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Hey everyone, I have now been living in Switzerland for 3 weeks and loving it so far. First I traveled a bit over Europe and visited Amsterdam, London, Paris, then of course Switzerland. I will briefly tell my experiences with each. I also met up with a German girl I had been talking to a lot on interpals. We hit it off really well and she traveled with me (except to London as she had to work). We are now together and see each other every weekend!
As expected, this city was full of tourists visiting just to smoke weed. Kinda ruined it, but apart from that it is quite a nice city. Red light district is very interesting to see at night and many of the women in the windows will flirt with you as you walk past lol. As my gf and I walked past one of them, she asked us if we wanted a threesome! She then made a p***y licking gesture to my gf with her tongue between her fingers haha.
Now for the local women. Dutch women seemed very friendly, and were exceptionally good at speaking English. I also noticed how they mixed so easily with men, for example playing sport or frisbee in a park. In Australia women are afraid of men and only seem to hang out in groups of women. There is a very obvious separation of the sexes in Australia, but this certainly wasn't the case in Amsterdam. It was very nice to see women hanging out with both women and men.
In Amsterdam they love their bikes... people are riding everywhere! I have never seen so many people riding bikes in my life, at times there was actually traffic jams on the street just with all the bikes! Now here is something you guys will love - the women love to ride their bikes in very short skirts! When I first saw this I was shocked, because in Australia they wouldn't dare ride a bike in a skirt, in case some "creepy perverted guy" saw up their skirt. In Amsterdam they don't care, in fact it almost seems as if they want men to see up their skirt while riding! Dutch women seem to love their skirts, and I don't think I ever saw a Dutch woman wearing pants.
The only thing I didn't like about Amsterdam was the constant smell of weed everywhere. Even walking in parks or down the street, you'd smell it. It actually made me sick after a while. Not only do people smoke in "coffee shops", but also in public. On the upside, there wasn't much binge drinking.
I wasn't impressed with the culture here at all, very similar to Australia but this was to be expected. Women are very "stand off ish" and also seem to have a fear of men. Huge binge drinking culture, just like Australia. London is a good place to visit with lots to do, but I would never want to live there.
Interesting places to see, but again I wouldn't like to live here. Very dirty in some parts, almost feels like a ghetto. The locals seem to spit and urinate on the ground a lot. Lots of scammers, especially those guys doing that finger trap thing with string. Basically they ask to show you a "magic trick" and they put this finger trap on you that you can't get off unless you pay them X euros. One time we walked through this area and there were about 10 of them we had to dodge. One came up to us and actually attempted to put one on my gf's finger without her consent. Luckily she closed her hand in a fist! Also have to be very careful of pickpockets, which made me a bit anxious.
As for the women? forget it. Like Australia its a ladies market, and the men are very aggressive in approaching women. When my gf was alone, she would constantly get approached by rude guys, and even slapped on the bum. Most of the French women are also very rude and stuck up.
My new home! It goes without saying that the scenery here is very spectacular, and you don't have to travel far to get to beautiful lakes and mountains. If you're a nature lover, then you will love Switzerland! Public transport is awesome, always leaves exactly on the minute and never late. You can get anywhere using public transport and you don't need a car at all. Very, very clean country, to the point where locals will pick up the odd piece of rubbish on the street even if it isn't theirs. The other day we witnessed an old lady picking up broken glass of someone else's beer bottle with her bare hands.
As for the culture, the swiss are very quiet and introverted which I like. There isn't much binge drinking at all, and not many people are into clubs. Instead of drinking, people here are really into nature and go hiking, skiing, canoeing, wind surfing, paragliding etc on the weekend. They really make the most of their beautiful country. The only thing I find odd is that there are so many smokers. About 33% or 1 in 3 swiss smoke, despite their reputation of living a healthy lifestyle. This is the only thing I don't like about switzerland, because you do often get smoke blown in your face while waiting for a train etc. Unlike Australia, there is hardly any crime or violence. Switzerland is known to be one of the safest countries in the world with a very low crime rate.
As for the women, they are quite introverted (compared to loud Australian women), but they are still polite and friendly. The swiss also mix well between sexes, and women aren't afraid of men. They are also very intelligent, and you can talk to them about interesting topics. In Australia most women only talk about superficial stuff like shopping, shoes, clubbing, etc. I have yet to make any friends here, but I think that is just because they are so introverted. I am told that once you do make a friend here, they are your friend for life and will do anything for you.
Also be warned, Switzerland is very, very expensive! But that is the price you pay for living in such a great country. However, most swiss earn a lot and are quite rich. So once I manage to get a job here, I'll be paid a lot more than I would in Australia (plus lower taxes).
