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  #21  
Old 02.01.2011, 21:48
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

I remember when I last visited the US we were with some people I had never met before. I mentioned that it was my birthday in a few days time. They suggested we came round that day and had a drink....

When we got there - they had put a bbq party together and had an enormous cake made which was iced with my name.
I was touched beyond words - it was a lovely gesture and the friendliness of everyone was amazing
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Old 02.01.2011, 23:15
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

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Great to know not everyone will hate me over there for being American But anyway, I'm a 21 year old American girl (from South Carolina) and will be staying around the Zurich area from February until July...I'd love to meet up with some people, American or Swiss or even if you're from Antarctica...particularly if you're into concerts or going to bars
Practically nobody will hate you over here for being American, but if you are a GWB or Palin enthusiast it will not be easy I visited Charleston/SC in 82 and 88 and paid a 4 days holiday to Myrtle Beach and loved your home state

So, no reason for panic on the Titanic
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  #23  
Old 03.01.2011, 02:51
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

I'll actually be moving there as well to Study in March. I'll be in the Geneva area though I'm from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. 24, and I'm working on my MBA. If any would would like to meet up and hang out just let me know! I definitely want to make some new friends once I move there
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  #24  
Old 03.01.2011, 03:02
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

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I find americans to be polite and respecful. They wait in a line, they apologise if they cut your way, bump into you, or if YOU bump into them. The very low paid guy will smile at you much better than the very rich one and most of the time, you don't see who is rich and who isn't, and the best part, it doesn't matter. You don't get a better treatment from it.
That doesn't sound like Philly!!! East coasters are quite the opposite. We run each other over at the grocery store with our shopping carts. We never say "excuse me" or "please" to total strangers -- just to people we know. "Um, sorry you're standing in front of the cheese I want and you don't seem able to make up your mind fast enough so I'm just going to shove your cart out of the way and get what I want and be on my way, thanks."


When I first moved to DC from the Midwest it was quite a culture shock, but after a couple of months I came to fit in perfectly. LOL

And don't get me started on the competitive / stalker parking.
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  #25  
Old 03.01.2011, 09:20
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

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That doesn't sound like Philly!!! East coasters are quite the opposite. We run each other over at the grocery store with our shopping carts. We never say "excuse me" or "please" to total strangers -- just to people we know. "Um, sorry you're standing in front of the cheese I want and you don't seem able to make up your mind fast enough so I'm just going to shove your cart out of the way and get what I want and be on my way, thanks."


When I first moved to DC from the Midwest it was quite a culture shock, but after a couple of months I came to fit in perfectly. LOL

And don't get me started on the competitive / stalker parking.
I didn't say it was Philadelphia.... My only experience I have of Philadelphia is the airport and even there it wasn't bad at all. I got better attitude there then my shopping experience in Downtown Basel. Even TSA agents were nicer than the average store employee here...
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  #26  
Old 03.01.2011, 09:35
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And don't get me started on the competitive / stalker parking.

Ha. I grew up in western pa where people are nice, if a little "nebby", pittsburghese for nosy. Lived in boston and nj. Liked nj, people were direct but kind. Love the Midwest, espc Madison. Worst parking behaviors hands down - Durham- chapel hill nc, especially in the whole foods parking lot. Not fond of the whole rtp area anyway tho.

But then, I also think many Swiss people are kind, so call me crazy. Or lucky.
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Old 03.01.2011, 09:51
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

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That doesn't sound like Philly!!! East coasters are quite the opposite. We run each other over at the grocery store with our shopping carts. We never say "excuse me" or "please" to total strangers -- just to people we know. "Um, sorry you're standing in front of the cheese I want and you don't seem able to make up your mind fast enough so I'm just going to shove your cart out of the way and get what I want and be on my way, thanks."


