It’s safe to say that I have officially lost my mind. Now, I know I’ve said this before, par exemple, that time I traded a six-figure income for standing in front of my husband with my hand out, “Please sir. I want some more.” But now it looks like I’ve gone right ’round the pipe with this Swiss mayhem.
While Neil was immersed in the latest Euro 2012 match, I went for a last lakeside stroll. I passed teenagers of every colour and creed, primping and posing, testing their beauty on each other as they gathered to watch the soccer at an outdoor park. Clusters of people gathered on the grass, sipping wine and grilling their supper. Elderly couples walked hand in hand. And all along the lake I saw these…
In the chairs to the left were two slick 30-something gals still in their workday suits, perched with their cups of wine, one talking German, the other responding in Spanish. To the right was a young couple, deeply, and I suspect newly, in love. He rubbed her feet and she swooned while they watched the sun set.
All I can say is that that walk was some sort of wacky epiphany-aha-up to your arse in bliss-Oprah moment for me. I know I have to live there. I can’t explain it any more than that. But getting there is another thing entirely.
I’m still waiting for my residence permit and when I politely asked for an update, I was told by a Swiss official that they hadn’t even opened the file yet, just be patient. We’ve also been told that as independently employed people we will have a very hard time getting an apartment. You know it’s bad when the tenant board tells you it would be easier to buy a house than rent an apartment. Every time we apply for an apartment we will be in stiff competition and at the bottom of the pile.
It’s really quite odd how they do it. You go see an apartment, try not to pass out from the sticker shock, hand in your file of paperwork (reams and reams) and then wait for the “selection process” to weed out the undesirables (us). You may never hear back, each time costs money with multiple trips to agencies to prove that you’re not bankrupt and so on.
I’m no good for that mess. I’m all about instant gratification and getting what I want exactly when I want it, as you all well know. And I’m definitely not down with being looked down on because I’m a foreigner. Apparently this “everyone loves Canadians” rumour was started by Canadians.
We came back to France having made little progress. It’s amazing how exhausting chasing your own tail for a week can be. There’s still the mandatory health care coverage to be arranged, a Visa from the Swiss embassy in Paris for Neil not to mention networking around for possible employment for Madame Giraffe. Jaysus, Mary and good St. Joseph, what a drama.
I suppose I should convince myself to lie on the couch, reach into my shrinky bag of tricks and release myself from this madness. But I know it would be a waste of my time. I’d just nod and pretend I was listening to myself until the session was over and then go back to being completely chaotic. There’s nothing temporary about this folly. It comes down to this: I’m willing to climb this mountain of merde to live in my version of paradise.
Anyway, the real issue is not my questionable state of mind. No, the real issue is that I don’t have a staff of lackeys to take care of all the messy bits for me. I tell you one manservant is simply not enough.