Does Anyone Need A Sherpa?

I can now add a new position to my resume.  Sherpa.  If you need a Sherpa, I am your woman.

We live in an old building from the turn of the century. As a result, it does not have a garage. Rather than rent a parking spot for a few hundred Swiss Francs a month, we are leaving the car at work. We will be able to park in the neighborhood when our local registrations come through. In the meantime, we are hoofing it during the week.

Everything we buy, we must carry home ourselves.  It’s not a problem and we don’t mind it one bit. It does yield some interesting train rides. Here is a top ten list:
10. I purchased a shelving unit from Ikea for my (admittedly excessive) shoe collection. I received lots of honks on and even a thumbs up with an “Allez, Yeah” on the way to the station.  Enjoy the photo above even though it doesn’t do it justice.
9. Carrying 6 bottles of wine home.  I tried not to look like an alcoholic. Funnily enough, carrying 6 bottles of wine doesn’t even merit a raised eyebrow here.
8. Walking down the street carrying an iron (purchased from the Salvation Army for a steal) with no box.  I couldn’t fit it in my backpack because it was full of groceries.
7. He and I carried our (possibly too large) TV to our apartment.  We had to carry it from the other side of the city because we also purchased this secondhand.
6. Although technically not in the same category, I have been carrying magazines home.  Everyone recycles here (more about that in another post).  On Wednesdays, everyone puts their paper goods out in front of their doors for the city to pick up. On our Tuesday evening walks, I have seen perfectly good new French fashion magazines sitting on top of the recycling.  They are perfect for me because I can easily read them and the articles aren’t too long.  I have scooped them up and gleefully carried them home.  The $6-7 that they cost at the newstand is prohibitively expensive.  Free is the right price.
5. Lavender.  All the old ladies on the tram (and a few men two) wanted to ask me about the beautiful plant I was carrying.  They wanted to know where I got it, tell me how lovely it was, how nice it smelled, etc.  It is currently ailing.  Here’s hoping that it will pull through.
4. A toilet plunger (again the backpack was full). Enough said.
3. A lamp that was taller than me. It was a smokin’ deal that the Salvation Army and even has a dimmer! How could I have passed that up?
2. An excessive amount of wine and beer bottles to take to recycling (see #9). We invited all 7 people we know in Switzerland to dinner.  Funnily enough, this didn’t merit a raised eyebrow either.
1. One day I carried this table home. To it, I taped a vacuum cleaner, a steamer and a plant stand.  Oh yeah, I wore my backpack too.  It was full.*
*Swiss people have been very nice.  That day, I had no less than four people ask me where I was going so that they could help me carry it.  I politely declined. For me, it was a point of pride. How else can I train properly for my Sherpa job?
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Crossing Things Off The To Do List

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.

We’re Here!

We have arrived safely.  After arriving, we dropped our excessive number of bags off at the hotel and met our realtor at our new place to pick up our keys.  He got to see it for the first time and liked it.  We will post pictures soon.



 

Dear Charlotte

Dear Charlotte,

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.

Love,

Us

 

 

Change of Address Cards

I figured that we’d better send out our new contact information.  Anyone that knows me knows that I am cheap. I went to Costco to get change of address cards made.  We’d taken a cute picture in Geneva with the idea of sending it out on the card.  Costco has done a decent job with our numerous, infamous Christmas cards over the years. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit all of our new information on the card.  Oops.

I had to find a new way to send it out. I struk out at numerous venues.  You could just call me Goldilocks.  Things were either too big, too expensive, too ugly, too small or took to long to create.  Nothing was just right. Finally, out of desparation I headed to FedEx Office.  I wrote out our information, copied it to fit 4 times onto an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper, hand them cut and presto, postcards.  I’m not going to lie, they look a bit ghetto. However, they cost under $10 for over 200 and took less than 1/2 hour.  What’s not to love?

If you haven’t sent me your contact information, please do so.