I have been here now over a year. I have been very fortunate to meet a lot of Zug people. If we have not met, it is a matter of time. I am looking forward to that because Zug has really fun people. All special in their own way. Every interaction is a blast and an opportunity to unveil the many facets of this canton. On the way I figured out patterns, in the sense of groups that most of us belong to. Like with any segmentation or grouping, nothing is absolute. But we might see ourselves, a part of us, fitting into one of the tribes, as I call them. Or not. You let me know. Keep an open mind. It is intended for a laugh. At least this is how I treat stereotypes. Same like zodiac signs.
They were born and they grew up here. They are polite, somewhat low key, mostly introvert. One could say not so open minded, but I disagree. Seeing your own birthplace being populated by over 130 nationalities, that make over 1/3 of the people around you, and hosting them beautifully in your own town, this makes them in my books quite open minded. Personally I feel grateful to them. Imagine suddenly your own town becoming a Babel tower where over 15 languages are being spoken around you at any time.
Where they go: For fun, mostly to restaurants in the old town and outside Zug city. For shopping, they go where everybody goes. They are around us. They are the ones that will reprimand you when you cross a red traffic light as a pedestrian. Rightly so. As I was told once “what is the example you give to children?” Rightly so.
What they tell me: “Me and my friends are surprised that you are surprised with our habits here. Yes, Coop leaves the stuff out at night and when I was 15 years old, with my friends, we stole a small plant. Just for the fun of it. We have never returned it, but we did not steal anything else since then.”
What they love: That we love their canton. They feel ownership and responsibility to keep it as special as it is. Despite the overwhelming influx of cultural diversity. They also love my pictures on Instagram because I show the beauty of this little paradise.
What they watch on Netflix: Friends, Stranger Things and Thirteen reasons why. For the younger. For the older, Ozark and Broadchurch, plots taking place in small cities. All with German subtitles or dubbing. They think their English is not good. It is perfect actually.
This is a subgroup of the Locals, but they are worth distinguishing. Why? Simple. They run the city. It is a handful of very influential people with big families and lots of votes in their pocket. They are the real gatekeepers of all the things that make Zug Zug, that make Zug special. They own buildings and businesses. They are well known and well respected. They have stories. From the past and the present. They have opinions. For the present and the future.
Where they go: They have the same habits for the past 30 years, even before we showed up. Be it the coffee at their favorite spot or swimming in the lake all year round. They tend to support each others establishments. They go to places owned by their friends. This is what keeps this place still the place where they were born, went to school, have fallen in love, created their family and their wealth.
What they tell me: “You have to learn German. Or even better Schweizer Dütsch.” And not to cross the street with a red traffic light, even if empty for miles on both directions. I am doing both. Learning and obeying.
What they love: the Edelweiss shirt that they will proudly wear at a Schwingen festival.
What they watch on Netflix: Nothing. No Netflix. Swiss German TV. That rocks. Period.
Hello there. Although Swiss myself, I am one of them still, since I was not born here, but moved here for a better life. Didn’t we all? There is so much I can say about this genre. The Expat speaks at least 3 languages, works for an international company, has an above average income. They currently hold a B permit and are excited to get the C one. It is an honor. If they stay longer, they will definitely go for the Swiss nationality. The German is a bit on the way, but this will be addressed in due time. They are doing the effort to learn, but success is not the first word that comes to mind regarding learning German. The Expats love Zug. In their own way. They are proud of it and when they go back to their countries, they also tell stories. About Zug and its people. And the others listen in awe.
Where they go: To work. This is why they are here and they put the long hours. After that, it is the gym. And maybe during the week, a drink at Pier 41.
What they tell me: Lots. Lots of fun chats. And questions. Where to find this, where to go out, etc. And recently “why haven’t you posted something for a while?” They are right. I had several exams and I have been nerding my life out. I am back.
What they love: My blog. Just kidding. Their fancy car. I want to be kidding again, but the truth is that the Expat cars tend to be very expensive, which indeed shows lots of love poured into their 4 wheels. Consider this comment out of jealousy, since I do not have a car at all. But no judgment. Whatever makes people happy makes me happy.
What they watch on Netflix: What is “Popular on Netflix”, what is “New on Netflix”. They are up to speed with everything. Test them.
The Lady in Charge
These are the women running the Expat households. So yes, another subgroup, but they are my favorite ones, therefore the extra mention. We talk often, we hang out, we have fun. Many of them do not work, focusing on the family, the kids, the dog. The husband works a lot, travels a lot, somebody has to stay behind and secure the family well-being. Some they have started their own businesses. Either online products and services or small shops in the city. They are educated themselves, with a previous career that they have put currently on hold. They have lots of energy and a great sense of humor. At least the ones I hang out with.
