All tagged expat life

How to Say Hello in Swiss German

I’m at the point. THE point. If you’ve learned a foreign language, you know this point. The point when you can understand much more than you have the ability to speak. Even if I don’t recognize every word of German that is spoken, I can generally understand the comprehensive meaning of what was said. However, when I’m left to my own devices to reproduce the words, I’m at a loss. Ugh. Welcome to phase two.

The Surprising World of Swiss Apartment Life

Apartment living can sometimes be more than just a place to lay your head and store your things: it can be an adventure in of itself. I have such fond memories of every place I’ve lived, and in some ways, each one has become a framework of that specific stage of my life. That apartment, this neighborhood, that landlord, this roommate. Each apartment comes with it’s own quicks, intricacies, and sometimes, a mirror to reflect the culture of the city itself. Swiss apartments, in this way, are no different.

5 Things Switzerland Can Learn from the World

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know by now that I love living in Zurich. But not everything is perfect. I wrote last week about the five things the world can learn from Switzerland. So now, here are five things I think Switzerland can learn from the world. The Yin and Yang, all of which contribute to the uniqueness of Swiss life.

5 Things the World Can Learn from Switzerland

A bit unexpectedly, I’ve fallen in love with the Swiss way of life. I say unexpectedly because while I knew there would be things I would enjoy (mountains and cheese and chocolate), I didn’t know much else about Swiss lifestyle or culture. The Swiss do plenty of things well, but in the past 8 months, I’ve noticed five things they do exceptionally well.

The Lake of Many Colors

Summer afternoons, it seems the shades of blue are undecided, too lovely for nature to choose just one. The sky and the sun compromise, picking a new blue each day: turquoise, robin’s egg, canary, the deepest of navy, the lightest of aquamarine, sometimes a solid hue, mostly blended, always radiant. It shimmers and it beckons. Coyly, almost suggestively.

Learning German from Bulgarians

The first class was rough. Actually, rough is putting it lightly. The first class was a train-wreck. Even though I’d been in Zurich for six months - and I’m embarrassed to admit this - I hadn’t picked up any bit of the language at all. Not Swiss German, and definitely not hochdeutsch.

One Month In

Moving to a new country is a bit like living in Newton’s Third Law - for every small victory there is an equal and opposite faux pas. I’m remembering to celebrate even the smallest of wins, and laugh off the mistakes as expat rites of passage.