We’re in Switzerland!
The last month in NZ was hectic. I completed a CELTA certification and am now a trained English language teacher. Chris finished off the last of our packing/sorting while he worked out the notice at his job. But most significantly, the past month was one of good-byes.
Saying goodbye to people you hold so incredibly close is both bizarre and extremely painful. I managed to suppress the knowledge that I wouldn’t see them for quite some time – I maintained my cool when I was in their presence. But time and time again I found myself turning away to walk down the street with tears rolling down my face, knowing I would be so incredibly alone when I eventually left the country.
And the truth is, it is lonely. I’m lucky that I have Chris with me here, because the loneliness of being in another country; of being in a town of 2800 people; of having to speak your second language all the time is crippling. I’m privileged to know the language and look traditionally Swiss. People are generally friendly and accepting of my faux pas [see: German formal language] . I cannot imagine what it is like for people who cannot speak any of the local languages, or have no Swiss background at all.
In saying that though, we do have some very lovely people who have made us feel really welcomed in the country. Dina, a Swiss woman who travelled around the South Island with us a few years ago, came to pick us up from the airport when we arrived. She drove all the way from Kanton Graubünden up to Zürich, and then all the way back to Glarus to drop us off. She even gave us a Glarner starter-pack, filled with Schabziger, Pastete and other goody-goodies.
The woman at the Gemeinde was also really helpful (more on this stuff later!). She gave us a welcome pack with brochures and information about the area, as well as a little box of local chocolates. Everything you thought about Switzerland is confirmed.
My next post will be about the well established “Papier-Krieg”.