Post by Lauren
You may have wondered lately, “why all the inactivity?” Did Lauren drop of the face of the Swiss Alps?
Well, in short, I had to come home to the US get some Visa paperwork taken care of. One way to describe this might have been “avoiding deportation” but those are just semantics. This fun process involved me crying in the Swiss Embassy. It wasn’t my brightest moment. Just ask Gabe how fun it was to receive that call from me.
Nonetheless, it was nice to get back to visit the US and I immediately started soothing my pain of the awful visa stress with Chic-fil-a lemonade and the comforts of home.
What I realized I missed about the US (beyond friends & family, of course):
-Heat and humidity…yes, seriously. Felt good not to be chilled and I enjoyed wearing dresses + shorts vs. scarfs + leather coats in the summer. Found it funny that many people asked me what season Switzerland was in when I was home as they only see me in scarfs and leather jackets on the blog.
-Driving & Parking. Oh so easy. Oh, car, oh parking lot, how I had taken you for granted!
-YogaOne, my hot yoga studio. I went 3 times in 4 days. It was an attempt to burn myself out so that I didn’t want to go in Geneva. Not that this type of yoga even exists there. Regular yoga costs like 45 CHF a class and its not even hot! Globo Gym does offer yoga, but it is in French and not even that good. It isn’t very relaxing to translate your every movement.
-Wearing gym clothes in public and not feeling guilty about it. I even did errands in them after the yoga.
-Prices. I could eat out or get a coffee without having to worry that I may have to refinance my house to do so.
-Nice people. This was very prevalent. At Target, they told me to have a nice day. People smiled. Waitstaff gave me excellent service every meal. I had become accustomed to the Swiss “customer is always wrong” mindset so this was a nice change although i was skeptical of the niceness at first. Funny how being exposed to something can make your original way of doing things seem weird.
-Not getting yelled at, honked at, or pointed at. In Switzerland, this happens to me every single day. It only happened once in the US. And it was in the Swiss Embassy. So, you do the math.
Also, of note, the East Coast decided to have two natural disasters in the same week during my time here. Thanks for keeping it spicy, East Coast. I had gotten complacent about everything being so darn easy here.
I really took note of a few other differences where the verdict isn’t fully out, but maybe I prefer about my new home…..
So, why I am excited to return to Switzerland:
-Natural climate control – I haven’t been used to A/C since I haven’t had any exposure (except for our car) for 3 1/2 months. It was weird to have it tingling my skin here continually. Can’t explain it, but I don’t miss it. It freaks me out now.
-Less exposure to the media – The US media overwhelms me with all the politics for the “news” and sides blaming each other. Even with only three weeks back, I grew sick of it.
-Farm fresh foods, pretty much all organic. Genetic engineering in meats / produce is not permitted in Europe. While I miss prices and yummy things like Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, I feel better all the time, don’t get sick and have more energy there.
-Less choice and consumerism. The urge to buy “stuff” to have “stuff” stronger in the US than in Europe. Sure, maybe its because we can’t afford any of it 🙂 but I do like not being clobbered by ads and pressure to buy in Europe.
-There is nutella everywhere. See the Nutella pizza we got at our favorite Italian place before I left.