Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Introductions  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 13.10.2012, 22:53
Ailurophile's Avatar
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: to be decided
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 5 Times in 1 Post
Ailurophile has no particular reputation at present
Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Good evening from crisis-stricken Greece. I am Ailurophile, Iím in my mid-20s and I am currently re-enrolled at University in Greece, in order to get my second bachelorís degree trying to fix certain mistakes Iíve done in the past when I chose to follow the tough and not so prosperous path of Humanities.

I am moving to Geneva, Switzerland next July. My French is good and I am currently taking intensive German classes. The reason I chose Switzerland are certain professional projects I have in mind that for one reason or another I can't carry them out elsewhere.

In my line of work communication is vital which means daily interaction with many people coming from various backgrounds, so I would like to address certain questions and concerns to those living in Switzerland/well acquainted with the culture and its people. I do realize that due to the financial crisis Greece has faced an astonishing defamation the last 2-3 years which I am not afraid to admit that made me lose my faith to humanity at some point. Switzerland being a major financial centre portrays the raw, gloomy reality accordingly, so I would like to ask to what extent does this affect the everyday life of ordinary Greek people who work there. However, I am interested in every single comment and point of view you might want to add, no matter if you are Greek expat, Swiss native or casual observer.

I have some horror stories to share about my Łber qualified multilingual friends who tried their luck in Berlin and ended wandering around without being able to find a place to rent, and itís not like Berlin has a shortage of options, but Germans are apparently too negatively biased these days. Iíd like to think of Switzerland as an open-minded place overall, as its structure and prosperity is based a lot on foreigners and foreign investments but in any case Iíd like to be prepared. For the time being the cost of living is of secondary importance and I am interested to learn as much as possible about the human factor , how the Greek phenomenon and Greeks are perceived there, if they face isolation and discrimination.

Thanks for taking the time to read my very long introduction and looking forward to meeting you all.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank Ailurophile for this useful post:
  #2  
Old 13.10.2012, 23:08
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Just tell people you're Turkish and you'll get along just fine...

There's plenty of negative stereotyping about Greece and the Greeks here, but without the rancour you might expect in Germany. You'll be just another bloody foreigner in the eyes of many Swiss people, no worse and no better than your Portuguese and Serbian neighbours.

There is certainly no reason to avoid Switzerland for fear of a bad reception. You'll be fine. Probably.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 14.10.2012, 13:04
Ailurophile's Avatar
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: to be decided
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 5 Times in 1 Post
Ailurophile has no particular reputation at present
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Quote:
Just tell people you're Turkish and you'll get along just fine...
I see. Why is that?

Quote:

There's plenty of negative stereotyping about Greece and the Greeks here, but without the rancour you might expect in Germany. You'll be just another bloody foreigner in the eyes of many Swiss people, no worse and no better than your Portuguese and Serbian neighbours.

There is certainly no reason to avoid Switzerland for fear of a bad reception. You'll be fine. Probably.
As unpleasant as it might be it is an expected social phenomenon. As long as it doesnít get violent or unlivable itís fine, I too think Iíll be ok.
Thanks for your reply, Iím still trying to find the Ďthank youí feature of the board.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 14.10.2012, 13:18
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Geneva
Posts: 47
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 27 Times in 14 Posts
madfuzu is considered knowledgeablemadfuzu is considered knowledgeablemadfuzu is considered knowledgeable
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

I think it may depend on the part of Switzerland and the group(s) of people you encounter. There are some fiercely patriotic (putting it politely) people in Switzerland just as in any country. Perhaps more of these in some parts of the country than others. And the worst of these people will not tolerate foreigners of any variety. The good news here is that in the eyes of these xenophobes being Greek is not particularly worse than many other nationalities. But this was not a group of people you would have been looking to socialise with (I hope) so forget them.

Elsewhere (and in my personal experience to a large extent in Geneva) Switzerland is full of internationals, or second generation Swiss who are not so interested in your nationality as you behaviour. Here, so long as you're respectful, open minded and contribute, you'll do just fine, so long as you don't worry that not everyone will want to be your friend and not everyone will see things your way (as regrettably some seem to).

