Sunday, October 28, 2012

Almost one month

So time flies, we've already made that clear. Almost one month has gone since I arrived here and the most common question I get is: "Are you happy"?
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)

28 comments:

  1. Låter härligt med att ni kan besöka flera andra platser med bara ngra timmars bilkörning.
    Njut av russinen i kakan och som du säger, alla länder har sina för-& nackdelar.

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    1. Yes, that's one of the benefits of living so close to everything!

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  2. Sounds like a great adventure! You sure grow as a person when you move around, just a warning, it is quite addictive! I am quite the vagabond myself and I get the need to move, start over, every few years. More difficult now that I am a mother. Good luck with everything, especially with finding the nanny (one of the most important decisions!)Love the picture btw!

    MK

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    1. I know, already have that sort of gene which need new impressions so I can imagine how addictive it can be. I cannot stay in the same apartment for more than 2 years, then I get bored and wants to discover something new. I already feel this now, that when being brave and taking this step, whats stoping us form trying Hong Kong, Miami, Paris etc etc. Hard with a toddler YES!

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  3. Hej! Har faktiskt undrat lite över skillnaderna mellan länderna eftersom jag läser din blogg. Känner inte till Schweiz alls, men blir nyfiken när jag ser dina bilder och läser dina texter. Så intressant att läsa lite om hur du upplever skillnaderna och likheterna mellan länderna. Men ingen pappaledighet alls - usch vad synd! Hoppas du skriver mer om detta ämne, om kulturen där nere, mat etc. Så intressant att följa! (Men vill så klart alltid se shopping och snygga kläder också, en del yta behövs också för själen). MVH Laila

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    1. I will write more about it, it so interesting to reflect over! Thank you for commenting!

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  4. great post, so interesting!! I like reading your posts a lot! xxx mila

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    1. Thank you Mila for reading and commenting!

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  5. Amazing post. I truly enjoy reading your thoughts, so thank you so much for sharing them in english!

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  6. Ville bara saga att det dar med foraldrarledighet ar nat som dem skandinaviska landerna har det bra och borde uppskatta mer :-) Har i London (och antagligen hela Storbritannien) ar det inte latt att ga tillbaka till jobbet som mamma (om man inte har ett jattebra betalt jobb). Hemmafru-kulturen ar valdigt utbredd och nodvandig da dagis kostar en formogenhet. Vi har en ett-arig dotter som gar pa dagis 12 timmar i veckan, tva dagar i veckan och det kostar £416 (runt 4000 kronor) i manaden. Skulle jag ga tillbaka till mitt jobb som butikschef skulle hela min lon ga at till att betala dagis :-(

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    1. I know that Sweden actually is the minority in this case and the rest of the world the majority. But the rest of the world should have Sweden as a role model when it comes to fatherhood, family life and mother leave!

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    2. And kindergarten, kinderkritte and everything they're called is super expensive here too. If we would have a Nanny 6-8 hours per week and on top of that kinderkritte or Spelegroup 3 hours per week (!!!) we would have a monthly cost of about 1500 - 2000 EURO for only that! Crazy

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  7. Interesting post and it´s true that you have to take the good things with the bad ones. We learn from life:-), wish you and your family the best!

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  8. I am tremendously happy for you, dear Stina!

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    1. I am so happy to have you as one of all wonderful readers!

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  9. My dear Stina I can really understand you about what you feel in ZH as I had to leave there 5 years in ZH because of the job of my husband,. your description and sensation of Swiss German part is completely what I FELT. And you put some kind words that I could not exprime because I was really alone there. Most of people don't understand English, Swiss German is terrible for me (and most of them narrow-minded) and as we kept our flat in France we made aller-retour all the time. As you said, if we have the possibility to leave often to go to week end or travelling it's ok but with a French mentality it was not possible for me. Even fashion, arts, good restaurants are more evoluated than some part in Switzerland, I really prefer Swiss French part nearest to my mentality, but it's another story. For you so open to everyone and as a Swedish person, the question is not the same. You miss your family, friends, job, habits etc it's completely normal that you need a time to adapt. In anyway ou are so right of what you said that I can almost put myself into yourself. Only that my Enlish is not so good but hope you understand me. Well, at the end, I can say that we return to France with happiness but in the middtime, we were going often to Geneva which is nearest of our way of life. My intention is absolutely not to decouraging you of course, not at all, you have so much strenght on yourself and a little Alexis and such a good M (it seems to me at least..) that it's normal that questions occur at that time of the year which is not very easy with weather etc. You change all but not yourself! always so fine in your observations of the way of life and how it works in Switerland (we can say ZH because it's not the same mentality in the Franch part) but with the nanny and an adaption of this difficulty of moving from a country to another you will completely adapt in your nice new flat also. The question was different for me. I was alone with my husband who worked so much also.... and who was not knowing people there.
    Anyway Stina a girl like you will learn and grow up with the new experiences and continue to make me dream with your beautifil physical and sense of fashion so shark.So Franch and I prefer... Very soon you will go to mountains skying and after to a sunny country and life goes like this with pains, with little happiness of every day, and love of all these persons who are around you. I have been more longer than usual but I understand so well what you feel and pass on now that I take this opportunity to explain you what I spent as experience in ZH also.
    Your picture with A on the steps is so nice that you ahould put it in a frame.You are a real princess.
    Sina continue to be true like you are, you make me think that world is not completely... what can I say? deterioted? XXX

