I’ve officially been in Switzerland for a week and a half now and this past week we started orientation for the new teachers. It doesn’t feel completely real yet because the school is still quite empty, with the majority of teachers still away – and no students yet, of course.
But three long days of orientation, a peek into my classrooms (I have two), a school issued laptop and a few new friends later and I’ve made it to the weekend. Tomorrow there is a brunch for the new teachers down by the lake and then a tour of the city by a retired teacher from the school who now works as a part time tour guide.
Today there was a casual bbq being held by one of the teachers, in her backyard. It’s only a few stops from my house and I had been fully intending to go but woke up this morning and decided to opt out. The last few days have been busy, I’m going to the brunch on Sunday and then there will be another whole week of meetings and plannings and meeting more new people. I needed my Saturday. So instead, I’m sitting on the balcony with the sun struggling to get through the clouds and typing this up. Basking in the fact that I’ve got my dishwasher working no problem, figured out my washing machine and dryer today in German (a language I don’t really speak), I know where to recycle everything except my cardboard (there’s currently a pile in my kitchen) and been to the grocery store several times.
Oh the grocery store. Not since I lived in the UK has the grocery store been one of my favourite places to go, but it is once again. Back to food I actually want to buy, vegetables that are in season, prepared foods, frozen foods and the biggest selection of cheese. Also, it seems about 75% of the foods have the “fairtrade” logo on them, which is awesome and most of the fresh food/spices are marked “bio”. In fact, apparently, you can be heavily fined for selling any fruits/veggies that have been genetically engineered in any way.
The intention of this post was originally going to be to tell you a little about Switzerland, my new home, and I don’t seem to be doing that so I’ll try and stick something in quickly. On August 1 I got to experience Swiss National Day. Technically this is when Switzerland celebrates its independence from Austria. However, since that independence happened in 1291 (!) it has become more of just a celebration of Switzerland in general. Like most other national days, there were lots of parties on balconies/in backyards, lots of people dressed in the rot und weiß (red and white) and plenty of fireworks.
Turn and face the strange
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t change time
– Changes (David Bowie)