Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Frau's American Experiment

The Frau doesn’t want to write about it because if she writes about it it will become real, but there it is: The Frau is leaving Switzerland.

Sort of.

Let her explain.
Good-bye, Switzerland. Hello, American experiment.

A lot of things have happened this year. Great things, like her first book being published, interesting travel writing and copywriting projects, and fun days at cow parades and so on. But some pretty terrible things have happened too. A very close family member passed away. Another one got diagnosed with cancer two months after that and is currently going through some really rough treatment. Alone.

Things like these make you think about being 5,000 miles away for almost a decade sometimes. So do things like Toddler M getting bigger and turning into Little Girl M. And sometimes our 80-year-old neighbor feels more like Toddler M’s grandmother than her grandmother.

But then again, The Frau loves Switzerland. She feels Swiss. She loves the lifestyle here. She doesn’t want to go “home” because she’s not even sure it’s “home” anymore. Also, she’s not sure she remembers how to drive a car or deal with tardy trains.

Enter Swiss bureaucracy.

Thanks to the wonder of a VeryLongGermanWord The Frau still can’t pronounce without stumbling, The Frau is being allowed to conduct an up to two-year American experiment without giving up all of her ties to Switzerland. Swiss bureaucracy has agreed to put her residence permit on hold for up to two years.

This means The Frau is moving to America, but can come back to Switzerland within the next two years and be given back her residence permit like she never left. She’ll even continue to work on Swiss-related books and projects for Swiss companies so will surely be back for a few weeks here and there in the meantime. It’s the best of both worlds…so which world will she choose?

Will spontaneous conversations with Target shoppers make her swoon? Will she dance like Maria in The Sound of Music over her newfound personal space? Or will she realize a little country in the heart of Europe has stolen her heart?

Only time and this blog will tell.

If you enjoy reading this blog then you might also enjoy (insert shameless self-promotion pitch here) The Frau’s first book: Swiss Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known. Sure to see her country like she never has before, she will be writing the sequel, American Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known, during her two-year American experiment.

More details on how to put a residence permit on hold will also be a topic on this blog in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.


jah said...

Nice blog post! One experiment ends and another begins!! Looking forward to seeing you in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chantal, I'm looking forward to how your re-entry into the US goes, because I do regularly ask myself if I'd be better off in Canada and simply visit France often?

Have very much enjoyed laughing over your posts and your wry writing style.


Hattie said...

I'll be looking forward to your posts. This should be interesting!

Bill Harby said...

I'll miss knowing you're just up the train line. But you won't really be gone. I'm betting you'll never really leave CH.

Chantal said...

Danke, everyone. The Frau does not think it will ever be possible to actually leave CH.

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