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  #161  
Old 01.07.2011, 11:31
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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Yes MathNut,

And we're connected by a common language, media and press, and cultural relativity.

Your "point" is completely moot and invalid.

Cultural relevance supersedes any geographical distance, as evidenced right here on these forums.

And the little fact that Police in Texas are pretty much exactly the same in training, philosophy, and agenda as in Ohio, California, or Florida.

But interestingly...cross the border into Canada and what? Wow, their mounties are actually quite different from ours...hmm, who would have thought it!?

And let's not even talk about crossing the border into Mexco, shall we not?

But crossing the border into Oklahoma? Well then, look at this...

Just like back home.

And it's not just police, it's most things. Especially governmental things, but also most cultural things too.

But, thanks for the input MathNut, hope you made someone proud.
Nope. Total BS. Police training is a departmental matter. No reason in the world that it need be the same in two adjacent towns, let alone different states.

But suppose for the sake of argument that you're right, US police really are the same everywhere. If police are the same everywhere, this sort of thing should be happening everywhere. So fine. Take your county - or a three-county area around you, if that's what it takes - either a 15,000-square-mile area or an area with population of 7 million, whichever you like, centered on your current residence.

Now compare the police brutality and corruption you read about in that area to what you read about in Switzerland.

Even that's flawed: you're a local reading local media, you have access to stories that don't go national - whereas only a small portion of Swiss news ever gets published on the Internet, let alone translated to English - but it's at least reasonable. Comparing the whole US to a country the size of Maryland, based on your impression of the level of news reportage from five thousand miles away, is just absurd.

Of course more reasonable still would be for me to insist on some actual statistics, and make snarky remarks about the plural of "anecdote" and what that plural is not, but I'm not going to do that. Heaven forbid.
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  #162  
Old 01.07.2011, 11:33
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Yes, I absolutely am.

Your abnormal psychology filled in all the most convenient gaps in your mis-perception of who I am and what I'm after, because comically enough, all the reasons you like living in CH are the same reasons I want to move there and raise a family.

And yet, because I have no issue with drug users being treated as patients and not inmates, or allowing men and women to have sex with whichever consenting adults they so chose, and because I believe in CH's direct democracy, and that there's a favorable international business climate, and that the environment there is beautiful and well cared for...

...after all that, I'M the one that doesn;t know anything about CH.

LOL.

Man you people are great, really. Keep up the good work, I'm certain the locals you're saving from my presence thank you profusely.

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You couldn't be further from the truth. I love living in Switzerland. I love the way of life here, I love the fact that I know my neighbours, I love the fact that there is hardly any crime where I live, I love the fact that the country is still embedded in the 1950s.

You see, unlike you, I'm a conservative kind of chap. I believe in law and order. I don't have a problem with my neighbours checking my rubbish bags and leaving notes in the washroom, because I have nothing to hide, and am prepared to accept that this is the way things are in Switzerland.

Earlier in the thread, you declared that you are something of a social libertarian. If that means you value the Anglo-Saxon notion of individual liberty, then you are going to have a very hard time here, as Economisto and others explained above. I don't care about individual liberty, as I'm quite prepared to abide by the (very, very extensive) rules of conduct in Swiss society.

I'm old fashioned like that. Are you?
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  #163  
Old 01.07.2011, 11:35
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Yeah, well I've already caught flak for illustrating my point about police corruption from other members so you're welcome to go on thinking whatever you want about the pathetic state of public affairs here.

Hell, it's actually WONDERFUL here, you should move back and I can take over the rent on your flat, how about that.

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Nope. Total BS. Police training is a departmental matter. No reason in the world that it need be the same in two adjacent towns, let alone different states.

But suppose for the sake of argument that you're right, US police really are the same everywhere. If police are the same everywhere, this sort of thing should be happening everywhere. So fine. Take your county - or a three-county area around you, if that's what it takes - either a 15,000-square-mile area or an area with population of 7 million, whichever you like, centered on your current residence.

Now compare the police brutality and corruption you read about in that area to what you read about in Switzerland.

Even that's flawed: you're a local reading local media, you have access to stories that don't go national - whereas only a small portion of Swiss news ever gets published on the Internet, let alone translated to English - but it's at least reasonable. Comparing the whole US to a country the size of Maryland, based on your impression of the level of news reportage from five thousand miles away, is just absurd.