Good luck. I think you should enjoy Switzerland if you can find work (which is not so easy) and a nice group of friends and neighbours (which is not so hard.)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 14.10.2012, 14:28
Ailurophile's Avatar
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: to be decided
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 5 Times in 1 Post
Ailurophile has no particular reputation at present
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Quote:
View Post
I think it may depend on the part of Switzerland and the group(s) of people you encounter. There are some fiercely patriotic (putting it politely) people in Switzerland just as in any country. Perhaps more of these in some parts of the country than others. And the worst of these people will not tolerate foreigners of any variety. The good news here is that in the eyes of these xenophobes being Greek is not particularly worse than many other nationalities. But this was not a group of people you would have been looking to socialise with (I hope) so forget them.

Elsewhere (and in my personal experience to a large extent in Geneva) Switzerland is full of internationals, or second generation Swiss who are not so interested in your nationality as you behaviour. Here, so long as you're respectful, open minded and contribute, you'll do just fine, so long as you don't worry that not everyone will want to be your friend and not everyone will see things your way (as regrettably some seem to).

Good luck. I think you should enjoy Switzerland if you can find work (which is not so easy) and a nice group of friends and neighbours (which is not so hard.)
Thank you very much for your reply.

I donít mind patriots, itís a healthy attitude to some extent and understandable as there is a misconception regarding Switzerland being a cash cow with its welfare system and everything. So I can understand that. But yes youíre right I am not looking to socialize with this kind of people especially since I have a whole group of them in my countryís Parliament running around like embarrassingly primitive rabid chimps.

French speaking Switzerland is indeed the place Iím looking to move in as Iím sure that I wouldnít feel confident with my limited German skills anywhere else.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 14.10.2012, 14:34
miniMia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: romandie
Posts: 9,975
Groaned at 101 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 9,106 Times in 4,522 Posts
miniMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Geneva has a foreign population around the 45%. No one will even notice.
You'll be fine.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 14.10.2012, 17:00
pinx's Avatar
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bassersdorf
Posts: 15
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 14 Times in 6 Posts
pinx has no particular reputation at present
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

yep, agree with miniMia.
good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 16.10.2012, 00:13
Ailurophile's Avatar
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: to be decided
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 5 Times in 1 Post
Ailurophile has no particular reputation at present
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Quote:
View Post
Geneva has a foreign population around the 45%. No one will even notice.
You'll be fine.
Quote:
View Post
yep, agree with miniMia.
good luck!
Thank you very much for encouraging me and for replying.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 16.10.2012, 02:46
ThomasT's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: The Village
Posts: 732
Groaned at 30 Times in 17 Posts
Thanked 569 Times in 286 Posts
ThomasT has an excellent reputationThomasT has an excellent reputationThomasT has an excellent reputationThomasT has an excellent reputation
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Krisenland LOL. If that ain't funny.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 16.10.2012, 03:28
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Quote:
View Post
I’m still trying to find the ‘thank you’ feature of the board.
Make ten good posts and a Thanks button will appear, as if by magic. All is explained in this excellent thread, striking mostly for the wit, erudition and startling pulchritude of its author.

Quote:
View Post
how the Greek phenomenon ...
Quote:
View Post
... it is an expected social phenomenon.
"Phenomenon" -- a lovely English word. I'm impressed that a Greek has such an extensive English vocabulary.

Quote:
View Post
Geneva has a foreign population around the 45%. No one will even notice.
You'll be fine.
Yes, but the OP wants to live in Switzerland.

(Don't be shy about moving to the German-speaking part, OP -- there are thousands of non-German speakers living here and doing very well on cafť-German, at best!)
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 16.10.2012, 11:09
simon_ch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: ZŁrich
Posts: 2,390
Groaned at 128 Times in 76 Posts
Thanked 3,488 Times in 1,377 Posts
simon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

I'll chip in as a Swiss person, brutally honest as usual.

