20 June 2011

How Do You Know You're In Switzerland...

...when you

  1. Are charged and taxed for garbage pick up.  Let me explain.  Swiss cities charge between 120.00 and 150.00 CHF (up to $178) a year for garbage pick up.  Plus, in order to throw out the trash, you need to buy region specific garbage bags which have a disposal-tax included .  This means that ONE garbage bag may cost between 2.00 and 3.00 CHF.  I like this because if you are required by law to pay a ridiculous amout for ONE garbage bag, I can guarantee that you will reduce, reuse, & recycle as much as possible.  And this is the kicker...the city that I live in has a weekly garbage pick up.  NOT TWICE A WEEK.  Trust me, since moving here, I have learned how to limit waste.
  2. Are required as a dog owner to obtain a dog license.  And your dog is required to attend a training course with learning programs that include basic obedience exercises (like walking on a leash), socialization of the dog, and a course in town (getting on the elevator, taking the bus and train…).  And believe me, the dogs here are so pleasant.  The training is evident on the trains and in outdoor public areas.
  3. Are required to get a number plate for your bicycle.
  4. Pay a voluntary church tax.  NO COLLECTION PLATES HERE.  Each person's religious affiliation is documented through their state and a voluntary tax (up to 3%) is withheld from their annual income.   
This Swiss are sooo un-American.

08 June 2011

Breakfast in Switzerland

I'm a fan of Swiss food, it's freshness, that is.  But compared to American food it can be quite boring.  When dining at a restaurant don't expect variety nor the little extras like unique sauces or special ingredients.  In my opinion, Swiss restaurants offer the same experience you can get in your own kitchen.  So when my husband and I decided to venture out in our new city and grab breakfast, I didn't expect much...as usual...unfortunately.

 Haupteingang = Main entrance to the old city

 Local shop / cafe.

Our breakfast. Four bread rolls, two cappuccino, one orange juice, and butter and honey which cost .70 CHF = .84 USD each.  Condiments are not free in Die Schweiz.  The total cost for breakfast 15.70 CHF = 18.77 USD.


01 June 2011

Kiki in Rome

I finally made it to Rome and I loved it.  The weather was superb - in the 80s, clear blue skies.  I was pleased how the city has maintained its historical integrity.  In other words, the old looked old not old but refurbished.  The best parts were: prices were much more reasonable than I expected; I ate the world's best pasta (al dente, of course), stood in long lines the moved quicker than expected, and saw absolutely gorgeous architecture. 
That's me!  I'm eating tortiglioni with cherry tomaotes, basil and parmesan cheese.

Til next time.


When Life Gets In The Way

Yes, it has been a while since my last post.  But a lot has been going on.

I decided to move closer to my job in Zurich; only to realize that I no longer wanted to work for my employer.  So I quit.  And I did this before applying for a new gig.  I eventually applied for a new teaching position and landed a job in two weeks.  In Switzerland, you are required to give 3 months notice when quitting.  Can you imagine working day in and day out for 3 months for an employer you no longer care about?

Although, I will be working with children, I was not required to have my background checked.  This was also the case for my last job.  I'm not sure if this is because I work for a private school or because I have previous experience working as a public school teacher in the US, but I must admit, as a future parent, this doesn't make me feel secure. 

I recently moved to a new city in a different canton (state).

Topfile titleI love my new apartment and city.  I am centrally located - 30 minutes by train to Zurich, Bern, and Luzern (my favorite Swiss city).  And I am near some of my favorite shops - Mango, Manor, and Casa.

The more and more things change, the more and more I continue to feel a part of Swiss culture.  I'm starting to look at things the way they are done in Switzerland.  My American layers are peeling away faster than I expected.