Sunday, August 29, 2010

Meine Wohnung

Pictures of my apartment! It's pretty small- think a little bigger than dorm room size but it's very cute. They decorated well, I think!

The kitchen and bathroom are to your left right when you walk in. The kitchen has a small oven and you can see the hotplate. The bathroom is your average one!

This is the desk and chair area. To the right is a bookcase and chair you can see below. The view is right at ground level but it's green instead of concrete which is nice!
The chair! I like the stripe curtains a lot!

My bed! There are lots of pillows on it which I like and if you look closely you might be able to find yourselves on the shelf!

That's pretty much it. I am planning on making some collage posters of pictures to put up on the walls which will make it more me. I really like the colors that they chose though!

I spent Thursday afternoon and Friday I spent walking around Zurich which was really nice to see. It was kind of rainy but overall good. I was able to get down to the lake to do a bit of reading and a bit of people watching which was particularly nice! Saturday I went to see Olin and Nikki for the day and we ran errands, made tortillas, hummus, chocolate chip pie and lasagna, and relaxed. They had some friends over for dinner as well which was fun!
I'm on my own all day tomorrow so we shall see how that goes!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

occupation: housewife!

This past Saturday and Sunday I spent the weekend with Olin and Nikki as well Nikki's father and his wife. We did a lot of walking around and floating down the river, which was a lot of fun! You get to float a long ways down the river and they have these bags to put all your stuff in as you float down so it won't get wet. They look like fish as you can see:
They are very handy to have as we walked pretty far up in order to float down back to where our bikes were. After this and some Bananagrams playing during the weekend, I was off Monday to Zurich just in time for dinner with the family.
A little about the family. The mom and dad both work outside the home, one in music the other in science. They are both very prominent in their fields, and the mom travels quite a bit for her job. here on out they will be known as H(mom) and S(dad). They have two little girls who are 4(J) and 8(M). They are the sweetest little girls and in my few days of knowing them are very well behaved. J is in kindergarten every morning until 12pm, while M is in 3rd grade full time. The schedule for school varies depending on the day and so my schedule is never the same on any given day.
The family has been so welcoming and they have been slowly helping me get into a routine. As the title says, essentially I am a housewife. I am doing a lot of the washing, I help with lunch and dinner, I do a lot of dishes and make sure the girls are doing what they need to get done, whether it be homework or practicing for M or simply playing with J. The mom, H, would like to add a few more things into the mix this year like a weekly library date and having me work a little on rhythms and notes with M. J does not play an instrument yet although desperately wants to play violin. The dad, S, has asked that if I can help J to learn some tunes on the piano that this would be great fun for J. I am not so sure about that, but I guess we will see as time goes on. My days generally are 1-2 hours of housework in the morning including making lunch and dinner prep, as well as laundry and making of the girls beds. Then either I or H pick up Julia from kindergarten and have lunch ready for her. Because H will be gone for the next week, I have had to pick up the routine fairly quickly. Luckily her mother is coming into town to help out with the girls. This is followed by some play time and waiting for M to get home from school. Then M does her homework while J and I play or help to make dinner of some sort. Once Dinner and dishes are done, I am generally off the hook for the rest of the evening.
Other than getting into a routine here I have been unable to do much else as I am living with the family until this weekend because my apartment is being repainted and new things were added. I was able to see the apartment however and it is very much like a dorm room. I will post pictures later but it's got a small kitchenette and bathroom and then the bedroom area with a desk and chair. I am moving my stuff in this weekend but will stay with the family until Monday.
I was able to go to a coffee meet up to meet some other au pairs which went okay. It'll be hard to make friends here I think with my wacky schedule but I hope to make some soon! I am meeting another au pair tomorrow and then will attend the coffee thing next week as well I hope! My German classes start a week from this Monday and I will be taking intensive German from 8:30am-12:30pm 5 days a week. I'm not sure how this will go but hopefully I will be able to pick it up fairly quickly.
The family also has a soundproof music room that I am able to use which includes a baby grand piano and lots of music! I have a found a few music stores and am hoping to find more in order to get some music to learn. I am hoping to find a voice teacher in October after my German lessons are done to start doing some Jazz but will wait a little bit before I start looking.
The family is gone this weekend so I will be sightseeing around Zurich and might head to see Olin and Nikki for the day or something like that.
Whew! Sorry for the long post. They will get shorter I promise! and updated more often!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I have arrived!

I have arrived in Basel! After a pretty short 6.5 hour flight I took the train (with ALL of my luggage....) and met Nikki at the Basel station. A very nice couple helped me on and off the train with my 3 roll-y suitcases and 2 other carry-ons...(luckily the lady who checked me in was very kind and let me put 5kgs extra in each of my suitcases!).
While Thursday was spent sleeping, today I was able to walk around the city for most of the day. Basel is a small city but very cute! I saw a the main Marktplatz, the Munster (city's cathedral), and people watch in one of Nikki's favorite cafe's. I was able to meet up with Nikki and Olin for lunch and then do some more wandering by the River and stopped to catch up on a little reading. Like Zurich, Basel has a rive in the city which the people use to float down the river. I'm hoping to take advantage of that here before I leave and in Zurich! After work Olin, Nikki, and I rode bikes down to the river and met up with some of Nikki's lab for drinks and watch the sunset. Very nice and relaxing!!
One thing I am definitely realizing I will need is a bike for Zurich. It seems to be easier and faster to get around on a bike than on the bus and Tram system. I am here for a few more days and the au pairing adventure begins on Tuesday!

Monday, August 16, 2010

and I'm (almost) off!

I leave for Zurich in a few days. I will first be seeing my brother and sister-in-law for the weekend in Basel and start officially au pairing in Zurich next week. Here's hoping everything fits in my suitcase and I don't lose anything along the way! I'm extremely nervous but definitely excited and am looking forward to many (mis)adventures in Europe this coming year!