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Old 16.06.2015, 16:44
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Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

Hi there everyone,

First, my apologies for being a free-rider since what seems like forever (actually only since 2011...). Since I'm here pretty much every day I might as well introduce myself once and for all, and eventually add my pinch of salt to ongoing discussions.

Who am I? A Montrealer in exile since 1997, in my (very) late thirties, married to a Norwegian and mother of a 6 year-old Troll. Our base has been Norway for a while, but I've been moving around, be it for studies, his work or my work. This time is our first time with a kid.

I was a Monday-to-Friday widow for a year while Better-Half was commuting between CH and Norway; since 2012 I've been a trailing spouse based in Zürich and a bona fide expat at that. Not so happy about it at first, now pretty satisfied with things.

I'm currently a full-time mother but in my previous life I worked with project financing and treasury. Very useful when doing the household's budget. Since coming here I've done a part-time Masters at St. Gallen. As we're considering growing roots here, I now focus on improving my German before trying to find a job. Getting a bit bored at home, but painfully aware that I probably will never get back to where I was a few years ago.

In the meantime I ski in the winter and I walk in the summer (or plan for the coming winter). I've also become a fan of many things Swiss, from cheese to wine via trains that go on time and efficient bureaucracy.

The Troll started off going to the Lycée Français of Zürich, since May last year he's attending a small Montessori school in Zürich. He shares his mother's love of skiing.

Better-Half spends an awful lot of time in the train between Zug and Zürich and is otherwise a laid-back and friendly fellow.

Now you know it all.
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Old 16.06.2015, 16:47
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

Hey there, Trollemor. Welcome!
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Old 16.06.2015, 17:12
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

Nice intro! Welcome to the Forum.
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Old 16.06.2015, 18:30
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

Trollemor

Thanks for being brave with great introduction.

Hope to see you contributing to some of the forum topics with your wonderful experience of Switzerland
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Old 17.06.2015, 23:39
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

Thanks guys, will do my best. I have nothing to sell, a pretty uneventful life, nothing to complain about and few interrogations about life in Switzerland, we'll see how much I can contribute over time.
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Old 18.06.2015, 00:44
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

so no cultural shock? or the nordic ways are similar to the swiss ones maybe?
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Old 18.06.2015, 08:35
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

Welcome and enjoy!
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Old 18.06.2015, 08:36
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

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so no cultural shock? or the nordic ways are similar to the swiss ones maybe?
I'm French Canadian and I've had my home base in Norway since 1997, with stints in England, France and Singapore. The culture shock of moving to Zürich wasn't worse than the one I had when working in a Parisian bank or studying in Norway in the late 90s. Just different. Actually, I find it almost easier to "blend in" here than where we lived before.

Also, I've been here almost three years, you guys skipped the "I no longer have a career", the "my German skills are useless at Migros" and the "my son cannot cope with the Lycée français" crisis. Right now we're kind of cruising along, next challenge will be the "going home or going local" dilemma, but not before next year.
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Old 18.06.2015, 08:43
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

Lurking eh? So who do you realy work for eh? Hm?



Welcome to the forum mate.

My culture shock of a lifetime was waking up in Saigon realizing that it was my new home. The car horns gave the game away. And the hooker sleeping on the front gate... For some reason they liked our street.

Welcome to planet SUI.
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Old 18.06.2015, 09:23
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

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Lurking eh? So who do you realy work for eh? Hm?



Welcome to the forum mate.

My culture shock of a lifetime was waking up in Saigon realizing that it was my new home. The car horns gave the game away. And the hooker sleeping on the front gate... For some reason they liked our street.

Welcome to planet SUI.
Thanks.

Working only for the family I'm afraid, the lot of many trailing spouses with younger children. Keeping husband and son wed and contented is in many ways more challenging than structured financing. And the pay is...let's not talk about that.

Saigon. Wow. Cool. I lived in Geylang in Singapore for a while, somehow taxi drivers found it difficult to accept that a white female would willingly live there. It was actually quite nice, and the food was great.
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Old 18.06.2015, 09:40
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

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... I have nothing to sell,...
It's obvious you'd been lurking for a while.