As for me, I'm very happy with my German gf and it looks like we'll be together for quite some time. So even though i'm not looking to date women, it is still a refreshing change to be able to talk to them, and mix with both sexes. In Australia it was very much "men vs women", as women were either scared of men or hated them. In australia its always women this, women that, everything is about women... especially breast cancer support which is plastered everywhere. I don't get that feeling here, and I feel that men are respected just as equally as women.
I highly doubt that i'll ever move back to Australia, especially since i'm lucky enough to have citizenship here. For those of you living in Australia all I can say is visit Europe, and you won't want to go back.
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"I highly doubt that i'll ever move back to Australia, especially since i'm lucky enough to have citizenship here. For those of you living in Australia all I can say is visit Europe, and you won't want to go back."
Once you go black, or to Europe, you won't go back! I agree about London - the women are man-hating bra-burners.
So, are you a Swiss citizen? Wow. I have heard that the Swiss are very anti- foreign. Any comment?
And Europe and the EU are great for many Americans to live in but what about visas and work? I understand you have citizenship there, what about regular blokes here? Any advice for them re: moving to Europe, work, citizenship, etc.
Also, how do locals treat foreigners of all colors? It is great to see them frolic among themselves and enjoy life but will they include an outsider? Will women date one?
All these things need to be considered.
You may not want to go back home but the local immigration may have other views and if you run out of money and cannot find work, you will be screwed.
So, any advice to an average bloke here, not those with big expense accounts or EU citizenship?
Last edited by ladislav on Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Yep, I am a swiss citizen and just received my swiss passport yesterday - probably the best passport you can get in the world. I also have a swiss bank account now
I have only been here 3 weeks, but so far I haven't encountered any racism. I think Switzerland now has one of the highest level of foreigners in the EU, I think about 25% are now foreigners? I've come across people here from all parts of the world, taiwan, hong kong, US, canada, russia and other parts of Europe. Sure there is some resistance from some of the swiss, especially the elderly... but the younger generation aren't bothered by it as much.
Switzerland has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world, so if other foreigners can manage to get work here, then I guess the "average bloke" can too. True, it is more difficult than other EU countries though.
As for women dating a foreigner, not sure about this one yet. But there are plenty of other foreigners here if swiss women will not date you.
Again, I only say this from 3 weeks experience, so I can't really give you a solid answer yet. All I can say is that it is such a beautiful country and everything just works.
How did you manage to acquire Swiss citizenship so fast? You've only been there for 3 weeks.
How do they respond to black people moving into their country? I'd imagine they've learned to accept white foreigners but it seems like accepting black foreigners is a hurdle for some of them to overcome.
Congrats on your move, Ozguy! You made your dreams possible. I hope to be out of the US by next year, hopefully.
Yep, close to Zurich. I have applied for a few English speaking jobs since I've been here and already got a call from a recruiter saying they will pass my CV onto the client for a possible interview soon. The job is earning about 100k, much more than I'd get in Australia in a similar position. Switzerland is only expensive if you're not earning their currency. Once I get a job here I'll be rolling in it! Switzerland has some of the wealthiest people in the world. I read about 200 000 people (out of 7mill) are millionaires but you wouldn't know it because they are very modest.
Congrats, Switzerland is a great country and yes they have many forigeners because they have several media outlets in English, especially if you have cable/sat. Anyway the International Red Cross and UN is why so many non-Swiss are in the various cities.
I don't have a problem with Amsterdam, I could live there. Mostly as you have observed the high rates of English is spoken and not just in the toursit areas, they learn at an early age in grade school and there plenty of chances to pracitce plenty of American expats in The Netherlands overall.
Welcome back OzGuy! It sounds like your life is a lot better now than it was when you were living in Australia.
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WoW!! Simply WoW!! I want to visit Switzerland, I looked it up online a few months ago and it is one of the cleanest places in the world, the crime rate is almost zero and the economy is in fact I think the second strongest. I also read its very expensive to live there, but I don't have a passport yet
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Yep all true. Everything is extemely clean and there is almost no crime. It's only expensive if you're not working here and spending foreign currency. However once you get a job the pay is one of the highest in the world and taxes are very low. At the moment I'm still spending AUD so yes it is very expensive, so I'm trying to find a job here ASAP. Once I do I'll be rolling in it!
hez oz guy
congrats mate - well done
im glad youve got out of the anglosphere
i have met afew germans and find them much more real, genuine and easier to talk to then aussies, anglos etc...
anglos crap on so much on how bad the germans are, such bullshit propaganda,
i am an aussie too (european parents though) who is planning my exodus
i have an EU passport- what are the rules for EU passport holders if you know re- switzerland?
its a country i have always had on my list of places to go too
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