30 January, 2020

There has not been much to write about the last two weeks, so I haven’t written, because I didn’t want to bore anyone! The excitement of heading back to the US for the Holidays, and then bringing the kids over has worn off. Julie and I are back to regular routines. She goes to work for 14 – 15 hours a day. I get up, make breakfast, walk her down to the train station, exercise for an hour or so, and then head off to Deutschschule. After class, I do the grocery shopping, clean the house for a bit, pick Julie up at the train station. Rinse, Repeat. Well except for the last two weeks. I have had the pleasure of watching some of the Impeachment Hearings. To now quote the famous american Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

I did throw a wrinkle into my schedule today. I went to the Rüshlikon Bibliothek and got a library card. The librarian got a good chuckle as I went in and said, “Grüezi. Mein Deutsch ist schlect. Ich suche Kinderbücher, um mit mein Deutsch lernen zu helfen.” Or “Hello. My German is bad. I am looking for children books to help with my learning German.” As in all libraries the librarian was exceedingly helpful. She got my library card for me, then took me down to the children’s section. She gave me the tour, and helped me select some books. She convinced me to not only get some of the early reading books, but to also get a copy of Eragon. I really like this book. Her thought process is that since I already know the story, I will be able to figure out some of the words. We shall see!!! The real reason I wanted to tell the story of the library is because of how different it was getting a library card here, vs 23 years ago when we wanted to get a library card from the Appleton Public Library.

Here, all I did was show up and fill out a card with my name, address, and phone number. She didn’t even ask to see ID. I was shocked. 23 years ago Julie and I went down to the Appleton Library to get a card. We were refused. You see all we HAD was a Drivers License with our address on it. That wasn’t good enough. We had to go back later with: TWO letters of reference, and a utility bill. The letters of reference had to be written by someone in the community that had lived there for at least two years. Keep in mind, by the time we went to get the library card we had already lived there for two years. I think we had Julie’s boss write us a letter, but I don’t remember who wrote us the second one. I think it might have been our friends the Eierman’s, but I am not sure, because they lived in another county. It just struck me how much easier this process was.

The weather here still has me baffled. It has only dropped below freezing two nights. We have not had a full day below freezing this winter. I think I told you in an earlier post, that I had to go buy a new coat. All I came over here with was my “winter coat” which I never wore unless the temps dropped into the teens because it is to warm. I also have a thin goretex jacket that I wear with a fleece jacket. This was a perfect combination in Wisconsin, because for the most part I was running from the car to a building. All of my other outerwear is either blaze orange or camoflage. Perfectly acceptable in Wisconsin, not so much over here. So I needed the winter coat, because I walk every where now. The jacket combo just wasn’t cutting it when the temps are in the mid 30’s and I have a 20 minute walk.

I can see snow from the balcony. Just a little south east of us, the hillsides are white. Of course you can’t forget the snow on the mountains. Nothing here at all. In fact everything is still green.

buds on the shrubs

The garden around our apartment building was cleaned up right before Christmas. The picture above is from one of the little trees right outside our front door. It is January, and there are buds on the trees already! The next pictures is this dark green shrub by the door that still has flowers on it.

This is certainly not any kind of winter I am used to. Switzerland is a similar latitude as Wisconsin; so I was expecting winters to be as cold. I am sure it is cold in the mountains, but Zürich, not so much. The strangest thing, though is the humidity. Just walking from the house to the train, I could wring water out of my shirt. This same phenomena occurs if it is 80 degrees or 33 degrees. I would think I was sick, but every male I have talked to from the US says the same thing!

Sorry this post was so boring. Julie and I are heading to Chur (pronounced Kur) on Saturday. Chur is one of the oldest towns in the country. I am sure I will have some good pictures to share next time!

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