Friday, May 9, 2014

The Adjustments of European Living

Now that we have shifted from the traveling abroad phase to the living abroad phase I am learning some very important lessons

How to shower in a bath tub- This was probably the weirdest thing to get use to. We have a bath tub and a handheld shower... but no curtain. Basically you shower sitting down... juggling the scalding or freezing water. My morning routine takes much longer here.

How to use an oven that doesn't have degrees of any kind listed- I burst out laughing when I first saw this. I was already to get out a Fahrenheit to Celsius converter, but it has the numbers 1-8 listed instead. What in the world? Sadly food companies have not quite reached this technological advance and I am stuck somewhere between F, C and 1-8.

How to do laundry in a mini machine then line dry everything- Our little washing machine is really funny. Its extremely small and unlike anything I've seen before. It took a little help from google translator to figure out what the buttons meant, but we are working now. It has been pretty funny converting my little kitchen into a drying zone for all of our clothes every few days. But it can be done ladies and gentlemen! Also, our little flat in Paris had a combo washer/dryer... the same machine actually washed and dried the clothes. Brilliant! It took about 5 hours, but what a cool thing!

How to manage with a mini fridge- This one is actually kind of fun. I have an excuse to go grocery shopping every day because I really can't fit much into my mini fridge. I get to go to the markets and search the cheese isles for something new, I can buy fresh bread and croissants, and then slip some chocolate in there.

How to Pee without a toilet- This one was actually quite a shock. I have actually had much practice with this during my trip to India a few years ago, and was not expecting this in a little park restroom. It really takes precision, and some old gross shoes... I highly recommend bathrooms with toilets!

How to convert everything
  • Degrees- I'm actually getting pretty good at this. I stick my hand outside and say "yes I'll grab a jacket."
  • Money- This one is actually pretty complicated, Switzerland isn't apart of the European Union so we are now dealing with Swiss Franks (about 1.1 Franks to $1) and Euros in France (about 1.3 Euros to $1)
  • Distance- Kilometers and Meters
  • Cooking measurements- The recipes are in Liters... so weird! 
  • Time- Everything is in military time... right now its currently 21:49...
  • The language- every simple exchange in a store or on the street is so intimidating. I have a few key phrases down, but as soon as someone leaves that script I just smile and nod. 

Some things I have absolutely loved so far:

  • Getting to use actual shutters- this is one of my favorite things about this place. I just about sing everytime I wake up and have the chance to open the shutters! I mean, if I close my eyes I could be anywhere in time. Although shutters mean no screens... which means potentially a bird will fly into my house... I'm just waiting for that
  • Getting to use cool old keys- Although it is terribly impracticle to carry around these huge keys, I just feel so cool pulling them out to open my front door.
  • Chocolate! - I'm not sure if I have adequately explained how much joy swiss chocolate brings to my life. The Swiss were the first to add milk to their chocolate and they have continued the tradition of pure delicious chocolate ever since. By the time I get home, I hope to have tried every type available... and hopefully my weight won't reflect this when I get back.
  • The beautiful views everywhere- Switzerland is truly one of the most beautiful and picturesque places I've ever had the opportunity to visit. Quaint villages nestled in green hills with magestic mountains above... honestly I love it!

Here are a few pictures of our homey flat. We are loving it!

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