Welcome to EF.
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Old 18.06.2015, 12:34
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

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...Getting a bit bored at home, but painfully aware that I probably will never get back to where I was a few years ago.
But this is simply not true, my dear! You will not only get back to where you were a few years ago (professionally), but you will also go farther!


(apart from partying in Singapore every weekend. Things change a little bit with kids )
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Old 18.06.2015, 12:46
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

Who wants to go back? Really go back? Every bit of experience changes us a little. Being a trailing spouse and then a stay at home Mum certainly taught me a lot. Multi tasking skills when the children had such impossible school time-tables for one thing.
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Old 18.06.2015, 12:47
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

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next challenge will be the "going home or going local" dilemma, but not before next year.
That's a difficult dilemma for those of us who have lived in more than one country.... not only because "going local" here has a lot of connotations (at least for me) of "settling for the uneventful" (why that should be a bad thing is perhaps for an other post) but because where IS "home"?

Would you say is Canada or Norway?
I too have been split between the UK and Asia for some time, where is home becomes an interesting one. I remember being in Jakarta and going home (Midlands) for Christmas then when I left I announced I was going home (to Jakarta) ... and it was all true and felt sincere.
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Old 18.06.2015, 21:28
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It's obvious you'd been lurking for a while.

Welcome to EF.

Yep... Way too long for my own good. Almost creepy long, feels like I've stalked the place.

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But this is simply not true, my dear! You will not only get back to where you were a few years ago (professionally), but you will also go farther!


(apart from partying in Singapore every weekend. Things change a little bit with kids )
Didn't party much, worked with financing during the financial crisis. To add to the excitement I was pregnant most of the time. Working 12 hour-days while nauseous is...interesting.

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Who wants to go back? Really go back? Every bit of experience changes us a little. Being a trailing spouse and then a stay at home Mum certainly taught me a lot. Multi tasking skills when the children had such impossible school time-tables for one thing.
I have to admit to several positive sides to being at home. And as long as I look at what I am doing as a "job", I don't feel like a slave to the house either. But I'm pretty far from the yummy mummy cup-cake baking ideal. I lean more towards the wine drinking, ski bum type.

Junior is not complaining so far, mor is Better-Half.

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That's a difficult dilemma for those of us who have lived in more than one country.... not only because "going local" here has a lot of connotations (at least for me) of "settling for the uneventful" (why that should be a bad thing is perhaps for an other post) but because where IS "home"?

Would you say is Canada or Norway?
I too have been split between the UK and Asia for some time, where is home becomes an interesting one. I remember being in Jakarta and going home (Midlands) for Christmas then when I left I announced I was going home (to Jakarta) ... and it was all true and felt sincere.
In our case it would be Norway, where Better-Half's employer is based. But we've sold our flat there, if he really wants to take the plunge and go local there is nothing to go back to anyway.

Canada is "home" for vacation. I left as a student, I've worked there (besides summer jobs) and I have a limited network of friends there in addition to my family. It's difficult to see us every moving there, although one can never exclude it. Norway is the reasonable "home", it's been our home-base for a long time and we have both our professionnal networks there. But for me it's still home because it's where my husband is from. Switzerland is "home" because it is where we've unpacked for the time being.

But home could become pretty much anywhere, if you ask me. I usually say that "home" is where our suitcase is unpacked. Works for me at least.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 18.06.2015 at 22:24. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 18.06.2015, 22:08
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

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In our case it would be Norway, where Better-Half's employer is based. But we've sold our flat there, if he really wants to take the plunge and go local there is nothing to go back to anyway.

Canada is "home" for vacation. I left as a student, I've worked there (besides summer jobs) and I have a limited network of friends there in addition to my family. It's difficult to see us every moving there, although one can never exclude it. Norway is the reasonable "home", it's been our home-base for a long time and we have both our professionnal networks there. But for me it's still home because it's where my husband is from. Switzerland is "home" because it is where we've unpacked for the time being.

But home could become pretty much anywhere, if you ask me. I usually say that "home" is where our suitcase is unpacked. Works for me at least.

For a Montrealee home is where they play "Hockey" welcome to EF
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Old 18.06.2015, 22:21
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Re: Long-time lurker finally coming out in the open...

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For a Montrealee home is where they play "Hockey" welcome to EF
Amen to that!
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