#1 Making a turn right on a red light
I don’t know but something inside me (my Swiss inner voice or my Swiss survival instinct maybe?) tells me it’s NOT OK to pass a light when red.
But. People behind you will get upset if you let your Swiss inner voice take over, so you just make a turn. Interesting, how such a small detail in dailylife can be different in two countries.
#2 Wearing sweatpants everywhere. All. The. Time. Sometimes in combination with flip flops. Even when it’s rainy and dark outside.
It’s an oldie but goodie. It’s something I love about people here. They really don’t give a f***. They will wear the most comfortable looking sweatpants while you pass them wearing a pair of skinny jeans you just want to get rid of the second you get home. No wonder they seem all so relaxed in their cosy pants. But imagine, I would have never gone out shopping wearing my sweatpants in Switzerland. Do you? (Swiss readers). I had to giggle when looking at this GIF. That’s how I would answer if I had to justify why I was wearing sweatpants 5 days in a row (if I would):
#3 Mowing your lawn and washing your clothes on a Sunday
While this is a no-go in Switzerland (for whatever strange reason) it is totally cool here. You can actually do anything you want at any hour of the day. As simple as that. They…
#4 Smiling at and small talking with total strangers. At anytime of the day. Everywhere.
Be it standing in line at the post office, at the supermarket, in the tube.
Anywhere is good enough really for strangers to smile at you and start talking.
This is definitely something that almost never happened to me back home in Switzerland while it happens here almost on a daily base. In Switzerland it is considered weird if someone starts talking to you out of the blue (btw about anything really, nothing in specific). I would be behaving like April in such an interaction (character out of Parks and Recreation):
However, after three months living here, I don’t really mind anymore. It doesn’t freak me out (that’s maybe a strong word but you get what I mean) or anything, I’ve gotten used to it and to ‘talking’ more in public situations (that sounds even weirder but you get it, right?). Who knows. If I get back to Switzerland in May I might find that everyone not talking to each other is weird.
Weird how your perspective on certain behaviors can change when you live in a different place for a while.
I’ve used the word weird too many times I realize. This has to stop.
On a sidenote: Another word I’ve have realized I used way, WAY too much is amazing. The American influence has already taken its toll on my English language capacities (which already aren’t the best to begin with).
#5 Couponing like crazy
I think the American consumer as the very experienced consumer he/she is (I know generalizing is bad and stuff) is all about hunting down the best deals for anything really. I even might have read somewhere that compared with European consumers, Americans are amongst the most frugal shoppers. The amount of times I’ve seen people in the supermarket hand the cashier a pile of coupons. It’s been a lot of times.
You can even find TONS of How-To-Coupon-Books online and in bookshops to find the best ways to save. It’s really a part of their shopping culture. Would you say, Swiss shoppers are equally as eager to save money and use that kind of coupons? I don’t know, I don’t think so?