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

NIce post everyone,

That was the point of this thread. Not about the repetitive questions but basic things that you can find out.

Ex whre is the best kebap in Zurich.....Well go and have a look then.
Where do I buy measuring cups....go into any store
My neighbor yelled at me...what do I do
How do I meet a chick in the bar....

Im not intenting on visa questions or things like that as answers are many times unclear. BU the common things that you need on the "street" to get by from day to day and have a social life.
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Old 04.07.2010, 16:40
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

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... the common things that you need on the "street" to get by from day to day and have a social life.
Thank goodness not everyone is the same, what a boring world this would be if everyone was.
What I am trying to say is what might be "common street smarts" to 95% of us, there are still the 5% who are still out of the "loop" and need help.
I say good on them for asking - and hope they get their answers, or even better, shown how to find their answers.

We are like snowflakes each and everyone of us unique.
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Old 04.07.2010, 17:23
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

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NIce post everyone,

That was the point of this thread. Not about the repetitive questions but basic things that you can find out.

Ex whre is the best kebap in Zurich.....Well go and have a look then.
Where do I buy measuring cups....go into any store
My neighbor yelled at me...what do I do
How do I meet a chick in the bar....

Im not intenting on visa questions or things like that as answers are many times unclear. BU the common things that you need on the "street" to get by from day to day and have a social life.
You're still stuck on this?

You really can NOT simply go into "any" store here for measuring cups. Not only can you not to that here, you can't do that in the US either.
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Old 04.07.2010, 17:27
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Re: Is this the first time you are out?

Yeah, haha, nice large font and color..I noticed that thread too. I am not sure why would somebody want to give a measuring cup looking poster this little "lesson"..Been here too long?
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