Yesterday marked one month since I moved to Switzerland. In some ways it seems like only yesterday. In others it seems like I have been here a lifetime already. We did not get much of a chance to explore this past week. Julie got hit with an Accounting Emergency, so she was working even harder. My parents also stopped through on their way to Turkey. 🇹🇷
I did have all kinds of ideas to take them places, but it rained pretty much all weekend, and no one wanted to go traipsing around Zurich sopping wet.
The rain held off for a little while Saturday night. We took the train into Zurich and walked around Bahnofstrasse and Old Zurich. Sunday evening we had a traditional Swiss Dinner called Raclette. One of our family friends has lived in Switzerland for many years. My parents are traveling with her parents to Turkey; so we all got together for dinner.
Raclette is a type of cheese. It is a very hard cheese and does not get watery when melted. The meal becomes a very active affair. Every person is given a little tray to melt the cheese. At our dinner we had many different varieties of raclette to choose from, and there are also spices you put on your cheese while it is melting. The traditional meal is primarily vegetables. We had potatoes, pickles, and mini corns. (The potatoes are boiled before.) So while your cheese is sitting on the fire melting, you put the food on your plate, and wait. It really does lead to a very social atmosphere. The trays are small, so you spend a lot of time waiting for the cheese to melt, and what else is there to do but talk! Of course you can use meats, breads, and anything else that tastes good with cheese drizzled over the top. I haven’t seen brussel sprouts over here, yet, but if I find some, I think I will have found a personal favorite. Julie and I made raclette last weekend when Theresa was in town, but we had purchased a tourist version of a racelette cooker. Once we found out how it actually worked…. We can now have four friends over for a true Swiss raclette dinner.
I try and spend an hour a day with Babel and Rosetta Stone learning German. It is even harder than I thought it would be. I do have an 8 week language course that starts next Monday. I am really looking forward to the course. I am starting to learn some individual words, but my vocabulary is that of a dumb 2 year old. I think what is making learning the language harder, is the only place I run into people to talk with are in stores. The clerks in the stores, do not speak English, or they just do not want to. This has allowed me to learn a couple of phrases, but really not much that is useful, unless I get a job as a cashier. 🙂 . I am learning phrases like Wo ist die Maisstårke? or Was Für ein Gang ist das destillierte Wasser? Where is the corn starch and What aisle is the distilled water? Even though speaking German seems hard, I am not sure I will ever catch on to writing. Some of the letters are completely different, and I cannot make heads nor tails of when a word actually is capitalized.
My days here have certainly become routine. I get up. Make breakfast for Julie. Walk her to the train. Excercise, Eat my breakfast. Shower. Clean. Run Errands. Work on German. Cook dinner. Walk to the station to get Julie…… I have gotten many questions about why I am not immediately looking for a job. There are many reasons, but the right now the two biggest are 1) When Julie and I decided to move, we knew this would be very stressful for her. I want to help her get through this transition as much as possible. 2) I really want to try and learn some German before I start working, or even volunteering. Once I get involved with something, I do not think I will have the time or the energy. In some ways the language right now is the biggest thing. You see, I have to take a language test to stay in the country, Julie doesn’t have to, because she was sponsored first.
Those things being said, the two favorite parts of my day are walking Julie down to the train station, and meeting her at the station when she gets home from work. I really do think this move has been and will be good for us as a couple. My long time married friends can understand this, but we tend to get in a bit of rut. This move has certainly upset the apple cart. We now spend time each day just talking, and doing things with and for each other. We did those things when we were newlyweds, but after 30 years, kids, jobs, hobbies, and other activities some of that just drifted away. I didn’t even realize it until she left this summer, life was simply to hectic. I would urge you all to find your own Switzerland.