See this pile of dirty laundry? See the schedule? The schedule tells me that this laundry can’t be touched until tomorrow at 8 am BUT must be finished by 3:00. It also tells me that I need to use the washer on the left.
When you live in an apartment in Switzerland, which we will for one more day, there are lots of rules. The first rule is about doing your laundry. Everyone has their days and their times and no one gets to do laundry on Sundays. It is the washer and dryer’s day off. We get Wednesday morning and Friday from 3-10pm. God forbid the dog throws up on something on Saturday morning because then we need to wait till the following Wednesday to clean it.
Other rules include:
- No showers between 10pm and 6 am, also
- No flushing the toilet after 10 pm
- No slamming the car door after 10 pm
- No mowing the lawn on Sunday
- No leaving your shoes or anything else in front of your door
- Of course, never any loud noises, especially on Sunday and between 1-2pm
The rules all have a reason and I guess it makes life more pleasant in a very small country where people live close to each other.
For me, with two yappy dogs and two very loud men it makes life a little stressful. I’m constantly waiting for someone to give us the evil eye. We are all working on being considerate though, even the dogs. It’s good for us.
Until we move into our new home, we are staying in a temporary AirBNB place. It’s about a 50 minute trip with one bus and a tram to Charlie’s school. It’s very pleasant but it’s a bit of a hike. The tram is filled with kids going to school and people going to work. Until today, I have been accompanying Charlie on his commute. Last night, he decided he was comfortable going on his own. Great! But was I ready?
He’s only 11. I would never let him take the bus in LA for so far, maybe not even at all. Add the fact that he doesn’t speak the language.
On the other hand, kids as young as six walk and commute by themselves here. There are cameras in the bus and there are no “scary” looking people but we all know that mass murderers and pedophiles rarely look scary.
And so, earlier than I thought, Charlie takes a major leap towards independence in a new country. It’s a big step for both of us.
We have lived here before, about 15 years ago, before Charlie. At that time, we had two old dachshunds, Opal and Ruby. As we lived in an apartment, Opal and Ruby had to be taken out several times a day. Opal and Rudy were not Swiss dogs, which in essence means that they were not well behaved. Opal would refuse to walk 75% of the time and Ruby would bark hysterically every time she saw another dog. People would try to approach us with their well behaved dogs to be be friendly and I would have to scream “Meine hunde is nicht gudt” which means my dog is not good. Beware, my dog will eat yours even if you do own a very large St. Bernard.
15 years later, we have Opus and Rudy and Stanley. Unfortunately, I still need the same expression as these dogs aren’t any better. This time though, I will attempt to learn more than this expression and the other two that made up my entire vocabulary the last time I was here.
So, we did it! In 5 weeks we managed to clear out our house, send a shipment to Basel, put stuff in storage, get the dogs paperwork in order, get Charlie accepted to the International School, find a place to live, rent out the house and get the three of us on a plane to Europe.
So why? Well for one, Joost was given the opportunity to work in Basel. He could have declined and we could have stayed home. We had a great life. Nice house near the beach, Charlie had a great school, we have amazing friends but Joost and I still have wanderlust and Charlie seems to have inherited it.
We hope the time that we will spend in Basel with be filled with travel, learning, eating amazing food and meeting new people. There will be much that we miss, and already do, one week into the adventure. We hope that we will be graced with many visits from good friends and family for man can not live on fondue alone,as nice as it is.