Sunday, March 11, 2007

Expat's 5-4-3-2-1 Meme

Here’s a meme I stole from Canadienne dans les Alpes a couple of weeks ago and translated it from French into English.

5) Name five things you love in your new country:
· Cleanliness and safety
· The effectiveness of public transportation
· The variety of delicious breads, cheeses and fresh meat selection (I grew up in a small town, and it's very difficult to get fresh, non-frozen, lamb, there.)
· The fact that there are so many different countries and cultures to discover within such short distances.
· The diversity of languages and cultures (German, French, Italian and Romansch) within the country, low taxes (compared to Canada), quality of healthcare and the Alps

4) Name four things that you miss from your native country:
· My family and friends
· Food: Canadian beef, poutine, big breakfasts and home delivery
· The natural openness and sincere, friendly smiles of people. (The Swiss are very polite, but in general quite distant.)
· The vastness and endless beauty of the country in four REAL seasons. I miss the Indian Summer so much and the snow (believe it or not!). There are many more reasons. It's home.

3) Name three things that annoy you a bit (or much) in your new country:
· The Swiss tend to stare… a lot (Note: I have now learned to stare back without blinking. Try it. It works)
· The lack of spontaneity in people
· The Swiss don’t take your taxes off your pay (I’m also Swiss, remember? They don’t consider me as an expat). You have to save up for it.

2)Name two things that surprise you (or have surprised you in the beginning) in your new country:
· Not being allowed to mow the lawn, do the laundry, -in some villages- hang up wet clothes to dry on the line, etc. on Sundays and in most apartments, you have one day to wash during the week (some even every 2 weeks! Eeek!!). Miss it? Tough! I mean, what if you have an ill child at home and he throws up in bed and you have to wait until your wash day?? Come ON!
· The space, or lack of it. Although I knew that Switzerland is expensive and very small (by almost any standard), most people live in apartments or in rented houses and hardly anyone has a single detached house (no space and you need minimum 20% down payment, not to mention that houses are very expensive)

1) Name one thing that you would terribly miss in your new country, if you had to leave it.
· I have not made that many real Swiss friends, but the ones I have, I will miss for sure.

There you have it. I'm not for tagging, so feel free to steel/use it and have fun. You don't even have to be an expat. Maybe you've lived in two very different parts of your own country. Just let me know if you did it. Deal?

Have a great Sunday


Mr. Fabulous said...

They stare a lot?

That's weird...

Shelli said...

I have never moved out of a 20 mile radius. Can't do this one. However, I found yours interesting. That laundry thing is a pain. Who made up that rule? I mean I am sure it is so everyone gets a chance, but maybe they should let you figure it out like grown ups.

Greg said...

Remember, when they stare, wave at them! They're usually old, bored people with nothing better to do. Almost every time I've waved, I've received a smile and a wave back. I still like to practice the occasional random act of kindness.

The Big Finn said...

Here's another thing that you'll miss about Switzerland as compared to Canada: VERY...FEW...MOSQUITOES!!!

Ginnie said...

HA! I laughed at what Greg said. So funny but it makes sense. I actually learned a lot about Switzerland from this meme, CS! Wow!

CanadianSwiss said...

Fab: Yes, they do. :)

Shelli: It's not as bad as it used to be, but some (especially the older generation) stick to their day, no matter what. But can you imagine doing the laundry every 2 weeks?? Yuk!

Greg: LOL. That's definitely an alternative that I love to use, too.

TBF: I'm not really affected by bug bites. Moskitoes leave me alone, but OrangeX is a different story. That would certainly be on his list.

Ginnie: Yes, and in most cases, it works. :) I wonder if Donica had similar experiences here/would agree on some of the points.

Haddock said...

That's probably one of the best memes I have ever seen! :)

Jay said...

That's kind of fascinating to me. I would love to move abroad for the experience of it, but at the same time, I am enamoured with my country, and there is so much of it for me to explore as it is!

CanadianSwiss said...

Haddock: Feel free to use it :)

Jay: I understand that very well. That's why we want to go back. So much to see!

J said...

I agree with Haddock. I'll be doing the meme later this week.

Expat Traveler said...

Good one! I'll steel it since I'm so dead tired from this time change and early morning workouts...

Hope the job is going well!

tinakala said...

Hm. Staring without blinking. That works everywhere. I`ve tried.

christina said...

This is a good one! I might even consider doing it but I'm afraid I might get carried away. ;-)

Ex-Shammickite said...

A great way to find out which country to move to.... if you are planning on a move! I've already made my move... to Canada, the best country in the world!

CanadianSwiss said...

J: Thanks for visiting, I'll check your blog a bit later.

ET: I've seen your already. Good job. LOL. I actually thought you would have made the comparison with Switzerland, though.

Tina: You'd make a great Swiss, then ;)

Christina: Consider yourself tagged, then. Don't worry, I named more that I should have, too. LOL.

Ex-Shammi: That's good to hear! I think you should try it as well, though. See what comes out of it :)

The Big Bear said...

I smiled when I read your thoughts regarding the Swiss people, because I made many similar experiences concerning the Swiss. I'm not an Expat but coming from Northern Germany to work with the Swiss guys since years now, it somehow leads to the same impressions...

CanadianSwiss said...

Big B: Somehow, I thought you'd understand ;)

Colon Blow said...

I don't recall being stared at when visiting Switzerland...probably because TBF is always telling me to lower my voice so as not to attract attention.

Speaking of visiting, did the TBFs tell you that we will be staying with them the last two weeks of May? Maybe we can all get together on his rooftop garden for an adult beverage if you and OrangeX are in town?

CanadianSwiss said...

CB: Yes, they did. As a matter of fact, we were out with them just yesterday. It would be great to meet you and Mrs. CB, and as far as I know, we'll be around then :)

Sarah said...

Very interesting to think about. I might steal it too, if I can do it without getting into dangerous territory.