Of course more reasonable still would be for me to insist on some actual statistics, and make snarky remarks about the plural of "anecdote" and what that plural is not, but I'm not going to do that. Heaven forbid.
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  #164  
Old 01.07.2011, 11:40
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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There's more than a few people here who's reading comprehension could use some work, as I never said I make $50k salary a year. If you had any modicum of business sense (or indeed, reading comprehension) you would have seen that I only "pay" myself $50k out of approximately $120-130k of business income a year, for TAX PURPOSES. The remaining $70-odd-grand doesn't just dry up and disappear. It's still my money!

Then there's the fact that everyone's cost of living calculations here are outrageously inflated. Blame your psychology on that one, but at any rate, not everyone in CH is a blazing tycoon making hundreds of thousands of USD worth of CHF. From reading other, much more level headed and dare I say much more sapient, sources, it's actually quite possible to live in CH with $50k USD a year.

In Zurich? no. Not in any of the main cities. And y'know, even if I did ONLY make $50k/yr, I'd welcome a Swiss commute if I had to live some distance from the city.

The fact that I run my business from a home office also means I really do not have any worries about the location, as long as it appeals to me.

And activism in America?

Heh, you've been gone too long. Too, too long.

Come back here for a year or two and spout off about activism and it's usefulness in the USA...

1). If you think "minimizing" the taxs on 120k is being business savvy youre wrong. They dont want tax cheats in Switzerland and thats what they will lable you as. Talk to your "High priced lawyer" about that.

2). If we are so dumb about business then why does everyone make so much more money than you? No wait, why is it we are in CH and you are still in TX?

3). If you think you can live in CH on $50k a year please file for a prenuptial ASAP. Because when you move here your wife will leave you my friend.

4). I live 30 min from Zurich. It dont get any cheaper and the neighbors become twice as nosey. And what you are dreaming of saving in rent by living in the country? You will pay twice that in gas costs.

4). The fact you "run your own business" and make less than $1mn a year means the Swiss wont let you in. Most real business owners make a minimum $1mn before they are let in. The best example being AI who has a law that business owners can move there for only $50k a year in taxs provided they can employ 8 people or more.

5). You sound very bitter my friend. Perhaps you should start trying to give back to your community and being a positive person? You seem to have just given up.
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  #165  
Old 01.07.2011, 11:51
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Re: Greetings from Texas

1.) I'm in the USA, not CH. I will take advantage of every legal tax advantage available to me. When I move to CH, I will deal with their tax laws in the same way: maximize my profits, minimize costs. If there are legal tax discounts I can take, I will take them. I do no different here. Your point is invalidated.

2.) Yes, because everything I've read here from you negative people just SCREAMS "professionalism and business acumen," certainly...

3.) Yes, I certainly plan to move to CH and charge the SAME price in USD to all my European clients...yes, I'm fully willing to take a 50% paycut but NOT updating my fees for local cost of living. Yes, absolutely...

4.) Would you like a crystal ball to compliment your prescience? Fact is, people get into CH with less money than I have in my checking account. Money isn't everything. Not even to the Swiss authorities, and yes I know what I'm talking about.

5.) Please, come. Vote in our elections...


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1). If you think "minimizing" the taxs on 120k is being business savvy youre wrong. They dont want tax cheats in Switzerland and thats what they will lable you as. Talk to your "High priced lawyer" about that.

2). If we are so dumb about business then why does everyone make so much more money than you? No wait, why is it we are in CH and you are still in TX?

3). If you think you can live in CH on $50k a year please file for a prenuptial ASAP. Because when you move here your wife will leave you my friend.

4). I live 30 min from Zurich. It dont get any cheaper and the neighbors become twice as nosey. And what you are dreaming of saving in rent by living in the country? You will pay twice that in gas costs.

4). The fact you "run your own business" and make less than $1mn a year means the Swiss wont let you in. Most real business owners make a minimum $1mn before they are let in. The best example being AI who has a law that business owners can move there for only $50k a year in taxs provided they can employ 8 people or more.

