We have arrived! After what felt like endless back and forth on how this whole thing was going to work, it came together and we are officially living in Vevey, Switzerland. Crazy. It was an adventure leading up to it, a BIG adventure getting here and is likely to be a continuous adventure during our time here.
We flew out of Detroit on Monday, May 9th nonstop to Amsterdam where we changed planes for a quick flight to Geneva. Once there, we got picked up and took an hour car ride to our new digs here in Vevey. The flight to Amsterdam had a lot of good things – extra legroom, big headrest TV’s with endless free movie options, two legitimately tasty airplane food meals and a reasonably turbulent free ride. There were also some downsides – Maren losing her lunch thrice, Sarah’s cashmere sweater taking the brunt of this and no sleep (for the parents) on the overnight flight.
An interesting difference between US and Swiss versions of getting a ride to the airport proved that contrary to popular belief, we are not all uncouth, manner-less baboons in America. In Detroit, we got picked up in a mammoth van that easily could’ve hosted a raging bachelor party driven by a suited up, super polite and very helpful gentleman. Here in CH, a guy noticed us coming, walked up, grabbed two bags with nary a word and hustled for the exit doing his best impersonation of the White Rabbit from Alice.
Dragging the children, we fortunately caught up to the Rabbit at his old van with a trailer hanging off the back. With the bags heaved in, the kids buckled in, we were off. Finding the entrance to our apartment proved tricky resulting in the driver’s fist smashing the steering wheel followed by muttered French swears which certainly wasn’t helped by second gear constantly jamming in the stop and go traffic.
What we’ve noticed so far…
- The apartment is a study in IKEA interior design and we love it.
- The beds are low to the ground and have only duvets, no top sheet.
- All the windows have heavy duty metal blinds on the outside that I’m hoping aren’t for hurricane protection.
- There are no screens on the windows so perhaps they don’t have bugs here in the summer. There also does not appear to be any sort of heating or air conditioning. Maybe it doesn’t get cold in Switzerland?
- There are 2 toilets which is handy now that the twins are nearly toilet trained.
- They don’t refrigerate their eggs here but the yolks are an outrageous deep orange color and the strawberries are actually red throughout and super sweet. A nice change from the red-on-the-outside-white-on-the-inside American tasteless version.
- Sarah and I recently mistook a can of chocolate fruit dip for chocolate pudding. And ate it anyway.
- The coffee is all instant but is magically delicious.
- They use the word “FORBIDDEN” frequently such as “It is FORBIDDEN to make noise between 10 pm and 7 am. We are screwed.
That’s all I can think of at the moment. The Alps are the view from our balcony. Lake Geneva is 2 blocks away and crystal clear. Most cars here are wagons and stick shift. I’ve found myself sitting on the balcony watching them all drive by. I have also slammed my nose into the door glass as I rush to see what’s coming when I hear a Ferrari or Porsche winding up. In summary, as far as international living goes, I think we’re going to make it.