Okay, we have been here almost two weeks. We’ve accomplished a lot in these two weeks. We still have a lot to get done.
- Mobile phones. Susan has a prepaid card through Orange. She is now using my Blackjack. I got me new phone via Swisscom yesterday. The cool thing is it’s a re-branded HTC s710. This is a phone I tried to buy in the US several months ago but didn’t due to the price. Windows Mobile 6 is very, very cool.
- Kids are in school and doing well. Wow.
- Susan is taking “Living in Zurich” through the American Women’s Club. She has already learned a few good-to-know secrets.
- We have a temporary residency permit. Our permanent ones will come within the next few weeks.
- We understand the tram and s-bahn system.
- Language. Ouch. We still stammer and stutter and the first phrase we use is “bitte, sprechen sie Englisch?” I start classes next week.
- Housing. We’re in our temp place but we really do need something a touch bigger. We’ve applied for two apartments. We didn’t get one. We were one of around 80 applicants for another. Not good odds. So we’ll keep trucking along.
- Internet. Our apartment has this weird USB device that only works with XP. This means Susan’s nifty MacBook is offline for the time being.
- Banking. We have accounts created. We have a variety of cards. We have some PINs. What we don’t have is any PIN that matches any given card. Both sets keep trickling in. Usually we need to go to the Post Office to retrieve the mail. I appreciate the security but I am really looking forward to acting like James Bond and saying “transfer it to my Swiss account Zürich”.
It’s the weekend so what’s the plan? We don’t know yet. Due to an interesting requirement in our visa/residence status we cannot leave Switzerland without resetting the whole process. We’re thinking of perhaps driving south to the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. Or maybe we’ll skip that and just go find a mountain somewhere to go climb. Interlaken sounds nice as does simply going to see the falls.