There are nationalities many Swiss don't like because of their (perceived) individual character. Much of South East Europe and North Africa belongs in that category, but not Greece.

Greece belongs in the Italy, Spain, Portugal category for the simple reason that we like the individuals, the cultures, the food but not their state, politics and economies.

Germany is different because there's a lot of bad blood between the two countries at the moment. The Germans hate paying for Greece and being called Nazis, while the Greeks hate being villified and called lazy.

Be that as it may, the Greeks as individuals, despite the crisis, don't have a bad reputation in Switzerland. As long as you don't mention lacking solidarity (vulgo: money) from the Swiss you'll be fine.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank simon_ch for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 16.10.2012, 13:02
miniMia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: romandie
Posts: 9,975
Groaned at 101 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 9,106 Times in 4,522 Posts
miniMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Quote:

Yes, but the OP wants to live in Switzerland.

(Don't be shy about moving to the German-speaking part, OP -- there are thousands of non-German speakers living here and doing very well on cafť-German, at best!)
Actually it seems our Greek friend is confused.
He writes in paragraph two that he is moving to Geneva. Yet his thread title is in some funny language not spoken in Geneva.... Hmmmmm.

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 16.10.2012, 14:48
Ailurophile's Avatar
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: to be decided
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 5 Times in 1 Post
Ailurophile has no particular reputation at present
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Quote:
View Post
Krisenland LOL. If that ain't funny.


Quote:
Make ten good posts and a Thanks button will appear, as if by magic. All is explained in this excellent thread, striking mostly for the wit, erudition and startling pulchritude of its author.
Thank you!

Quote:
"Phenomenon" -- a lovely English word. I'm impressed that a Greek has such an extensive English vocabulary.
So many of them, I can't even count them.


Quote:
Yes, but the OP wants to live in Switzerland.

(Don't be shy about moving to the German-speaking part, OP -- there are thousands of non-German speakers living here and doing very well on cafť-German, at best!)
Iím afraid that working in a cafť isnít an option though, Iíve tried extremely hard during my studies, so I really need to do better than that.

Quote:
View Post
Actually it seems our Greek friend is confused.
He writes in paragraph two that he is moving to Geneva. Yet his thread title is in some funny language not spoken in Geneva.... Hmmmmm.

It was the first intro title that crossed my mind and thought it was cute but yes, truth be told Basel would be my first choice. However Iím realistic enough to know that I wonít be able to communicate well enough in German in 6-9 months from now, no matter how many classes I take. So Iím not taking the risk, Iíd like to apply for a postgrad degree if time allows and German is very difficult as it is, let alone the local dialect.

Quote:
View Post
I'll chip in as a Swiss person, brutally honest as usual.

There are nationalities many Swiss don't like because of their (perceived) individual character. Much of South East Europe and North Africa belongs in that category, but not Greece.

Greece belongs in the Italy, Spain, Portugal category for the simple reason that we like the individuals, the cultures, the food but not their state, politics and economies.

Germany is different because there's a lot of bad blood between the two countries at the moment. The Germans hate paying for Greece and being called Nazis, while the Greeks hate being villified and called lazy.

Be that as it may, the Greeks as individuals, despite the crisis, don't have a bad reputation in Switzerland. As long as you don't mention lacking solidarity (vulgo: money) from the Swiss you'll be fine.
Iím not sure what prevents us from falling into the same league with SE Europe and North Africa as weíre all pretty much in the same cesspit of mud right now, but I get your point. You know how bad things are in their countries if Greece still seems to be an okayish deal for some of them.

There have been Greeks living in Switzerland for decades, sadly I don't know any so online boards are my only source on info. It's good to know that PIGS are doing well there and your honesty is much appreciated.

