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  • hey guys welcome back to how to switzerland  

  • sarah here today and in today's video i'm going  to be talking more about some swiss culture shocks

  • so i recently had an interview with a journalist  from the website swiss info she did a little  

  • article about how to switzerland which is really  exciting but that prompted my idea for this video  

  • because in that interview she asked me what  were some initial culture shocks or just like  

  • surprising things that i noticed basically  like what did i first notice when i arrived to  

  • switzerland for the first time and i just didn't  have a really good answer for that i couldn't  

  • think of anything even though i knew there  were like a million things i could talk about  

  • so i asked myself that question sarah when you  first got here when you got off the plane your  

  • first few days in switzerland what were the  things that really stood out to you and i've  

  • got a pretty long list here and we will just  discuss some of those today and i quickly just  

  • want to thank every single one of you for watching  for liking for sharing for supporting the channel  

  • lately i have been running into so many of you  just in the streets here in zurich or wherever  

  • all over switzerland and it has been really  fantastic hearing so many people's stories about  

  • moving here or living here or all that kind of  stuff it's just been really really awesome i love  

  • the community that we are building here soreally really want to genuinely thank you for  

  • all of the support so one of the first thingsnoticed that was very different in switzerland  

  • was just how attractive and thin and well dressed  so many people are in switzerland especially in  

  • big cities people are just dressed so sharp here  people look really really put together and i was  

  • not really used to seeing that you guys i grew up  in a small town in the midwest in the us and it is  

  • very very casual okay the attitude is pretty  casual people might get dressed up for work  

  • but after that people are you know all about  those you see those american t-shirts with like  

  • university names on them or hoodies or casual  clothes and you don't see a whole lot of that  

  • especially in zurich like if you are  walking on bonjour strasse everyone  

  • is dressed so nice and they really take care  of themselves and i honestly think that it is  

  • really really great and inspiring it inspires  me to take care of myself better to try to dress  

  • better to make a little bit of an effort um with  how i present myself to the world um i know people  

  • say oh you shouldn't have to care about that it  doesn't matter just be comfortable just do you  

  • and i get that but i just think that there is  something about carrying yourself a certain way  

  • presenting yourself to the world a certain way  and i think the swiss are really really good at  

  • dressing well and staying in shape and all of that  and it was definitely like something i noticed  

  • right away when i moved here i'm like how do they  do it how do they do it another initial shock  

  • you guys was keep in mind i was 17 when i first  moved to switzerland and that was just everything  

  • to do with alcohol so one finding out that the  drinking age for beer and wine is 16 years old was  

  • very very shocking to me that seemed very young  coming from the u.s where it is obviously 21.  

  • so seeing teenagers people 16 years old drinking  beer outside you know around a lake or in a park  

  • or whatever was very very weird to me just  to see them openly drinking beer and wine and  

  • having a party out in public and they looked  just like kids obviously they are kids  

  • um that was very strange to me so definitely when  i first moved here i had so many questions about  

  • alcohol and how does that work when the drinking  age is um 16 can you go to bars how does that work  

  • i really didn't get it i was just like my mind  was blown about how all of that works here and  

  • it took me a little bit to understand how it  works and yeah basically just because you can  

  • drink beer and wine at 16 it doesn't really mean  those are the kids going out to bars and things  

  • like that especially in big cities like if you're  in zurich and you're 16 you're probably not going  

  • to get into many nice bars and be allowed  to drink there um but yeah it all depends  

  • on where you are in switzerland also having to  do with drinking i thought it was so weird this  

  • was one of the weirdest things to me you guys  that i could go to a grocery store and buy beer  

  • at 17 18 years old and not get id'd okay that was  so so weird for me because in the u.s i was used  

  • to my mom literally being 40 and getting asked  for an id at a gas station or at walmart or at a  

  • grocery store or whatever in the us they are very  strict about checking ids for alcohol purchases in  

  • fact a lot of companies put out signs like we id  anyone who looks under 40 or who looks under 35 or  

  • basically they're not looking for people that look  21 they just have like a store policy or whatever  

  • obviously it depends greatly on where you're  shopping but i'd seen definitely my mom  

  • or step dad or whatever get id'd to buy alcohol  all the time and obviously they look much older  

  • than me so to come to switzerland and not get  id'd at 18 17 years old buying you know a bottle  

  • of wine i thought it was just mind-blowing and  so so weird and just the lack of people asking  

  • for ids just in general um in zurich or you  know in bigger cities of course you might um  

