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  #21  
Old 03.11.2011, 14:52
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

I was just complaining about this the other day.

For the last twelve years i have lived in London and Paris working and partying with some very cool people and living a pretty fab, chic and stylish lifestyle.

Now i am a stay at home mum living in a remote Swiss village on an infrequent bus route (at best they come every hour, at worst every two hours). I am two dress sizes bigger, and that isn't even because of my current pregnancy.

Then other day a friend and former colleague from NYC was in Switzerland on a modelling assignment and wanted to pop over to my house to see me. I had to lie and say i was out of the country. It was for her own sake, she would have been horrified to see me living in a very unstylish 70s house, wearing a frumpy high street cardigan covered in playdough, chocolate and snot. Plus my garden wasn't big enough for her helicopter to land.
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  #22  
Old 03.11.2011, 15:02
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

To be honest, life has not been glamorous at all since moving to the supposedly one of the best countries to live, in Switzerland.

In the US: very well paid job, highly respected for my profession. My typical weekly schedule after work involved: horseback riding, tennis, ballroom dancing and a regular weekly spa visit. Yes, money was never any issue for me to be able to do whatever I want to do in the city I lived. Once a year, we would head to the big mountains in CO/UT/WY or so for a skiing trip. Then I get to still have another vacation or two to get to Europe/Asia. On wknds, we would head to some of the finest restaurants (and the lovely Martini bar back home!). Life was glamorous and nice.

In Zurich: I still have a well paid job, but so does every other person. Last weekend, we spent Saturday shopping for groceries around town at the various places that were doing 10-15% off discount! Then we spent Sunday hitting Ikea for the Christmas lights sale. Not saying that I wouldn't be going to the sale in the US, but I certainly wouldn't be "wasting" an entire wknd shopping around town for groceries. Yes, it may seem like I get to go skiing every wknd in the Alps, but that's not even true. We need to spare a day per wknd so that the flat can be cleaned! Oh, and also so that we can buy groceries and food for the coming week.

And yes, KFC becomes the highlight of my weekend. No offense, but when I explain this to friends in London, all laughed and replied that they will not move here ...

Ok, it's nice living in Switzerland and I won't deny the benefits and the easy access to the mountains, but a simple Switzerland = Glamorous, I don't think so. When time comes, I shall move elsewhere, but for now, I'm willing to make a "sacrifice" to enjoy the European/Swiss life.
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Old 03.11.2011, 15:05
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

When I tell people I live in CH, I almost can see the dollar sign in their eyes... When my husband told me he had a job offer here, I guess I had the sign in my eyes too.... I dreamed of skiing and restaurants, and big flat on the lake....

And the, something called reality punch me. We now count every coin to end the month and I have to confess, even if it is a beautiful and safe country, I can't wait to leave.... in 3 years...... I don't have the feeling that Switzerland is an enjoyable country when you are on a small budget.... At least, not as I hoped I would.
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Old 03.11.2011, 15:07
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

mmhh... Working in an assembly plant day in day out OR
Working and training everyday....


tuff to say...
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Old 03.11.2011, 15:11
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

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And the, something called reality punch me. We now count every coin to end the month and I have to confess, even if it is a beautiful and safe country, I can't wait to leave.... in 3 years...... I don't have the feeling that Switzerland is an enjoyable country when you are on a small budget.... At least, not as I hoped I would.
NO country is fun on a small budget. It's just that everyone assumes you are well-off here and it's your own fault if you are not... That does bug me a bit.
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Old 03.11.2011, 15:14
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

My heart missed a beat today when I spotted Sarsons malt vinegar in Zurich.
That sums it up really.
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  #27  
Old 03.11.2011, 15:23
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

I fixed myself a cheeseburger the other day, but instead of a Kraft dairy slice I used some Gruyčre. Its remarkable how far I've come.
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  #28  
Old 03.11.2011, 15:27
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

We have good jobs, and are paid much better than we would be in Australia for the work that we do - but we work much longer hours, and our kids do very long hours at school...