And no Iím as self-reliant as it gets, thatís why I insist on my questions so much, I canít afford wrong choices atm. Madfuzu mentioned difficulties in finding a job, has Switzerland started to show early signs of recession?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 16.10.2012, 15:54
miniMia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: romandie
Posts: 9,975
Groaned at 101 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 9,106 Times in 4,522 Posts
miniMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Quote:
View Post
And no Iím as self-reliant as it gets, thatís why I insist on my questions so much, I canít afford wrong choices atm. Madfuzu mentioned difficulties in finding a job, has Switzerland started to show early signs of recession?
Not sure about recession. I'm sure there is some affect of the high Swiss franc. I think, however, it's more to do with the fact that there sure as hell is a lot of completion for each and every job on offer. Plenty of people leaving or wanting to leave their home countries. There are a whole lot of people in the PIIGS countries who have free access to Swiss jobs.

Anyway, good luck with your move. Can't help you with the choice between Geneva and Basel. Those are probably my two least favorite cities in Switzerland.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 16.10.2012, 15:56
amogles's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 12,361
Groaned at 340 Times in 276 Posts
Thanked 26,264 Times in 11,001 Posts
amogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Quote:
"Phenomenon" -- a lovely English word. I'm impressed that a Greek has such an extensive English vocabulary.
Ahem

Where do you think that we stole that word?

Same place we stole the Elgin marbles.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 16.10.2012, 23:20
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Quote:
View Post
Ahem

Where do you think that we stole that word?

Same place we stole the Elgin marbles.
Indeed. I deliberated long and hard whether to include the "sarcastic smiley" at the end of my post, and ended up erring on the side of caution. Yet it seems even being obvious is, once again, insufficient.

To the OP: my reference to getting by with cafť-German meant exactly that: there are good, high-paying jobs in English available here (in Basel, particularly) for well-educated professionals, with no need ever to speak German -- except perhaps to order a meal in your local cafť. I know dozens of expats who fail even the cafť-German test, yet hold down great jobs and pull in CHF 200k + p.a.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 17.10.2012, 00:08
Simeon's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: ZŁrisee
Posts: 241
Groaned at 2 Times in 1 Post
Thanked 320 Times in 159 Posts
Simeon has an excellent reputationSimeon has an excellent reputationSimeon has an excellent reputationSimeon has an excellent reputation
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Hi Ailurophile and welcome to the forum. I have to say, being a Greek, albeit one who has lived abroad very very long, that I have not experienced any negative effects of the condition of Greece in the last couple of years, on the reaction people have to me. Nobody that I know here has lashed out aggressively, in a conversation or discussion. I just spent a week in Berlin visiting a friend of my wife, (German), nobody broached the subject , perhaps out of politeness or perhaps it wasnīt worth mentioning.
I wonder sometimes, because I do monitor Greek media, if the image that Greeks have of what the rest of Europe thinks of them is real or just something gleaned from the headlines of European newspapers, sometimes of trashy Boulevard Rags. I wish there was more feedback on this from people here identifiying and identified by others as Greeks, as to having any bad experiences because of the general situation that has befallen Greece in the last couple of years.
As for you Ailourophile, I would worry more on the general difficulties experienced by foreigners here, than what you as a Greek might face. Good luck!
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Simeon for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 17.10.2012, 00:09
crimson's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: bern
Posts: 502
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 566 Times in 205 Posts
crimson has a reputation beyond reputecrimson has a reputation beyond reputecrimson has a reputation beyond reputecrimson has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

hello greek person!

i'm greek too, have been living in bern since 5 years.
never really had a problem with being greek. some comments the last couple of years have been annoying or hurtful at times, but that was it.

the main difference i notice:

5 years ago:
-where are you from?
-greece
-oh, i love it! i have been to myconos, santorini, creta, kafallonia, athens, peloponese....

now
-where are you from
-greece
- .......(half a minute silence followed by an "oh")
OR
- you are lucky to be here
OR
- what is going to happen with your country?

you'll be fine! let me know if yoou need anything
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 18.10.2012, 23:59
Ailurophile's Avatar
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: to be decided
Posts: 6
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 5 Times in 1 Post
Ailurophile has no particular reputation at present
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Quote:
View Post
Not sure about recession. I'm sure there is some affect of the high Swiss franc. I think, however, it's more to do with the fact that there sure as hell is a lot of completion for each and every job on offer. Plenty of people leaving or wanting to leave their home countries. There are a whole lot of people in the PIIGS countries who have free access to Swiss jobs.

