The one-week mark.

So much has happened in the time we’ve been here. Hard to believe it’s only been a week. We’re now revisiting places we’ve already enjoyed and feeling far more familiar with the winding streets and alleys. Becoming officially Swiss takes some work but has been particularly efficient. The new passports for the kids arrived in the mail today. Told to expect them in 4-5 days they arrived in less than 2. Wow. Now there’s just one family member tarnishing our good Swiss reputation…ummm. Next week we’ll travel to Milan to collect my long-stay visa which allows me to stay. That plus the constant cooking and cleaning my Swiss family members require.

One of these things just doesnt belong…

My mission for today was to figure out the laundry system. The good news is that I succeeded. The bad news is that my turn is July 25th & 26th. Hmmm, that leaves us with a steadily growing pile of dirty laundry. Seriously, between the kids coming home for lunch for an hour and a half during the school day, no school every Wednesday afternoon and a months worth of laundry in 2 random days, how do women work? Pretty sure it is not a case of the men sharing in the household duties here…

And in the spirit of full disclosure, not everything is tulips and chocolate over here. The laundry room is straight out of the Silence of the Lambs. Those two laundry days are going to take serious courage.

Don’t be fooled by this well lit picture, the series of dark hallways and descending staircases, coupled with blind, panicky flailing for the light switch would have anyone doing laundry with a baseball bat. Must keep an eye out for one…
But more good news on the thrifty acquisition of goods. Today Helena and I stumbled upon a Give & Take shack which is exactly what it sounds like. We acquired some hangers and a cute cloth bin for storing books. And we already have a wee pile of items we can bring to leave behind. Love when big cities function like nurturing little villages!

And such a delightful building to visit on a regular basis.

Sadly, in our new favourite give&take space we did not find bikes for the kids. We happen to live 1 block away from Winterthur’s biggest bike shop – serendipitous or what!? Unfortunately we may not be the sort of neighbours who shop but rather the ones who walk by, often, longingly looking in the windows. At 695 CHF ($920 Canadian each) the kids aren’t sporting spiffy new wheels just yet. Perhaps when mom & dad aren’t both unemployed we can reconsider…

This was odd…why was Diego’s name hanging on a pretty little sign in the window of the shop? More of that serendipity or Silence of the Lambs…we’re not entirely sure.
Helena, headed in the door to check out bikes. All bike shops should have ivy adorning their doorways.
Ebikes are popular here. Pretty sure we need to provide all our own momentum to counter the chocolate consumption.
We did find our way, still on foot, to the spectacular shopping district and succeeded in some spending. Unemployment aside, coffee is important and when in Switzerland, one drinks Nespresso. The store here is like an Apple Store. You’re aware that you’re in the presence of the cool kids and you desperately want them to like you, trying ever so hard to hide your true Luddite nature. Evidently we JUST missed George Clooney from his morning visit. 

Invited into the back room to sample the latest offering, we found ourselves giggling like school-girls, both trying to out-flirt the other with our new Nespresso BFF. (Manolo’s flirtations seemed to have more impact than mine, strangely.) 

It’s definitely a cult. We’re going again first thing tomorrow.
Back on the street, standing just a little taller from our acceptance into the Nespresso club, (not to brag but I do now have a personalized membership card) we explored a few more of the winding streets and visited our second library. (Making you proud Ma!)

The kids’ reading area at the library. How awesome is that? The libraries here are very popular, very busy with young and old. Can’t wait to show you them, Ma.
Still grey and rainy today.
So simple. So pretty.
More fairy-tale spaces.
A teeny-tiny house, tucked into the shopping district
Tomorrow is another day for sorting out our arrival. Auntie Bea will act as our translator while Manolo registers at the employment office. Fingers crossed there’s an opening for an English speaking polar bear surgeon or something that pays equally as well. 

Thanks to everyone who writes comments either here or on Facebook. It sure means a lot to us to know that we haven’t been forgotten back home!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Tracey Doupe says:

    Beautiful writing as always Anna! So evocative! Really wish we’d had a handle to see each other before you left but will have to settle for reading about your amazing adventures day by day. So exciting! Say hi to Manolo and the kids for me!




  2. Sharon McKinnon says:

    Vic and I have had several sabbaticals and they were just the best for new experiences and living more simply than at home. The kids are old enough that they will remember this year and their fabulous adventure. Good for you taking a step out of your comfort zones!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elisabeth says:

    Re washing the saying goes like this: in Switzerland people go to the grocery store every day and have a bath once a week, in Americs people go to the grocery store once a week and have a shower every day. With the one bath a week comes also a change of clothes, maybe things have not changed that much since I left or at least not in that respect.
    You seem to take everything in stride, great!!!


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