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  #101  
Old 14.04.2008, 12:05
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Re: How do people live here?!

In Switzerland the rental amount is calculated to be 1/3 of your monthly salary. This will give you the reality of what you can get for your earnings. As somebody mentioned, you sometimes have to move a little further out of the center (i don't know where you will be living) where rents are cheaper. It sometimes takes quite a while to find a good place. If you have a relocation package get them to help you find something as they are used to catering for expats. I helped a friend find an apartment the other day it had a great view 4 bedrooms huge living 50m2 for 4'500chf but no washing machine. One day a week! Usually people will share their days with you!
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  #102  
Old 14.04.2008, 12:53
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Re: How do people live here?!

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To Colin:

I'm curious, why did you groan at my post to TexasMomma? What did I write that was so groanworthy to you? I gave her my honest assessment of life here and what to expect, I didn't speak disparagingly about the locals (or anyone else) as many here are wont to do, and it would appear that she, at least, found my information helpful.

FWIW, I choose to reserve my groans for posts that are personally insulting or inflammatory, not for differences of opinion or some other petty peeve.
I agree; I thought it was a well thought-out and balanced post from someone who's done just what the OP is concerned about. I actually had to re-read it to find what the groan might be for - but frankly I don't know.
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  #103  
Old 14.04.2008, 13:26
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Re: How do people live here?!

My best guess is that the groan was a stray click of the mouse, and probably not intentional.
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  #104  
Old 14.04.2008, 14:00
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Re: How do people live here?!

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My best guess is that the groan was a stray click of the mouse, and probably not intentional.
If that's the case, then he should remove his groan, because it was completely unwarranted. Or he should offer an explanation. Perhaps he has a legitimate reason, perhaps something I said rubbed him the wrong way. Either way, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
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  #105  
Old 14.04.2008, 15:56
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Re: How do people live here?!

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If that's the case, then he should remove his groan, because it was completely unwarranted. Or he should offer an explanation. Perhaps he has a legitimate reason, perhaps something I said rubbed him the wrong way. Either way, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

could be. Either that or some people are sensitive about expats or Swiss not buying things locally. That is all I could think of.
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  #106  
Old 14.04.2008, 21:40
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Re: How do people live here?!

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could be. Either that or some people are sensitive about expats or Swiss not buying things locally. That is all I could think of.
You know, D, that thought had occurred to me, but for someone to get ticked off about it would be judgmental and presumptuous of them. Numerous members here have discussed their purchases from abroad. Why pick on me? I'm not the only one guilty of buying elsewhere. I also know plenty of Swiss who regularly go to Germany for shopping and even to have dental work done because it's cheaper.

TexasMomma has three children, and I would imagine she is as interested as anyone else in trying to save money. For anyone used to US prices for clothing (high or low end), it can be shocking to see what shops here charge. Just as an example, I purchased a dress from Saks Fifth Avenue for $195. Nothing fancy, just a day dress that would be suitable for the office. I saw the same exact dress at Grieder in Zurich for 640 CHF. Um, I don't know about you, but I'm not going to spend 640 CHF at Grieder just to avoid offending someone who thinks I should buy locally. Unless that person is willing to transfer finances into my bank account, they are no position to tell me how and where to buy.

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  #107  
Old 14.04.2008, 22:25
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Re: How do people live here?!

give us your web address if's that good, I will buy online as well for that difference in price!!
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  #108  
Old 15.04.2008, 13:03
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Re: How do people live here?!

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give us your web address if's that good, I will buy online as well for that difference in price!!
I made the purchase when I was in NY. But their web address is www.saksfifthavenue.com. You can't place online orders from outside the US, but if you see an item you want, call them and they will tell you how much you need to pay for shipping. I've never ordered anything from them and had it shipped here. I would imagine shipping would be expensive and then there would probably be duties to pay, too
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  #109  
Old 15.04.2008, 13:30
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Re: How do people live here?!

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I found your comments very helpful for someone that would just be moving here. If this type of information


Try not to take it personally, but it is just the general lack of manners
that is fairly pervasive.
Well, compared to Texas the above statement is true in my experience (8 yrs TX, 1 yr working in downtown ZH and living in the 'burbs). A general lack of manners is pervasive in and around Zurich. People will bump into you, run you over with bikes and shopping carts, step on your and your kids' feet, push you out of the way, and all without the least sign of regret. They just don't care. The words "oops" or "I am sorry" (or "xkse" or "t'schuldigung") seem conspicuously absent from the Swiss vocabulary.
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  #110  
Old 15.04.2008, 15:12
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Re: How do people live here?!

