Getting older STINKS

but it is still better than the alternative!!

There have been a couple things I like about not working. Due to some of the strange noise requirements of our apartment building; I am able to practice my guitar almost every day. If I were working, the only day I could practice the guitar is on Saturday. I am not allowed to practice musical instruments on Sunday, nor after 7:00 PM. This is not an uncommon practice for Swiss Apartments, just go back and look at some of the strange laws I have talked about in earlier posts! The other advantage is being to exercise 5 or 6 days per week. It is much easier to carve out an hour and a half or two hours to exercise, when you are not getting up before sunrise to get to work, and you are exhausted when you get home. I have not been able to exercise this consistently since I was in college.

Now, I also know that staying in shape is A LOT HARDER the older you get. Back when I was in my 20’s I could not run for 6 months, and still go out and pass the APFT for the Army. I think I had to run the 2 miles in under 22 minutes. Now, if I don’t exercise for a couple of weeks, I can’t even run one mile without walking.

This winter the weather was so bad, I spent a lot of time in the basement on my bike. I would ride 40 – 50 kilometers 5 days a week. Once the weather started getting a little warmer, I started running again, but have still been struggling. Last week the weather was only nice enough to go outside one morning, so Saturday I went on a 4 1/2 mile run. It was exhausting. I know you use your leg muscles differently on a bike vs running, but still… Anyway, I survived, and then Julie and I went on another 4 – 5 mile walk that afternoon. So Sunday morning I was pretty stiff and sore.

I was in the shower just thinking to myself, that I really need to look into YOGA, or some kind of stretching regimen i just feel “tight” most of the time. I was reaching down to squeegee the glass and I felt a terrible burning pain in my lower back. It took everything I had to stand back up. Needless to say, I spent the rest of Sunday in bed (and not the good kind of in bed) or sitting in a straight backed chair to keep the pain manageable.

The good news, is that I am in good enough shape, it only knocked me off my feet for a day. I woke up this morning, still a little sore and stiff, but able to walk. I am thinking, I will even be able to walk to the store this morning. I will probably still drive, because the weather sucks, but I think I could make it on my feet! ­čÖé So anyone reading this: If you have a good YOGA program, or stretching program that you like, please make a comment or reach out and let me know. I am very interested in hearing about something that works.

Apartment vacancies

The financial reports for Switzerland keep saying that the rental market is a sellers dream. Especially in the biggest cities and surrounding areas. There is simply a lot more demand than there is supply. I was reading one article that said in the canton of Z├╝rich over 80% of the residents rent. Based off of the number of apartment buildings being built, there are a lot of people that believe the things I am reading. There are buildings going up seemingly everywhere. I can still see almost a dozen cranes from our apartment, and that is not counting the other side of the lake!

All of this being said, I am starting to have my doubts the market is as strong as everyone says it is. There is one apartment, on our way to the train station, that has been vacant for a year now. Granted it probably isn’t the nicest place in the city of R├╝schlikon. It is on two levels, but no view, and the building is extremely narrow. However, in the two buildings that are now finished on either side of us. Only one apartment is occupied. Between the two buildings there are 7 apartments, so only having one occupied seems to go against what the experts are saying. I am sure there is something going on that I do not know about. One of the buildings has never shown up in the apartment listings. One was there when the building was just a shell. The listings showed pictures of what it was supposed to look like, but I have not seen any listings for that building in the last two months.

When we were moving we learned that most people in Switzerland move in either March or September. That was one reason we had a harder time finding an apartment. We were stuck with looking at vacant places, or in our case, just lucked out in finding a family that was moving back to the US at the same time we were moving here. My observations since being here do seem to confirm that. September was when everyone was moving around us. There were moving trucks here every day, the last two weeks of September. And this March again, was when all the buildings filled up. On our walk to the grocery store there is a 4 building complex that was completed this spring. Each building has at least 4 apartments. In March, 15 of 16 units filled. The one that didn’t really kind of sucks. You do have a very small yard, but only one room is able to have a window or door to the outside, everything else in the apartment would be below ground!

I will admit these apartments have to be on the extreme end of affordability. Based on what we pay, and what the listings show for 3 bedroom places, the apartments down the hill (and you can see the corner of in the picture). Probably start at 7,000 per month, and the top floor apartment has to be over 10,000 per month. The top floor apartment is almost double the size of our place, it has two levels, no obstructed views, and lots of balcony space. If I remember correctly, the apartment up the hill from us started at 5,500 per month and the high was 7,500. So yes, rent is expensive here. A 300 sq foot studio has an asking price of 800 per month. The cheapest place in the area is 450 per month. For that you are renting a bedroom, and you share everything else with the family living in the house.

I do have to admit that even on a gloomy day it very pretty here. It has been overcast and raining/snowing all morning, but the view across the lake is still mesmerizing. Yes, that is snow towards the top of the hill! Spring is literally trying to stay away.

Hope you have a great week. I’ll talk to you later.

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