5). You sound very bitter my friend. Perhaps you should start trying to give back to your community and being a positive person? You seem to have just given up.
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  #166  
Old 01.07.2011, 11:57
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Well, that's all for me tonight. It's very early here.

Also, I've unfortunately begun to sink to the low level of the negativity squad here...

I will refrain from posting in this thread again until there is some positive discourse going on about something meaningful and worthwhile. This does not include discussions about:

- Cost of living
- Permit difficulties
- Nosy neighbors
- Miscreant personal attacks

Thank you.
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  #167  
Old 01.07.2011, 12:06
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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This does not include discussions about:

- Cost of living
- Permit difficulties
- Nosy neighbors
- Miscreant personal attacks

Thank you.
Ha Ha! He is going to succeed here. All he has to do is ignore anything that might get in his way..... I just hope he doesnt sell his house before he spends atleast 3 months here. Id even let this guy stay at one of my places.
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  #168  
Old 01.07.2011, 12:07
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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I will refrain from posting in this thread again until there is some positive discourse going on about something meaningful and worthwhile. This does not include discussions about:

- Cost of living
- Permit difficulties
- Nosy neighbors
...
Thank you.
In other words, anything that actually matters about living in a foreign country.

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  #169  
Old 01.07.2011, 12:10
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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There's more than a few people here who's reading comprehension could use some work, as I never said I make $50k salary a year. If you had any modicum of business sense (or indeed, reading comprehension) you would have seen that I only "pay" myself $50k out of approximately $120-130k of business income a year, for TAX PURPOSES. The remaining $70-odd-grand doesn't just dry up and disappear. It's still my money!

Then there's the fact that everyone's cost of living calculations here are outrageously inflated. Blame your psychology on that one, but at any rate, not everyone in CH is a blazing tycoon making hundreds of thousands of USD worth of CHF. From reading other, much more level headed and dare I say much more sapient, sources, it's actually quite possible to live in CH with $50k USD a year.
No worries, I've got self-employed family members so I recognized the tax dodge straight off. You can live here on 120K and support your family, quite nicely if you are content to live out in the boonies. You will be living in an apartment though, not a house (no shame in this, 85% of Switzerland lives in apartments, there's not such a home-ownership culture here) and if both of you work from home and the kid is homeschooled you will have almost zero opportunity for making friends, building a local support network, getting to grips with the local language. (You didn't mention which one you are learning but Swiss German is quite a different animal from High German - most Germans who move here have trouble at first.)

It's going to be rough, and for you I am worried that it's going to stay rough, because you are closing yourself off to the processes by which it normally gets easier (making local friends through work and school, becoming competent in the local dialect.)

The fact is, if you want to get local work you will have to be based in or around one of the major cities. Nobody out in Booneyville needs a website, or if they do there is already someone in the village who does it - maybe not as well as you would do it - but who is known and trusted, and related to half the village which matters as well. Switzerland's a great place but it does have a very 50s/60s mentality: a lot of things you would probably consider mildly corrupt are just the normal way of doing business here. They don't get reported because they don't strike anybody here as abnormal or worth reporting. You have a job you want done, you want to give it to somebody you know and trust - and who do you know and trust better than your cousin? So you let him help write the job description so that he is the only person in town who fits it.

(All of this is assuming you get a permit in the first place. For a non-EU freelancer this is a long shot at best. Honestly, if you really want to live here, your best bet is ditch the self-employment for a few years and find a Swiss company to hire you.)

So -
-- to make the most out of your $120K you need to live out in the country. However this nearly excludes the possibility of getting any local work, meaning you are stuck on $120K and if any of those accounts dry up or the dollar continues to fall, you're in trouble. It also means fewer services in English, a more impenetrable local dialect, more small-time xenophobia and generally speaking a longer, rougher road to integration. Integration, or perceived integration, is a major component of your shot at citizenship, especially in rural areas. You don't become a citizen of Switzerland, you become a citizen of a village, and if they perceive you as living in your own little family bubble you may not get it. Would be a shame to move over here for the democracy, wait 10-12 years for your opportunity to participate and then be turned away.
-- if you move to a big city, $120K for a family of three will not go that far. You'll survive just fine but your standard of living will be drastically reduced (and those mountains and crystal streams will be that much further away.) Competition is tough for freelance web design so don't count on being able to supplement your income right away. (On the bright side, at least there is some competition in cities - 'Hans-Fridli's daughter who is good with computers' doesn't have the market stitched up.)
-- either way you will not be living near as high on the hog as you are now. If that's OK with you, it's OK with me. I just don't want you to have any nasty surprises.
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  #170  
Old 01.07.2011, 12:23
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Re: Greetings from Texas

