Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Creature Comforts

A few weeks ago we moved to Vevey (actually it has been almost 2 months now, how time flies!). Since moving in here we have really started to establish ourselves in Switzerland like something other than mere transients.

First, of course, was the bills. House insurance, medical insurance (mandatory and optional), fire insurance, Transfer of Residency, engraving our names on the post box, TV tax, and countless others I am waiting for the third warning before paying (ha-ha...).

We signed up for Internet, so no more hanging out the window trying to capture WiFi from someone's unsecured network. I ordered Internet from cablecom and they had a deal where internet was half price for a year if we also got cable tv. We got a digital cable tv box with recording function, so now rather than a paucity of english-language programming we are positively overloaded with content. We even have a TV to watch it all on thanks to my parent's generously buying me one for my birthday (a sanity-saving measure indeed).

I have also signed up for Mobility, which is a Swiss car-sharing system where you book a car to be picked up from near a train station. You can book for small chunks of time, like 2 hours, so it can be quite a lot cheaper than normal car rental. We used this system to rent an enormous Mercedes van to pick up some second hand furniture from an Isreali couple moving to the U.S. We got a spare bed (for expected guests), a TV table (for .. the TV) and some shelves to fill out our (quite large) apartment. After an unexpected cold snap that made me feel like maybe jogging my way through Winter wasn't a realistic option, we picked up a stepper machine that was also on offer. These, along with three trips to IKEA, mean our apartment is really feeling very well equipped (and Swedish).

After a period of on and off, too hot and too cold, the heating is finally operational in our apartment (largely due to Linda's inexhaustable emailing of the estate agent to fix it). Unfortunately it is probably now a little on the warm side, so we've resorted to opening our windows a bit to keep the apartment at sub-Summer temperatures. I'm sure this 'too warm' feeling will abate once we hit the depths of winter.

Now just today I bought myself a one-year rail pass, which I was talked into buying because the prices were about to go up, and also gives me 12 months of travel for the price of 9. Talk about commitment, though! When I arrived home after this momentus purchasing decision, Linda had a surprise; her parents had sent through a package containing a huge pack of Tim-Tams and a number of packs of 'travel' Vegemite. We were so excited it was all we could do to prevent ourselves from eating the whole pack of Tim-Tams in one hit.

Now this weekend we plan on going to nearby Montreux to see the Christmas markets and find out if it is 'Italian' as I've been told by friends at work.

1 comment:

Helen said...

Hi Mark
Keep it coming!! We really enjoy catching up on all your doing and the
photos are great!!
Love Mum