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Old 21.01.2013, 12:53
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Recollections of first days in Switzerland - share your experiences

Somehow, it is coming up to my fourth year in Switzerland and it made me think of the first day that I landed here in Switzerland.

I'd been to Switzerland before both for skiing and for my interview, so it was no problem for me to get to Schaffhausen with a couple of suitcases. Luckily, a fellow Brit had joined the company 3 months prior to me and so she was able to meet me at the train station and show me where my temporary flat would be.

It was small, dark and there were only a few places in the roof flat where i could stand fully upright in, but at least it was a start.

The crappy TV had all of 4 channels in German (little did I know that my 3 months there would be the most German I would learn in my first few years).

I still remember how eerily quiet the whole place was and the mind-crushing boredom i experienced the next day (my first Sunday). it was also my first (and not last) day without food as i didn't know at the time that there was a shop at the station which was open out of hours.

thankfully, a month later, my (then) gf came to visit me which was part visit, part humanitarian relief effort which brought further much needed supplies.

busy work kept me out of trouble for the first few months and the summer was so wonderful, i felt like i was on holiday all the time. a few months later, i found a lovely flat and my gf moved over too and all was set.

things went horribly pear-shaped a short while after, but that's another story. but my first few months in switzerland gave me some great memories.
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Last edited by Phil_MCR; 21.01.2013 at 14:35.
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Old 21.01.2013, 14:05
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Re: First day in Switzerland - share your experiences

Completed one year in Switzerland and that first day looks like it was just yesterday. Landed at the airport with 6 bags and a 4 year old with no taxi guy agreeing to accommodate the bags. Absolutely no knowledge of German and too scared to leave the bags and the kid to go and ask inside the airport for some help. Finally after about an hour of standing in the freezing cold, a taxi driver took pity and agreed to take us to Neunhof which was where the temp accommodation was. The GPS could not locate the building and lost another 1/2 hour (plus the taxi charge). Didn't have more money to pay the taxi so got down and then searched for the apartment and after another 1/2 hr found it. There was not a soul in sight on a mid-afternoon to even ask for the address. Finally moved the bags in and made some lunch (fortunately had carried some supplies thanks to the 4 year old). The next one month was scarier with house hunt, day care hunt, job hunt (trailing spouse) and many other things!

But Yay!! Seen the tough first year through and yes we are happier than that first day in Switzerland
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Old 21.01.2013, 14:10
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Re: First day in Switzerland - share your experiences

I can't remember that far back , except that my company flew me business class because economy was full, and I had a room at the Hotel Central in Düdingen until my flat was sorted.
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Old 21.01.2013, 14:18
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Re: First day in Switzerland - share your experiences

The first time I came to CH (not the time when i moved here) I was having breakfast on a terrace overlooking lake Zug, on a beautiful summer sunny day, with a spectacular backdrop of snowy mountains, when I saw...a fox! I was 25 at the time and had never seen a live fox in my life. Add to that the fact that it seemed quite domesticated, minding its business just a few meters away from me and I was sold on this magical land of crystal-clear lakes and snow peaked mountains where humans and wild animals live in harmony
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Old 21.01.2013, 14:32
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Re: First day in Switzerland - share your experiences

January two, two thousand and six, arrived from Denmark and got off the train in Herrbrugg (SG) with a rucksack and a tent. Things went downhill from there.
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Old 21.01.2013, 14:41
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Re: Recollections of first days in Switzerland - share your experiences

October 22, 1999.

Drove up(/down?) from Calais in a rented Renault Espace filled to the may with all my worldly posessions and my girlfriend of some 4 months keeping me company.

Border guard: "what's all this in your car"
Me: "moving to CH for a new job"
BG: "but you need valuation papers for moving all this...! Anything new?"
Me: ""*
BG: "OK, go through..."

Some 13 years later, girlfriend is now wife, with kids and mortgage.

*thinking - if only there was an English-speaking forum on which to get experiences... Some of us had to learn and do it all on our own.
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Old 24.01.2013, 23:06
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Re: Recollections of first days in Switzerland - share your experiences

This was not my first day, but I felt empowered after successfully opening a bank account and receiving my Maestro Card. I thought the Maestro Card could be used everywhere to make purchases. I went to the Post Office to mail a package. After standing in line and wondering why people kept going to the counter ahead of me, someone told me that I needed to take a number. When my package was wrapped and I was ready to pay for the postage, I proudly presented my Maestro Card, and was told that I needed a Post Card. I could have heard crickets chirping, because I could not figure out how you could pay for postage with a paper card that you bring back from Holiday.
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