On the 'up-side' they have been to Rome, Paris, London, Singapore, Barcelona, and various smaller cities, experience many languages and have great delight in saying 'Ola' after their short holiday in Spain, or 'Bonjour' after a weekend trip to France...

There is a tendency to be quite defensive about what we lost and what we gained (justifying everything and talking it up to our friends and family)...on the other hand, we came on a one way ticket, and really cannot afford the return trip...we'll be here at least another 3 years before we can start to think about going back...

I think in order to 'make a go of it' you have to give up a lot. It's taken me to the third year to get really truly home-sick. We survived the transition and now have a much closer-knit nuclear family and I have a much more intimate relationship with my husband. On the other hand, we could have easily destroyed our marriage - the stress made it a close-call...that's for sure...and I am pulling through a bout of depression induced mostly by work-related stress...and at home I would never have put myself into that position because I would have had other priorities...

The style of living for us is close to what my parents live now. We were not that 'rich' as kids, but they now have a very comfortable life. My kids live that affluence, they are lucky kids, that's for sure...but if we were back in Australia there would be a big 'gap' between what their grandparents desire for them, and what we would be able to independently afford.

It has been said that the current generation will be for the first time poorer than the previous one. If we had stayed in Australia, I have no doubt that would be the case - our parents all living in enormous 4 houses with a car each, european holidays Whilst we live hand-to-mouth and in medium or high density housing, both working, just to give the kids a fairly ordinary living standard...

Glamorous ? my husband and I took a 5 day holiday to Sweden without the kids...that was pretty awesome...we like our life here, and we like the life that we have given our children...they are damn lucky, that's all I can say...
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Old 03.11.2011, 15:27
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

Oh very glam!

Putting perfectly good clothing and shoes into large plastic bags and then dumping them into a re-cycling bin .... wow! Back home in Africa I would have put it all out on the pavement and it would be gone within half an hour.

What boggles my mind is the amount of jackets and shoes I`ve accumulated! A different one for each change of weather!
I never even owned a jacket, except a windbreaker, in my home country
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Old 03.11.2011, 15:27
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

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Not glamourous, maybe sophisticated?

Too short....so tell us about the twins and your dance studios days! I thought I recognised you from the Pineapple mockumentary!
actually, i did meet them at Pineapple! didn't hear about the TV show, so will check it out. thanks.

omg. i gotta watch this:



funny to see the same characters there...
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Old 03.11.2011, 15:31
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

First things first... where was the vinegar, and is there any left? (It's our wedding anniversary. 50 years is gold, 25 silver, 10 condiments, right?)

More theoretical glamour in Brussels than here - since I had to dress up for work every day, which involves knee-high boots, which is as close as I get to glamour. That and occasionally spotting some minor minister or undersecretary in the corridors of power.

But much more fun here with two kids and nothing (other than dh) to dress up for. I hate dressing up.
I also love that here, stay-at-home-mum is considered a perfectly reasonable and even laudable occupation. (As well as being relatively affordable - don't know if we could do it in the UK).
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  #32  
Old 03.11.2011, 15:41
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

It's not survival of the fittest, it's survival of those who adapt the best! CH has SO much to offer! I've only been to Basel once and off again there soon to the Vitra museum, but I've never eaten in KFC but imagine that it's great fun for you with your kids...

I've lived in Cape Town, Dublin, Whistler B.C, and now Switzerland. They ALL have fabulous things to offer. It's what you make of it! You can't blame the country. Things also change with time and therefore age... Perhaps if you were out partying with the celebs until 4am in London,you wouldn't be able to take it or "hack it" anymore, as you now have kids waking you up at 6am (or earlier). My commute to work with the Swiss alps definitely beats any London tube or Dublin DART! Mind you, I do miss the cycling to work in Whistler with the odd bear siting. But... I wouldn't swap anything for what I have now. As long as you and your family are happy, that's the main thing.
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  #33  
Old 03.11.2011, 16:15
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

There is definitely a very glamorous stereotype of Switzerland rampant all over Europe, especially in the Eastern block, where I come from. Lots of my people look at me in disbelief when I say that the majority of the Swiss live in flats and not in detached houses. And no, there are no marble stairs at Zurich HB and no, not everybody owns a Rolex. The fact is that Krakow, where I was born, is more glamourous/posh than Zurich but no Pole would believe me.