Anyway, good luck with your move. Can't help you with the choice between Geneva and Basel. Those are probably my two least favorite cities in Switzerland.
Thanks for your replies.
Quote:
View Post
Ahem

Where do you think that we stole that word?

Same place we stole the Elgin marbles.
You may borrow as many words as you want to, but our marbles.. :/

Quote:

To the OP: my reference to getting by with cafť-German meant exactly that: there are good, high-paying jobs in English available here (in Basel, particularly) for well-educated professionals, with no need ever to speak German -- except perhaps to order a meal in your local cafť. I know dozens of expats who fail even the cafť-German test, yet hold down great jobs and pull in CHF 200k + p.a.
Thanks for clarifying. ALL very useful info.

Quote:
View Post
Hi Ailurophile and welcome to the forum. I have to say, being a Greek, albeit one who has lived abroad very very long, that I have not experienced any negative effects of the condition of Greece in the last couple of years, on the reaction people have to me. Nobody that I know here has lashed out aggressively, in a conversation or discussion. I just spent a week in Berlin visiting a friend of my wife, (German), nobody broached the subject , perhaps out of politeness or perhaps it wasnīt worth mentioning.
I wonder sometimes, because I do monitor Greek media, if the image that Greeks have of what the rest of Europe thinks of them is real or just something gleaned from the headlines of European newspapers, sometimes of trashy Boulevard Rags. I wish there was more feedback on this from people here identifiying and identified by others as Greeks, as to having any bad experiences because of the general situation that has befallen Greece in the last couple of years.
As for you Ailourophile, I would worry more on the general difficulties experienced by foreigners here, than what you as a Greek might face. Good luck!
Hello and thank you for your reply.

My conclusions are drawn exclusively from people of my age (recent graduates) who moved abroad, tourists and the press which I obsessively follow. I think youíre right in everything you say, maybe I should stop doing this for the sake of my sanity as itís getting very hurtful. The press in Greece is dreadful and more biased than ever.

Quote:
View Post
hello greek person!

i'm greek too, have been living in bern since 5 years.
never really had a problem with being greek. some comments the last couple of years have been annoying or hurtful at times, but that was it.

the main difference i notice:

5 years ago:
-where are you from?
-greece
-oh, i love it! i have been to myconos, santorini, creta, kafallonia, athens, peloponese....

now
-where are you from
-greece
- .......(half a minute silence followed by an "oh")
OR
- you are lucky to be here
OR
- what is going to happen with your country?

you'll be fine! let me know if yoou need anything
Hello to you, too.

Thanks for sharing. Yes, everyone seems to like vacationing here but long gone are the days that pleasant stuff like that were monopolising the discussions. Thanks for offering your help, itís very appreciated. For the time being Iíll just poke around every now and then to ask questions until I take my final decision.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 19.10.2012, 00:16
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Guten Abend aus Krisenland

Quote:
View Post

Thanks for sharing. Yes, everyone seems to like vacationing here but long gone are the days that pleasant stuff like that were monopolising the discussions.
If it's any consolation, if we were to bump into each other I'd be more interested in discussing ipirotika, Markos Vamvakaris and 12 star Metaxa than any of that tedious nonsense about the economy.

Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Blick am Abend - singles of the day Lassevh Daily life 11 21.06.2012 12:28
Basel Fire Abend adobemonk Social events 2 26.09.2011 11:23
Hello/Guten Tag Blang Introductions 4 25.03.2008 11:34
Guten Tag Fergico Introductions 2 08.05.2007 13:47
Guten Tag aus dem USA! dhoerl Introductions 4 18.04.2007 22:12


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 00:50.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0