I really don't mean to post again to the overtly hostile posters here that have been attacking me, but I just simply CANNOT understand one thing:

How or why in the HECK do they think I'm going to move to CH, sit in my house all day every day like a hermit, cloister my kid(s) from all of society their entire lives, never adjust my fees to CHF, never expand my business to generate a higher level of income, break the tax laws if it's convenient, and generally make life as absolutely difficult on myself as I can in a foreign country?

I can come to only one conclusion, and I ask the forgiveness of all the honorable board member here for what I'm about to say:

They are simply retarded.
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Old 01.07.2011, 12:24
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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If you had any modicum of business sense (or indeed, reading comprehension) you would have seen that I only "pay" myself $50k out of approximately $120-130k of business income a year, for TAX PURPOSES. The remaining $70-odd-grand doesn't just dry up and disappear. It's still my money!
.
LIKE BOSS!

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  #172  
Old 01.07.2011, 12:26
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Re: Greetings from Texas

I've been following this thread and I am actually under the impression that the OP could move here, join the SVP, and have a very happy life. He is motivated, driven, led by 'facts' of a certain nature and prepared to defend them no matter what comes his way.
He is on one hand open minded, and on the other, the only person who could possibly be right and his opinions and viewpoints supersede all because CH is the best.
I think Blocher should send him a lunch invitation.
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  #173  
Old 01.07.2011, 12:27
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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I really don't mean to post again to the overtly hostile posters here that have been attacking me, but I just simply CANNOT understand one thing:

How or why in the HECK do they think I'm going to move to CH, sit in my house all day every day like a hermit, cloister my kid(s) from all of society their entire lives, never adjust my fees to CHF, never expand my business to generate a higher level of income, break the tax laws if it's convenient, and generally make life as absolutely difficult on myself as I can in a foreign country?
Because we understand how Switzerland works, and can see the mismatch between what you have told us about the way you do things, and the way things are done here.

But don't mind us.

We only live here.

Any good articles on the Federal Agency for Political Education's website today?
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Old 01.07.2011, 12:31
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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I really don't mean to post again to the overtly hostile posters here that have been attacking me, but I just simply CANNOT understand one thing:

How or why in the HECK do they think I'm going to move to CH, sit in my house all day every day like a hermit, cloister my kid(s) from all of society their entire lives, never adjust my fees to CHF, never expand my business to generate a higher level of income, break the tax laws if it's convenient, and generally make life as absolutely difficult on myself as I can in a foreign country?

I can come to only one conclusion, and I ask the forgiveness of all the honorable board member here for what I'm about to say:

They are simply retarded.
Switzerland is not a social country. If your child does home schooling she is fuct. If you work from home they are going to think youre the unibomber.

All the people I know building websites in CH do it just until they get a real job. They are all college students. I think what the other guys is saying is true. You should try to get a real job before you move here. They will get you your B permit and maybe relocate you? Unless you wish to compete with college students the rest of your life?
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  #175  
Old 01.07.2011, 12:42
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Ah, you all win.

No moving to Switzerland for me. Your little FUD campaign is effective. I'm scared now. Thanks for showing me what a horrible, scary place CH is. I'm glad I'm no longer a fool looking to emigrate to a country that is simply IMPOSSIBLE in every-way.

Whew, what a relief.
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Old 01.07.2011, 12:46
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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Ah, you all win.

No moving to Switzerland for me. Your little FUD campaign is effective. I'm scared now. Thanks for showing me what a horrible, scary place CH is. I'm glad I'm no longer a fool looking to emigrate to a country that is simply IMPOSSIBLE in every-way.

Whew, what a relief.
I cant wait till your wife divorces you! I havent watched TV in 10 years. But if I could watch your move to Switzerland on TV Id do it.

