Or: the Trials and Tribulations of an Uptown Girl with a Boyfriend from Old Europe

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Location: Basel, Switzerland

Monday, March 05, 2007

When it rains, it pours

In this case, I mean it in a good way, because today I've got two exciting announcements.

First, if all goes well, Swissy Pie will be picking up our car this afternoon! The toy/baby/weapon comes not a moment too soon, for reasons which will shortly become obvious.

Second, my stuff is here! In the apartment! And not a single glass broken!

We heard about a week and a half ago that my container was in Bremenport, and would be catching the next train to Basel. Unfortunately, it couldn't take the ICE, and traveling with the hoi polloi in cargo meant it didn't get into Basel until Friday. Since it then had to clear customs, the moving company scheduled the delivery for Monday at 8 am.

Given this is Switzerland, I was expecting the movers to show up at 7:45. So you can imagine how nervous I got when 8:00 came and went without the doorbell ringing. Had customs decided that my tiny container was one of the 3% they wanted to audit? Did the movers have the wrong address? Had they decided to abscond with all my old clothes and 4-year old computer?

No, they were simply late. Two middle-aged men showed up at my door at 8:30. About an hour later, a third (Turkish) man joined them. I never found out what was going on, because my German isn't good enough to ask without sounding rude. (Actually, I'm not sure I could manage the task in English, either.) But I can certainly speculate and imagine: the two Swiss guys sitting in stony silence in the warehouse, getting more and more agitated as the clock grinds forward. Finally they burst into a diatribe against lazy, unreliable immigrants, and leave Herr Spät to make his own way over on his own.

To my surprise, the movers were gone before noon. Granted, unpacking takes less time than packing, and there was a lot they didn't take out, since there simply wasn't any place to put it. But if anyone has any doubts about our obsession with books and kitchenware, come take a look at our apartment. A whole corner of the living room is jammed with book boxes. (These are in addition to the 4 overflowing bookcases already in residence.) And despite my best efforts to find homes for them, kitchenware is cluttering every available surface, including the open space above our cabinets. There are even things under the table, an enormous 12-seater.

So we need the car now, so we can make a pilgrimmage to the big blue-and-yellow box out in Pratteln, so we can tame our kitchen, and so I won't be embarrassed when Swissy Pie's mother comes to visit.

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Blogger Michelle said...

I never moved all my stuff over here - it is packed up in my parents' basement. I've started to think about having it shipped over though. I miss my stuff especially the kitchen supplies - calphalon, kitchenaid mixer, breadmaker, etc. Good for you!

March 5, 2007 at 9:10 PM  
Anonymous jessica said...

why can you imagine this scenario so easily? Do you think that immigrants are automatically lazy, or just that Swiss think that? Swiss are often accused or racism against immigrants, but I couldn't quite tell in your post if you were commenting on that, or you yourself think immigrants are lazy? that sort of surprises me, but you said you could easily imagine this situation, so i'm curious what you meant

March 7, 2007 at 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous Commenter said...

You wrote: "Finally they burst into a diatribe against lazy, unreliable immigrants, and leave Herr Spät to make his own way over on his own."

Better think before you write lest you affront some really hard-working immigrants in CH.

March 8, 2007 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger Un-Swiss Miss said...

Michelle: I'll let you know whether it proves to be too annoying,
using a transformer all the time. But so far it's really nice to have my own things here!

Jessica and Anonymous: To clarify, in my imaginary scenario, I was guessing at the thoughts of the Swiss guys. The unflattering comments came to mind "very easily" not because they're my sentiments. (Quite the contrary, in fact!) Rather, I've heard similar ones expressed far too many times, and by at least one senior government official at that.

March 12, 2007 at 6:27 PM  

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