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Kristi
The Boy, 2 Muttleys and I have finally realized our dream of living 1 mile from the Lindt Chocolate Factory. Leaving Atlanta (the World of Coke) for Zurich (the World of Chocolate) hasn't come without challenges, incredible fun or giggles. Follow along as I chronicle our adventures as we acclimate to this new Swiss lifestyle.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Visas-Part Deux (please, keep your squeals of excitement to yourself)

We picked up our Visas this AM at 8:30am sharp. The boy and I were very anxious to get these as soon as they came available. Not so much for the normal reasons, like being able to get into the country, but more for the surreal turning into the real. The more we accomplish, the more real this experience gets.

So more Visa tips because it can be very confusing:

1. The Visa you receive from the Swiss embassy is temporary, you must register with the Canton your temporary accomodations reside in immediately. Once you register, you will then learn what type of Visa you were issued. It is still a mystery, ZOINKS! We will likely get an "L" but the Boy's company requested a "B". I am not sure what all the differences are just yet, but I do know if I get an "L", I really can't work...like, really.

2. You have 8-10 days to register with the Canton from the moment you step off the plane. I give you this range because I have read, heard and felt both 8 and 10. Basically, register...yesterday.

3. You have to re-register once you have a contract for permanent accomodations. This shouldn't change your visa type, you just have to be on file with the correct address.

So now that I have blogged you to sleep, I will plan on making some more exciting posts in the near future. I think I may chronicle the "coercing of our dogs into 2 tiny soft kennels", with pictures.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's Business Time...

Work Permit has been issued...I repeat, work permit has been issued for the boy. This is fantastic news as we have heard horror stories about the process so we feel pretty lucky. This is how it worked for us:

1. Boy supplied a ton of personal/professional info on both of us to the Swiss based firm

2. Swiss based firm processed aforementioned info

3. Boy asked for updates, firm was mysterious

4. Firm told us today the Boy's work permit was approved and to go to Swiss Embassy to get our Visas

5. We are going to aforementioned Swiss Embassy Monday to get our Visa on...

Here is the link to the Swiss Embassy in Atlanta:
http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/reps/nameri/vusa/ref_visinf/visusa.html

If you are going to work in Switzerland coming from the US, these are the steps to take once your work permit has been issued by Switzerland:

Work Visa for US-citizens and other nationals for which an authorization has been given directly in Switzerland if your employer has applied for your work permit in Switzerland and it has been granted, you still must apply for a visa to enter Switzerland with the competent Swiss representation abroad.

To apply for the visa, you must submit the following documents to the competent Swiss representation:

1. One application form which is fully completed and signed by the applicant. Applications which are not duly completed, dated and signed will not be accepted. Please also indicate your e-mail address and a contact phone number in case additional information is required.
2. Two passport photos per applicant (very strict requirements, please consult the details on the webpage)
3. Applicant’s valid original passport
4. Visa fee (only money order or cash)
5. If applying by mail: one prepaid, self-addressed, return envelope with a tracking number

So now celebrate with boy and I by watching one of our favorite songs which inspired the title of this blog entry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhN93rFZuJs

***Visa Update***

The boy and I went to the Swiss Embassy today to submit our paperwork for our visas. Things we were unaware of, were not told or were not listed on the Swiss Embassy website:

1. You cannot smile or show teeth in your passport photos. If you are a clown or a vampire, this will be particularly hard for you. I look like I belong on America's Most Wanted (primarily for taking such a horrible photo)
2. Even though we were pre-approved for our visas, we still had to fill out a visa application.
3. Visas are not processed instantaneously with pre-approval. The woman who greeted us at the window told us it could take 2-3 weeks which made our hearts skip a few beats, but later told by the actual Visa agent processing our paperwork that we could pick them up Wednesday.
Friday, July 17, 2009

Spinning

Control, I like to have it. Janet "Jackson if your'e nasty" stole my idea for a song...swear. This whole experience is teaching me I have to trust something I can't see, work hard for something I have no power over and to ultimately just let go. This is not an innate quality that I possess. I feel like I am spinning out of control, a la Lance Armstrong during stage 13 (Holla Lance!)

The good news is, I am not giving up. I chose to do this because I didn't want to be that person who didn't take a risk, who played it safe, who was afraid of some hard work to make a dream happen.

