Monday, June 18, 2007

A year in Switzerland

So a year ago today we were having our father’s day brunch and saying goodbye to the family and to the states. It’s crazy to think it’s been a year. Now all things should magically be easier, right?

Well, some things maybe are, but it’s still often difficult with the whole language thing. But in summary, here’s a list of things I really like about life here and things I don’t. They are in no particular order.

Things I like:
1. Long, unrushed lunch breaks (usually!) (The whole eat a Subway sandwich at your desk to prove your devotion is so lame)
2. Having more creative time to myself (I find myself more and more just loving typing away at my computer about anything and everything)
3. Our view and balcony (Let’s find a real estate agent in the U.S. that can get us a view of a castle and a clock tower…)
4. The spa and the pool, both a 10 minute walk away
5. Sunny Sundays when you’re forced to hike or do something outdoors since nothing else is open
6. Being able to get to so many places in Europe
7. Learning a language
8. Fresh foods and breads
9. Efficient transport
10. Not having a car (except when you really want to buy 4 chairs and can’t)
11. Having a hiking path that’s within a few yards from practically anywhere you are
12. Fairly easy to make friends with expats (hey, we speak the same language, let’s be friends!)
13. 4 weeks of vacation plus a whole week at Christmas
14. Saturday markets below my balcony
15. Creative inspiration that comes from living outside your culture
16. The fact that all people are paid well here (Note: there are no Walmarts in Switzerland)
17. Not having worked a weekend since my job in the US (where I seemed to have worked every weekend for no extra pay)
18. The active lifestyle (people in their 80s are out hiking and this is not a rare thing!)
19. Discouraging the use of cars
20. Drivers that actually stop at pedestrian cross-walks
21. Petit Buerres
22. Free Swiss train transport (thanks, Alstom!)
23. The sound of cow bells
24. The rush you get from finding a good deal (this is rare, so the rush you get is really extreme)
25. Being able to have so many friends and family visit us here

Things I don’t like:
1. Rude, pushy people who have no sense that anyone exists except them
2. Cigarette smoke everywhere
3. Kids that speak German better than me!
4. Lack of a concept of a line, um hello, I was here first…
5. Overpriced everything
6. Never being completely sure of anything including menus
7. Feeling stupid most of the time
8. Rainy Sundays when there’s nothing open
9. Stores closing at 7 when I have to work until 7
10. Being a bag lady and dragging recycling and groceries around town
11. Sharing a laundry room with the world’s smallest washer, slowest dryer and most anal neighbor.
12. Always being corrected by my neighbor
13. Being so far from friends and family
14. Always debating whether to use the formal or informal “you”
15. Swiss rules that make no sense (don’t take a bath after 10pm because you’ll wake your neighbor. But go play in a brass band from 6pm until 6am outside during Fasnach)
16. The stress that comes from being an outsider and trying to fit in
17. Swiss German. It makes me feel like I’m never making any progress with my high German.
18. Not being able to have a simple conversation with a cashier.
19. Freaking out at simple things like a man on the street who wants me to save the animals or something.
20. My stressed husband
21. Being taxed by two countries and good ole W raising the taxes on already stressed expats this year—please!! We are the only citizens in the developed world paying taxes of a country we’re not currently living in.
22. The looks you get from wearing shorts, white socks, or baseball hats
23. Having a freezer the size of a shoebox
24. Foods spoiling the day after you buy them
25. Tying my paper recycling into neat stacks with strings every 6 weeks


sunflower said...

Chính thức bye bye e thể dục...thấy nhẹ cả ng
E Hoa Hoàng, try do...tôn thờ tiêu chí..."lành làm gáo, vỡ làm muôi, vỡ nữa làm thìa" ok..hehe...k vc j phải lo
dịch vụ làm báo cáo tài chính tại hải phòng
dịch vụ kế toán tại hà nam
dịch vụ kế toán thuế tại hải phòng
Mỗi ngày đi làm đều canh cánh trong lòng việc không phải quốc gia nhưng nhất định là đại sự: TRƯA NAY ĂN GÌ

Mary said...

This article has covered the topic quite well. Very informational and interesting. Thanks for sharing this knowledge with us.

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