  • be more likely to get id'd but if you're in like  a mountain village bar drinking beer if you look  

  • 16 they're probably not even asking you for an id  and that was just really shocking to me another  

  • initial shock i just remembered that i had was  when i first got here and i saw the cash the  

  • money the currency i did not understand how they  cannot have a penny i'm like how is there no penny  

  • so in switzerland the smallest coin is five  cents so they do not have a penny i think in  

  • in the euro you have a penny obviously in the us  you have a penny and i was like how does that work  

  • how do they give you exact change and everyone's  like well it's usually you know ends in the price  

  • usually ends in a zero or in a five it's not going  to be 997 or whatever like you see all the time in  

  • the u.s it would just be 10 or 95 or whatever and  i just thought that was super super weird and they  

  • said well if it's not you know i was like how does  that work like if you pay cash and you end up with  

  • one of these odd amounts you're like oh well they  will just like round up and give you the five and  

  • i just thought that that was a little bit strange  um but yeah it's actually true in switzerland most  

  • prices end in like an even number so there  isn't really a need for a penny and if you  

  • are in that situation they just round up and  give you the five cents coin i remember also  

  • being very shocked seeing people just carrying  around a lot of cash and bills with very large  

  • denominations so there's definitely places in the  u.s um you know i don't know certain gas stations  

  • stores again it all depends on their individual  policy where sometimes if you would pay something  

  • with a like a crisp 20 the store gets like the  pens out and they're holding it up over a 20 bill  

  • definitely over a 50 or a 100 again depends on the  store but it's quite common that if you pay with a  

  • large denomination um they do not like to do this  obviously because they have to give you a lot of  

  • change and also then if the bill is a fake you  know this is more problematic um if you're paying  

  • with a fake 100 or whatever i don't know how it  all works i just know growing up if you would pay  

  • large denominations you would always see people  getting out the pen holding it up or they would  

  • ask do you have anything smaller and you you  definitely feel like you're inconveniencing people  

  • if you pay with large denomination notes and here  it is absolutely normal to order a four franc  

  • coffee and pay with a 100 franc note really nobody  will blink an eye i don't think i've ever heard  

  • somebody say like oh do you have something smaller  they might ask if you have like a a coin if it's  

  • like and 10 cents or whatever they might ask if  you have the 10 cents but i've never asked them  

  • heard them ask for like a smaller bill like oh  do you have a 20 or whatever which i have heard  

  • in the u.s all the time also i worked in many  bars in switzerland and dealt with a lot of cash  

  • and it was never really a problem to make  change there was always a lot of cash so i never  

  • had to be in that situation myself but i remember  when i initially moved here i was just shocked and  

  • also to find out that there is a 1 000 swiss franc  note that was a shock on its own i was like what 1  

  • 000 francs and in one bill like it was just it was  just blowing my mind also that the smallest bill  

  • is a 10. i remember being really really shocked  about that when i was in high school i worked  

  • um as a waitress i worked at a golf course  so i was making a lot of my salary and one  

  • dollar bills so coming over here and seeing the  smallest bill was at 10. i remember being like  

  • that is crazy how do people tip you like what can  they tip you they're not going to tip you with 10.  

  • um and yeah anyways i figured all that outjust remember being like the currency here is  

  • really different this one might sound kind of  dumb to you guys but when i first moved here  

  • when i was 17 i was kind of shocked to find out  that swiss people watch mainly us um movies and tv  

  • series for some reason i don't know if i thought  they were all gonna have like if there were  

  • like swiss tv shows or stuff obviously there are  swiss tv shows there are german tv shows you have  

  • all of that here but i remember when i first  moved here in 2009 2010 everybody would talk  

  • to me about the big bang theory and two and  a half men those were like the two tv shows  

  • so many people were obsessed with them andwas like i really don't get it in the us i never  

  • heard people talking about these shows or i didn't  even really realize that these shows were that  

  • popular but then in switzerland everybody was like  talking to me about these shows they were like  

  • oh what about this big bang theory two and a half  men and i was like are these like popular shows i  

  • thought these are just like cable tv shows in in  the us nothing very popular i could be wrong on  

  • that um but i remember being surprised that people  were so interested in like american television and  

  • american movies and um that they just watch it  dubbed a lot of the times in german i was for  

  • some reason surprised by that obviously it makes  sense to me now of course switzerland is not going  

  • to be producing a ton of movies and dramas and tv  series and stuff like that but i remember when i  

  • first moved here i i was a bit surprised by that  another shock that i had was seeing random police  

