Well it has been a while since I have written anything. Primarily because there was nothing to write about. I know this is not true for Julie, but for me life is more boring now than it has ever been. The routine is pretty much the same day to day. I think it would have been easier to be a Hausmann if we had kids here. At least yelling at them to pick up their toys, and not throw their clothes all over the bathroom would give me something to do. 🙂
On a positive note. I have finally heard back from a school. I have a meeting with the “Principal” on Friday afternoon. I am not sure I will be able to volunteer for them though. I reached out via twitter and have learned that the rules and qualifications for working in the public schools are much more strict than in the US. The recommendation I have been given is to look to some of the private or international schools. I guess this is similar to the education structure in the US. The private schools do not have to follow the same requirements as the public schools. I have also been made aware that it is rare for volunteers to be found working at a school. I guess I will know more in a couple of days.
I have been able to find some interesting facts about becoming a teacher here. First off, the pay is pretty good. Last year the starting salary for a “primary teacher” was over 60,000 CHF per year. (NOTE: 1 CHF is roughly equal to $1). The median salary for all teachers is about 160,000 CHF per year. In Switzerland, there are apparently different types of diplomas. Now I say apparently, because sometimes my translations are really bad! But to teach at the primary level. You need a Bachelors degree with a teaching diploma. To teach at the secondary level (think High School), you need the Bachelors degree and a Masters degree. It takes about three years to get the first degree, and them another two years for the Masters. One thing I am really looking forward to finding out on Friday is the supervisory structure. From what I can tell, the public schools are run by the community, There is no school board. Just like in the US, each Canton has their own policies and requirements for the schools in their area. There are also federal dollars and some control; again like the US. Hopefully, I will be learning more soon.
Got another lesson in differences between the US and Switzerland yesterday. I am about 6 months overdue for an eye exam. I was going to get one when I was back in the US, but that didn’t happen; so I made an appointment at one of the many local optician stores. Glasses stores see, to be everywhere here. There are 4 or 5 within a mile of our apartment. You go to any large town, and there are “glasses” stores on every block. I was trying to put off the exam, but I couldn’t wait any longer. Anytime I am on the computer, or trying to read something on my phone, the glasses go off and on every couple of seconds. Glasses with lenses are expensive. Between Julie and I, we will spend close to $4000 on new frames, and lenses. I did get lucky. The optician was able to simply replace the lenses in my sun glasses, but my normal glasses also require new frames. Hopefully next time, if my eyes change again, I will only have to do lenses. We have not been able to find anything like vision insurance over here,. Which is to bad. or maybe that is a new business I should start!
I’m also learning about the dental industry here. Exams and cleanings were also something we were going to do when we were back in the US, but last night I somehow managed to lose 1/2 a crown. I was very thankful for the english capabilities of the people in the different offices I called. I was able to get the basics of my call done in German, but then when they asked if I wanted a checkup, or something else. I was having a hard time with the german. I know the german word for crown is krone. However, there must be a different word if the crown you are talking about is on a tooth, because it really seemed to confuse the people I spoke with. So tomorrow afternoon I have a dentist appointment. I will let you know how it goes.
Julie and I leave Saturday morning for a week in the Alps. We are going to a little town named Grindelwald. James Bond fans will know this town from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. Parts of this movie were filmed in Grindelwald, and the surrounding areas. I think I am going to see if I can find the movie to watch sometime before we go! Anyway, we will be spending a week up in the mountains. Unfortunately, the weather forecast is not particularly good; so you may get a lot of boring updates because we can’t see anything.
Oh I almost forgot the biggest news of all! It turns out that Julie and I are delinquent with our taxes. Way back in January, I spent a couple of days getting all the information entered so that Ernst and Young (who AMCOR pays big $$$ to) can do our Swiss and US taxes. Well COVID pushed back all the tax deadlines, but the Swiss deadline was in May. Of course EY has missed that deadline. I know it is my fault for not knowing this, but when we registered it wasn’t like someone pointed out this is tax day. When I learned that someone else was filing for us, I figured they would know the deadlines. This whole process has been a joke, though. I’ve had to go back and re submit the exact same information at least three times. I just hope that EY is going to be paying the penalties and interest.