Just please do this. Print out this entire thread. Fold it up. Put it in an Envelope. And once you have been here for 3 months open it back up. Have a read....... And have a very good laugh. You will need it by then.
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  #177  
Old 01.07.2011, 13:01
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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I really don't mean to post again to the overtly hostile posters here that have been attacking me, but I just simply CANNOT understand one thing:

How or why in the HECK do they think I'm going to move to CH, sit in my house all day every day like a hermit, cloister my kid(s) from all of society their entire lives, never adjust my fees to CHF, never expand my business to generate a higher level of income, break the tax laws if it's convenient, and generally make life as absolutely difficult on myself as I can in a foreign country?

I can come to only one conclusion, and I ask the forgiveness of all the honorable board member here for what I'm about to say:

They are simply retarded.
You're the one talking about working from home and homeschooling, not me. Aside from breaking tax laws which I haven't accused you of wanting to do, it does sound to me as though you are setting out to make life difficult for yourself. I can only assume this is inadvertent, which is why I keep trying to offer advice; if I thought you were knowingly going about this move the hard way, I'd keep my nose to myself and let you get on with it.

Look, I was homeschooled, absolutely loved it, am the first to declare that homeschooling doesn't mean locking kids in an ivory tower. If I were raising kids in the US I would probably homeschool them myself. BUT I would not do it here, as an immigrant. If the kid's going to grow up Swiss she needs all the Swissness you can give her: Swiss German as early as possible (and on that salary you won't be able to hire a Swiss nanny, so playgroup-and-then-school it is) lifelong friends made in kindergarten (very important to the Swiss) and shared cultural experience. She won't grow up feeling very American, no matter what you do, and the last thing you want is for her to feel that sense of not really belonging anywhere. You want to supplement her education at home, by all means do so (e.g. teaching her to read and write English, encouraging all sorts of bookish hobbies) but do send her to the local school.

As for work, I believe you intend to land European work but you seem to me to be significantly underestimating the difficulty. For example, you mentioned an opinion early on that there are "not many professional web design companies" in Zürich, and I can tell you for a fact that's false. If you don't know that about your target market, what else don't you know? I'm not picking on you, I'm just saying further research is required. Your optimism may or not turn out to be misplaced, but it is definitely ill-grounded at this point. Further research is required.

Most small businesses fail. You're self-employed, you know that, I don't have to tell you. So what's Plan B if you find you can't make a go of it in Switzerland? Why, pick yourself back up and start over, of course. My point is, it's much easier starting over again in (a) your own country; (b) a country where you speak the language; (c) a country where you have family; (d) a country where if all else fails and you need to work as a shoe salesman for a few months to pay the bills, you can work as a shoe salesman. In Switzerland you can't, unless you've done a high school apprenticeship in retail sales. (Did you know that? If not, what else don't you know?)

I'm not trying to scare you, just pointing out that you don't know enough yet about doing business here to be considering this move in practical terms. Switzerland "has a good business climate", yes, but that doesn't mean it is uniformly good for every type and size of business. Come on, you seem like a smart guy so use your noggin. It's a fantastic dream but further research is required.
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  #178  
Old 01.07.2011, 13:56
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Re: Greetings from Texas

*sigh* Why is it that soooo many of the threads started by Americans go the same way. First there’s the I-am-coming-to Switzerland introduction in which the reasons for moving to Switzerland are given, usually a portrait of paradise on earth. Then there are the (mostly, but not all, well-meaning) responses from EFers pointing out cultural differences (of which there are many and most people are not aware of), legal barriers (permits etc, which are trickier than most people outside of Switzerland are aware of) and practical issues (expenses, apartments, schools, etc), all of which can make life difficult when coming here and should be well considered before making the move. The next step is thanking some of the posters and increasing defensiveness. As the EFers continue along the same vein, the American suddenly sees a raging conspiracy driven by bitter ex-pats seeking to prevent anyone from partaking in their right to the Swiss dream. It is always so black and white; you’re either with me or against me. The posts degenerate into a you-don’t-know-anything and I-know-it-all kind of battle, which no one can ever win because all of us know some stuff and none of us knows everything (no matter how many links to articles, studies, interviews or Wikipedia are given).

