Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We Have Arrived!

While I have zero pictures to show you so far - I am happy to announce that Rob and I have arrived in Geneva safe and sound. We landed on a Monday morning (Sunday night for you Californians) to great weather and no issues. Our boxes came out of the oversize luggage conveyor belt at the airport and we did get asked by customs what was in them. We got our first dose of "french" attitude from the car rental guy but we shrugged it off. The boxes are now safely stored in a storage unit in the industrial area of carouge. We made our way to CERN and picked up a badge for me and checked in the CERN hostel. We ended up getting assigned to a room in the older of the two hostel buildings which was okay by me. Rob didn't seem as pleased. Tired as hell, we collapsed and took a three hour nap to try to ease the jetlag. We then met up with Daniel (Rob's advisor) and watched him spill espresso all over somebody's office desk.

Monday evening we headed into Geneva for some dinner and to try to stay awake. Lebonese food it was! Falafal's and Poulet Sandwiches are pretty cheap. I am happy to report that we found a chinese market! Small but it has the essentials. There was oyster sauce, rice noodles, eggroll wrappers (the brand I use), turkey sauce, cheap frozen shrimp, and unflavored tofu!

Today was a little more interesting. We looked at our first apartment with the help of Alexia! When we met with Alexia this morning she was very helpful and has set up a fair number of apartment viewings already for us. The first place we saw was a kind of open house for a really cheap place (900CHF). It was not well taken care of. The paint was peeling badly and the kitchen was pretty pathetic. Lots of people showed up but the elevator only allowed for two people to be in it at one time. We decided not to apply. There is an odd policy with the "regies" or rental agenicies. They only let you apply for once place per regie at a time. They also collect as many applications and then they pick and choose whom they want in their place. They actually choose by nationality and how much money the person makes. There is no first come first serve basis here - pure discrimination. Booo.

We moved on and visted the second regie to try to pick up keys to another apartment. This one was was a little pricey (2090 CHF ) but is available Dec 1. It is currently being renovated so we were not allowed to view it. The language barrier was really really really hard here. Rob had to say "No comprend pa" many times. In order to view a place you actually have to fill out an application and turn in a ton of stuff (much more than if you were applying for a place in the US). They wanted copies of our passports, earnings letter, visas, ID's, and Alexia wrote us a letter to help explain things. Only after the long process we were told that they are renovating for 2 weeks. Again Boo. Well, we are trying and the fight will continue on! We have one appointment tomorrow and are working on getting others. There is a couple for next Monday.

Some small snipets of random thoughts/observations:

- It is raining today and it is definitely something we need to get used to.

- Do Europeans not believe in toilet seat covers?

- Dijon mustard chips - Tasty!

- Coop's are everywhere (grocery markets) and have most of the essentials.

- I don't think the french believe in anything but white bread. I found a little wheat but not freshly baked. I think I might have to give up on Squaw.

- Deli meats, Cafe, Chocolate, Cheese, and Bread - seems to be the staples

- Continental Airlines has Coke Zero!

- I need to get used to seeing a white person and not assuming they speak English.

Now that we have finally arrived, I am definitely using this blog thing much more often.


The Bowers! November 11, 2008 at 7:20 PM  

So glad you got there and so did your stuff. I'm sure you'll find a great little apartment with lots of charm sooner or later. Good luck and tell Robby "hi" from me!

About This Blog

Tina & Rob have relocated their lives to Geneva, Switzerland. This blog is a story of their adventure during the year and all the details inbetween.

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Finding Simplicity

Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; 
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