The dream of many Serbs is to "go abroad", to get residence and work permit in some of the countries of the European Union and to have a life from a fairytale. Our interlocutor Danijel Sabo (33) confirmed that the first steps abroad are not so easy. Life has taken him from his birth village Rusko Selo, near Kikinda, to far away Switzerland.
His life story became well known in public when people found out that Albanian, Serb, and Hungarian share bread in the richest part of Switzerland, Voler. Daniel's boss Slavisa Markovic from Golija didn't choose workers according to religion or nationality, so Daniel and Ermin Ramadani from Prizren quickly justified the chief's decision - he had no regrets because he offered them the job. The word spread out that they work together perfectly, there is no room for politics, and the only quarrels are around tools.
We have found Danijel and we wanted to know what it is like to live in Switzerland?
- I wouldn't say that we are famous, it is normal here, but thank you for wanting to write about the other side of the coin of living abroad. Switzerland is a foreign country to me, to Ermin and to our boss Slavisa. We are from Balkans, we share the same fate, we came with one goal, to work and to earn money, and if we don't help one another, then no one is going to help us - Danijel said honestly.
Like every day, Danijel, Ermin and the boss Slavisa are drinking the morning coffee together, they make plans for that day, and for the next one. As they say, nothing can be done without a plan and a good organization. It was difficult at the beginning, we didn't know the language, but it is different now, said Danijel.
- It may seem easy to go away, but trust me, it isn't. I have left Serbia because there is no work for me, I am a locksmith by occupation. Companies started closing and I realized that I won't be able to create anything for me or for my family if I stay here. The relief was that I have a passport from the EU, and I was spared of the troubles of waiting for the appointments for a visa in front of the consulate. I packed my suitcase and came to Switzerland.
Danijel worked as a locksmith, plasterer, painter, he placed isolation, he is currently placing bathrooms, kitchens, and heating. He knew to do some jobs before he came to Switzerland, but he learned a lot while working with his colleague Ermin, with the great support of his boss Slavisa.
- About work, there is too much of it, skills are appreciated, it is important just to know how to work. That is how I started, they gave me the tools and said - here, go to work. Their advantage is that they are also working during schooling, so their work continuity is not stopping. The system is designed in such a way that you are going to school and working at the same time. Hourly wage depends on the job, for example, packing is around 13-14 francs, up to 35, painters can get up to 25 francs, my job is paid a bit higher, this is the only place where I used my locksmith school - said Danijel.
THE EXPENSES ARE GREAT, ONE-ROOM APARTMENT IS 2.000 FRANCS
In order for 4 member family to have basic living conditions, apartment, food, insurance, car, it is not enough for one person to work. The price for a room is 800 francs, a one-room apartment is 2.000 franks, including the deposit of three months rent.
- Health insurance for the three-member family is around 700 francs, if you have a car, parking space is around 80 francs a month, when you add all the expenses, plus food, clothes, montly expenses come up to 3.000 francs. The only mitigating circumstance was that I came with the EU passport, a lot of our people had problems with the appointments, they are waiting for the visa for a long time, it is hard to find an apartment, then the reconnection with the family and everything is done from the consulate in Serbia.
THERE IS NO "WELL DONE" IN SWITZERLAND
Every work is appreciated, no matter the occupation, from workers to highly educated profiles.
- The saying "you are on time, like a "Swiss clock" is completely justified, they are accurate, precise, and above all, they respect their own and your time. You pay for every mistake, I mean in time, there is no room for sloppiness, you repairing things until you get the job done. The only thing that is missing is the motivation for good work. The employer will never praise you as they do in Serbia, that is the policy, they think that if they praise you, you will no longer work as good and you will stop making progress, but I think differently. There is praise in Serbia, but no money. Luckily, my boss is a Serb, so there are always words of praise - Danijel made a joke.
WE ARE WORKING IN SCHUMACHER AND FEDERER'S NEIGHBORHOOD, BUT OUR THOUGHTS ARE TAKING US TO OUR HOMELANDS
- As I said in the beginning, we all came with one goal, to create a better future. We are currently working in Federer and Schumacher's neighborhood, I had the chance to see them, they are calling them "glass houses", those are glamorous villas - adds Danijel.
- In the end, when I add everything up, I have done a lot this year, I think that I would need many years in Serbia for this. The family is most important for me, my son and my wife, their future and the conditions, so they can live well. If you ask me, am I happy, yes I am. But, I am homesick for my friends, for Serbia, family. You can do anything, but the time without my dearest ones, I can never get that back, Danijel is honest in the end of our conversation.
(Telegraf.co.uk / Dragana Ivanic)