The funny thing is that the Americans who want to come here always complain about the same things in the US and emphasize how different they are from the masses who are driving the US into ruin. And yet….. Generally they seem to be disassociated from the political process, meaning they have a certain amount of responsibility for the state of the country as it is a democracy. Much more serious, their approach to discussions is exactly the same as the general tenor in the country, which makes me inclined to think they are just as much part of the problem. Before I am condemned to death by Americans claiming I have no idea what I am talking about, let me say I am American and I recognize many of the problems in my country. I have also spent now over half my life living in other countries and recognize many of the problems Americans have in living abroad. Not all of them, of course. Some integrate nicely and others don’t integrate at all and live in ex-pat clusters and are also content. Whatever works is fine; live and let live, etc. But the hateful tone, the caustic comments, the Fox television like exaggerations of other people’s arguments I can certainly live without. It is all so depressing to think that many Americans are kind of like George W. Bush: friendly and congenial on the outside and on the inside – well, fill in this part for yourselves.
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Old 01.07.2011, 14:48
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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*sigh* Why is it that soooo many of the threads started by Americans go the same way. First there’s the I-am-coming-to Switzerland introduction in which the reasons for moving to Switzerland are given, usually a portrait of paradise on earth. Then there are the (mostly, but not all, well-meaning) responses from EFers pointing out cultural differences (of which there are many and most people are not aware of), legal barriers (permits etc, which are trickier than most people outside of Switzerland are aware of) and practical issues (expenses, apartments, schools, etc), all of which can make life difficult when coming here and should be well considered before making the move. The next step is thanking some of the posters and increasing defensiveness. As the EFers continue along the same vein, the American suddenly sees a raging conspiracy driven by bitter ex-pats seeking to prevent anyone from partaking in their right to the Swiss dream. It is always so black and white; you’re either with me or against me. The posts degenerate into a you-don’t-know-anything and I-know-it-all kind of battle, which no one can ever win because all of us know some stuff and none of us knows everything (no matter how many links to articles, studies, interviews or Wikipedia are given).

The funny thing is that the Americans who want to come here always complain about the same things in the US and emphasize how different they are from the masses who are driving the US into ruin. And yet….. Generally they seem to be disassociated from the political process, meaning they have a certain amount of responsibility for the state of the country as it is a democracy. Much more serious, their approach to discussions is exactly the same as the general tenor in the country, which makes me inclined to think they are just as much part of the problem. Before I am condemned to death by Americans claiming I have no idea what I am talking about, let me say I am American and I recognize many of the problems in my country. I have also spent now over half my life living in other countries and recognize many of the problems Americans have in living abroad. Not all of them, of course. Some integrate nicely and others don’t integrate at all and live in ex-pat clusters and are also content. Whatever works is fine; live and let live, etc. But the hateful tone, the caustic comments, the Fox television like exaggerations of other people’s arguments I can certainly live without. It is all so depressing to think that many Americans are kind of like George W. Bush: friendly and congenial on the outside and on the inside – well, fill in this part for yourselves.
I think it has to do with labor mobility in the US.... He just assumes that moving to CH is the same as moving to Pennsylvania (only colder and rainier). All he has to do is show up, become a Quaker, work from home, and the Swiss national police wont start a file on him.

I just wish for him to come here for a visit. Thats what makes this person different. Most of the OP's of his breed have traveled, been to Switzerland, or have job offers from Swiss companies.

He is plotting his escape from the US on the same basis as a blind date. If he had no family Id be all thumbs up. But you cant plan your families future on the same premise as that of a blind date. See what she looks like first. In the US it all seems to look the same, so moving to PA isnt that big of a shock. CH is like another world though.....
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Old 02.07.2011, 01:16
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Re: Greetings from Texas

I blame all of the american movies depicting europe as some sort of uptopia. Yes titles like " Under the Tuscan Sun", "Eurotrip", "Sense and Sensibility" and all the "Harry Potter" movies for that matter.

Every time I'm hanging with people in a larger group, and someone new detects my accent and they find out I am from europe (no they usually don't know where Switzerland ahem Sweden is) they go on with the spiel about how amazing, cutural and historic europe is and how "they" have it right over there. Then they will deride the US political system, tell me about their past study abroad program in London and tell me all about their european family history.

To get out of these conversations I usually tell them I was just joking and that I am really from New Jersey, hence the accent.
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