...I suspect I may be the luckiest kid in the world

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Freitag on Wednesday

On my first excursion into Zurich we went to... Actually I don't really remember - so many trains and trams and footsteps and I really don't have much of a clue where I was. I'm hoping future aimless wanderings around the city will orientate me better.

we did go to this store - the Freitag Store. They sell bags. Apparently these bags are currently all the rage in Switzerland.

They are made of tarps -only used tarps - tarps from trucks - no two bags are the same - they're all hand cut - you can wash them in the washing machine -
They're not cheap by any standard - approx $200AU for a standard bag, but I guess you get an original bag? And the admiration of your fellow Swiss. And, my stare. Now that I've been acquainted with Freitag, I can't help but see them everywhere.

So they're all made of recyclable materials - and not just the bags - but the store as well.

Check it out - the store is made of shipping containers. How bizarre. Bizarre, but very cool.
Brings a whole new meaning to green.

I climbed all the way to the top - surrounded by bags, bags and more bags. I took photos of the view - but not the bags. Oops, sorry.

And, somewhat appropriately - next door I spotted the Brocki - the Salvation Army Opp Shop. If I can find my way back there (slim chance but I shall definately try!) this is my next stop.

Friday, February 27, 2009

First Impressions

This is a copy of a letter I wrote to some friends tonight....It took a long time, but it has been good for the soul to think slowly through what I've seen in the last few days. These friends of mine don't use the net, so I'm sure they won't mind sharing with the blogging world ;)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rubbish! - No Wait! We can recycle that!

It's times like this that I'm sure all foreigners just shake their head and mutter, 'the swiss.'

I just spent the last 2 hours sorting cardboard from paper and paper from newspaper. And newspaper from cardboard.

Then we bundled it all up into little bundles of joy, I mean recycling.

They waste a lot of string in this country.

And you have to do it right. Or else the recycling pickup people just leave yours there. To embarrass you, I'm sure. In front of all your neighbours, friends, and passer-by-people. Rejected by the recycling committee.

Or else they send you a letter in the mail.

Seriously. It happened to a friend of a friend of mine.

Who would have thought? And that's just the paper/cardboard/newspaper side of things. Tomorrow we deal with the clear glass/green glass/brown glass/tins/cans/plastic bottles.

Such a glamorous life.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Welcome to Switzerland

I'm here, I'm here, I'm here.
Welcome to my third day in Switzerland.
My mind is whirling with the intake of so many new things. And it's spinning just because I'm either tired or perhaps the change in altitude?
I hope this new family - now to be known as myVPs - my village people, don't think I'm normally like this - absent minded, slow and too quiet. It just takes a lot to process a simple thought when I'm this tired and everything is so new.
But myVPs seem very lovely. There was big smiles from the girls when I waved at them at the airport, from the whole family actually. Which made me think it might all work out ok. That I might survive.
I'm so thankful to my new friend the outgoing au pair. Without her I think I might have already drowned in the puddle of huh?
Today we're going to an au pair meeting - something I think happens every Wednesday. And I think I will open my very own Swiss bank account.
This is all my tired head can manage at the moment - and using this strange european keyboard makes me feel even slower. I'm praying to just make it through today, for a vibrancy that I do not feel, and for a joyful and loving heart. And sleep. And I'll figure out tomorrow when I get there.
And, in other news - I'm in Switzerland - and I'd insert exclamation points here, only I can't find them on this keyboard...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

Eeek! Today's the day. We're leaving today and I fly out tomorrow.

Bags are packed and I think I'm sorted. My life is in order. All this packing and cleaning and clearing out has been quite refreshing. I feel tidy - which suits my personality very well.

We had a lovely little family exursion yesterday evening to Mt. Tilga - from the top there are 360 deg views - not that there's that much to see! A good marker together as a family...and took some funny family photos.

Mostly nervous, and feeling slightly surreal.

