23 April 2008

Transition thoughts

The frenzy business in the past weeks of finishing projects, packing up, moving etc. hasn’t left much time to reflect on the significance and consequences of our transatlantic move – reflections that would also be almost impossible to make since none of us had been to Switzerland before and thus we didn’t quite know what we were giving California up for – but before we start to write more specifically about Geneva, it might be appropriate to sum up some of the thoughts we had made about moving back to Europe:

We have been looking forward to moving to a bigger city; Santa Barbara is definitely a gorgeous place but a busy urban environment it cannot quite be said to offer. Along the same lines, we have been looking forward to living in the middle of Europe, surrounded by different languages, foods, and cultures, with the endless possibilities for weekend getaways it provides. To this aspect also belongs that post-doc-Tue will have more days off. Besides Saturdays off, Switzerland will endow Tue with prolonged weekends because of religious holidays and even though we don’t know exactly yet how many weeks of holiday Tue will get here, it is sure to be more than what was possible at UCSB.

On the other hand we will miss the weather (something we already do), the nature, our little flat at West Campus, being able to speak the language, our common lunches at UCSB, and the broad selection of Mexican food. On a more practical daily level we are not quite sure how to get by without Trader Joes, Netflix, and Borders but luckily internet shopping has been invented. In contrast we are already very happy with the quality of the Swiss bread, the unsweetened yoghurt, and not least the chocolate, just as we have found both fresh yeast and vanilla sugar both of which will definitely ease future baking projects.

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