Always a different colour, but attractive.
Always a different colour, but attractive.
I saw this arch in a village in the area of Schaffhausen, whilst spending a week-end with my son, so just had to have it. “Zum Bogen” = to the arch.
And here yet another path leading to the boats to take a trip over the Rheinfall.
And if you are somewhere that you do not know, then there is always a signpost.
When you decide to go places and see things, then do not think that wherever you are going, everyone is waiting for you. You are nothing special. You are the odd one out. You think because you speak english you are something completely different, after all everyone loves english.
Of course they do, but it is not their mother tongue. Their mother tongue, the one they learned from their motbers, the one they grew up with, is theirs and everything else is just a supplement.
And so you arrive in this new country, but there are a few formalities to be dealt with. You might have a roof over your head, even a workplace, but no-one knows you. How are you to pay your taxes, have your official permission to be there. This does not go without saying, and a visit to the local town hall is the least you can do to say hello to everyone. Unfortunately here you again discover that not everyone speaks your language. The might, but why should they. You are now in their country and you speak their language, even if it is not the language you though it would be. I was armed with elementary high German and could get through. The Swiss have their own way of saying things (Swiss German), and believe me it is better that you learn fast how it works.
And now you are registered, you have a number somewhere and a permission, so get on with it. People are not standing on street corners waiting to help you, to be your friends. They do not have open arms. You are now the odd one out. You talk different, know no-one and do not belong. This is where many decided to go home, finding it is not what they expected. After all you are something special, but that is only in your own country. Either you persevere or give up. You spend the first months alone. Perhaps you go for a walk and want a drink in a restaurant, even a meal. You sit alone at your table and hear conversations around you. Schoolfriends and relations, neighbours, people that grew up with each other, a common background, a history. You do not have this, you are a stranger on the shore.
I persevered, because I left my country for something completely different. Today 50 years later, I realise I made the right decision. I learned the local lingo, learned the local customs, and if you cannot beat them then join them. On the way I met Mr. Swiss, decided to grab him for a Swiss passport and a few other good things and we are still together. He tells me I am often more Swiss than he is. He cannot yodel, neither can I. My solitary days are long gone, I even vote when the Swiss vote and they vote often with their direct democracy. To be quite honest. Mr. Swiss fills out the documents and I sign with a few exceptions, but we are usually the same opinion.
If you really want to go somewhere else, completely different, then think about it. Do you want to eat their food? Do you want to live according to their daily customs? Do you want to learn their language? Do you want to run the risk of marrying one of them and having children that will also grow up with a strange language, go to a school in a diferent country and perhaps even have a nationality that is not yours. Sometimes life can be solitary, as said if you cannot beat them, then join them.
Looks a promising day today: a few scattered clouds with a blue background and temperatures normal. I do not need record sky high heat, just warm enough with a slight breeze.
My first notification of the day was from WordPress telling me that as I have a premium account (yes I know, silly, but I pay for this privilege), I can now insert a “pay” button on my blog creation page. This is getting to complicated for a golden oldie. My payments happen automatically as I organised it that way and still have the opportunitiy to stop any payments. The cyber world is slowly confusing my golden oldie days and I only pay my subsription.
Our building team have now pulled another trick out of the box. I was hugging my bed for a last half hour this morning, and heard voices outside which is nothing really astonishing when a team of men are re-constructing your living quarters.
I then heard heavy objects being moved and the sound of scraping and tearing – a new noise design was being constructed. Mr. Swiss appeared and said he was shutting all the windows on the east side as there was a threat of invasion of a new substance which was being applied to the facade of the building. I eventually left my sleeping quarters, having completed my daily check of the iPad to read the nocturnal comments of WordPress and to see if Trump was still president (you never know). I could not resist a look outside to see what was happening with the construction work, and realised that I was now living in a coccoon. All the windows on the east side had been sealed and covered with a milky plastic (photo from No. 1 son’s room). We were now cut off from civilisation, not even a space to pass food. We will starve, and perhaps eventually suffocate.
In the meanwhile it seems this part of the operation will be only today as they are sealing the net placed over the surface of the complete building. If the plaster they use would get on the windows, there would be no chance of removing it from the glass – it would be there to stay. The only solution is a new window – hence now living in a plastic bubble. Luckily this is only one side of the appartment, the other side will be next week.
I escaped into the kitchen and discovered that here conditions were still normal. My chances of eating breakfast were saved and the computer was also ready for the first attack of the day.
Everything now being under control we will prepare ourselves for the week-end shopping safari. Mr. Swiss constructed the shopping plan on the iPhone by cloud. I did a quick revision yesterday evening, with a better design application and we will be ready to go.
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