Rajivpatel

BUSINESS COLUMNIST FOR SWISS RADIO AND TELEVISION

Follow Rajiv and watch his videos on Facebook and Twitter.

Rajiv Patel is economic attaché at the Embassy of India in Berne and business columnist for Swiss Radio and Television. He has a degree in finance from the University of Delhi and does management consultancy for large corporations worldwide. He enjoys cricket, sudoku and love songs.

I’m an expat in Switzerland. Do you have any tips?

Dear Rajiv,

I’m an expat in Switzerland. Do you have any tips?

Richard P., Nyon

Oh lucky you! Switzerland is great for expats, especially because it is so safe. I mean, you’ll probably never get run over while crossing the street. Your kids definitely won’t get kidnapped on their way home from school. And you can buy a kebab, or a bratwurst, or even a samosa (if you find one) from any street vendor without worrying about getting ebola. The only real risk is boredom. And I mean: extreme, hard-core, deadly boredom.

It usually takes a few months to sink in. Everyone manages to keep busy at first, thanks to home cinema, Ikea, and the playground down by the lake. But then comes the winter, and you realize that this is for real. And that everything is always closed on Sundays. And that your neighbor’s favorite subject is the weather.

A lot of the boringness actually comes from the Swiss themselves. They love to agree on things, and then go to bed early. But luckily, Switzerland also comes with a lot of nature. So my tip is: forget your neighbors and go to the mountains. Enjoy the incredible landscapes. Discover some of the many exciting outdoor activities you can do, like paragliding, heli-skiing or mushroom picking. And when you feel the pressing need for some human interaction, find other expats like yourself; then spend all your time together criticizing the Swiss.

You know what, Richard? You may not even feel the boredom, because you are always away on business trips. The real danger is your wife. She has to talk to the neighbors on a daily basis and bring the children to the playground. I see them all the time, pushing their kids on the swings, while single Swiss dads – the less boring type – start a conversation, like vultures ready to strike. My tip to you my friend: keep an eye on Madame. She might suddenly find Switzerland a lot less boring.

Follow Rajiv and watch his videos on Facebook and Twitter.

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