Remember the discussion, a few months ago, when we were trying to decide where to live – apartment near the city versus house in a more remote
location – and I was agonizing over whether I had the right to deprive my
kids of a garden, so that I can live close to my beloved city centre and thus
maintain my sanity? After two weeks plus of living in what I like to call “the countryside,” not only have I survived, but I also kind of like it.
I would not have felt that way about living in a house if I were stuck in it all
day because of pouring rain, bitter cold or back-to-back snowstorms. I had such
low expectations of the weather in Zurich and am so amazed at the radiant days
and warm temperatures, that I tend to forget that it is August after all. There is nothing like a little afternoon
sun and a glittering glimpse of lake Zurich in the background to warm my
soul to the point that I even come to appreciate the positive aspects of our living arrangement. Like the fact
that we can finally have some “outdoor life” – which I value and miss: having a meal on the veranda; or just sitting on our doorstep
with a friend, glass of wine in hand, chatting while the kids play soccer. For me, these moments are priceless.
to the idea that it is a fifteen-minute tram ride to the nearest Starbucks – although
I will have to see how I feel about that in the middle of winter. Those who
know me will appreciate how utterly untypical of me it is to not mind living
in a small community where everything is bunched up around that one miniature town “centre.” I walk my older children to their soccer practice at the sports complex around
the corner from our house; which is around the corner from the little one’s pre-school;
which is around the corner from the shopping area, the bank, the music school. There is even that cute little café and bakery where I can retreat to write (unfortunately not serving matcha latte).
the older kids’ school, but even that has a redeeming quality: getting there
involves driving along the lake. I can think of no better way to start my
day: being next to the water both soothes and energizes my Greek soul. Short of living on the seaside, this is as good as it gets.
As for the kids’ adjustment to the new school that I was
fretting about last week, they seem to be doing really well. I am impressed at
how cool they are, building friendships and learning all sorts of new things, including
a new language (that would be Swiss-German J). The eternal realist in me suspects that this is not the
end of it and that the adjustment pains could well come further down the road,
but, even for me, this is a good start.