When I first moved to DC from the Midwest it was quite a culture shock, but after a couple of months I came to fit in perfectly. LOL

And don't get me started on the competitive / stalker parking.

oh but most of the people in d.c are misplaced midwesterners, so i don't think you could say that it has any bearing on how natives are. same thing for the n.east, some of the nicest and most helpful people (they'll even tell you if you are an a**h***, so you know what self work you have to do; sooo helpful, but i find it's the people who move there with something to prove who are the biggest problems. anyway, silly to say where in the country are the nicest and where the niceties are fake, people don't get commission at tgi fridays so their happy faces may just be trying to make their own jobs easier who are you to judge?

you can get nasty and nice all over the country depending on your own attitude and a slew of other things, but as a whole, from east to west coast people are generally nice and helpful, why bother starting a contest between coasts and counties, that seems a bit subjective and silly...
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  #28  
Old 03.01.2011, 10:10
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

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Are there any Americans in Zurich? I don't think there can be many - not enough 120K p.a. jobs.
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There are plenty of us around. Good luck and welcome to Switzerland!
Sorry Doc, I was being flippantly ironic.
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That doesn't sound like Philly!!! ... "Um, sorry you're standing in front of the cheese I want and you don't seem able to make up your mind fast enough so I'm just going to shove your cart out of the way and get what I want and be on my way, thanks."
No, that sounds like here, with me being the one, having to shove the trolley.

Seriously though, peoples temperaments and reactions to each other are primarily determined by climate, climate, climate, and sunshine. 'Til this point, the peoples discussed here are east coast. I spent some time w-o-w in Arnieland (in the day, when he was still driving around in his black HumVee, with Terminator written on the side), and the people there were much more laid back and mellow, despite that they all believed they were caught up in their own self-importance and hustle and bustle. They just chilled out on the beach and watched the sun fall into the ocean, after all the madness had stopped.
Ask any northern Scandinavian why there is so much depression, alcoholism and suicide in the winter, because the sun has gone AWOL for a couple of months. Or look at it here - despite the cold, people are much more niggly/anti-social/miserable on a damp, grey, hochnebel kind of day, than when it's minus-ten, with clear blue sky and sun.
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  #29  
Old 03.01.2011, 11:02
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

I guess Fribourg area is not sexy enough for Americans... What a pity !

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  #30  
Old 03.01.2011, 11:03
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

...anybody in my neck of the woods?
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  #31  
Old 03.01.2011, 11:10
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

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I guess Fribourg area is not sexy enough for Americans... What a pity !

Here you go, Bug:
http://www.englishforum.ch/members/6...-de-sousa.html

Edit: Mind you, I'm not sure if your tastes in music will coincide (?). Can't quite see Lemmy doing the marching band bit - although Fasnacht in the altstadt will be good for that.

Last edited by TiMow; 03.01.2011 at 11:21. Reason: addition
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  #32  
Old 03.01.2011, 17:06
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

Honestly I think it's just based on cultural norms and on how you present yourself to strangers. Here in the southern US, people make eye contact and say hello to complete strangers. They may be polite and help you out if you need it, but don't assume they have always have pure-hearted intentions. People joke here that saying "bless your little heart" is code for "oh you sad pathetic little b****, I'm glad I'm not you" Being polite here is just normal, and in some cases it's artificial...mostly it's just a way of life.

On the other hand, when I lived in Germany, people rarely made eye contact or conversation with complete strangers. Yes, I missed that warmth a LOT, and being able to just strike up a conversation with someone in the grocery line, but once I got to know the Germans I became friends with, they were just as nice (and maybe nicer) than the people I knew in the southern US. When I got home after a year in Germany, it felt weird making eye contact and saying hello to people in the streets. I didn't feel like I had become "colder", just wasn't used to it.
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  #33  
Old 04.01.2011, 03:38
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

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We don't have the same experiences. I am Canadian, we are like that too, we like to chat, like to help and we smiles a lot!

I never had a bad experience in the US probably because I understand the culture and the mentality.

It isn't all pink, I got my lots of idiots like anywhere else. My husband got the nice treatment based on the racial profile made by our nice TSA friends at Philadelphia airport. But the guy was being very cool even with is intrusive questions... someone got to do the job!

For the breastfeeding part, I believe things are changing 'cause I saw many family restaurants with a little poster saying that breastfeeding was welcome there. For the bar's bouncers, I have no idea, I didn't go in a bar since a long time and I never had a problem to enter somewhere.

