Day 1 in Switzerland. Did I mention that was going to be moving here for 2/3 of the year for the next 3 years to do a PhD program? Well, here I am. Yesterday was my first day. I managed to wrangle all my luggage from the airport to my flat (no small feat considering one bag had my skis in it), register at the Migration Office which is the last step all non-EU foreigners applying for Swiss residency have to go through, and get most of the necessities (sheets, pillow, portable wardrobe) to make my mostly-furnished room comfortable. When describing the place to my friends and family I apparently neglected to mention that a) it’s less of a room and more of an alcove separated from the rest of the attic of a 2-story apartment by curtains, and b) it has no heat except what rises from the floors below – it is a
penthouse finished attic after all, but I guess it’s not THAT finished. Good thing I moved in in March and not in November. Interestingly enough it ends up being the same winter temperature of our house in upstate NY when the heat there is ON, so Dad, you can now claim to have built my character or something. Heh. From a tent with no A/C near the equator to an attic with no heat in the Alps. What is my issue with extreme temperatures?
My roommates (all 4 of them – 3 on the 1st floor of the flat and one up in the attic with me, except she has an actual room with a door and walls) have been super nice and helpful so far. Offering to teach me German, plying me with food and beer my first night, accompanying me on my shopping jaunt, even offering to lend me clothing when I realized I only had 1 pair of pants with me and money when my credit card didn’t work right away at the store. Don’t worry, the last two items were sorted out. But seriously, they all take the attitude of taking care of each other and pretty much everything in the flat is communal. My old cynical nature (I’m older than everyone else by several years) says it can’t all be this happy, no one shares everything like that 100% peacefully and some people always end up doing more than others, but I’m choosing to focus on the fact that so far it’s off to a good start. Now all I have to do is get used to the bells from the church in the picture above ringing demurely once every 15 minutes and crazily like it’s Christmas day once an hour!