Canada and Switzerland


Meret is a Swiss student here at EC this year, who volunteered to share with us about the differences between Canada and Switzerland. Here is her story:

Hi, I would like to tell you about the difference between Vancouver and my home city.
I will start with some background and then I will continue with the biggest differences.

I live in Switzerland, in a very small city by the name of Schaffhausen. I grew up in the village next to Schaffhausen, call Neuhausen. It’s only 10 minutes away from the capital, Schaffhausen. Everything is very close.

Ok, now the main part. I will start with some small insights in the differences regarding the restaurant/food, then people, transportation, and at the end, the residence. Weather and clothing I will skip, because there are almost no differences.

Here in Vancouver you can find a lot of cheap Asian restaurants. In Schaffhausen, is it very expensive to eat Asian food outside. Most of the citizens there go to Germany to enjoy an Asian meal. The nearest German village is only 10 minutes away from Schaffhausen by car.

Here in Vancouver, it’s like in Switzerland in the winter time. The temperature is between minus 5 and minus 10 degrees. But I can’t understand how it is possible that a lot of young women wear short skirts without tights. In Schaffhausen, you see only women with sneakers and 7/8 jeans. That surprised me.
The people in Vancouver are very friendly. If you have a problem, they do not hesitate to help. In Schaffhausen, you can stay one hour with a city map at the same place and nobody will help you. The same is true when you are in a bar/club. The locals speak with the tourist and are interested in their stories. In Schaffhausen, you can sit at the bar and nobody will include you in a conversation. So it’s better when you go out with friends and not alone, if you want to enjoy yourself as much as in Vancouver.

The transportation is very good in Vancouver. It’s possible to catch a train or bus at almost any minute, until about 1 o’clock in the morning. That is so amazing. Also, the ticket for the train/bus is not so expensive. In Schaffhausen, we have also very good transportation. But the tickets can be very expensive and buses only come every 10 or 20 minutes. On weekdays, the last bus leave downtown at midnight.
In Vancouver, it is so funny that the people wait in a line for the bus. The first time as I saw that, I didn’t understand what the people are doing. In Schaffhausen, you wait anywhere by the station.

I live here in Vancouver in a very nice house, with a host family in New Westminster. The big differences between the residence where I live here in Vancouver and the ones in Schaffhausen are the walls/window, the heating and the toilet.
The walls of my homestay are wood, and in Switzerland they are stone. Also, the windows here are simple glazed, while in Schaffhausen they are double glazed.
The heating is a radiator under the window on the floor. In Schaffhausen, we also have radiators, but they are more powerful, and we have also a floor heating.
At my homestay, is it not allowed to drop the toilet paper in the toilet. In Switzerland, it is that normal that you drop the paper in the toilet.

These are only a couple of small difference. I am sure that there are a lot of others.

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