The bottom line for me is that I don’t care very much for glamour. I just believe in good honest work (I’ve never had to work so hard in my life as I do here, and I am really grateful for that) and I would much rather hang out with a herd of cows grazing near where I live than with some A-listers. I might have expected glamour but I found nature and beauty instead. But didn’t the Romantics glamourize nature? So I guess it’s a different kind of glamour.
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  #34  
Old 03.11.2011, 16:22
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

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First things first... where was the vinegar, and is there any left? (It's our wedding anniversary. 50 years is gold, 25 silver, 10 condiments, right?)

More theoretical glamour in Brussels than here - since I had to dress up for work every day, which involves knee-high boots, which is as close as I get to glamour. That and occasionally spotting some minor minister or undersecretary in the corridors of power.

But much more fun here with two kids and nothing (other than dh) to dress up for. I hate dressing up.
I also love that here, stay-at-home-mum is considered a perfectly reasonable and even laudable occupation. (As well as being relatively affordable - don't know if we could do it in the UK).
Maybe we should move back to Brussels if we want glamour. I once had a drink with one of the Princes. I didn't know it at the time. So it was good that when he asked me how I liked living in Belgium I told him how much I loved it. He caught me on a good day!


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There is definitely a very glamorous stereotype of Switzerland rampant all over Europe, especially in the Eastern block, where I come from. Lots of my people look at me in disbelief when I say that the majority of the Swiss live in flats and not in detached houses. And no, there are no marble stairs at Zurich HB and no, not everybody owns a Rolex. The fact is that Krakow, where I was born, is more glamourous/posh than Zurich but no Pole would believe me.
I did a project for a Polish company and had to visit 4/5 times. I have to tell you I was quite impressed by the girls in the offices. They were decked out to the nines. The guys, well, it depended where I was. At client, they wore old fashioned suits and quite a lot of pony tails on the guys. :-O But at the creative agency they were really stylish.
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Old 03.11.2011, 16:36
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

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A few days ago, I was chatting to a friend from the UK and she remarked on how glamourous my life was being away in Switzerland and skiing at the weekends etc. while she had the reality of being a full time mum. "Trust me, it isn't glamourous at all!" I told her.

Well, today, the opposite scenario happened. A couple of girls (twins!) I know from my old dance studio in London got in contact and asked "Hey, what are you up to on the 12th? We're launching our new album, can you make it to the launch party?" I looked at my calendar, and saw "KFC" on there. F--- me. Has my life become so boring that a going to KFC is the highlight of my weekend (no offence, fellow KFC'ers).

Anyone else had experiences that have brought them crashing down to reality?

The glamourous idea: "Oh, KF, you're so lucky to live in Central Europe! You can just pack up and go away on the weekend and see so many wonderful things! And everything is within driving distance!"

The reality: I have two dogs, can't take them anywhere that doesn't involve tieing them up outside and leaving them unattended, or putting them in an expensive, half-assly maintained kennel, and then on top of it, everything is closed on Sundays anyway. May as well stay home and play video games and do rogue loads of laundry.
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Old 03.11.2011, 16:48
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

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There is definitely a very glamorous stereotype of Switzerland rampant all over Europe, especially in the Eastern block, where I come from. Lots of my people look at me in disbelief when I say that the majority of the Swiss live in flats and not in detached houses. And no, there are no marble stairs at Zurich HB and no, not everybody owns a Rolex. The fact is that Krakow, where I was born, is more glamourous/posh than Zurich but no Pole would believe me.