See you in Switzerland! First stop: Singapore

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Purple Peaceful Pavlova

A little bit scared. And quite a bit nervous.

I haven't allowed myself to think much beyond the initial meeting of this new family. And why should this meeting be scary? I've already sighted them, and walked up to them without tripping over an invisible object. And I then conversed flawlessly in German with them. Introductory small talk stuff? No worries.

Wait - actually, all that has just happened in my head. And no matter how many times I run through it, it still doesn't bring it to pass.

Eek. Guess I'd better keep on practicing then.

When I start feeling nervous, I repeat a couple of mantras given by some lovely friends. Actually, I think they were just words of encouragement, but I repeat them so often that they've become mantras.

"Nothing to be scared of - everything to look forward to"
"Fear not, the initial week will soon be "last week" and then last month, and then ancient history!"

I know these things are true, I just need to keep reminding myself . And I know that I follow the giver of Perfect Peace!

I was given a couple of lovely gifts today which made me feel very special. A beautiful pen and a gorgeous chocolate cake. The chocolate cake I shall share, the pen, not. And I had a lovely surprise visit from a good friend and my new camera finally arrived in the mail! (photos of my new little purple toy later, perhaps. But he/she needs a name - suggestions anyone?)

Dad turned 44 today - (and he woke up at 4:44am). Thus we had pavlova for dessert (yum!) Happy Birthday Dad!

And, on an odd note - I received in the mail a couple of replacement space-saver bags. One of the ones I bought a few weeks ago was faulty and so I had asked for a replacement. BUT the replacement from the company wasn't their brand. Weird.

4 sleeps to go. I'd better keep practicing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

25 is the magic number!

25 things you must absolutely-totally-without-a-doubt-know about me

1.) Mostly I don't like these type of things...but everyone says that - and here we all are filling out the form.

2.) Last year I discovered that, not only can I cook for 20+ people, but I can also organize all parts of the meal to be hot and ready at the same time.

3.) Number 2 quite surprised me - this takes thought and organization.

4.) I think and organize a LOT in my head. My head is always swimming with sums, times, dates, lists and facts. Sometimes its hard to get to sleep at night.

5.) If I leave the room to do a task, half the time I repeat the task over and over under my breath, because otherwise, I'll be back in the room 10 seconds later trying to look around to see what it was that I left to accomplish.

6.) One of my first memories is learning to ride a 2 wheel bike. On my fifth birthday I remember my uncle running alongside me as I wobbled on my pink bike and crossed over to the big kid world. I was invincible.

7.) In 6 days I'm moving to Switzerland for a year. In my head, the scariest part of the whole trip is the first few hours in Switz. First impressions after a 34-trip - eek!

8.) 4 things I'm really looking forward to about Europe: 1.) seeing the Mamma Mia stage production 2.) seeing the Greek Island where they filmed Mamma Mia 3.) Going on a Sound of Music tour 4.)Visiting the house of Corrie Ten Boom is Holland.

9.) Mamma Mia is my favourite movie of all time. I can play it in my head now whenever I want.

10.) Number 9 does not make me a bad person. Nor do I lack culture or taste. I got ABBA into the heads of all the first years in Canowindra 08. This was no easy task. It required many repeats and hate letters.

11.) My favourite book at the moment is Blue Like Jazz and I think I have bought at least a dozen copies of the book. However, I currently own none, but hopefully YOU DO! If you haven't read it, READ IT!

12.) Blue Like Jazz made me realize that Jesus didn't just love me out of principle but that he liked me. This is something I want to emulate in my relationships.

13.) I didn't know how to spell my middle name until I got my first passport when I was 11. Neither did my parents.

14.) I passed my driving test with no spare points. In fact, the instructor's words to me were, "Not enough to fail you, so I guess you pass."

15.) A couple of years ago during a massive cull I burned all but one of my trophies. Not sure why I kept one - token trophy of its burnt brothers perhaps?

