ramblings from a Chicago girl adjusting to the Swiss life...
Posts tagged switzerland
I sometimes think that people who don’t have to work can get by a little bit easier. It’s easier to hide and stay in your own little world. You can spend your time Skyping with friends from back home, go out shopping or just for fun at night. You can really ignore the whole “integration” aspect of living in a foreign country. I hear them talk about their multiple trips “back home” a year when I struggle to make it happen even once. Sure, I admit that a part of me is a bit jealous.
I admit I also wonder how it is to be together with a partner who is of the same culture as you. What’s it like knowing you won’t be living in this country forever? To know that eventually you and your partner will move back to the country you both share as a home? I admit that a part of me wishes I would have chosen an American partner. Part of me wishes Mr. C could relate to me in ways that only other Americans can. But I also know that no relationship is perfect and even if we were of the same culture, we would still have issues to deal with.
And to be honest I wouldn’t want that life. I like being forced out there everyday. I like that I was forced to learn the language and forced to integrate. Do I like it here everyday? Hardly. But at the end of the day I can be proud of who I am and what I’ve accomplished in my two and a half years living abroad. I guess that’s all that really matters.
Sometimes I get a little jealous of married couples who are from the same country. Even if they live abroad, there’s always that reassurance that eventually they’ll go back.
I’ve lived in Switzerland for two years, but there are still some things I struggle to understand about life here. One of these things is that so many people here seem to be almost embarrassed by their own emotions. An example:
Mr. C is in the hospital. He’s pretty sick. Well, today his mostly absent sister (I’ve seen her max five times in these two years…she’s seen Baby H once) was visiting him. As she was leaving, he said “It sure was nice to see you. Thanks for coming to visit.” Her response? “Well, yeah…it’s Sunday and it’s not nice weather so I didn’t have anything else to do. That’s why I could come.”
What the hell? What’s wrong with just saying “Of course! You’re my brother and I love you. Want you to be okay.”
I realize this is a cultural difference and one reaction is not better or worse than the other. But having said that, I sure am glad that I react the way that I do…
I want to move back, but I don’t know if it’s the best for Baby H or not. It’s the best for me…this I know. But I can’t just think about me anymore. I want to go back to teaching in the city. I want to work with the HIV positive folks on the weekday nights.
I know it’s much more violent there. I know that the schools are not as good there…
But if it’s better for me would it automatically be better for Baby H?
My German has improved a lot over the past couple of months. I’m not really sure how or why, but something seemed to just click. Suddenly I’m able to understand most of what’s being said and it feels great.
My speaking however could still use some work. I speak it everyday and I’m not afraid of making mistakes. I think that’s important. I’m not embarrassed when I say something and then realize later I screwed up the grammar for example.
But…I still feel totally ridiculous when I make dumb mistakes. Example? Today in the checkoutlane I said “morgen” instead of danke. Wth? Or the other day when someone gave me something, I said “danke tschüss”. Niiice….