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    1. Uta, I totally understand your point of view. The swiss german people are a little bit narrow and very square as i would call them, but I also feel that the Geneva people is even more narrow. Especially the females, goooshh! In my experience (and of course NOT ALL) - but many are very boring, quiet and think that someone from abroad - is coming to make the world less useful for them.
      But I do have to say that i think my experience with the Geneva people can very much depend on the fact that Im a scandinavian woman and we're brought up much more independent and talkative than than many others. I've noticed that in my travels around the world that we are quite different. We say what we think and we express our mind and heart and tell the truth to your face instead of wrapping it up in cotton. Just cultural differences I believe.
      I do think that Geneva is prettier though, but ZUrich has more to offer in many way, especially for me i think.
      I once went to the Opera in Geneva and Lord ... I was stared out from the women like if I was a cow on a market. They whispered things in each others ears and M had to stop me from not going to one of them and asking if she had no manners at all. It's harder there I think and everyone seems to know everyone, which I m allergic to. But M is from Geneva and therefor I will spend a lot of my time there. And I like it very, very much even though I find the people a little bit old fashioned in their mind.

      I can so understand you here in Zurich alone. M works a lot also and it's because of Alexis I have so much to do. There is not a calm minute with him and therefor I am always busy with showing him the world and different things. But If I wouldn't have Alexis, I would feel very lonely and probably a little depressed.

      But all different opportunities in life we should appreciate, I'm sure you grew as a perosn Uta by being so lonely and needing to socialate with people you would normally not.

      Thank you for, as always, interesting thoughts!
      Warm hugs,
      stina

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    2. Men varför stirrade dom på dig, låter fruktansvärt!

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    3. They stared at you because you were probably the most beautiful of them all and the most interesting among the rest that in my imagination looked the same. I can so se it in front of me Stina. Typical French and Geneva women. Jealousy........

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    4. Hej Stina,

      Geneve är ett väldigt speciellt ställe, men döm inte människor för hårt. I en liten stad där en stor del av befolkningen är inflyttade expats som knappt lär sig franska, inte engagerar sig i det lokala livet, klagar otroligt mycket på hur litet och tråkigt Geneve är, och flyttar därifrån inom två-tre år, så är det inte så konstigt att de är lite reserverade. Le Genevoise tar tid att lära känna och de har svårt att öppna sig för människor som de tror inte kommer vara kvar i stan om ett år.

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  10. I'm just discovering your blog following the advice of a friend of mine who said that you are a wonderful woman and I am not disapointed. Also intelligent and of course it's not easy to move there in Switzerland from Sweden. Hope you will adapt soon.

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    1. It's my pleasure to have you as an reader!

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  11. You are once again totally right concerning Geneva dont' forget they are "calvinist" and what we say "good society" is completely boring and if you have international ideas or look, I mean larger ideas, effectevily you look from another planet.
    In fact someone like you (or me...) would be good leaving in an big town like Paris, London or NY which I love for the high energy. So many possibilities to develop without judgment of anybody. Of course all these towns need that we have quite a lot of money to enjoy it the best. (as we like..) It's not always the case actually....
    Good luck for all my dear Stina, you are one of the person to whom I feel the nearest with ideas (and fashion)!!!! when a little bit depressed you can return some days to your family and your country. M will always be aside you for sure. P.S. Also very open to the others and natural, sometimes they do not appreciate. But I will never lye to please, never.

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  12. it is sometimes good to change place and live in another country.I hope you'll get more used to this new place with time :)

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