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Old 10.05.2017, 18:59
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Hi all...

I recently moved to Zurich with my husband mid April. As background, I am from the US originally, but we have always lived overseas as a couple: London (12 years), Amsterdam (2 years), Sydney (2 years) and most recently, Singapore (10 years). We are very excited to be back in Europe (and will not miss the humidity in Singapore - that is for sure!)

I used to play a lot of tennis and am a very keen bridge player. I hope to resume both while living here. I would also like to learn Swiss German as I learned Dutch while living in Amsterdam (and Swiss German sounds much more similar to Dutch than to German to me - but maybe I am wrong...) If anyone can recommend a good Swiss German language program, I would be grateful! Also if anyone could recommend a good tennis club near the 8032 area, that would be great. Looking forward to life in Zurich
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Old 10.05.2017, 19:01
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Re: Hi all...

Welcome to Switzerland and to the forum. What a well travelled couple you are.
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Old 10.05.2017, 19:40
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Re: Hi all...

Thanks! Our kids are well travelled as well but they are in the US now - either working or still in uni. This is the first time we are expats sans kids Hoping to have a lot of fun!
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Old 10.05.2017, 20:16
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Re: Hi all...

Hello and welcome to the forum.
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Old 10.05.2017, 20:32
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Re: Hi all...

Hi terri and welcome both to CH and the community.
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Old 10.05.2017, 20:35
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Re: Hi all...

Hi and welcome!
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Old 16.05.2017, 16:47
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Re: Hi all...

Welcome. We will be moving to Zurich in August. Right now in Chile and before that 3,5 wonderful yrs in Singapore (I DO miss the humidity ).

Do you speak high german?. I was wondering if it's necessary to learn high german before swissgerman or if it's better just to dive-into swiss german directly.
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Old 16.05.2017, 18:06
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Re: Hi all...

Hi and welcome to the forum!

You will be missing Singapore latest when you make your first experiences with Swiss restaurants
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Old 18.05.2017, 13:43
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Re: Hi all...

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Hi and welcome to the forum!

You will be missing Singapore latest when you make your first experiences with Swiss restaurants
oh come on, Swiss food is a display of massive creativity...

Look almost 100% of Swiss food dishes are made with only 3 ingredients*. Is that not being creative?

And look the genius behing it, you dip bread into melted cheese, you created a fondue. You pour melted cheese onto bread, congratulations, you invented a toast! It's like culinary genius, modern alchemy!
Almost infinite combinations!

*is that even worth to name Cheese, Potatoes, Bread?
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Old 18.05.2017, 19:46
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Re: Hi all...

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Welcome. We will be moving to Zurich in August. Right now in Chile and before that 3,5 wonderful yrs in Singapore (I DO miss the humidity ).

Do you speak high german?. I was wondering if it's necessary to learn high german before swissgerman or if it's better just to dive-into swiss german directly.
Hi, I was a Russian Language major in college and studied in Vienna for a semester and so I took intensive German there. That said, that was 30 years ago and to say my German is rusty is being too kind! I lived in Amsterdam 10 years ago and had a great Dutch teacher; to me, Swiss German sounds a lot more like Dutch than High German. I plan to enrol in an intensive Swiss German course and see how things go. I really enjoy learning new languages If I find I have too many gaps, then I will take some German classes as well.

We'll see how things go! Thus far I love this city: the mountains, the lake, the forest and the old city are beautiful. I even found a Thai restaurant which does not use MSG (which was used liberally in Singapore). PS...My hair sure doesn't miss the humidity in Singapore! Personally, I prefer having 4 seasons... I think you will enjoy life here and if you are keen to learn the language, then you will acclimate faster in my view Best of luck with your upcoming move!
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Old 19.05.2017, 10:44
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Re: Hi all...

Hi terrifish, could you recommend a good reading about life in Singapore or write something more about it? I have lost my job in Switzerland and while I'm looking around for a new one I started thinking about trying another exotic place. Switzerland is a nice place to live but it also gets boring after a time.
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Old 19.05.2017, 12:01
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Re: Hi all...

