Jaysus, Mary and good St. Joseph. Can someone, anyone, tell me what was I thinking when I signed up for this madness? I’m not even started yet and I’m all in. Of course being sick as a dog in the middle of preparing for an international move may have something to do with that. My “cold” morphed into a feverish fluvaganza and I’m only now coming out of it. Just in time to descend into panic.

But in all honesty, I’m still too weak to muster up the appropriate amount of anxiety. In between fits of coughing, I started to think about all the tasks that lay ahead. Naturally, Neil will take care of most of the minutiae. It’s the really important stuff that will fall under my jurisdiction. I’ll have to focus on all kinds of critical projects like finding a new laundry detergent and perhaps the most important thing of all—a new hairstylist. I haven’t had a haircut since April so that’s number one on the list. And it’s a long list that’s growing by the day.

A new country means a new start but it also means new things at every corner. I have to figure out where the post office is. I have to learn the trains and buses. I have to track down dentists and doctors. I need to find a French class. I have to join a new gym, easy, except it’s that foreign language thing that tends to make everything seem like an Olympic event. Plus, I have to try that Swiss sour cream and, if it’s any good, I have to nag Neil to start making every recipe known to man that calls for a dollop. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

It sounds like fun, and it will be, but it will also be a lot of work. I just got a handle on France and now I have to go and do something as foolhardy as this. It’s entirely possible that you can’t teach an old giraffe new tricks. We’ll see. For now I’m up to my old tricks—purging, packing, supervising Rusty. And, once again, surreality prevails. I know I’m doing this but I have no clear sense of it actually happening.

I’m disconnected and so it’s the old debate here once more: calmly detached or hopelessly in denial? Either way a glass of wine is in order. I’m sure I’ll find everything I need in Switzerland. I found it in France and I’ll find it there. I suggest that you all keep me distracted from any further self-analysis. What’s the first thing you’d need to find after landing in a foreign country?