Saturday, March 03, 2007

Our Week

Monday: Arrived in Switzerland, and stayed at our new home. Very exciting.. also very very empty. We made some pasta for dinner, and as Zach and I sat on the floor eating we both began to realize what lay ahead of us, all the challenges we would soon face-- driving in a strange country, Zach learning to drive a stick shift, learning a new language, setting up accounts, buying a car, buying appliances, etc etc etc. I think we both realized, for the first time, just what we'd signed up for, and just how hard this could be.

Tuesday: I drove Zach to work in the morning, it wasn't too bad-- nice country roads w/out much traffic. I tried unpacking some of our clothes, though there's really nowhere to unpack stuff to, so I didn't get real far. I took a walk around our home, and everything is just really cute and sweet. Passed by a few people, and we'd smile and say "Bonjour!" In the afternoon I went to the grocery store, where I couldn't figure out how to get a shopping cart (they're chained together with these little black boxes on the handlebar, found out later you have to put in a 1 franc coin to unchain the cart, then you get it back at the end), and was baffled by pretty much... everything. I figured milk would be easy to find, right? Well, I found this stuff that was labelled "lait entier" which I assumed meant whole milk, and then something else that, after attempting to translate the info on the carton, assumed was milk with 2.7%fat content. I guess that's as low as they get here, no such thing as 1% or 2% milk. I got a small carton, just in case... I grabbed a few other things, but mostly I wandered around the aisles looking befuddled and confused. That night after picking Zach up from work we went shopping for a telephone for our house, which we can't use anyway b/c our line isn't working yet. Everything is set up for it, we have a phone number, and we recieved a letter stating that the line would be working as of Feb 20, but when I went in to talk to them they claim they now need us to give them the name of the person that lived in our house before us, or else we'll need to have an electrician come out and fix the line for 150francs. We called our relocation person, and she's working on getting that sorted out. At least we have a local cell phone we can use...

Wednesday: I decided to go into town, to check up on a few things. I took the bus in, takes about 30 minutes to get to the center of Geneva-- not bad. I found where our language classes are gonna be and paid for them as well as the books we'll need, I talked to the Swisscom people about our home phone line, and I did some shopping for stuff for our house at Manor, a department store downtown. At night Zach and I went to the grocery store together, and between the 2 of us we were able to figure stuff out enough to actually buy a substantial amount of food. However, we found out that our main credit card had a hold on it... boo.

Thursday: I went into town again on the bus, partially to have something to do. Luckily the bus is pretty convenient-- there's a stop right outside our house, practically. I felt kinda bad that I'd been riding the buses illegally the whole time, but they never seem to check if you have a bus ticket and I didn't wanna have to keep buying small day passes when I knew I wanted to buy the 70franc month pass anyway. Oh well. Some of Zach's coworkers from California were here for business, so tonight we went out to dinner with them, walking around in the rain and going to 3 different restaurants before finding one that served fondue and that had tables available. They all had fondue, I decided to have a salad, though I tried some of the fondue. I have to say, I'm not sure if I quite "get" fondue. I can see it as an appetizer or something, but otherwise it's basically an entire meal of you eating bread dipped in melted cheese. I mean, it's like eating chips and queso as your entire dinner. Zach loves it... though his tummy did not feel good that night or the next morning-- big lump of cheese sitting in his gut.

Friday: Zach took the day off so we could take care of a bunch of stuff. We went to the immigration office so we could get our resident visas (unfortunately we needed to get photos to give them, and they had a photo machine there, but you had to use coins and we had to go to 3 different stores to finally get the change we needed, other than that the process was fairly painless), we got our monthly bus passes, and we went on a several hour long Ikea trip where we bought a bed and matress for the guestroom, a dining table and chairs, a dresser for our room, a small dresser for the hallway downstairs (I'm hoping to reduce clutter on the dining table by pushing the clutter off to this dresser/table instead), and... I forget what else. Unfortunately, all the big furniture has to be delivered, and they claim it won't be delivered for 3 weeks. Which, sucks. But other things have been supposed to take a lot longer than they actually have, so perhaps it won't be that long after all. We did also get some lamps, an iron coat rack, and trash cans that we got to take home with us, and also the dining chairs and cushions... though we need a screwdriver to put them together and we don't have one, so the chairs are still in their boxes. Which means we're still sitting on the floor. But at least we've got the cushions to sit on now.

Saturday: We had high hopes for today, we went and picked up our DSL modem from the post office though it does us no good since the phone line's not working yet (Zach just gave me an update that that might possibly be fixed on monday). We had hoped to do some car shopping, but the dealership we went to was closed by 1pm and we got there shortly after, so that didn't quite work. We then went shopping for a broom and some more food/house items. Then we got home, realized that today was the first day where it's been gorgeous and sunny for most of the day, so we took advantage of that and went walking in the waning sun. It was fabulous. I took pictures. I'll try to upload them and post them soon. And now, we're at Zach's office, using the internet to take care of a few things.

Sierra's doing really well-- she was pretty wigged out by everything for a while, she still wasn't eating or drinking or using the litterbox for the first day or 2, but by now she's doing fine, has regained her apetite, and seems to have mostly mastered going up and down the stairs. =) In other news, Zach has started driving the rental car, which is a stick shift, and he's doing pretty well.

BTW... it rains here. A lot. Even today, our "sunny" day, it rained early in the morning. And I read something the other day that said that spring and summer are the "rainy seasons" for this area. This could be kinda sucky. Bring your raingear and umbrellas, people.

I start my French classes monday, 8:30am. I'll have some very early mornings for the next month.

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