1. The way we eat. Food seems to have a much shorter shelf-life here (I have heard that this is because there are a lack of/less preservatives). I can’t cook the same meals I used to as it is often hard to get all the ingredients or they don’t taste quite the same. I really need to find a specialty Asian store.
2. The amount we eat. Claudia and I have a hot cooked lunch every day. I walk so much and it is so cold that by 10am in the morning I could easily eat a large plate of lasagna. The increased food intake is being balanced out by the exercise and I have actually dropped a size in jeans.
3. Speaking in German. Claudia is improving day by day. She practises making sentences and is always coming out with new words. I am revising my old German books and am happy to say that most of it is still in my head somewhere. We are trying to speak only German at night when our expert is home to help 🙂 but it is still a struggle during the day. A lady I often walk past tried to have a conversation with me yesterday. I can understand some Swiss German but she was speaking too fast. I told her I was having trouble and she was very nice about it. Just to clarify, High German is the written language here but the spoken language is Swiss and it is very different. People speak to me in Swiss and I answer in High German. No wonder I’m confused. We are clearly learning two new languages at the same time.
4. Travel. The first month here was all about settling in and finding our way. We have quickly moved on to planning and taking trips. So much choice. If only I could focus on one place at a time!
5. We have had a lot of snow. Snow ploughs clear the road and the footpaths and then the footpaths become extremely perilous. This week I managed to slip over carrying my bag of recycling to town. An ambulance was driving past and it pulled up beside me. The driver wound down the window to see if I was ok, which was (ahem) jolly nice of him…
6. I still don’t have any friends. Lucky I have good ones at home and family that stay in touch 😉
7. We are in a good routine of doing extra schoolwork on Claudia’s half days. It is very tempting to do fun things instead (and sometimes we do) but it is important that she keeps up with some of the subjects she is not doing here. Her schoolwork is predominantly maths, High German, music, art, and sport. So we concentrate on other areas in the afternoons. She seems to be enjoying both and is much more comfortable at school now. Some of her classmates have started doing half days in a regular class as she will once her German improves. A lot of them are learning English – not a class she needs to go to!
8. Apart from the obvious friends and family, I am missing the smell of sunshine on my clothes, Aussie humour, Milo (like crazy), rice crackers (why can’t you buy them here???), the sound of the ocean, Sherbies (a childhood flashback????), the colours of Australia (muted blues and greens and greys and pinks), and gum trees.
9. I still can’t work the intercom for our apartment properly…. lol.
10. The mailman and I still cannot communicate properly… he says “blah blah blah” and I say “yo” and we have a chuckle and then I sign and he says “blah blah blah schoene tag, tschuss!”. (I hear in broken sentences)….