It’s been officially 3 months since we left London and moved to the mountains. Relocating to Switzerland has made me leave my comfort zone and helped me experience a lot of “firsts”. Perhaps some of these things would have happened at some point in my life…nonetheless, these past months have definitely been a roller-coaster.
Learning to ski
I tried to learn skiing once. Didn’t go so well though…Nobody taught me how to stop and I didn’t have ski poles. So once I got off the ski lift the skis just took up the speed and without the ability to break I had a decision to make – go down the scary steep hill or ski straight into the gradual forest where I could potentially stop myself by grabbing a tree. Fores it was, though I never stopped, just crashed into an electricity box.
Long story short after that time I never tried to ski again. It’s been more than 10 years since that accident, but as I now live next to skiing slopes it would have been a shame not to try again. And so I did, in late March I learned to ski (and break)! And I like it. Cannot wait for the next ski season to start!
Car break down
During Easter, we took our first road trip outside Switzerland. We spent 4 sunny days in Southern France. And it was great. But things just never go as planned…On Saturday our car started showing all these weird warning messages. Once the steering wheel begun acting up we had no other option but to search for nearby car mechanics. But of course, nothing was open on a Saturday afternoon. So, I hoped we might be in luck when we found this place on Google Maps that was just 3 km away and supposedly open. …Of course, it wasn’t. And to make matters worse once we got there the car completely died, we couldn’t connect to the internet and telephone zone was barely working… I have probably driven about 15,000 km in road trips but never had this happen. But always a first, eh?
To put it simply, I wasn’t particularly thrilled being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken car when I could have been exploring Southern France. There was one silver lining – a bottle of nice red in the trunk. I think wine was the only remedy that kept me somewhat sane…and drunk.
But what happened with the car? Luckily our car insurance covers European breakdowns. And after an hour of waiting (and drinking) a tow truck pulled over. He didn’t speak English, we didn’t speak French. We just nodded in silence and jumped in the truck. He took us to a car mechanic that was open 24/7. And after half an hour we were back on the road… turns out the belt broke. I couldn’t have been happier (apart from the fact that the car broke down and ruined 1 day of our holiday).
Writing a blog
I think this is the most challenging thing for me. Every single day I wake up and think – hmm, I should write something. Most of the time that doesn’t happen and at the end of the day I always feel guilty. The reasons (or excuses) are various – I don’t feel inspired, I have to learn French, What is the point anyway?…Nothing exciting has happened. The list just goes on. But then once I sit down and start writing I feel happy. From nothing I create something, and it is a truly wonderful feeling.
Though there is one more challenge I face when writing – honesty. I think it is very important to be honest when writing. Even if it’s fiction – if it’s not honest it’s just boring to read. Obviously, since I write about me I have to be honest about my life and that is quite hard as I don’t consider myself an open person. Sometimes I am walking around or doing something, and I think – Oh, I should post this on my blog or social media channels! But then I realize that I want to keep this moment just for myself. And I don’t get how others can constantly let strangers in their every day lives through social media. Or maybe they are just not being honest?
I never thought I will learn French. When I dreamt of us moving to the mountains I always expected it would be to a German-speaking country. In school, I did learn German, so I thought I could pick it up once we relocated. But, hey, we ended up in French-speaking Switzerland! Never in my life, I have had exposure to French, so this is a big first! I certainly know more words than I did a month ago…or even 2 days ago. However, at this point, I cannot see myself ever reaching intermediate level. First of all, pronunciation is quite difficult. A lot of short words sound the same or are pronounced together. When natives speak it’s like there are no spaces between words. And then yesterday I had a look at how many tenses there are… and apparently, it’s more than 10! But I suppose one step at a time.
I try to learn at least 1 hour a day but the whole thing just overwhelms me. At this point, I am even having dreams where I try to memorize French words…Oh, I just wish I could download this language in my mind.
Apart from movies I have never really listened to jazz or been to a jazz gig. But whenever I hear people talk about jazz it’s either love or hate relationship. Personally, I didn’t have any opinion on jazz until last Saturday.
As you might have guessed, there is not that much entertainment around us and we must take advantage of whatever is out there. Nearby skiing village has this cool little jazz place and we thought we should go. Turns out it was great! Jazz is just so harmonious I couldn’t help but drown in the music and relax.
These are just a few “firsts” that come to my mind, believe me when I say there have been tons more…like seeing an avalanche and ordering pastries in the French language! Let’s see what the next months will bring.