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You can’t make this up! 7 shocking Swiss experiences…

Awkward Swiss Situations

Moving to a new continent is exciting but also scary.

A part of you wonders whether you will be accepted – or whether you will even like the new place. I moved from Zimbabwe to Switzerland and have had my fair share of shocks and awkward experiences... Here are seven Swiss experiences that you simply can’t make up:

The value of sunshine

When I first arrived in Switzerland, I always wondered why everyone was so obsessed with the weather. A ray of sunshine and everyone is out on the streets!

I hail from a sunny land and it took me a while to learn what a treat the sun is… Meanwhile, I have jumped on the weather bandwagon, too!


The calling of university professors by their first name

This is unheard of where I come from! In fact, it is punishable and it even extends to children calling adults by first name…

Alas, it took me a while to adjust and call my professor by his first name: “Elisio”!


About that expensive calf's liver "Kalbsleberli"

In Zimbabwe, calf’s liver is one of the cheapest meats you can get! I know, Swiss cows are great and all. But what makes their liver so much more expensive?

I am far from home and desperate... It is such a delicious meat, so what the heck can I do about it than pay Swiss prices?


The solarium incident at the gym

I had a gym tour and they were showing off the great facilities. It was going really well until we got to the solarium.

The guide stopped, looked at me and said: “I am sure you won’t be needing that.” She was right - I have loads of melanin but could not help but laugh!


Cholera (the food, not the terrible disease!)

Cholera is a dish? Like, what the heck? Am I the only one to point out that this Valais specialty is a terrible disease in many parts of the world?

Nearly five years into my Swiss life, I still have not been able to bring myself to trying cholera…


On being black in Switzerland

Before moving to Switzerland, I did not think too much about my skin color. Most people looked like me, after all.

Now, I will be randomly sitting at the bus stop and a lady will sit next to me and tell me about her friend from a random African country. She then goes on to tell me how lucky I am to be black. I smile, and I want to say the casual “you too!” But it sounds weird in my head, so I just say “thank you” instead.


Empty seats

How polite the Swiss are, though! You get on a train and have to ask if a clearly empty seat is free. If you don’t ask, you will suffer from a stare down that will make you regret it!

Trust me, I learned it the hard way...


So there you have it! Some truly awkward situations, wouldn't you say?


Fungai is a blogger based in Zürich Switzerland and originally from Zimbabwe. She loves to write and to celebrate the differences that make people who they are. Fungai is also passionate about Gaelic Football, Swiss Cheese, English Breakfasts and African sunsets.

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