Hey Everybody! We are here! I was online for a very short bit yesterday but our power died quickly! The long and short of it is - Nathan bought an adapter in the Atlanta airport and then somehow managed to lose it on the plane so when we got here we had no way to power our American electronics - I really don't know how he survives without me:)! Anyway, I went to the store today and got the adapters and power cord so we are BACK IN BUSINESS! It's a good thing too b/c I was getting very lonely without my computer since the TV only speaks to me in German:)! I have a lot to tell you guys from the last two days, but I am going to try to make my posts short from now on- but as you all know I'm long winded so we shall see)
I'll start at our arrival! We got in around 7:30 am and Nathan went to work after we dropped all 200 lbs of our luggage (yes that's on top of our 700 lbs we shipped over) at the apartment. I got online to say I arrived and almost 30 minutes later I lost all power and ways to connect to the world so I decided to venture out! We are living in Oerlikon which is in Zone 10 in Zurich (I'm still not quite sure what that means) but it is a pretty industrial part of Zurich (meaning not a lot of green - more NYC then NC) but that is okay b/c I always wanted to live in the city! I turned right out of the apartment and ended up at the scariest looking "grocery store" I have ever seen. I almost started crying but I held it together enough to ask the clerk if there was anywhere else to buy groceries. I'm pretty sure I offended him b/c he said "This is a grocery store" but I think he saw the tears welling up and decided to tell me about the "Migros" about 1/4 mile down the street. This was more like it! It was a "real" grocery store. The only weird things were:
1. The eggs are kept in the middle of the floor - not in the refridgerated area. However, I decided to buy some since every else seemed to be doing it. (Which reminded me of the "if your friends jumped off a bridge" thing but whatever)
2. The meat was a little suspect. I get freaked out about not buying Boar's Head so you know this was an issue. I had no idea what the "good" kind was so I stayed clear for the time being - and besides I don't like all the proscuitto and other hams - yuck. Hopefully I will start to enjoy them as I become Switzerlandized - hopefully...
3. This isn't weird but I didn't think about it. It was hard to buy anything in a box that needed to be made up b/c the directions were all in German. Of course most of the boxes were translated into 5 different languages but none of them were English - WTF to that I say! I guess I will be sticking to fresh veggies - I guess that will be good for my figure:). The only words/labels that I recognized were - Uncle Ben's, Old Elpaso, and Weight Watchers - ha!
I walked for miles and explored a lot of Oerlikon - I found several nice parks, more grocery stores, a gym, and the train station. Nathan got home around 6 pm and we walked to the ABB headquarters. All in all - nice first day in Zurich!
The dishwasher doesn't work and it smells REALLY bad so we emailed the apartment company and they sent someone over. The two women assessed the situation and "fixed" it within minutes - then they tried to speak to me in German (which I can't understand of course) so they had to call someone else in to speak with me. Apparently the dishwasher needs SALT - who knew? Also, she told me the standing water was due to us opening the door too soon and we had to wait an entire hour after we heard it stop. Okay. Either way - no bad smell anymore - but I have been to two grocery stores and haven't found the dishwasher salt yet so I am hand washing everything till further notice - good times! Which for those of you who know me might think isn't that big a deal, but I cooked dinner for the second night in a row which is more than the last 6 months in Raleigh! Nathan is super excited about his "new" wife! Both dinners were even edible - if it weren't for all the smoke coming out of the oven both nights I would say I was a natural!
MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS TODAY:
1. We went to the Registrars office today to register that we are now living in Oerlikon. You have to register in your Kries (kind of like a zipcode).
2. I took a train and a bus to Volkiland:) Volkiland is a "mall" that Katrina told me about (Katrina lived in Zurich for 8 years with her husband who also works for ABB). I used the train schedule, paid for my tickets, and got on the right bus all by myself! I was hoping to find power converters and other electronic stuff there. I did - at a place called Intercept. It is kind of like Circuit City I guess. But MUCH MUCH MUCH smaller (more like the size of a gas station convenience store). Not a lot to choose from so decisions are made easily!
3. Nathan and I bought a "half pass" which allows us to ride on public transportation at half price. I'm still not exactly sure how the trains/trams/busses all work but that is a job for tonight. Again everything is in German and 5 other languages besides English but the person working there told me I could read about it all online in English!
Here's my question - if everyone can speak English - then why not have stuff written in English as one of the choices? I'll tell you why. Because these people DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH!:) Of course I don't speak any German, French, or Italian - but Nathan told me "everyone" speaks English. Well maybe at ABB - but certaintly not at the grocery store, shoe store, electronics store, or train station:) I'm going to have to get on the German classes sooner than later!
Well - this post is getting long so I will continue later!