1. Can you describe where you are from?
I was born and raised in Normandy, France, near the landing beach where the famous Battle of Normandy happened during World War II. Normandy is very green; we cultivate apples and make a famous liquor drink called Calvados. After 25 years in France, I decided to explore the world and that’s where I started a new journey in Asia, precisely in the modern and attractive city of Singapore.
2. Can you give a brief description of what French culture is?
France has a long history of royalty until the people took power in 1789 during the revolution. Then France decided its values: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Our culture is strongly influenced by these values. Moreover, its people developed strong creativity skills in many industries, such as fashion, food and wine, theatre, among many others.
3. How long were you in Singapore and how long have you been in Switzerland? What brought you to live in these two countries?
What brought me to Singapore: A strong desire to discover the world. I lived in Singapore for six years and frequently traveled four times a month for work and weekend trips. I spent a lot of time in Bali (Indonesia), Hong Kong, Taiwan, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Bangkok (Thailand) and Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam). It was an incredible experience.
What brought me to Switzerland: The perfect alignment with my lifestyle. I arrived in Switzerland in February this year thanks to commercetools.
4. What was it like living and working in Singapore compared to France?
At first when passing through the airport doors, it was the jungle-warm and humid weather that was the most surprising. Singapore is quite an easy city with a cultural openness. For instance, each dominant religion is well represented and has strong mutual respect. Singlish is the dominant language. Finally, the great surprise is its people’s diversity. At the office, you will likely work with Japanese, Australian, Indian, Chinese, Singaporeans, French and many more.
For work in France, I was often taking the car or train to visit clients from one city to another. Paris to Lille for instance. In Singapore, it was a lot more exotic. I was a frequent flyer visiting most major Asian cities. It only took me the first six months to fill in my passport with country Visa stamps. Other than that, the working environment in Singapore is fully in English with a constant summer work outfit
5. What parts of Swiss culture do you connect with?
It seems that Geneva in Switzerland offers the same cultural diversity with a different mix. My neighbours are Italian, Swiss, Brazilian, Russian, Lebanese, French and Columbian. Moreover, Switzerland’s outdoor activities are unbelievable: mountains, Lake Geneva, hiking trails and lots of amazing panoramic views.
Finally, even the diversity among the Swiss is unique. There are three national languages: German, Italian and French. The country is organized by Canton and each of them has great autonomy.