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Just for comparisons sake, Switzerland is really not that crowded. There are 7 million people in Switzerland whereas the Netherlands, which is the same size has over 16 million.

Am I the only person who doesn't think Switzlerand is crowded?
About 60% of Switzerland is "uninhabitable" as its only mountains -so if you consider that actual useful space is quite limited population density is high. Just look around you while driving on the highways - you won't find a single spot in all of Switzerland where there's no next house or village in sight.
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  #111  
Old 15.04.2008, 15:19
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Re: How do people live here?!

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Well, compared to Texas the above statement is true in my experience (8 yrs TX, 1 yr working in downtown ZH and living in the 'burbs). A general lack of manners is pervasive in and around Zurich. People will bump into you, run you over with bikes and shopping carts, step on your and your kids' feet, push you out of the way, and all without the least sign of regret. They just don't care. The words "oops" or "I am sorry" (or "xkse" or "t'schuldigung") seem conspicuously absent from the Swiss vocabulary.
Well, there is also the attitude that you shouldn't stand in the way and be alert to your surroundings. What is it with people deciding to converge in passageways or just come to a sudden stop after leaving the tram? As for those first "tiny child gets out of the tram by itself" moments, rush hour is just not the time to do it and ESPECIALLY not at Hauptbahnhof where people tend to want to run for trains.

I'm patient and nice when not in a rush but when in a rush, if you don't get out of the way after I've shouted xgsi in your general direction (and are able bodied), well, it's not my problem.
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  #112  
Old 15.04.2008, 15:36
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Re: How do people live here?!

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Well, there is also the attitude that you shouldn't stand in the way and be alert to your surroundings. What is it with people deciding to converge in passageways or just come to a sudden stop after leaving the tram? As for those first "tiny child gets out of the tram by itself" moments, rush hour is just not the time to do it and ESPECIALLY not at Hauptbahnhof where people tend to want to run for trains.

I'm patient and nice when not in a rush but when in a rush, if you don't get out of the way after I've shouted xgsi in your general direction (and are able bodied), well, it's not my problem.

I am amazed always at how unaware most Zurichers are about there surroundings when walking. I lived in NYC and had to walk through Times Square twice a day for my 8 years there. I have been bumped into many more times here than ever there. People seem to be asleep when they walk here - I think it has something to do with pedestrians always having the right away and thus walking around in trance while window shopping.
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  #113  
Old 15.04.2008, 15:42
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Re: How do people live here?!

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- I think it has something to do with pedestrians always having the right away
I have noticed that when you get to a pedestrian crossing how cars now seem to stop straight away and was informed that now there are strict fines if you do not stop to let people walk over the road. If 2 people take down your number you are in trouble.
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  #114  
Old 15.04.2008, 16:04
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Re: How do people live here?!

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I am amazed always at how unaware most Zurichers are about there surroundings when walking. I lived in NYC and had to walk through Times Square twice a day for my 8 years there. I have been bumped into many more times here than ever there. People seem to be asleep when they walk here - I think it has something to do with pedestrians always having the right away and thus walking around in trance while window shopping.
I don't think that Swiss people constantly bump into each other - so it must be something with you behaving/moving differently than they do causing some "frictions". Being European I also frequently thought "people here must be nuts" when I lived in the US (e.g., general level of obediance towards people wearing uniforms)
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  #115  
Old 15.04.2008, 16:38
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Re: How do people live here?!

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I don't think that Swiss people constantly bump into each other - so it must be something with you behaving/moving differently than they do causing some "frictions".
I think I'd agree with this. When I came here I bumped into people quite a lot at first; after about two months it decreased to more normal levels (i.e. still happens occasionally, but only when one or the other of us is seriously distracted.) Then when I went home for Christmas I found myself bumping into people there instead!

I suspect there's some difference in signaling (do you maintain eye contact? use your eyes to indicate which direction you're going to shift?) but I never did figure out what it was - just unconsciously adapted, I suppose. If anyone else has cracked the code I'd love to hear about it!
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  #116  
Old 15.04.2008, 17:03
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Re: How do people live here?!

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I lived in NYC and had to walk through Times Square twice a day for my 8 years there.
To/from Hell's Kitchen by any chance?

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I have been bumped into many more times here than ever there. People seem to be asleep when they walk here..
I'd have to agree with this. I've had to bark *Faite Attention* more than a few times to avoid being hit or run into. People here don't seem to have a concept of what smooth crowd flow is. It's almost as if they think they're the only one occupying the street/pavement/shop/train, etc.

