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Life of Ryrie

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Switzerland

Cold

I am about to put on my 6th layer.  I am absolutely, totally Freezing (note the capital F).  It is 11am on Wednesday morning, I have only been home for 30 minutes and yet my toes are numb and my fingers are rapidly starting to seize up (so whether I finish this post in one sitting is debatable).  Even my bum cheeks are chilled.

I fear that if I remain in this position, I will have hypothermia before the end of the day.

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Expat endings

The bubble has popped.  Reality has kicked in.  We are back in England.  The Life of Ryrie Big Swiss Adventure has come to a close.  Well, what a year it has been.  We have lived in a different, non English speaking country.  We have even survived.  We can now do anything, go anywhere.

Here are a few of our best bits…

Expat to Repat

Repatriation.  You’d have thought that this would be the easy part, except that it isn’t.  Having made sure that the first couple of weeks back in the UK were packed with things to do and people to see we have now arrived at the horrid realization that we have no home, none of our belongings, none of our clothes.  Everything is the same, but everything is different too.

We have only been away for eleven months and so nothing looks, sounds or smells dramatically different to how it was a year ago.  But.

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In a country where Supercars are more than ten-a-penny (or should that be rappen?) it has been lovely to catch sight of some true Classics…

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International Day

Every school in the world has a fair of some description, whether that’s a Summer Fayre, a Christmas Bazaar or an Easter Egg-stravaganza.  At some stage in the school calendar there is a get together, a chance for a bit of fundraising, a bit of socialising, a bit of teamwork and an opportunity for the members of the parents association to show their mettle.  The International School of Zug and Luzern doesn’t so much have a fair as a summer spectacular, this is International Day.

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With temperatures crawling ever higher, summer has arrived.  Time to get out the paddling pool.

Tunnel Vision

I have become a bit obsessed. Not with Taylor Swift, not even with David Gandy’s swimwear (ahem).  Nope.  Tunnels.  Yep, you read that right.  I have become a tiny (actually, maybe a lot) obsessed by tunnels.  The Swiss are also obsessed by them, there are at least 220 of them in the country.

It is understandable that the Swiss have become adept at building tunnels – I mean why waste time going over a mountain when you can just drill straight through it.  It also fits well with the Swiss national character.  Secretive, efficient, impressive attention to detail, but with a tendency to appear in surprising places.  It’s this latter that convinces me of their obsession and which has sparked mine.

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Ha ha ha – stop, thief!

Did you hear the one about a bike that was stolen from a secure underground garage?

It was in Switzerland.

I know, I doubt the punchline made you laugh, it certainly didn’t make Steve chuckle, but it’s definitely a joke.  In the same week that ‘safe’ Switzerland was named the happiest country in the world(!), Steve had his bicycle stolen from our ‘secure’ garage.

When we were about to embark on our Big Adventure everyone, almost without exception, commented on the fact that Switzerland was a safe country.  Well, I have news for you, Switzerland is not as safe as you might think it is.  Having done a little bit of research* I have found out that even though general crime levels are indeed lower than in the UK, the incidence of Intentional Homicide is higher in Switzerland.  The number of murders with firearms is five times higher than in the UK.  There are 53% more car thefts per 1,000 people in Switzerland compared to the UK.  In addition, about 23% of the population are immigrants (high immigration usually being connected to high crime rates).  AND our children had to participate in a routine ‘lock down drill’ at school, just in case some loon decided to take issue and terrorise 900 primary school kids.  So why do we have this perception that Switzerland is safe?

Continue reading “Ha ha ha – stop, thief!”

Switzerland – Five Recommended Expat Blogs

I can’t believe it.  ExpatFocus.com have included me as one of their five (yes count them, only one hand needed!) recommended blogs for expats living (or thinking of living) in Switzerland!  I am so delighted I can’t even begin to express it properly.  It means that people actually read my blog!  So, if you do read lifeofryrie.com (and you’re not a blood relative) THANK YOU!

To find out a bit more about me and my expat experience you can read my ExpatFocus interview by clicking the link…

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If you would like to keep up to date with me and my expat life (intermingled with a bit of family stuff) then click the ‘Follow’ me button to the right of you…

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