I realized that only people who are on facebook are able to see what Paul and I have been up to over here in Switzerland, so that leaves out my parents, Paul's parents, Pete/Kristen, Brett, Stephan, and our FAVORIIIITE southern belle of all time - JAAAAAAANE. I thought that if I established a blog account, I could post updates and pictures every once in awhile, so that those people not on facebook can still see how beautiful Switzy is and all of the fun things that we are doing. It will probably take me a while to get the hang of how to make everything aesthetically pleasing, but time is something I just so happen to have quite a bit of right now. I am getting a little bit busier, though, thank goodness - I am nannying/teaching english to 3 little German boys 2 times per week, and am now on the board of the American Women's Club of Zurich. I'm the Welcome Chair, which means that when new women join the group I reach out to make them feel welcome in the club and tell them how to get involved, and I am supposed to be organizing events, hooking ladies up with each other, etc. I just started that, so we'll see how it goes.
Anyway - something that you don't know unless you live here, is that laundry facilities are hard to come by. 70% of the people living in Switzerland are renters, because you basically have to be at least a millionaire, if not multi-millionaire to be able to purchase a home, or you have to have one in the family. Of the 70% of people who rent, most have to share laundry facilities - meaning that you don't have a washer/dryer in your apartment. It feels SO much like college, having to lug my dirty laundry down into the basement, but I've actually adapted pretty quickly to it. I remember learning about this on my first visit to Zurich, and being absolutely appalled. "I am NOT sharing a washer/dryer in a dingy basement; I MUST have my own." However, it's really not that bad, usually. The thing is, Swiss are notorious for having arguments with neighbors over the laundry room. I've already been reprimanded twice by the caretaker because he thinks that I am leaving the laundry room a mess. He doesn't speak English, and I don't speak German, so our conversations take at LEAST 20 minutes, and I can't stick up for myself to explain to him that it isn't me who is leaving the mess. Anyway, Sundays are kind of sacred here. All shops, supermarkets, etc. are closed, and you are supposed to be really quiet in your apartment. I don't know if this is for religious reasons, or what, but the funny thing is that not many people go to church here - from what I can see. Church seems to be more popular back in the US. The reason I am going into this, is because Paul and I were doing laundry yesterday. On a Sunday. Past 6 PM. SHOCK! HORROR! I kind of am assuming that we aren't supposed to be doing it, but I've read the house rules (as best I can, they're in German) and it doesn't say anything about not doing laundry on Sundays. We had an overflowing hamper because we had 2 girls stay here last week who are backpacking through Europe, and I wanted to get some of the dirty sheets/towels cleaned. Well, we went down to get our belongings and found that all of the machines had been turned off - MID CYCLE - and our electric cards were on top of the dryer. There was still water in the washers because they weren't finished running, and the clothes in the dryers of course were not dry. I couldn't believe it! Who would do that? If anything, write us a note and stick it down there that says that we are not supposed to be doing wash on Sundays (if, in fact, we are not supposed to). But don't just stop our stuff mid-cycle! Anywho, I'm now scared to go down there in case I should run into the culprit and have to try to defend myself in a broken mix of English, French and German. I have told a Finnish friend of ours who dates a Swiss guy about these laundry problems and she said that it is very typically Swiss: people argue all the time over the washer/dryer, and whenever there is an issue the newest person in the building usually gets blamed. Especially if they are foreigners. Or, heaven forbid, Americans!
Here are the washers with all instructions in German so I am probably going to end up shrinking several items.
You have to turn the electric on and off when using the machines, and open/close the pipes.
The schedule. Dun, Dun, Dunnnn. Do not, I repeat - do NOT mess up the schedule.
The slots that you stick your cards in. The slots which OUR cards were yanked out of!
To counteract that slightly sad story, I also want to tell you about something great from this weekend. We went down to Lugano, Switzerland, which is in the Italian section of Switzerland. Switzerland is broken up into 3 sections - French, German, and Italian, and each section speaks the respective language. It happened to be "Cantine Aperte" in Lugano this weekend, which means that small wineries were open to the public, and allowed people to come in and sample wines and walk the vineyards. Paul and I did this, and got some amazing pictures of both the city of Lugano and the vineyards. I'm going to post a link to them, so that you can see. There are way too many to post on here.
Here is the link: http://aswissamericanlife.shutterfly.com/pictures
This was a super long post, so I'm not going to say anything else about our trip - the pictures say it all anyway!
Have fun looking at them!