I’ve been bad. I should have known that as soon as I posted about driving over here, something would happen. I went 9 km an hour over the speed limit and got a ticket mailed from the French government. In my defense, I was going 119. I thought the limit was 120 km/hr; it was 110. Oops. We have noticed that in France the speed limit inexplicably drops with little warning. Lesson learned.
On the bright side, we didn’t get a ticket in Switzerland.* Here, tickets are based on a percentage of your income. Depending on your speed, this can get expensive. Notable whoppers include:
$110,000 with the speed unknown to a Porche (2008 in Zurich).
By the way, were you wondering how I got a ticket in the mail. On the highways here, there are radar detectors and cameras. The police mail you the ticket in the mail. I am told that if you fight it and/or ask for the photo, the fine increases.
*I get to pay my fine in Euros, not Swiss Francs. I had to go to the newstand, buy this nice little stamp, put it on the ticket and mail it in. I mailed it from a French post office because it would have cost me 40 CHF ($45) to mail it from Switzerland!
We got mail! Getting the mail, however, is an entirely different matter. To get the mail, I have to go to the post office, present both our passports and our marriage license. Yep, you read that correctly. They will not give me anything without proof that we are married.
I expected something from the bank and squealed when I saw it was a care package. The nice lady at the post office thought it was interesting and asked all about my nieces who sent it. She laughed when I told her it contained Halloween candy (I read the customs declaration on the outside of the box). It’s not a huge holiday here like it is in the US.
WARNING!!!! If you are thinking about sending us a care package, perhaps you should consider emailing photos. I am sure the sender got a rude awakening when they saw the price at the post office (FedEx is even more expensive).
We used the cooler that evening! This stuff rocks!
The box contained Halloween candy, Detroit Lions gear, some great books (the sender always has a good read on hand), halloween decorations and the best part pictures from our nieces (which went immediately on the fridge).
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
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