Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My First "Swiss" Days

Look! Blonde Amsterdam in Switzerland
When we received our new Dutch address, we sent out “our new home” postcards.  We had printed on them,  “The American Evasion – Can the Dutch handle it?” and then our new address.  We had many new experiences in the first few months – one of them being stuck on a train.  Short version: Took the train from Arnhem to Den Bosch; there was a lot of Dutch spoke over the intercom; and then the train was moving off to the train depot - with us still on it.  

We survived that “evasion” and now moving on to evading the Swiss … The weather here has been nothing less than spectacular - sunny skies and really really nice spring weather.  Ok, today it’s a little cloudy …

The weekend was nice and relaxing.  I hear you saying, “But you just moved!”  We moved into a furnished corporate apartment awaiting our permanent residence to become available - this summer we move again.  So in the meantime, it feels like we are on holiday because we just showed up with a really over packed car and one really stressed out a cat. 

On Monday, The Shaker started his new job and the girls went to their first intensive German lesson.  I got to check out the city and figure out where things are. When I first arrived in Europe, I went out but only went to the stores that I knew (this is where my affair truly started with Albert Heijn).  I wasn’t too adventurous - it mainly had to do with the language barrier and the culture shock.  I am soooo over that.  But now every time someone speaks to me I want to speak Dutch knowing full well that they don’t speak Dutch!  I have been trying hard to shake my “goed morgen, dank je well, and alstublieft’s”  (good morning, thank you, please) which just fly out freely even before English does and replacing them with “guten morgen, danke schoen, and bitte sehr.”

But enough about that ... when we came a few months ago, I found the most important thing – a yarn shop.  And not one yarn shop, but two yarn shops!  And this is all The Shaker’s fault.  We had to take the tram to his work for a meeting and there was one yarn shop right their on the #11 tram line and then we went out later on another tram #14.  I was minding my own business, just looking out the window and BAM! there they were calling my name! 

The first one, on the way to The Shaker’s work was Zum Roten Faden.  It has yarn and knitting/sewing supplies.  The other one, Wollare, mainly carries yarn and where I bought Van Gogh sock yarn – I know!  Van Gogh in Switzerland!  I couldn’t find this in Holland. 

And then on Tuesday Gin and Vermouth took me Manor a huge Swiss department store (similar to the V&D in Holland – only bigger).  They have everything including – get this! – a sewing and knitting department!  How much better can it get it!  They carry their own line of yarn (Maddison), needles, and books.  Ok, no surprise here - they are all written in Swiss German. 

The Martini Knitter


pesima said...

Hi Sarah, gutenmorgen! Lovely blog. You sound so relaxed. That's great. I hope your cat wil soon recover from his shock... You could help him with drops of Rescue Remedie from Bach's Remedies. Just mix some in his food. I'm sure you can buy that there. Or you could use a pheromone based diffuser. See:

Funny to see the Blond Amsterdam in Swiss-German. Manor, as you discribe it, looks very much like V&D and de Bijenkorf used to be many years ago. When Peter and I were students in Groningen, we often got our groceries in V&D. These shops also had a very fashionable knitting and sewing department with lovely fabrics. Especially de Bijenkorf! Those were the days...
Hope you have a lovely time exploring Basel and getting used to speaking German. Gruss Gott! Sita from a cloudy Arnhem

Nanatucket knitter said...

Gutenmorgen!! That is the only German I know from my one trip to Germany 20 years ago!! So
happy to hear you are enjoying your move already and finding all sorts of stores - Yarn shops
no less!!! That would make my day, that's for sure!!!