October 21, 2014

Chocolate Brownies

I have to say that moving here has been no small task for various reasons.  

One in particular, I will illustrate.  The other day I bought a brownie mix (yes because I am one of those lazy-bones who prefers to cook at light-speed as I value efficiency over deliciousness and goodness) and I realized it was all in German.  Once again my efficiency personality kicked in and I decided that because it included little pictures, all I had to do was follow the pictures on the box to know what to put in the mix.  When I finished making my brownies, they were like a delicious chocolate pile of dirt, obviously I had missed an ingredient because they were soooo dry.  With the help of my friend Hollee, I realized I had missed the water (which was not pictured - but stated in German, Italian and French - duhhhh).  After adding the water and an extra egg for good measure, I cooked those brownies and they turned out lovely. 

The point here, is I never thought I would be struggling to do such basic life tasks such as reading a recipe (for babies basically) and being unable to do it.  I cannot read the dials on the washing machines/ovens etc... therefore I have accidentally dyed all Juliets' bibs with a nice "blue jean" hue (which I hate).  

I have been served a huge dose of humble pie, trying to maintain a positive disposition about it, versus throwing a tantrum about every little thing has truly become a balancing act ;)  I think the phrase "fake it till you make it" comes in really handy here (one of my favorite mantras BTW).

Suffice to say, the challenges are innumerable with a move like this, but many of them are so basic, I would have never guessed this prior to moving over-seas.  Be sure to have compassion on your "foreign" friends, because we really are "puppies" enjoying the sun and chasing our tails :)

October 8, 2014

Lucerne - Likes/dislikes

So I have now been in Switzerland almost a month (minus a week for Italy) and I have made a list thus far of likes and dislikes

1. the green hills with sprawling farms and electric green grass
2. the crisp air
3. the crystal clear lakes
4. General courteousness and friendliness
5. The Chocolate (however I prefer dark over milk and I don't like hazelnuts ... that is a Swear-word in Switzerland I think)
6. the quality of the food (I have never tasted such good chicken) - actually I think it's the butter - I It is pure liquid gold.
7. The windows - I am so fascinated at how high-tech they are opening from the top or the side
8. They keep tarps on the sand boxes to avoid "kitty-droppings"
9. I hear classical music on the streets - instead of drums and boom-boxes there are students playing in fabulous modern/classical quartets... I would have to spend sooo much money normally
10. THE SWANS!!! never get tired of swans (unless they bite me)
11. THE SWISS LOVE JULIET soooo much, especially when I put her little pig-tails in her hair (It's a good ice-breaker")
12. the trail-system here for runners/bikers/even rollerbladers (yes there are roller blading signs with estimated times on them) are fabulous and so well-kept.

1.  The doors - they sort of sit on the inner lip - so they constantly look like they are ajar to me
2. the locks all have individual keys (so in order to lock your front door you have to insert the key) - technically you could lock yourself inside the house
3. The fact that you must provide your own lighting - (not lamps people)- actual ceiling lights - our apartment just had wires coming from the ceiling holes and the fact that there were "provided lights in the hall and kitchen" was a big bonus.
4. No closets - they use wardrobes - which needless to say hinders the unpacking process greatly, trying to assemble four large wardrobes doesn't come close to compensating for closets.
5. I still do not understand the "garbage rules" apparently they are very STRICT when it comes to your waste/garbage.
6. you have to pay to use a shopping cart and they seem to be located everywhere I cannot find them.
7. The prices for restaurants are CRAZY - don't expect to pay less than the equivalent of $80 for dinner.
8. you have to pay for water - and it's 5-7 francs (for one bottle) initially when I didn't realize this, Jake and I where getting our water refilled and Juliet had a "small child's water" it was a total of +$20 just for the water (beware).
9. the appliances are so high-tech... I cannot figure out how to turn the oven on correctly (every time I swear it's a new setting... somehow I cook food though).

So far, more likes than dislikes :)


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