I have come unglued. The drinking from the wine bottle was an early sign. I’ve lost my ability for rational thought. I don’t know if it’s my lack of professional responsibility these days or the fact that my brain is getting confused by trying to squeeze German in. I am making decisions that even I am embarrassed by. Today, while biking I came across an apple tree with perfect, ready apples. Considering the cost of produce here (over $8 for a small bag of spinach! and that eating green is necessary considering how cheap cheese & bread are…I digress) and my love of all things fruit related, this is heaven for me. But I had no method of carrying them while biking. Walking away with only one was never a consideration. So the clear choice was to stuff them in my bra. Lucky for me, there is always plenty of extra room in my sports bras. I was able to get a good half dozen apples in there!

How do you like them apples?

I was quite sure that if anyone from the visa office had passed me on my way back home I’d get a big red mark on my file. I am quite sure they are questioning letting me stay.

There are ways that I will never succeed at being Swiss. Today is garbage day and even the way people put out their garbage and recycling is something I can’t aspire to.

All recycling is tied up in neat, tidy, perfect bundles. So intimidating and completely unachievable.

Luckily, we don’t actually live near any true Swiss so I fit in. I think it is important to paint an accurate picture here. There is beauty around us everywhere, Switzerland really is so photogenic. And yet, our house is not exactly a showcase of Swiss beauty. Diego, in a sweet and caring way, the other day, attempted to break some news to me. “Mom.” long pause…. “You know the street we live on?”

“Ya, what about it?”

“Well, it’s kind of ugly.”

“Oh, I know that Bud. We live on the ugly street.” Sweet boy was worried I didn’t know.

You know how there are neighbourhoods that are so adorable, every house could be in a magazine, with their perfect recycling bundles on the curb? And then there’s that one street that stopped making effort, or perhaps has no effort to make. Well, that’s where we live. Just on the fringe of the most adorable neighbourhood ever.

It suits us just fine. I just thought it was important that you knew for when you come.

With all due respect to all our family who arranged this place for us. We really do love it here! It is more perfect than we could have hoped for. What it lacks in prettiness it more than makes up for in charm and character.

This is our apartment’s best side. Technically our back door but we really use it more as our main coming & going door. This space serves as our dining patio which we still use for all meals as well as our bike parking lot.
This is the view out our back, into the “courtyard” of our apartment complex which is actually how we access our front door.

Living in a little apartment complex has been such a perfect introduction for our international experience. We live in a community built on newcomers. Greek, Philipino, Yugoslavian, etc.  Quite sure none of our neighbours are national Swiss. It’s been an amazing experience to introduce our kids to such a multicultural existence. Something Bragg Creek didn’t offer.

Apartment living brings all sorts of joys and frustrations. The proximity to everything we’ve come to love about Winterthur has been amazing. Being in close proximity to our neighbours cigarette smoke, dinner smells, world music & domestics is something that makes us appreciate the remoteness of our home in Canada.

So, while reading my blog, if you had painted an image in your mind of us living in a gorgeous, Swiss abode, you can continue to think that. We feel like we do, it just doesn’t look like it from the outside.

Our evenings are now being enhanced by reruns of Friends in German. Might be one of our best ways of getting the language settled into our brains.

The good news is that this week continues to be uneventful which is a very good thing. We even made it down to the local arena to check out the kids’ future hockey schedule. It starts immediately and threatens to increase my bus riding to a completely insane level but we must represent Canada!

Oh the sweet smell of cold, regrigeated arena air!

Life is ticking along with all the elements of home, just missing all our friends and family. So book a ticket already and come see us. Our fancy Swiss palace awaits…


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