First there was the mad dash into Milan to pick up my visa (I had entered Switzerland as a tourist and had to re-enter as a resident). Actually I was expecting some drama in this as my company had told me not to enter the country at all until my residency was finalised, but in the end no-one checked my passport either on the way out or the way back into Switzerland. I was in and out of the consulate in about 10 minutes flat and I would call the whole thing a waste of time if it weren't for the fact that I got to do some more shopping in Milan.
Actually it was very quiet in Milan since I was there in August which is the month of the year all of Italy packs up and goes to the beach. I had set my sights on visiting the Alessi shop to pick up some drastically overpriced espresso cups but when I got there it too was closed. I was forced to make my purchase one of the big department stores, and while I was there picked up another Bialetti Moka Express (when in Milan...).
Then the following Monday I started work, but only after registering ourselves at our local commune office as residents. I have now been at work for two weeks, which is obviously a very busy time, but this is far from the end of our dramas here.
When we were organising our initial accommodation in Switzerland from Italy we managed to get a two month sublet from a student at the nearby University (they had two months left on their lease and left town on holidays). The idea was that we would use this two months to organise longer term accommodation. The signs looked bad, however, when we started having people wanting to come and visit the apartment with a mind to moving in. We kept pushing back saying we had the apartment until the end of September, but in the end we had no choice but to cut our stay short by three weeks. On the up-side we managed to find a new temporary apartment in Nyon, and the unused portion of our sublet was refunded, but still it now means we have accommodation for only 3 more months, during which we still have to find more permanent accommodation.
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[possible apartment locations]
In regards to our plans longer term, we have been looking all up and down the lake from Vevey to Nyon for a suitable apartment. Our understanding of the rental situation here in Switzerland is that the vacancy rate is so low the estate agents merely have to put up a one sentence ad with no pictures and apparently this is meant to be sufficient to make a decision about whether you are interested in the apartment. Anyway we think we have found an apartment in Ouchy, which is down the hill from Lausanne towards the lake. We are just waiting to hear back from the land-lady, and that there are no nasty clauses in the contract to make a final decision. It will be fantastic to finally be able to settle in one spot and spend our time planning for holidays rather than searching for apartments or figuring out bank accounts, health insurance and the rest.
Of course, by the time we reach that stage it will probably be Winter!