Well it has been another hectic week of self isolation here in Switzerland. How about for you? The biggest news is not what is happening on this side of the Atlantic, but is what is happening, or rather not happening, on the other side of the Atlantic.
Julie and I were all set to head back home in two weeks. Our niece was getting married in Indianapolis, over the Memorial Day Weekend. We figured to head back, and then after the wedding we were going to drive up to Wisconsin for a few days to see friends. I was going to be staying in the US for another few weeks after that to attend another wedding back in Wisconsin. Well, Corona has certainly changed all of that. My niece is still getting married that weekend, BUT the wedding has now been moved to Southern Indiana, and due to crowd restrictions she is limited to 25 guests. I know Stephanie would like to see us at the wedding, but I also know that we are not in the top 25 list. MAYBEEEE…. if it were just her side of the family, but, we have to include the husband as well! :). The second wedding, up in Wisconsin, has been pushed off until next year.
We are really struggling with this decision. On one hand, we both want to go back and see people. Switzerland is great and all, but let’s face it, pretty lonely. It would be great to go back home and bask in the warmth of our family and friends for a while. On the other hand we have the virus…….
If we do go back, we are supposed to quarantine for two weeks, well, Julie will be back in Switzerland before the two weeks are even up. Then she is supposed to self isolate over here. Well, where do we quarantine over there? We were going to be staying with my parents, and friends. I certainly do not like the idea of bringing the virus to them. Social media seems to show there are certainly three camps in the USA. One very vocal camp says keep everything on lockdown. The other very vocal camp, says end all of the restrictions now, and let us go back to life as we knew it.
I find myself firmly in the middle. I do think we need to continue some of the self isolation strategies. Limiting interaction with people seems to be the one and only way to keep the virus from spreading so fast that it over runs the health care system. I also know that we cannot self isolate forever. BUT, we cannot open everything up all at once. If that happens all we did was cause a lot of economic hardship for 8 weeks, and THEN we overloaded the hospitals with the sick and dying. That doesn’t sound like a good plan either. I think of idea of gradually opening things back up make the most sense. I’m not sure a tattoo parlour is the type of critical business that should open first, but I won’t even criticize that to much.
So anyway, after a lot of talking with United Airlines, we still have flights back to Indianapolis at the end of May. We have two weeks to make our decision. BTW, for my Southern Indiana friends, I have a camping reservation for site 177 at Spring Mill State Park. June 5 – June 11. As long as you can stay 6 feet away, feel free to come by and have a cold beverage! My gut, right now, says we will probably NOT head back to the US at this time. It just doesn’t seem like a good idea. A lot can change in two weeks though.
Spring in Switzerland is a very beautiful time. The flowers this year started blooming in early April, and now after a month, the colors are very vivid. We love going for walks and looking and smelling all the (i call them) sidewalk gardens. This part of Switzerland everyone plants these amazing hedgerows next to the street. Most of them are not simple green shrubs, they are colorful trees and plants that make every house a picture. Our favorite plant is a tree/vine called wisteria.
It is an extremely beautiful and fragrant vine, and it is everywhere. I need to remember to take more pictures, because every time we take a walk, we find another garden that just makes us stop and gaze for a bit. I don’t know how long the flowers will stay around, but I am sure enjoying them now.
Time has lost a lot of meaning the past few weeks, it may have been one week, or three weeks but I did pass my German test. I learned a couple of days ago, that I may have been worried about nothing. I don’t know what an immigrant in the US has to deal with, but here, you have to renew your visa every year. Julie got her paperwork in the mail about two weeks ago. Which makes sense; Julie moved to Switzerland on 5 June so her year over here is coming up quickly. I thought my year started in September, as that is when I moved here. I was wrong. My visa is tied into Julie’s. Two days after we got her renewal in the mail, we got mine. I have been email with the town office in Rüshlikon; as that is where all the registration is done, about what we need for the renewal. I mentioned that I had the language certificate, and asked if he needed the original, or just a copy. The town representative has informed me that my visa did not have a language requirement. Which is completely different than what AMCOR has told all of the spouses that came over. Before we came, we had to fill out work and education history. I am the only husband in the group, and I am the only spouse that has a technical background. The only thing I can think of is that my technical background allowed me to bypass the language requirement because the assumption is that I would get a job very quickly upon coming over. Boy were they wrong!!!!
I am still not convinced the town representative is completely correct, though. The spouses I have talked to all had to get waivers as Corona shut everything down before they could take the test. I was lucky and got in right before everything shut down. In one way, it strikes me as kind of funny if I did not have to take the test. I wanted to learn some German anyway, but we would not have paid all the money to take a class. AMCOR has picked up all the bills for the language classes. I certainly would not be this far along in my German lessons, if all I had to rely on was Rosetta Stone.
Oh I almost forgot to tell you about the puzzle that never will be!!! I have never been much of a puzzle person, and I think Julie has maybe done one or two puzzles in all the time we have been married, but since we can’t leave the house, I figured what the heck…. I went online and bought a couple of puzzles. We were slowly but surely getting through the first one. It was a 2000 piece behemoth.
We got about 90% done and I found these in the bottom of the Spühlmaschine (dishwasher).
So needless to say the puzzle will never be completed. The only thing I can think of is that I didn’t get all the pieces back on the puzzle end of the dining room table, and one night, I sat either Julie’s plate or my plate down on them. Needless to say I was a little bummed out.
The pictures below are not the most interesting, but they are all I have! Enjoy them and stay healthy!