The movers came and delivered our things yesterday! It was so nice to see our things. I was slightly embarassed at the number of shoes that came out of boxes. If you catch me show shopping, please stop me. I may have a serious problem.
Moving to another country is not like moving across town. We aren’t familiar with the lay of the land, they don’t speak English, there are different norms and everything just looks different. We were prepared for everything to take a long time and for many problems. Fortunately the gods have been smiling on us.
Here is what we have managed to accomplish thus far:
- got keys to apartment
- purchased washer and dryer
- toured gyms
- got a tour of our neighborhood, to learn where the post office is located, met with a doctor (to have one if necessary), went to grocery stores and lots of little things like that
- Went to the bank
- got our phone, cable and internet set up
- bought a special Swiss phone
- visited the office office
- got our yearly public transport passes
Needless to say, we are going to bed early.
Here are our first impressions of Geneva and the first few things we saw:
- The streets are very clean (especially after a visit to NYC). Everything is clean, even the gym floors. When we went to check out a gym, we had to slip hospital booties on over our shoes to keep us from getting them dirty (this happened multiple times).
- We saw Lamborghinis, Porches, a Maserati, Range Rovers and just about every make and model of German Luxury cars. Auto enthusiasts can just park themselves on the sidewalk near the Four Seasons and gawk.
- We heard lots of English spoken in the streets and at restaurants. We heard French and a lot of other languages too.
While we are travelling over France, I thought I would send out a little info about the Tour De France. Hopefully, my next post will be from Geneva.
- 20 teams of the best professional cyclists in the world.
- Each team starts with 9 cyclists. If a team is reduced to less than three riders (see crashes below), they are eliminated.
- If a cyclist does not finish the race one day, they are eliminated from the entire tour.
- If a cyclist does not finish the race within a percentage of that day’s winner, they miss the time cut and are eliminated.
What They Do:
- Get on their bikes and ride a “stage” each day for three weeks. Each “stage” has an individual winner but the total time raced over all the stages is what adds up to determine the winner of the entire Tour.
- Each day’s time is added to the previous accumulated total time. They cyclists try to finish the race with the lowest accumulated time.
- Crash. The past few years have been filled with brutal crashes.
- The first Saturday in July and the three subsequent weeks (with 2 rest days they have 21 days of racing).
- The final ride into Paris takes place the third Sunday in July.
- The cyclists ride around 3,500 km (2,200 miles) total through the French countryside and into Paris (the final day is always the ride into Paris). The race is called the Tour De France for a reason.
- Over the past several years, the Tour has tried to make the race more international and has ventured into neighboring countries.
- It is really cool and an amazing test of endurance.
- Plus, there are prizes. They are listed below.
- The Yellow Jersey/General Classification (GC) – The overall winner at the very end is determined by cumulative time (all of the cyclist’s daily times added up at the end of t
- The Green Jersey – It is worn by the Tour’s fastest cyclist. This is determined by “sprint points” that are awarded during sprints during the “stages”. The cyclist with the most “points” wins the Green Jersey. This is awarded each day to the cyclist with the most “sprint points” and at the end of the tour.
- Polka-Dot Jersey/”King of the Mountains” – It is worn by the cyclist who is the best climber in the mountains. Like with the Green Jersey, cyclists are awarded points for making it over the top of the climb during the “stages”. The cyclist with the most “points” wins the Polka-Dot Jersey. This is awarded daily and at the end of the tour.
- White Jersey/”Best Young Rider” – This is awarded to the best-placed overall rider under the age of 25 each day; this is known as the “Best Young Rider” competition. Like the other jerseys, this is awarded daily and at the end of the tour.
- Most Aggressive Rider – This is awarded daily to a rider for feats of strength and bravery. This year it was awarded to two cyclists on the same day for the first time every. They were hit by a TV car and crashed horribly (one of them landed on a barbed wire fence). They got back on their bikes and finished the stage. After receiving this award, one went to the hospital and received 33 stitches!
- Team Competition – The team with the fastest 3 riders wins the Team Competition.
- “Stage” Victories/Wins – Each day of the Tour De France is its own individual race. Winning a stage of the Tour De France is something every cyclist would love to have on their resume. It is a big deal.
- Every stage ends with a podium presentation for the day’s prizes. The prizes are presented by Podium Girls. Podium Girls are very pretty young Frenchwomen attired in French fashion and kiss the winners on the cheek (while handing them flowers and stuffed animals). What’s not to love?
Those of you who know me, know that I love watching the Tour de France. We are moving to Switzerland, which is conveniently located right next to France! We are moving during the Tour. This is really a no brainer. I need to figure out how to watch the Tour in person. Any ideas?
The most logical stages to try to watch are those that are closest to Switzerland. These are:
- Thursday, July 21 (Pinerolo > Galibier-Serre Chevalier) – a nice high mountain stage
- Friday, July 22 (Mondane Valfréjus > Alpe d’Huez) – a mountaintop finish on an historic mountain
- Saturday, July 23(Grenoble > Grenoble) – individual time trial
I realize that I am a dork, but this is something on the bucket list. Plus, it would provide good material for this blog.
Right now, the plan is to head to France and picnic. I will keep you posted.
I am trying not to embarrass anyone by writing about them. That being said, some people are so important to my life that I can’t imagine ignoring them. One of these people is my Uncle Mame (not his real name).* When I left North Carolina, I did not head directly to Switzerland. I did something even better. I saw Uncle Mame. I am so glad that I am able to see him before I leave.
Here are a few reasons why Uncle Mame is Marvellous:
- He loves my husband.
- While he shall always remain 30ish in my eyes, he is not. Nevertheless, you can take him to a Gogol Bordello concert and he will fit right in. He showed up decked out in American Apparel and ready to have a great time. It was epic.
- He is a very talented artist. He has an amazing eye and has taught me tons. He even bought me my first art set when I was little. When he showed me Broadway Boogie Woogie and explained it to me, I fell in love with art.
- He likes to do new and different things (horseback riding in NC).
- He is good with languages and will chat up anyone from anywhere.
- He loves kids and gets a kick out of them. Growing up, he always made my sister and I feel special.
- Wise like Yoda he is.
- He likes to laugh. If you hang out with him you are guaranteed to do so.
* I am trying to give everyone an alias to protect the both the innocent and the not so innocent.
Thank you for all of the good times over the past nine years. We will miss you. As we sit here at the airport(frantically taking care of last minute details), we are afraid to think too much about leaving you. We worry that if we do, we will start crying and fall apart. Hopefully we will see you again soon.
Mom came over and helped clean the house to ensure everything is tidy and in order before we leave. I need to change our addresses on our bills, sell my car and a host of other really boring things.
If we don’t get to see you before we leave, we are sorry. Please keep in touch.
FYI – After the previous post, we have given up on the slanted Aerobed and have moved to the neighbor’s spare bed.