The bottom line for me is that I don’t care very much for glamour. I just believe in good honest work (I’ve never had to work so hard in my life as I do here, and I am really grateful for that) and I would much rather hang out with a herd of cows grazing near where I live than with some A-listers. I might have expected glamour but I found nature and beauty instead. But didn’t the Romantics glamourize nature? So I guess it’s a different kind of glamour.
Sagitta, you took the words from my mouth, as we say back home. I totally agree! When I tell my relatives, friends etc. that the vast majority of Swiss people don't live in a detached house, don't own a flat (meanwhile in Romania most of the city people are flat owners, yes, those communist grey-outside things but they make the most of them inside) and sometimes...not even a car (for them, that is outrageous, as they would willingly sell an arm, so to speak, for a "good-read Renault, Audi,Mercedes -car")
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Old 03.11.2011, 16:51
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

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Well, Phil, I have to admit that my life was a lot more glamouros when I graced the halls of Hild Bede - I owned more "black tie gear" than normal clothes. Daddy paid for my flight back to Helvetistan three times a year and all I really had to worry about was whether to go to the rowing club bop or attend another themed bar crawl. Then my father lost his job and I had to come back to Switzerland, actually WORK for my money and worry about which bills I pay THIS month and which ones will have to wait. Meanwhile, my friends from college seem to be on a never-ending tour of the world / champagne fuelled events / launch parties and amazing jobs with even more amazing pay checks. Others are adding another barrell to their name (I'm waiting for one of them to go for four, it'll happen any day now), learning to fly and so on.

Ah well, at least I have something to be wistful about, a lot of people don't even have that. I see the current situation as a sort of "sitting in the waiting room of life before the next big exciting adventure starts". Although there are some pretty exciting and glamouros interludes, I just better not put those on the internet.
hild bede was a bit out of the way, but you guys had some nice grounds. i was at 'the castle'. nice fun days. i wish i could go back and re-live them
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Old 03.11.2011, 16:55
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

Many of your stories mention your lives were glamorous in your former countries, or not in Switzerland. And then upon arriving in Switzerland, your life became familiar, nonexotic or plain-Jane. But it is also a matter of age, isn't it. Don't you think that leading your bizarro, outlandish and glamorous life when 20-30 yrs old is fun and OK but would be evolving to boring stiff and futile when approaching 35-40? I think there is this time-in-life factor.

I also think it is a matter of social circles. When leaving your country for CH, the social circle is broken and by the time you could reconstruct one over here, you're thinking about kids and the house.

I had some glamorous life in an international context, which was not in my home country nor in Switzerland, and was fairly happy when it was over turning 30...

And then there is our age. When young, we wanted to 'get the kick' out of something. Now we just want to relax.
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Old 03.11.2011, 16:57
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

I'm still reeling from the cheap dig at KFC
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Old 03.11.2011, 17:04
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Re: How has your life become more or less glamourous since moving to Switzerland

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The glamourous idea: "Oh, KF, you're so lucky to live in Central Europe! You can just pack up and go away on the weekend and see so many wonderful things! And everything is within driving distance!"

The reality: I have two dogs, can't take them anywhere that doesn't involve tieing them up outside and leaving them unattended, or putting them in an expensive, half-assly maintained kennel, and then on top of it, everything is closed on Sundays anyway. May as well stay home and play video games and do rogue loads of laundry.
Consider yourself lucky. We are not allowed to do that

For me the glamour part of it is only what people think. OK so we can go for day trips in the UK and shop in France but only because Geneva is really close and the things are much cheaper there. Imagine doing a huge weekly shop in Migros. Cant afford it.

In Cyprus i had loads of friends and i could go out every night. Here im mostly stuck at home, OH is working nights so we can only go out if we both are not working (once every two weeks at the moment) and the weather is freezing cold. Plus i have to plan everything, from weekly shopping, to dog walks to laundry.

But i dont want to go back. I love my job here and the money is better.
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