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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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Got a Question? Want theories on Life?

Well why don't you email me then: fromatlantatozurich@gmail.com


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Englishforum.ch - Fact or Fiction?

If you troll the internet, you will likely find trolls.  That is what I learned anyway after discovering englishforum.ch.  There is no doubt that this forum contains a vast wealth of information for the soon to be or current expat living in Switzerland. Unfortunately it also contains a lot of useless banter by unbelievably bored people and opinions tainted with vitriol.  The vitriol is usually directed towards the Swiss themselves.  The Swiss are this, the Swiss are that, the Swiss don't do this or the Swiss do too much of that.  Just a little over a year ago I came over to Switzerland, with knocking knees, expecting the worst because a small group of people decided it was better to be locked up in their apartments talking about the Swiss vs actually living in Switzerland.

After meeting a friend for coffee today, we brought up this forum and discussed it briefly.  It is almost a rite of passage for a person moving to Switzerland to find this forum and read it to death. After a chortle over this phenomenon, we both admitted that we occasionally still use it but only for fact finding missions.  Many people post their lessons learned so you don't have to make the same expat mistakes they did.  In a new country, simple things are no longer simple and this forum contains thousands of great tips including how to recycle Swiss style, which stores are open on Sunday and where you can find a decent Gynecologist.  You can also find people selling entire apartments full of IKEA furniture for Rappen (no, not little rap songs...Swiss change) and someone to watch your pet. There is absolutely no doubt it brings value but it can also suck you into a vortex of off-the-wall opinions and subjects not fit for public consumption.

The Vitriol Example

Unread 19.09.2010, 10:20
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Thalwil, ZH
Posts: 384
Groaned at 46 Times in 23 Posts
Thanked 54 Times in 32 Posts
expat_in_zug is considered unworthyexpat_in_zug is considered unworthyexpat_in_zug is considered unworthy
Re: Aussies survive in Switzerland??

Dude! Your Gf left you! WTF. People here are riciculously uptight. I am going back to N America. You have to make an appointment with your friends weeks in advance to see them! And... get this! When you bring wine over when you are invited for dinner... they put the wine away and then serve you the cheap wine! This has happened to me on several occasions! WTF! Just ead the stuff here about bosses throwing temper tantrums, or whatever. This place is for little children. they move into the floor upstairs from their parents! How often do you want to hang out with grandma? Every day? And gossip over some silly news? This place is like a prison man! break free!

Go back to OZ where people are fun and spontaneous!
Reply With Quote

I am going to call this guy "Crazy Town".  Crazy Town's most "riciculous" statements are highlighted in red. Most notable of the "riciculous" is the statement that people in Switzerland do not pour the wine you gave to them that evening as a gift.  This is somehow a flaw of the Swiss.  What I wish I could tell Crazy Town is that I rarely ever pour wine I receive as a gift the day it is given to me.  I save it for another day as I already purchased wine for that evening.  That is what people do when they have guests over for dinner...they buy things in advance.  And finally, can you really trust someone who uses the acronym "WTF" more than once?  I certainly hope you can't.

The "Holy Crap you have WAY too much free time to be writing this" Examples (oh, there are many)

Yesterday 23:57
by cheesey Go to last post

It isn't that I have that much against the post itself.  I love a good "man blows himself up in a toilet" story like the next gal.  What I find amazing is it has received 943 views.  That means 943 people viewed this vs taking a walk outside or meeting a colleague for coffee.  Frightening.

Evita is here
Yesterday 22:51
by Ittigen Go to last post

Notice that this person's screen name is "Evita is here".  I really wish she wasn't.

Thread Rating: 2 votes, 3.00 average.Evita is here
15.09.2010 21:22
by Evita is here Go to last post

Evita strikes again with a post ending in "haha" when there wasn't anything particularly funny to "haha" over.  I really hate the misuse of "haha".

10.09.2010 23:40
by OBone Go to last post


31.08.2010 15:19
by transatlantic Go to last post

You are helpless

07.09.2010 09:45
by 22 yards Go to last post

You are hopeless

25.09.2010 19:00
by Gastro Gnome Go to last post

And you should be steralized

If you use englishforum.ch, my only advice to you is go there with a purpose, find what you are looking for and then get the hell out of dodge.

Moving to Switzerland?  What you may not know is that it can take a little while to get a cell phone.  While you are waiting, get a Swiss Calling Card so you can stay connected.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ste. Traffic...err, I Mean Ste. Tropez

Hey Gang!  I know I have been pretty MIA lately but the Boy and I have been doing some traveling. Our first jaunt was with friends to Ste. Maxime and Ste. Tropez, both located in the South of France's Cote d'Azur region.  Of the two towns, we chose to stay in Ste. Maxime because of its close proximity to Ste. Tropez's world famous beaches (approximately 7 km away) and wallet friendlier accommodations. We elected to rent a car as our mode of transportation because:

A. We had the Mutts with us.

B. The only way to get to Ste. Tropez's beaches from Ste. Maxime is by car and while there is a ferry between the two towns, the beaches are located a few kilometers from the dock.

C. There is no train station in Ste. Tropez or Ste. Maxime making public transportation without expensive taxi rides or local car rental impossible.

The decision to rent a car was further strengthened when considering the following pros - increased flexibility, money savings and the ability to explore other towns within the region.  Unfortunately, renting a car in Europe has some major pitfalls and there was no way for us to know that driving the 7 km between the two towns would be over an hour each way.  Yes, you read correctly - EACH WAY.

If you do the math, this means you spend almost just as much time in a car as you do on the beach.  When I think of a beach vacation, I think of being lazy. I think of being relaxed. I think of no matter how hard I try, I will not get tan.  I do not think "hmmm...it is a beautiful day, the ocean is azure as the region's name suggests. Screw it, I would rather be in a car for 2 hours".  Being trapped in a car, on a two lane road, the only road we could take to the beaches, is akin to Chinese water torture or eating Cream of Wheat everyday for breakfast - repetitive and horrifying.

So the Boy and I do what we always do when confronted with a situation we cannot control - freak out a little bit and then come up with a solution.  That solution was to stay in Ste. Maxime and enjoy what this little town had to offer.  It was a lively village with beaches in walking distance.  The beaches had families from Paris instead of people who tried desperately to look like Paris Hilton.  We could now be lazy, relax and not get tan on our own terms.  I know what you are thinking - "words, words, words Kristi...let's see some pics!".  OK, here you go:

Me and the Boy

Here you see the Boy paying homage to his military past by standing incredibly straight.  This picture was snapped overlooking a bay in Nice while en route to Monaco. The only positive thing I can say about Monaco is that I saw it and can check it off my list.

Here we are relaxing in our villa exhibiting what you might consider to be a deeper shade of pale.

The Muttleys

This photo was taken in the town of Gassin, which just so happens to be what Pedro and Dooley do best.  My dogs smell and they smell bad.

The Muttleys standing in front of a kick ass chapel located on the grounds of the Minuty Vineyard.  Cote d'Azur is located in Provence, which is famous for its rose wines and Minuty was one of the best we tried.





Totally French


Totally Cool


There were frustrating moments during the trip but I can honestly say we had a great time with good friends, amazing weather and zero sun damage.