Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Let's Reflect

So yesterday marked the 3 month anniversary of our move to Zurich! (Of course I was in the States for a month but we aren't going to count that:)) I thought I would reflect on how far we've come - thank God!

Recap of the first week:
1. I cried in a "grocery store"
2. Blew up my hair dryer and a $40 converter along with it
3. Ate Bologna and other nondistiguishable foods
4. Had to buy a sweatshirt that said "I love animals" on it
5. Couldn't converse with anyway and thought "no one in Switzerland spoke English".
6. I had no idea what stores sold what or where they were located or which trains/trams/buses took you there - I also used google maps to locate them once I found out what they were called
7. Stuck in Switzerland b/c of the "one time only entrance" on our Visas
8. Couldn't work the dishwasher or the clotheswasher. And the dishwasher needed salt and smelled like a sewer!
9. Could only watch CNN and MTV b/c all other channels were in German
10. And Finally, I thought I might kill Nathan b/c we lived in 650 sq ft and our stuff wasn't going to fit with the both us!

Well - just yesterday I:
1. I properly used both the dishwasher and clotheswasher
2. Mailed stuff to Swagger at the Post
3. Went to two different "real" grocery stores
4. Picked out a Birthday card for my sister and translated it all by myself
5. AND had a friend over for dinner - who showed us how to change every channel on our TV from German to English (at least it's only been 3 months not 12)!


Other proof we've come a long way:
1. I downloaded an app to my itouch that translates German to English. I now don't have to rely on the pictures to tell me what the meat is! Also - after eating the bologna I wouldn't eat the meat that was in the bins with the sign that said "Rabatt" - I thought it was "Rabbit" (they do eat horse so you never know) - but now know that means Rebate (or discount):)!
2. I bought ice cube trays but find we RARELY use ice! Never saw that one coming - Nathan used to get Tea with his ice!
3. Took back 100 lbs worth of clothes and stuff we didn't need back to the States in June. We are really learning about want vs. need - well at least Nathan is trying to teach me the difference;)
4. We both now carry a jacket wherever we go - you really never no when it will get cold - and a person only needs ONE "I love animals" sweatshirt!
5. We haven't purchase one bottled water or used a plastic/paper bag since we've been here. We are soooooo green:) We also recycle everything. Well.... our maids do - but same thing:)
6. Figured out that basically everyone in Zurich speaks English EXCEPT for the people in Oerlikon. This has actually hindered our German learning - b/c as soon as they figure out you speak english (doesn't take long I assure you) they start speaking in english. However, I do have to read German everyday (at stores) so I am building my vocabulary. Also, both of us can understand a bit more when people around us are speaking German. So we understand some stuff - but we answer in English:) At least I don't still FREEZE and give the BLANK STARE when spoken to in German:)
7. I don't have to convert (most) measurements any more. I now know what temp 20 degrees Celsius "really" is, know 20:00 is 8 o'clock without have to subtract 12 in my head, the trail is 20 km -no problem, 1/4 cup is 60 ml - I could go on! This makes life a lot easier - having to look everything up was a pain in the ass!
8. I am a whiz at using the (swiss public transport) website and no longer have to use google maps! I even got Nathan from Milan, Italy back to Zurich when he missed his train (and he had 2 connections!)
9. Realized 650 sq ft is actually pretty big and all we need in this world - yes it is still me talking! Well........okay - I would still like my walk in closet (and all my clothes, shoes, purses, and jewelry;)) I think the good thing about a small living space is that it makes you want to get your butt outside and enjoy life!!!
10. And finally the most important thing we have both learned (really more Nathan as I wasn't that bad about this) is that there is more to life than just working and the computer! Life over here is just slower - people enjoy it more! Nathan has only had like 10 phone calls on his cell phone since we moved and often leaves it at home - it used to be permanently attached to his hip - good grief!

I know we still have a lot to learn and we definietly still LOOK like Americans but WE'VE COME A LONG WAY BABY!

Auf Wiedersehen;)

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