Where they go: Shopping. Yes, there is the clothes and accessories bit often, but the main one is supermarket, stuff for the kids and the house. Fitness is a priority. As well as meeting with the other moms for lunch, and occasionally me (not a mom), in between errands and before picking up the kids.
What they tell me: “Wednesday at noon will you be downtown?” Yes there is a downtown, Zug people.
What they love: The family first. A glass of cold Chardonnay. And their Birkin. For all the work they are putting in, an Hermes bag is the least they could get. If you already do not have one, ask him. There is a waiting list. Ask now so you have it next year.
What they watch on Netflix: Believe it or not, there is not much time for Netflix. But if they get to it, it is all about “Modern Family”, “Dead to me”, “Good Girls” and “Working Moms”. For the obvious reasons.
The Absent Expat
I want to single out and shame this particular group. Because I am very upset. Because I miss you so much!!! This is also a subgroup of the Expats, but not my favorite one. For a simple reason. They are never here! They work lots and then, when the weekend arrives, they disappear. They fly away. Literally. Zug is the place where they work and make money. Real life is somewhere else. In Italy, France, Spain, US, Dubai, Seychelles. The world. It is like we kill people in Zug when there is a day off or during the weekends. I am trying to connect with friends within that group (you know who you are) and their first available weekend is September 2021. Either because they have not found an economical ticket for a getaway or because they have not been yet invited anywhere for that weekend. This is not nice, people. Stay here. Show some love to Zug. I can show you the fun. In a good way. Don’t get any ideas.
Where they go: Anywhere but Zug on a non-working day. Period.
What they tell me: “Yeah let’s book something for when I am back”, “I am going to Madrid for the weekend”, “For real? Your story last night was from Zug? Where is that? It seemed fun.” By the way this last bit, I also get it from Locals and other tribes. People almost every week, they get surprised that there is wild fun and action in the canton of Zug. Join me for the live proof.
What they love: Their passport. Their flight pillow. The bottle water to stay hydrated. Their frequent flyer and hotels chains Gold status.
What they watch on Netflix: Whatever they can download on their phones and PCs to watch during their flights.
The Uber Rich
I am not referring to the 5 Uber drivers of the canton. I have no idea how much they make. I am talking about the billionaires of the canton. They are here for the obvious reasons. You know them by name and very few of us have met one or two briefly at local events. They live here and everywhere in the world. Because they have to. The world indeed is their oyster. We know more about these Zug people from financial magazines and newspapers than first hand. So this section will be brief. I also suspect that if I say more, something bad might happen to me. Accidentally.
Where they go: When they are here, nowhere. They go to them. They stay home. If you had their homes, you would do the same.
What they tell me: Nothing. I do not know why. One could say we have nothing in common. Yet.
What they love: I have no idea, but I would guess their private jet. I would love it too. It is cute and comfy.
What they watch on Netflix: The shares. The Netflix shares they own in the stock market.
Does it ever happen to you to take a look at the name tags on the mailboxes of your buildings? Do you ever wonder why in similar size apartments to yours there are like 5 names? Do you ever think that there is so much love in that space to host so many people? Well, there is not. Actually there might be some love, but not among 5 souls. Most likely the 3 souls of these nametags on the mailbox have never stepped in through that building door. They appreciate the building and what it has to offer from a distance. They are nice enough to offer their name on the mailbox without ever using that bathroom on the second floor. Nevertheless I am sure they are lovely people.
Where they go: No idea.
What they tell me: Nothing. I exist for them as much as they physically exist in the canton.
What they love: That mailbox and what it offers them. No further guesses.
What they watch on Netflix: “Narcos”, “How to get away with murder”, “How I met your mother”, I have no idea, just guessing.
They are young and beautiful and trendy. Girls and boys. They work in the city, but they live in Luzern. Still they consider themselves, and I agree, as Zug people. They love their own hometown and they would not move from it for anything. Zug is close enough distantwise and feelwise to leave Luzern for a few hours everyday.
Where they go: To work and then back. To Luzern. By train or car.
What they tell me: “You should come to Luzern to go out. You’ll love it”, “Have you thought of Luzern.rocks?”
What they love: That they have two homes. Luzern and Zug. That they did not have to abandon their high school friends, their families.
What they watch on Netflix: The coolest of the shows. Whatever has fast cars, lots of suspense for the boys and trendy fashion and intense love stories for the girls..