  • checks of cars so i remember um after i moved  here and we were driving in a car and we got like  

  • flagged down by some police and i was like oh like  what happened were they speeding like what did we  

  • do like is everything all right here and they're  like oh no it's just like a random check and i  

  • was like huh and they're like yeah like the police  just set up like a station and they just randomly  

  • check cars and i'm like what are they checking for  like why are they how can they i don't even know  

  • if that's legal in the u.s to just like stop cars  without any sort of intent other than just random  

  • checks but they're like oh they're going to check  if you have like winter tires and they're going  

  • to check like some stuff on your car and i just  thought that that was super weird and seemed sort  

  • like mod moderately unethical i was like how can  they just randomly stop people without any reason  

  • that was very strange to me but the swiss people  i was with didn't really seem to think like it  

  • was a big deal at all they're just like yeah they  just set up random checks sometimes another shock  

  • that i had was seeing so many people smoking  i was really really surprised by this in the  

  • states and especially where i grew up i reallydon't think i knew a single person that smoke or  

  • a single person's uh parents that smoke you just  don't smell cigarette smoke like it just was not  

  • a thing and then after i came to switzerlandwas like wow you smell cigarette smoke like in  

  • the streets um there are people smoking all over  when i first moved here smoking was still legal  

  • in most bars and restaurants now you have like  smoking rooms but i remember like just seeing  

  • wow there is really like this smoking culture  still here people go for smoking breaks and  

  • um even when i was in university like so many  people went out for smoking breaks and i just  

  • thought that was very strange especially to see  so many young people smoking i guess in my head  

  • i thought okay maybe the only smokers that are  left are like older people that still smoke but  

  • i don't think there's a lot of like new smokers um  but i was totally wrong about that in switzerland  

  • you see a very large amount of young people um  that still smoke um it's just quite common here  

  • still i don't know how else to say it i feel  like in the us it's a little bit more like  

  • people would maybe say something like oh you  know like why are you doing that or that's bad or  

  • um it's very much like well i don't know how  you say like socially it's socially okay if  

  • somebody's smoking to be like oh maybe you should  quit or something like i feel like that's more  

  • okay to talk about whereas here people just  kind of accept it and i don't really hear people  

  • talking about like quitting smoking or stuff like  people just they just smoke and they don't really  

  • seem uh too concerned about it they just keep  smoking okay i have so many to talk about you guys  

  • i feel like i've already done so many of these  videos then i might even need to do another one  

  • but the last one that i'll mention was  seeing the military people everywhere  

  • so we've talked about this before but in  switzerland you have mandatory military service  

  • and when i first moved over here and i would  see all these young men um sometimes in civilian  

  • clothes depending on what they're doing or being  um in their military uniform walking around  

  • the town with like these massive guns or rifles  and that was very surprising to me i grew up in  

  • the countryside there's definitely like you know  gun culture and like hunting and like a lot of  

  • people had like gun lockers and stuff like that  but i had never really like seen it or it's never  

  • really since i didn't hunt or do anything like  that i'd never been around guns had no interest  

  • in that and then when i came here and i would be  in the train and you would see like five young  

  • guys get in with like these massive like rifles  on them or you're at the airport and you see  

  • people like with machine guns that was the first  time i had seen any of that i had never seen um  

  • in the us at an airport or in front of  like a bank and stuff like people with  

  • guns um i guess you don't see people with guns  in front of banks in switzerland but i've seen it  

  • around europe but in switzerland you might see it  at like the zurich airport or whatever and i just  

  • remember being shocked by that like wow that's  like really scary and intimidating and um yeah now  

  • i'm quite adjusted to it you really see um like  the military uh people going home on the weekends  

  • or going to the military um and you see them  with their guns all over the train station and  

  • you know everybody kind of knows what's the deal  what's it about but before i knew about the whole  

  • military thing i thought it was it was a bit  strange and confusing um but yeah i remember  

  • just being really taken back and surprised by  that all right that is it for today's video you  

  • guys these were some of my initial shocks um that  i just had no idea about when i first moved here  

  • keep in mind i have been in switzerland now for  about 10 years on and off so i've gotten adjusted  

  • to absolutely everything um it was actually a bit  of an exercise for me to try to think back on to  

  • that initial initial uh thoughts so if you just  moved to switzerland like i know a lot of you have  

  • leave your initial thoughts or shocks or things  that you notice in the comments down below i would  

  • absolutely love to read them but that is it for  today guys i'll talk to you soon the next one bye

  • you

hey guys welcome back to how to switzerland  

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