Its too difficult to write about re- entry. Its one of the most difficult things I have done in my life. I am swiss, yet not swiss. Am I an expat? no cos I speak the language like a local, am I a local? well gosh no, I didn’t go to school here and haven’t lived this village for over 25 years. I am at home here yet not at home. I love it here yet I find it soo hard to find my place. Can any over 40 fit into this culture and find a little niche to call their own? time will tell….
Definition : culture shock
(Sociology) Sociol the feelings of isolation, rejection, etc., experienced when one culture is brought into sudden contact with another, as when a primitive tribe is confronted by modern civilization
I really can not write what I am going through. Maybe I should try? apparently its good therapy to write. Yet, I am soo exhausted at the end of a day, all I want to do is watch english TV drink some wine and sleep. This too shall pass, and I will have the energy to meet friends, to go out. For now, I need it all for my family and work.
I am so confused, each day is like the last one.. each day I feel more and more lost in this strange but beautiful place. Today is Friday. Friday. Missed an appointment this morning, thought it was Thursday… whaaaaaaaa
One of probably many weather comments! Swiss people think its so hot and can’t understand why we don’t want to go to the ‘badi’ ( swimming pool) Yes , its nice and warm but NO its still too cold to go swimming. Pools here have a big grass area where people put out their towels and mark their territory. One body next to the other. Not my idea of fun.. I am sure this time next year I will be more than happy to go
How am I? very very disconnected. I don’t belong. I miss normal. Even though I was a foreigner at least I felt at home. I know, it takes time to adjust. I know I have to give myself time to reconnect.. its just so hard. Also.. I am not alone. There are 5 of us going through this transition.
Where is the breaking point? I can see cracks in the glass .. I feel a poem coming on haha. Another time….
Switzerland Travel Don’ts
- Do not address someone by their first name until invited to do so. Use surnames and titles instead.
- Do not give expensive or extravagant gifts which can be viewed as tacky or bribery. Nor give anything sharp, such as knives or scissors, which signifies severing off the friendship. Wine, high quality chocolates, or flowers are good gifts. But avoid white chrysanthemums and white lilies which are for funerals.
- Do not drink until after the first toast given by the host. Do not ask for salt and pepper if it’s not already on the table.
- Do not feel obligated to tip. A service charge is included in restaurants and hotels.
- Do not put your hands in pockets while talking to people. Nor chew gum, litter, or clean your nails in public.
- Do not ask personal questions, such as salary, age, or religion. Swiss respects privacy highly.
- Do not eat out which can be very expensive. Making lunch your main meal of the day. The same meal in the evening doubles up.
- Do not hike unless you think you are fit or hike often. Carry your joggers or any pair of light shoes.
Switzerland Travel Dos
- Do respect traditional Swiss greeting with three kisses on the cheek, though a handshake is the norm on a first meeting.
- Do dress conservatively and neatly. A suit and tie in business for men, and a suit or dress for women.
- Do appreciate tolerance and be patient in Switzerland. Swiss are rather discrete, let them follow their own rhythm.
- Do keep both hands on the table during a meal, but keep elbows off the table. Eat everything off your plate and put your knife and fork side by side at the 5:25 position when you’re done eating.
- Do use fork to cut food such as salad and potatoes instead of a knife, and break bread with your hand, but most other food should be eaten with utensils.
- Do recognize that German, French and Italian are widely spoken in Switzerland, and Romansch is spoken in isolated pockets. More French around the west and South is Italian. Other areas are more German in style, but speak Schweiz-Deutsch (Swiss-German), a dialect that even Germans don’t understand.
- Do be punctuate for a dinner party, although 15 minutes late is acceptable. Do send flowers to your hosts either before a party or the next day, along with a thank you note.
- Do ask for your tax-free shopping cheque and reclaim the VAT if your purchase costs at least CHF. 500. Switzerland is a shopper’s paradise with so much irresistible stuff around.
A beautiful sunny day today after many rainy days. Swiss people find its quite hot, but its not really. The wind is terribly cold and as long as thats blowing its not really warm. We tried to fly a kite today but the wind is not consistent enough. Comes and goes. Maybe in autumn.