Why would anyone in their right mind, at the exact moment of final immigration that took 18 months to secure, want to move to another country? I say it depends entirely on which mind and which country. Let me tell you how I came to be considering this new level of chaos.
Once the book was published, Rusty and I had several long chats about what was next for us. We thought about Paris, ooh la la, but in reality way too big and hectic for me. We thought about medium sized towns in France, but we feared feeling isolated moving to a place where we had no connections at all. As we were reflecting, I had been talking with a friend who lives in Zurich who has more connections than the internet. We talked a lot about Switzerland and how much she enjoys it there.
Our dear friends Anne and Michel have a place there, their kids are there, they know the town well and, in all honesty, maintaining our friendship with them is as big a draw to Vevey as Lake Geneva. So our trip this weekend involved looking at apartments, scouting out facilities and amenities and so far I’ve learned a lot. I could live in the shadow of Swiss mountains, stroll and bike along the lake anytime I damn well pleased. I could walk to a gym, a French school, the spectacular market, any necessary shops and services, even a certified Apple store.
Lausanne is a mere 20 minute drive away and Geneva airport an hour by train. Montreux and its famous music festivals are around the corner. Plus, the town is surrounded by miles and miles of terraced vineyards (wine anyone?). And, because this is the town that houses the global headquarters of Nestlé (chocolate anyone?) and Merck (drugs anyone?), the population is exceedingly international making work for me more likely.
Easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy, right? In theory all I have to do is pack up my housette and tip over the border. The trouble is this theory has more holes in it than a mountain of Swiss cheese. First things first. Switzerland has one of the highest costs of living on the planet. A haircut will set me back about 90 bucks. I saw a steak in the grocery store for 25 bucks and laundry detergent prices require a defibrillator. I would have to double my rent for half the space, trade my garden for a balcony and kiss my second toilet good-bye. Oh and immigrate to the only bloody country remotely close to me that isn’t part of the European Union.
New rules and regulations, yet another driver’s licence drama, a veritable crapalanche of paperwork. Not to mention finding a way for an unemployed fool to survive in the most expensive country in Europe (clearly as a vegetarian who once again cuts her hair with an electric razor). And moving yet again, my nerves rattle at the thought of it.
This caper feels like absolute folly to me, which explains its appeal. My only concern is that I’m possibly doing this just to have endless blog material. “Leap and the net will appear” I believe is the saying. Of course “have you lost your friggin’ mind?” works just as well.