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Hi terrifish, could you recommend a good reading about life in Singapore or write something more about it? I have lost my job in Switzerland and while I'm looking around for a new one I started thinking about trying another exotic place. Switzerland is a nice place to live but it also gets boring after a time.
Hi, well, we may have spent too much time in Singapore (10 years plus) so I am biased in my view. Singapore is a very easy place to live: everyone speaks English, the streets are clean (one only needs to travel to other places in Asia to appreciate the cleanliness) and many English/US groceries are found easily in Supermarkets.

That said, some feel (and I am in this category) that the city is a bit too sanitised and pristine. Many have referred to it as "The Beverly Hills of Asia" in that "glitz" and perfection abound. (You should see/hear the Maserati drag races on Orchard Road on early Saturday/Sunday mornings!) There is a huge gulf between expats and locals and I found, it is/was not easy to bridge the divide.

I am not a fan of humidity and as the country lies close to the equator, it is hot and humid 365 days a year (it does have a rain season but not like the monsoons in other Asian countries). That said, most condos have a tennis court and there are quite a few golf courses (which I am told are far more reasonable than Switzerland). Also, cannot tell you how many expats get into triathlons and biking once settled in Singapore. Because of the heat, most sport is done early in the morning.

On the plus side, the airport is amazing - probably the most efficient I have ever come across and travel to other Asian countries is very easy/inexpensive. I think therein lies the caveat: if one uses Singapore as a hub and does a lot of traveling, it can be a great place to live. Singapore can seem like a small island and life can seem boring unless one makes an effort to explore other countries in my view.

The food in Singapore is simply amazing: from hawkers to restaurants - you will find a plethora of cuisines and eating out is much more affordable than Zurich (especially if you go to the local hawker stands where the locals eat!)

I was more than ready for a change though ( I am transient in nature and I really prefer Europe to Asia). From a cost of living standpoint, both Zurich and Singapore are about the same.

I am not sure which industry you are exploring job wise but I can tell you many of my friends over the years, because of redundancy, have started their own businesses/companies and have done extremely well. The Singapore Government grants huge tax incentives to entrepreneurs provided they meet specific criteria. And if you are from Europe or the UK, the personal tax rates in Singapore are very favourable (start at 20% and then 22%). (Coming from the US, this is not really an advantage as we will inevitably owe tax to the US government but it is a huge incentive for those not taxed globally on worldwide income).

I really cannot think of a book which might give you some insight into the Singaporean mindset/culture other than "Crazy Rich Asians" which is more of a spoof of the materialism favoured by the wealthy in Singapore (sad but true, it is fairly accurate - and funny!) Orchard Road is similar to the Bahnhofstrasse except there are Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Hermes shops etc.. seemingly every few blocks - and not just one shop but several outlets. I was told wealthy Indonesians, Chinese etc.. use Singapore as their shopping base for luxury goods (hence the large number of outlets!)

Hope this helps and good luck in your job search :
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Old 19.05.2017, 12:51
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Re: Hi all...

Thank you very much for sharing. I'm software engineer so this gives me plenty of options to move anywhere.

Zurich for that matter also feels like a different country to me as I have been living in Lausanne, French side of Switzerland. Unfortunately I can hear a lot of news about nationalistic movements out there on the Swiss-German side which makes me confused whether it make sense to move there. It looks like one should learn very quickly the local language there to feel safe even though English or high German is normally enough. I'm not so optimistic about my language skills, after three years I still cannot speak French though it's because French pronunciation is extremely difficult. Whenever I try to speak French out there it is always useless attempt. I have usually better success with English even if the other person does not speak English at all
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Old 19.05.2017, 14:45
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Re: Hi all...

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That said, that was 30 years ago and to say my German is rusty is being too kind! I lived in Amsterdam 10 years ago and had a great Dutch teacher; to me, Swiss German sounds a lot more like Dutch than High German. I plan to enrol in an intensive Swiss German course and see how things go. I really enjoy learning new languages If I find I have too many gaps, then I will take some German classes as well.
Hi and welcome to the forum.

My partner speaks fluent Afrikaans and a decent amount of Dutch, and would agree with you that Swiss German 'sounds' more like Dutch in that it's more 'musical' than high German. However, whilst Dutch will help you with the the rhythm of the language, the actual vocabulary is far more high German than Dutch.

When we were viewing apartments, agents always commented on how well my OH says "Chuchichäschtli" (kitchen cupboard).
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