Saturday, May 14, 2011

One year in Switzerland. A new year, a new apartment

This weekend marks our 1 year anniversary of living in Switzerland! It is also the start of our new life in our new apartment. As I look back through the last year, I think most of my problems came from living isolated in the country. I didn't have many chances to practice french, there were not many people to make friends with, Jack and I basically just spent the first year isolated from other humans. 

Now, we are living in the city. I have already had more conversations in French with our neighbors than I had the whole year of living in the country. I haven't had a chance to make friends yet, but the parks here always have kids playing and Jack can always find someone to play with. 

Our apartment is fairly small, right around 80 square meters (under 900 square feet). We live in a building with 6 other apartments. The majority of the other tenants are over 75 years old. This has actually been really good as they are very quiet, can't hear Jack's tantrums, and best of all they love to talk and are very patient with me as I practice my french. Our apartment building is in an area with several other apartment buildings and there are several kids and playgrounds for Jack. 

Okay, so now it's time to come inside: 

This is our front door and our hallway which leads to the bedrooms. 

 The hallway cabinets open up to reveal tons of storage and our closet
 A view of both bedrooms
 The master bedroom
 We have Luke's computer hooked up in here and can use it as a TV
 A look into our backyard. Right now it is all under construction, but this summer there will be a pool and patio/BBQ area.
 Welcome to Jack's room
 Jack loves anything to do with space, hence the bedspread
 It's a tiny room, but he loves it!
 Our bathroom
 And bath/shower
 The living room
And dining room (ignore the random extra chairs and clothes hanger. we still need to make room for these in our storage area)
 Looking from our dining room out into the living room.
 The kitchen
Pretty big refrigerator for Swiss standards. And we have a steamer above the oven (although I've yet to figure out how to use it)
 The use of storage space amazes me. For being so small, this apartment is very efficient. You can see I have a spinning pantry next to the oven)
 The stove and view of dining room
 Our balcony which is getting new flooring right now, but should be finished next week.
And there you have it, our new home! My favorite thing about this apartment is that it is brand new! It was completely refurbished before we moved in, so we are the first to live in it. It is such a nice change from our last apartment which was so old it seemed like everything we touched fell to pieces. Not to mention the washing machine here only takes 1.5 hours for a cycle versus the 3 hour cycle in our last place! And like I said before, the people are much nicer. In one week I have talked to my neighbors more than I did the entire year in our last place.

I hope that living in the city will help speed up my french conversation skills and I hope Jack can make some good friends. It is great to be living amongst other people again... even if it means having the construction workers wake Jack up at 8am every morning with their drilling...

As for celebrating our 1 year in Switzerland we have no plans for this weekend as Luke is rushing to finish a work project. But, next weekend we leave for Greece! One week on a cruise and one week on a beach. It should be heavenly!

As soon as we get back from Greece, I will work on taking you on a tour of our new city.

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