16.) Our family lived in a bus and travelled Australia for 18 months. I'm glad I did it. I wasn't at the time.

17.) I've had 3 car accidents. I've hit a goat, a dog, and I rolled my car. I don't like animals.

18.) I suffer from oldest sister syndrome. When I first left home, it was all I could do to not remind everyone to buckle up when I was in a car.

19.) My first job was doing some teacher aide work at the end of grade 10. I bought a mini cd disk player with my hard earnt cash.

20.) I have 24 pairs of knickers. This means I can go for 23 days without washing my clothes and I drag my feet to the task every 23 days.

21.) I've recently become half addicted to the blogging community whilst setting up my blog for Switzerland. You can join me if you like. Or become my blogging friend. www.chaupair.blogspot.com

22.) When I came home from Chile, my Mum had decorated my own room for me as a surprise and bought me some beautiful dark pink curtains. These are one of my treasured possessions now - heavy curtains = good sleep-ins. I was only gone for 6 weeks then. I wonder what she'll do for me when I come home after a year?

23.) My dad always sang this song to me when I was younger that I thought was just mine.

24.) I absolutely LOVE the Friends sitcom. Imagine my horror the day I discovered that Pheobe's "Smelly Cat" song was to the same tune as my dad's "Kylie Song."

25.) I like talking about myself. This was easier than I thought.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

12 australian nights

there is something really good about cleaning up and clearing out.
today i posted off 5 packages of items sold or given away etc.
5 packages of stuff outta my life.
yay for me.

lovely sister j dyed my hair for me, so now i'm a brown eyed and brown haired girl.

finished reading 'no ordinary view' and it was excellent. i highly recommend it, and it predecessor, 'my seventh monsoon.'

it's been really sad to hear of all the loss of life from the victoria fires. i think the count is up to 173. i hate all the media-ness of it all, but its all been very sobering and sad for australia.

and, in other news, i bought a pair of colorados from ebay - to replace my favourite pair that finally wore out last month after 7 years.

12 more sleeps until i leave aussie land. eek.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

NZ: 100% ours for the taking

Dad, Kt, T, J, E & Jo went to the cricket in Syd today and left Mum and I to our own devices.
And we sat on the lounge.
All day.
Partly watched the cricket, internet etc

And I half read a really great book which I will attempt to finish demolishing tonight.

"No Ordinary View' by Naomi Reed. Aussie missionary in Nepal. She's very honest and interesting in her account of their time over there and in learning to see God in the everyday.

'He talked gently about the things that we know...we know that [knowledge and truth of Jesus]. we rely on that. we cling to it. and it's only because of that knowledge that we don't lose heart. it's only because of that knowledge that we are renewed day by day...
and i realised once again that the demands of the visible monsoon were blinding me to the unseen. most days, it seemed that i could hardly even catch a glimpse of the unseen, let alone fix my eyes on it.'

She also thought a lot about the prayer,
'Lord, when I'm most distressed, help me to bring glory to you.'

Will keep you updated on the rest of the book.

And, in case you were interested, we won the cricket.
Beat the kiwis.
Hence the link at the top. I share it whenever I get the chance. :)

(If you click on the title of this blog, you're in for a laugh - at the kiwi's expense)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

3, 2, 1, space bag!

we've all seen the advertisement for space saving bags - just put mountains of stuff in it and reduce it nothing. rather skeptically, but out of necessity i bought a couple the other day and put a big pile of linen, bedding etc into one today.
not as space saving as i thought...but maybe i was hoping for miracles. i put the following all into a 'jumbo' bag.
and after almost losing mum in the jumbo bag, we vacuumed it down to this

not bad ... am glad to have packed it all away.
still packing and sorting through lots of stuff. trying to downsize a lot if i can. sold a few books today which is good....yay for selling over the net.

also sent off my passport for my visa sticker. $118 + $9 postage later hopefully it will come back within a couple of weeks.