Friday, November 11, 2011

10 things you notice about Switzerland when you have a baby

One: Most building entrances have stairs and no ramps

Two: It is possible for the concept of shared laundry in the basement to get even worse

Three: It’s really uncool to take a stroller accessible spot on a bus when you don’t have a stroller

Four: There are a lot more hills in your town than you thought and somehow they got steeper

Five: Even when they are 35% off at Migros, it’s still cheaper to buy your Pampers in Germany

Six: The Swiss authorities are more concerned with that misspelling on your birth certificate 30+ years later than the City of Chicago ever was

Seven: Quiet hours need not apply

Eight: Even when the grocery store is across the street, online grocery shopping takes on a whole new appeal

Nine: You neighbor no longer lectures you about how you do laundry; instead she brings it up to your door when you forget to take it out of the dryer

Ten: When the maintenance guy wants to come at 7 am, you no longer think that is too early


Tanya D said...

Ditto. Especially number three.

eponymousmoniker said...

so true!! Laundry went from minor nuisance to bain of my existence after I had a baby here! And I stare daggers at all those oblivious teenagers filling up the pram spots on public transportation.

Jess, Andrew and Family said...

Raising a child here is so different than in the US! You will find that the older Swiss ladies LOVE to lecture you about how to dress your child weather appropriate. Either your child is dressed too cold, or he/she is dressed to warm. You can't win. We were also stopped constantly last year when our child was sleeping in the stroller. Apparently it really bothers the Swiss when a child is sleeping with the wrong neck angle.

I could think of a million other things, but I will say that the Swiss playgrounds by far make up for the Swiss quirks you encounter! Oh, they are magical! We went to Baden last year and I think we spent most of the time at the large playground there. With so many lawsuits, you would never find anything like that in the US. Also, just wait until your child can go to the Swiss Kindergarten. The site of seeing 20 4 year olds playing in the snow and sledding is something to see. In DC school is canceled if we have an inch of snow on the ground.

Chantal said...

Forget having a kid as an excuse, I've played on the Swiss playgrounds myself! They are so much better than the lawsuit inspired things they call playgrounds in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

So true.

About #1: What for? The Swiss don't understand you may want to take your stroller upstairs. They love leaving them in the basement or ground floor. My wife once saw a bunch of them "parked" in the lobby of some residential building and the best bit... there was a boy sleeping, alone, in one of them.

About #10: Die Post always rings at 7am for delivering packages. Before the baby that was ungodly early, now it's just when I get my 1st coffee :D

Chantal said...

And most buildings (like mine) have a few stairs just to get inside...

Yeah, I've even seen parents take their newborn in its car seat and set it on a bench next to the pool while they go swimming.

Hattie said...

Heh. I got so burned out on laundry after having a baby in Switzerland that now my husband does it.

Chantal said...

My husband has done about 95% of the laundry since bringing her home! So I guess I can't complain too much. But I know more of my share is coming.

Pat said...

This reminds me of bringing up my baby in Paris. The French are baby raising experts and I was stopped on the streets by strangers, who checked to make sure my baby's belly was covered, her bonnet tied and her behavior appropriate! ha

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...

I hear you on number 2. Hard to believe, but shared laundry in San Francisco is a bigger pain than in CH. In our Zurich building, there were 8 apartments and we NEVER had trouble getting wash done. Our SF building has 4 apartments and the washing machine is always in use!

Chantal said...

Emily, could there possibly be more babies in your SF place? Would explain the busy washers :-)

Lindsey said...

Oh my, you're lucky on number 9. My neighbor rings my bell and scolds me, tells me to go get it and scoffs and she walks away. Boo!

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