The bad news is, I am still risk aversive, prefer feeling safe and terribly afraid of failure.

A wise man once told me "If you feel like you have no control, come up with ideas...be proactive, don't just sit there and wait for something to happen". That wise man is the Boy. Which by the way, calling my husband the Boy has gone over like a pregnant poll vaulter. I welcome suggestions but I refuse to call him "hubby" or "my man" or "David"...so last year.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!

Isn't she purdy?


Don't you want to smack that snarky bastard who reminds you of life's challenges? We signed up for this experience, so no use in complaining about how hard it is to move to a different country. Frankly, I don't know if it is hard yet but what I do know is selling a house in this economy is plain H-A-R-D. Here are a few tidbits that make me want to run for the hills screaming (which is totally ironic because we are essentially running for the hills moving to Switzerland):
1. "Your house is the best for the price, but it's priced too high" If I wanted realtor riddles, I would call the Zac Team (very annoying real estate firm who uses the phrase "Zac Did it Again!" when a house goes under contract)

2. "Don't drop your price, if anything...add gutters" What? Adding gutters is the secret to a quick home sale? I will inform Tim Geithner because the American public needs to know this.

3. Our neighbor just listed her 2/1 for over 100k less than ours. I don't find her artificially deflating the market very neighborly. In fact, I find it quite rude.

At any rate, selling a home when you really need to and really wanna, is very stressful. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, well maybe Madonna or Paris Hilton...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I love you...I love you not...I love you...I love you not

Oh Atlanta, the times we have shared. It hasn't always been roses, but I will always remember you with fond contempt. Is that an oxymoron? ANYwho, as I approach leaving you, I want to dedicate a post listing the top 5 reasons why I love you and why I love you not.

Love:

1. Atlanta's leafy green nature. I remember driving into the city in 1996 being blown away by all the trees and green stuff. I totally should have gone to school to become an arborist, betting there is a shortage here...

2. Intown neighborhoods are muy awesome-o. That is Spanish for awesome. Wait, I should practice my German, very awesomestein. This is truly where Atlanta shows her style, in beautiful, colorful bungalows and Victorians in all shapes, colors and sizes.

3. Festivals a go go. Atlanta has copious amounts of them and they are typically a good time.

4. Friendly people. Atlanta is home to some really nice folks, could be the whole southern charm thing. Whatever it is, I marvel at it anytime I come home from a trip overseas.

5. Decent weather with four seasons. While the length of Spring is generally one week during a full moon, it does happen. We see leaves change, we sometimes get a dusting of snow (ohmigod I hope I have milk when that happens, I don't even drink it...but I join the mobs of people at Publix because I enjoy the idiot ritual of it all).

Love you not:

1. Crime, it is way high here and everywhere. The hubster was mugged on our street and we have poor leadership, nuff said.

2. MARTA is not smarta, it is dumb-a. Imagine a train system that only goes to 5% of the city. Imagine a train system that doesn't update their website when weekend timetables go from every 15 minutes to every 30. Imagine a train system that sucks, and you got MARTA.

3. Strip malls everywhere. I want to slap the person who invented them, they are wretched and everywhere making a pretty city look really lame.

4. Car culture. This city goes out of its way to make other modes of travel impossible or deadly. If you have ever ridden a bike in the city then you know you are taking your life into your own hands.

5. Atlanta makes me want for more. I know that is vague, but it is a vague feeling. I think Atlanta has so much potential but it pisses it away in ugly aquariums and horrible marketing campaigns.
Friday, July 10, 2009

I am a Lover, not a Writer

As my title suggests, I am not a writer and will never claim to be. As a result, there are rules when you are reading my blog:

1. Don't judge me...if I use the word "to" instead of "too", pretend I was in a hurry and not a dumb ass.
2. I will swear occassionally, see rule number 1.
3. Laugh at my jokes, I have Blog-dar and will block you if you don't at least chuckle or snicker.
4. Leave a comment or a message from time to time. I am unsure how to enforce the "time to time" frequency. I am sure there is a way. I will ask my light sabre producing co-workers and get back to you.
5. Ask me questions, but don't expect a knowledgeable answer.

We are officially approximately (kinda sorta) 6 weeks away from boarding a plane to Zurich.

Holy frackin crap.