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About Shell_

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  1. I grew up in another "rust belt" city just south of Detroit, Cleveland Ohio. Detroit has indeed been in decline for at least 20 years, since the auto industry started to outsource to cheaper locales and the steel mills and such shut down. It didn't have much else in the way of industry and couldn't recover from it. It has been a depressing and scary place for quite some time. Haven't watched the documentary yet, but will be doing so over the week. Looking forward to seeing how much more it has declined in the 15 or so years since I was last there.
  2. I'm fairly open, but my husband is working at Canary Wharf so hopefully something with an easy commute there. If it was just us and no cats, that's what we'd do until we were a bit more firmly planted in London and knew what our real budget is...but with the cats, we aren't prepared to go that route, unfortunately. You mean scary things like cars, other more aggressive animals, people with vendettas and poison, etc.?
  3. They're indoor only cats, and we're hoping not to have a ground floor place. Will check out Camberwell, thanks!
  4. I need to find a one bedroom apartment in a safe area for under 700 a month in London...but we have two cats. Is this even possible? Suggestions for areas, your experiences, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
  5. And if you end up with a green card and then decide to leave, you'll be filing and paying taxes and informing them of your bank account details/balances for the rest of your life.
  6. I think your friends live in a vacuum then. It was at the top of all the news - particularly among the right-leaning news outlets in the States. Even at the canteen for the US Congress, the name was changed to "freedom fries".
  7. 1. Medicare is for old people. Medicaid is nearly impossible to qualify for. Average working people have a very difficult time getting health insurance - especially affordable insurance - unless it comes with their job. People go untreated because they don't have insurance. People die because they don't have insurance. Most bankruptcies in America are due to medical bills. 2. No job = no health insurance. Unemployment benefits are slightly better than the UK on the surface, but horrible, indeed. 3. The American Dream is a highly unattainable thing for most Americans. 4. There's truth both in what you say and what the OP said 5. That's up for debate. I think parts will survive and thrive and parts will dissolve into utter chaos. Not claptrap in the least.
  8. Well, that certainly puts an interesting spin on the issue in this thread: http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...howtopic=122212
  9. Definitely effort is key, and to stay learning high german is the first step. Most immigrants to Switzerland never really learn Swiss German to any fluent level. Most, like me, just understand a good chunk of it but don't speak it. Even Germans moving to Switzerland struggle with the dialect. Integration, however, is difficult. The Swiss are wary of foreigners. And in the eyes of many, many Swiss, foreigners are someone who comes from the neighboring canton. My inlaws came here from the former Czechoslovakia in the 70s, and while my mother in law spoke very good high German and a bit of Swiss German and tried very hard to integrate, I could count the number of Swiss that weren't friends of my husband who came to her funeral on one hand. Friendships here are forged in kindergarten, and often people have a hard time breaking free of that. That's part of why the expat communities (of whatever original nationality) here become insular. Imagine walking down the street and seeing this: That was a very popular advertisement for a political party not too long ago about foreigners. Oh - Sicherheit Schaffen means Safety Sheep.... All of that being said, if you are able to crack the shell of a Swiss person, you'll find nobody more loyal. It just is difficult for most foreigners to be able to make that crack in the rather tough shell.
  10. Most of my coworkers that spoke German around me were from Germany, so I'm pretty good with my high German understanding. But even after nearly seven years here, I struggle with thicker Swiss German dialects.
  11. Nah, the pie shop is open weekdays till 7, Saturdays till 4.
  12. Actually, they live far from the Alps.
  13. These people live quite close to where I do in Switzerland. Having kids that age makes it nearly impossible for her to get a job. Schools here do not run on a normal schedule. Both kids may attend the same school and have different starting, ending and lunch times every day of the week. Schools do not provide lunches, the children go home. Child care to take care of the kids during those hours when she is at work would probably cost as much if not more than a part time salary. Also, they live out in the countryside, which does not make it easy for meeting new people, especially if you don't speak the local dialect. Swiss German is not standard German, and when you go to classes to learn German you don't learn what's spoken on the street. Swiss German is not a written language, so it is more something you're born with and learn as you grow up than something you study. Integration in Switzerland is very, very difficult for outsiders. Even more so for English speaking foreigners, as they have the (dis)advantage of having many services in English (or at least websites in English), and a lot of people here will at least speak the basics.
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