I find americans to be polite and respecful. They wait in a line, they apologise if they cut your way, bump into you, or if YOU bump into them. The very low paid guy will smile at you much better than the very rich one and most of the time, you don't see who is rich and who isn't, and the best part, it doesn't matter. You don't get a better treatment from it.
Nicely said.
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  #34  
Old 04.01.2011, 04:07
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

It's good to feel good for a while. I had the same experience in Liverpool in December. I noticed smiling faces and just a general easy going nature. I felt I connected with the atmosphere. Well I did, but not me dress sense.

It's easier to be happy on holiday, relaxed and no heavy schedule, I'm sure if I'd have stayed longer some things would have started to bug me. It doesn't matter where you go, when things are different, one feels different.

Enjoy the best but would you want the rest?

It's easy to make the most of the world with Swiss francs in your pocket and knowing there will be another wage in the bank before you get home.

Swings and roundabouts, what do I want to ride next?
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Old 04.01.2011, 10:04
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

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It's good to feel good for a while. I had the same experience in Liverpool in December. I noticed smiling faces and just a general easy going nature. I felt I connected with the atmosphere. Well I did, but not me dress sense.

It's easier to be happy on holiday, relaxed and no heavy schedule, I'm sure if I'd have stayed longer some things would have started to bug me. It doesn't matter where you go, when things are different, one feels different.

Enjoy the best but would you want the rest?

It's easy to make the most of the world with Swiss francs in your pocket and knowing there will be another wage in the bank before you get home.

Swings and roundabouts, what do I want to ride next?
Nowhere it is the perfect world. Hubby and I are both coming from a warm culture and for both of us, it is more important to have great relations with others, even strangers. I feel at home in those kind of culture very easilly. I am praying to go somewhere closer to our feelings in the next assignment. Money doesn't bring this. Money doesn't matter if I feel miserable where I live.

I think it is all depends on how someone sees life and what that person wants from it.
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Old 04.01.2011, 10:23
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Nowhere it is the perfect world. Hubby and I are both coming from a warm culture and for both of us, it is more important to have great relations with others, even strangers. I feel at home in those kind of culture very easilly. I am praying to go somewhere closer to our feelings in the next assignment. Money doesn't bring this. Money doesn't matter if I feel miserable where I live.

I think it is all depends on how someone sees life and what that person wants from it.
It's also hard to compare your experiences on vacation to daily life. There can be big differences between special occasions and the day to day grind.

But I think you're right about how it depends on your perceptions and expectations.
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Old 04.01.2011, 10:31
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

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It's also hard to compare your experiences on vacation to daily life. There can be big differences between special occasions and the day to day grind.

But I think you're right about how it depends on your perceptions and expectations.
You are totally right. For someone going on vacation once in a while somewhere doesn't make it seeing the reality. In my case, I have many experiences in the US since I am young and because my parents own an house there too. But again, the sun is for a lot in this!
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Old 04.01.2011, 10:33
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

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For me the "warmth" in the US feels fake.
Maybe it's just you and your friends. I find that the people who say this the most often are, in general, misanthropes, anti-American, or both.
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Old 04.01.2011, 10:47
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

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Maybe it's just you and your friends. I find that the people who say this the most often are, in general, misanthropes, anti-American, or both.
My best friend is from a redneck city in South Carolina. We love to make jokes on the lack of education there but never we will pretend that those people are not warm and helpful. Florida is also full of them and it is where I have my bests memories of US.

Sometimes I think it is just IN to hate the americans. Fashionable! Much more then to like them! How dare you?

I don't like when Americans laugh at the Canadians, but it is out of jealousy, so I forgive them!
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Old 04.01.2011, 11:15
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Re: Americans in Switzerland?

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Sometimes I think it is just IN to hate the americans.
Grouchy/provincial people always find a reason to hate someone. If you're an American, they find some reason not to like you. If you're from the next village or canton or from just across the border, they don't like you. I don't take it personally because I know when I'm not there, they're already hating on someone else.

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I don't like when Americans laugh at the Canadians, but it is out of jealousy, so I forgive them!
I'm often mistaken for being Canadian. I don't mind. I've had a lot of fun with Candadians who are absolutely positive that I am and lead them on a merry chase to figure out which province I'm from.
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