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Zurich - great public transportations (at worst 5 minutes late), great nightlife, great landscapes, very safe, very good administration, quite international, good salaries.
... BUT: fucking bullshit overpriced tickets - oneway ticket is 4.20 CHF - which is OK if you consider the average salary -, unless you take it at night, for you which you have to pay a NACHTZUSCHLAG - which is funny, for it is damn expensive (like 10 CHF in total for one 4-stops ticket. I paid less to go to Munich by bus!) and there is ABSOLUTELY NO TRANSPORTATION POSSIBILITY after 00:30, except for fridays and saturdays. That being a problem if you have to work in bars/restaurans/whatever and do the night shift.
So, you could take a bike, and ride all the way back home. My personal experience was that I didn't feel too safe on a bike in the city traffic either, but, anyway, how you wanna ride back to /wherever/ during winter if it's snowing? Plus, most of the time you will have to ride for ages, because your room in a shared flat is whether 2000CHF/month if it's anywhere close to the centre, or it's in the middle of f*****g nowhere - up the hill, out of town. If it's anything like closer to """""""""""""""""""""""""cheap""""""""""""""""""""""""""", then you got lists of 300 people seeing it - they "will let you know on saturday", but you'll never hear from then again, even if you try to call them or text them.
What about a car!? Forget it. Their speed cameras are as huge as war machines and have cameras on both sides, so you actually get flashed twice for the same 2km/h excess. There is one of them every 20 meters, so there is just no chance - even if you are a 90y.o. granny driving an Italian fiat panda, you'll gather a fair amount of 500 CHF car tickets (i.e. 2 flashes) per month. Let's talk about the parking lots: even up on the hill where there is not even one single fuckin shepard living, they'll have blue stripes - you can park for free... but only up to 2 hours, then you need to remove the car - or you get fined. OR you can buy a daily pass for - if I'm not mistaken - 20 CHF (per day, of course).
Administration is really good - except for if you are a foreigner, I guess. They keep asking you for documents for about 6 months, even LOSING your own documents, messing up with your post and addresses, having you wait because they were on 3-weeks holiday but then longing you to be as fast as possible.
It's safe - unless you walk along one of the biggest clubbing discricts, the Langstrasse, where there are specialized pick-pockers who just rob you as easily as they ouldn't do in any other country, just because you'd never expect it to happen here. I was personally robbed twice, one of which by a taxi driver.
The police: they just don't give a shit. I am Italian and I come from a place where our police men (i carabinieri) have been made fun of for ages for a reason - but what happens here is just that they don't even look away from thei PC screen and into your face while you're talking to them. They rarely speak any kind of most basic English, and they even make you - or, let's get personal now: made ME feel GUILTY for having being robbed because I am Italian and "all the people fomr Morocco and Tunisia who stop in lampedusa all come up to Switzerland". So they dont, or if yes, very reluctantly, help you.
I just bought one of these travel bags you can hide under your clothes, you know, one of these bags that have been designed for countries like Brazil.... but I'm wearing it in Zurich.
One more interesting point about this Langstrasse district: does any of you have Dark Angel in mind? All these people looking weird and with deformities and stuff living in the canalization system of the city? Beware: we have a peculiar expression in Italian (which of course was also created among our own folks, so this is not about discriminating but about expressing my experience here): "hanno aperto le gabbie".
Which literally means: "the cagas have been opened" ...and let out all the fucking weirdos sickos permanently on drugs, prostitutes of any kind, some of them even walking around naked (but it's not some nice viewing, I assure you).
And the weather: please give us a break! The sun is NEVER - i mean, NEVER shining!
Anyway, now, down to the utmost important point of the whole thing: THE PEOPLE.
YES: I need to agree with some fellows here who have expressed their opinion before: cold, arrogant and boring. I am not saying this about the whole of Switzerland as I have basically and almost only been (living) in Zurich, but that's what (most of) these people are. Fearing to take in any change, quite close-minded, but most of all: RACIST and PHONY. Sorry, but that's what people from Zurich say about themselves as well :).
There are a few exceptions who I truly appreciate and I enjoy talking to - but the vast majority just makes me feel I want to drop a bomb onto the whole place.
Racist - no matter where from, no matter how much you're trying to undesrtand their language. Actually, even if you speak German, they discriminate you - because (most of them) don't want to. They write and read in high german, but only speak in their own dialect - and even discriminate people from their own country as well, arrogantly making fun of other's places accents / dialects. Excuse me but, even if I might find the sicilian or the naples dialect funny because I'm from Milan and I really cannot understand one single word of what's being said, I don't make such a hassle out of it and treat someone who comes from Palermo in a shit way just ebcause of where he's from (anyone gets the point here?).
And so PHONY, in that they seem to be all very good at smiling and being nice but can just as easily turn away and start talking about you int he worst way possible.
Just a few examples: usual customers at the place I work at, interacting with 2 more guys who were pretty drunk and who were therefore making an effort to even speak normally. One of these "Stammkunde" comes to me and says loudly - on purpose! - that, in his opinion, these 2 guys where 2 fucking retarded and should have been elected for receiving disables benefits. Why do you say that to ME outloud? What's the point? And even if they were retarded, what's your problem? Do they deserve to be treated like 2 pieces of shit (in public) just because you youself feel superior and because they're - not even from another city, but from a different friendship network as yours!
Or, we have a dinner with some german people as well and some positive and negative things are said about their experience in Switzerland. The (Swiss) person hosting is very nice, but - as soon as the Germans leave - she starts discriminating and making a whole point out of why the germans should go back to their own country etc. etc. etc. (just one mere example out of many of the same kind), telling ME about how wrong and unnice they are and how they're stupid and don't deserve to be in this country. Why do you tell ME about it? After they left? Couldn't you express your opinion before and to them?
I tell you one thiing: I have been here for the 4 longest months of my life, and I have been living in other countries as well. I am a linguistic and translator, I love coutnries, languages, people - but this is getting a bit too far from what I was expecting.
There is no way that they make you feel integrated, wherever you're from (and especially if you're German).
I am from a very fucked up country, i.e. Italy, and there are 5000 billions thiings that don't work there either - but at least we're honest with it.
No matter how many times per day I try to see it under a positive light, and how many (actually few) very nice people I meet along the way, and so on: my point of view and aim is quiickly turning into "I just want to get back all the money that I've wasted so far, and soon leave."