Books we can't stop
Diccon Bewes 2012
If you're an expat in Switzerland, you certainly had your fair share of wanting to understand and to be understood, although you didn't expect any cultural shock from a western environment you kind of thought you know well enough. That's why you have to put your hands on this book and from the first pages you'll start nodding and smiling, or laughing out loud as my friend and myself did while train-riding and observing some of the described things while happening. I felt the need the to share lots of passages with my friends and well, my Insta followers just to crack that smile, because #unexpected.
It's the kind of things you're wining about, but you're not even upset by them, and once observed and understood by you and others trapped on this island, make you part of the same clan of those who start to get it.
How else would you explain that the most popular tik-tok videos and youtube videos are about comparing Swiss to any other nation, culture, by underlining the difference between normal and well...the Swissness? You'll definitely learn so much from this book that will even help you if you ever going to apply for citizenship. If not, it will help you with navigating your new life and get that british sarcasm as a well deserved bonus. If he could do it, can't we all?
Get to know the author
He's British, he's gay and he's an avid traveller. His worldtrip turned him into a writer, but not the hobby kind of, but the one who spent ten years writing at Lonely Planet. That for me translates into someone who's culturally curios and pretty aware of biases. Him moving to Switzerland fed this passion and us, readers can only thank him for putting it so funnily into a book.
Swiss Watching was also a financial times book of the year.
Quotes and pages
click to enlarge and read
And this is why the Swiss are like coconuts. It’s not because they are small and hairy and you want to throw things at them. Rather, it’s hard to break through their outer shell and into their private sphere. But once you do, you have a friend for life.
English-speaking societies on the other hand are peaches – every stranger is a potential friend – although British people, he admits, are possibly more like pineapples: a little prickly at first but easier to get past than a coconut shell.
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