Last edited by latigresse; 28.04.2008 at 15:07.
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  #117  
Old 15.04.2008, 18:00
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Re: How do people live here?!

Hello,

Everything really is bigger in Texas :} We just moved here about 1 month ago and we have had a huge issue with the housing. If you look outside the main areas you can find some larger places (Villas, duplex, etc. ) but the laundry things is crazy. Blonay is a good place, and Fribourg.

There are no public laundry facilities to use while you wait on a place so we have been in a hotel and washing clothes in the sink and borrowing co-workers scheduled time in their buildings. So yes, they really have only ceartain days you can do Laundry, but some places if you are lucky may have a machine in the unit. Best thing is get a place before you get here. What type of permit are you coming on and are you coming with a company or as a consultant?

I have all kinds of good info to share if you want to chat shoot me an email. carlylamb@yahoo.com. When will you be coming? I know of a larger place in Blonay that will be available soon.

Carly
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  #118  
Old 15.04.2008, 18:15
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Re: How do people live here?!

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People will bump into you, run you over with bikes and shopping carts, step on your and your kids' feet, push you out of the way, and all without the least sign of regret. They just don't care. The words "oops" or "I am sorry" (or "xkse" or "t'schuldigung") seem conspicuously absent from the Swiss vocabulary.
I know where you're coming from but this isn't a particularly Swiss trait. I spent the weekend in Paris and encountered exactly the same problem. Spend an hour walking around London - it's full of people ready to knock you off your feet or cyclists and cab drivers just waiting for the slightest lapse of attention. Cities are all the same. Overcrowded, impatient in a rush. Other people are just obstacles. Nobody can queue for more than a second. Everybody's a stranger so why bother being civil? And then maybe it's because there are no rules for pedestrians. No highway code; no mirror, signal manoeuvre; no tickets for exceeding the recommended pedestrian pace; no expensive visit to the car repair shop if you collide with another pedestrian. And if you do make an effort it's not always appreciated. I stepped into the gutter at the weekend to let a youngish woman pass me on a narrow pavement. And did I get any thanks? NOPE. Actually it's the older generation do appreciate courtesy a bit more than others. Sadly, no-one teaches manners anymore. I'm going to continue to be civil in the street especially to women and the elderly - because I would feel bad if I wasn't. But one last point - don't assume the person bumping into you is Swiss. In Geneva or Zurich it could easily be a foreigner.
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  #119  
Old 15.04.2008, 18:26
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Re: How do people live here?!

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I know where you're coming from but this isn't a particularly Swiss trait. I spent the weekend in Paris and encountered exactly the same problem. Spend an hour walking around London - it's full of people ready to knock you off your feet or cyclists and cab drivers just waiting for the slightest lapse of attention. Cities are all the same. Overcrowded, impatient in a rush. Other people are just obstacles. Nobody can queue for more than a second. Everybody's a stranger so why bother being civil? And then maybe it's because there are no rules for pedestrians. No highway code; no mirror, signal manoeuvre; no tickets for exceeding the recommended pedestrian pace; no expensive visit to the car repair shop if you collide with another pedestrian. And if you do make an effort it's not always appreciated. I stepped into the gutter at the weekend to let a youngish woman pass me on a narrow pavement. And did I get any thanks? NOPE. Actually it's the older generation do appreciate courtesy a bit more than others. Sadly, no-one teaches manners anymore. I'm going to continue to be civil in the street especially to women and the elderly - because I would feel bad if I wasn't. But one last point - don't assume the person bumping into you is Swiss. In Geneva or Zurich it could easily be a foreigner.
The sad fact is, as I have found over the last 8 years, if you are overly polite and civil you end up missing out, either finding yourself at the back of a queue or missing a tram, for example. In a way, you have to "go-local" and if you feel bad about that, apologise loudly as you elbow people out of the way.

I used to take the packed No.5 tram to get to my old job and more than once stood back to allow the elderly, school kids or mums with kids to get on before me only to find they didn't bother filling up the empty aisles on the tram, preferring to crowd around the door and not batting an eye when the tram doors closed in my face leaving me standing there at the tram stop like a lemon.

As soon as you start going with the flow, your "pedestrian management skills" improve.
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  #120  
Old 15.04.2008, 18:26
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Re: How do people live here?!

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I don't think that Swiss people constantly bump into each other - so it must be something with you behaving/moving differently than they do causing some "frictions". Being European I also frequently thought "people here must be nuts" when I lived in the US (e.g., general level of obediance towards people wearing uniforms)

I wouldn't say it is constant just more likely. I need to integrate my walking style, maybe slow down a bit.
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