Sunday, October 28, 2012
Almost one month
But you know what, I hardly have time to think about my own happiness with a small toddler around having as much energy, curiosity and serenity as life itself. I mean, of course I'm happy most of the time, something else would obviously occupy my time enormously: there's nothing more time consuming than being unhappy and depressed about whatever it is in life. I've learnt to be very active in my own happiness and to change myself, my life, my mind and thoughts or whatever the reason is when feeling so low. No one will turn a bad feeling around apart from yourself. Perhaps that's also why I seldom regret things, because at the time, it was probably exactly what I wanted.
I see this as an adventure, a wonderful opportunity to live in two different countries, to explore and use the best of both worlds. Sweden has so many things I love: my family and dear friends most of all, but also my career and my work over there which I gave a good couple of long years to develop, indulge and love. Sweden is so much more family friendly and so far beyond when it comes to fathers combining a well going career with fatherhood and mothers being allowed to stay home with the child for a proper amount of time and still have a job waiting for her when she decides to return. That's something Switzerland should be very ashamed of, both concerning men and women. It's absurd to see how three months old babies are put to some kind of "kindergarden" just because of the fact that mothers, in the best cases, have about 6w-3months of motherhood and the fathers none. A lot of the mothers I meet here are stay at home wives/mothers for the simple fact that it's impossible to combine motherhood and job.
I've never liked the swedish weather very much and I'm allergic to rain. In fact, weather and nature wise I am more attracted to everything not swedish, like lushy green nature with palm trees, never ending sun and long beaches. Not even Switzerland can offer me that unfortunately, but Switzerland has somewhat milder temperatures which I appreciate.
I like the more present international feeling I have here and how the city is built more pretty and thought through in an architectural way which looks more residential. People are less "over-the-top" trendy here and not everyone wants to be seen and noticed as in Stockholm - it's very refreshing. What I do notice here is some sort of segregation between absolute "no sense of fashion whatsoever" and a much more high end, elegance which I tend to adore. Classy has got a new definition since I came here. It's very appealing and very inspiring to see the real fashion, the more classical and timeless way of dressing walking the streets.
Not to talk about the shopping! I mean we have almost all the important brands here in Zurich and although I can't walk around shopping all day, it's fun to know that I can if I want. Just window shopping is fun here and I also always find a new store, restaurant, art gallery, flower shop... etc that I'd like to visit.
The hardest thing is the language though, you would think that everyone is as fluent in English as in Sweden, but as soon as you come to a less international store, like the supermarket, people have extremely low English skills and making myself understood is sometimes very hard and in the end very frustrating. I was trying to find coconut milk the other day and tried with body language and English to make myself understood, but with no success at all. They took me to baby milk and by then, I just gave up. The Schweizerdeutsch is also quite far from German, which normally would be easier to understand for a Swedish person.
There's also a lot of rules here which drives me a bit insane sometimes, the country itself is more "square" if you know what I mean, but in the same way, Sweden also has its personality, both in a good and bad manner.
But as a conclusion so far, I like it. It makes me grow as a person to do this journey and you need to dare more in all aspects of life to melt in, see all the positive things and live in a different country. I've made some new friends which is of capital importance and finding myself around pretty good I have to say, both with a car but mostly by foot or with the excellent tram system.
As soon as we're more settled in with the new apartment and so, I hope we'll find time to go up in the mountains more, renting a nice Chalet and have some time for some wonderful skiing in the magnificent nature. I would also love for M and I to be able to take mini weekends to Milano, Paris, Como and other places that are only a couple of hours away by car. Another great thing with living smack in the middle of Europe.
And when we now found a very kind nanny for Alexis a couple of hours per week, I'm sure that M and I will also explore more of the evening and night life in Zurich, which we both haven't had time to enjoy due to the fact that he is working so much and I'm with Alexis all the time.
So, a little "so far" conclusion in the end of October.
Have a great weekend!
(at hotel Baur Au Lac)