Saturday, March 25, 2023

View from outside – this is how expatriates see Switzerland

What Swiss people believe in everyday life is sometimes strange and incomprehensible to people in other corners of the world – or almost too good to be true. Report of three migrants

At first glance, Brit Deacon Bewes, the Indian Progress Theorist, and Canadian Emily Angkent have only two things in common: They have lived in Switzerland for many years – and share their experiences in their foreign homeland on books, blogs and social media.

“Holy Sunday”

Although all three migrants live in different cities and environments, they all stumble into the same Swiss customs. For example, regarding “Holy Sunday”, as Progress Theory calls it.

Retail trade has not arrived in the 21st century.

“Everything is closed on Sundays. You are not allowed to wash. You’re not allowed to do noisy things,” says the blogger, with a grin, “I just want to be able to go shopping or cut my nails on Sunday.”

Deacon Webs even thinks that Swiss retail has not arrived in the 21st century. “I’m still surprised that everything is closed from Saturday afternoon to Monday morning,” says the Briton, who has lived in Switzerland for 17 years.

Came for love, stayed for public transport

However, all three newcomers are excited about public transport. “I came to Switzerland out of love, but stayed because of public transport,” Emily Angkent recounts with a wink. It’s amazing that she doesn’t need a car and can still get anywhere. “I think the Swiss underestimate how beautiful it is.”

For the principle of progress, trains, trams and buses mean above all: freedom. In India, she always relied on taxis or private drivers: “It’s cumbersome. You’re always waiting.”

Deacon Beves says he has embraced the Swiss when it comes to public transport: “If a train is late, I get very angry.”

What is missing

Although Deacon Bewes, Pragati Siddhant and Emilie Angkent feel comfortable in Switzerland, they all miss something from home. For the Englishman, apart from the sea, it is spontaneity: “If a friend writes to me asking if I am going to the cinema that evening, it is almost certainly an English speaker. If someone tells me in November in July If I invites you to dinner, he will surely be a Swiss person.»

The food is what Emily Angkent particularly remembers. Putty, Canada’s national dish made of chips, cheese and gravy, can hardly be ordered anywhere in Switzerland. In her adopted home of Zurich, she has yet to come across a very nice Chinese restaurant she knows from Toronto.

So he didn’t get the correct dim sum in Switzerland. But a place that can become his new home and whose inhabitants he can amaze and delight with all his habits. Like Progress Theory and Deacon Beaves.

Nation World News Desk
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