Thursday, 14 August 2014

On Moving

Well, after my last dramatic post announcing the move it's probably a good idea to follow that up, eh? Rather than leave it hanging?

I should make it abundantly clear that I am actually excited to move back to Canada; however, I just don't quite feel ready yet. And realistically, I'm not sure if I'd ever feel really ready. Dan, either. Which is why we just decided to go for it.

The reason we are moving back is for LB. Specifically, we want to raise her close to family. We do, of course, have family in Switzerland, but it's extended family. All her grandparents, aunts and uncles (and please, please future cousins) live in Canada. Dan and I decided that being close to family is an important cornerstone we want firmly in place for LB's formative years. Hell, let's be honest, it's important for us too. We're tired, yo! We want a weekend off!

But seriously, in January LB tried to play chase with my Dad through the Skype screen and Dan and I were like, "Yeah, that's not cool. We have the power to change this, and we should." I want to make it clear here that Dan and I are lucky to be in a situation where we actually can make the decision to move closer to family. Lots of people don't have that same freedom of mobility, but we do so why not take advantage of it?

I was out on a walk today, and came across one of those rare Swiss anomalies who actually wanted to chat up a stranger. So we chatted, I mentioned we're moving back to Canada, and she was shocked. Absolutely shocked. Leave Switzerland?! The best country in the world?! WHAT ARE WE THINKING. I'm serious. Her exact sentiments translated to, "Aren't you feeling like this is a mistake? Switzerland is really the best."

Thanks, stranger, but no, leaving Switzerland for Canada is not a mistake. Come on. It's not the Gaza Strip.

That said, of course there's things I'm going to miss about Switzerland. The playgrounds here rock; there's nothing childproof about them. I say this as I cast my mind back to a short little slide at a local Kamloops park that has speed bumps in it.


Like the child is going to get so much friction going they'll shoot into the river.

Switzerland is a civil law system as opposed to Canada's (and the States') common law system. Common law is exactly as it sounds: precedent law. Successful court actions set precedents, and the result is everyone worries about being sued. I am going to miss looking up to one of Bern's fifteen story buildings and seeing people's office windows swinging open to let in fresh air. No one is overly concerned about a lawsuit.

Oh, that idiot fell out the window. Survival of the fittest, y'all!

Personal responsibility reigns supreme. Yeah, that I will miss. It's actually crazy how worried people are about being sued back home, and it trickles down into everything.

Also, I will miss drinking in the park.

Yeah, it sounds just as lush as I described it.

I will miss the big hiking here. Canada has big hiking, for sure, but I'm not wilderness smart so most of it is off limits until I dust off my copy of "Scaring Off Bears And Staying Alive For Dummies".

I will miss Bern. I will miss the Alps. I will miss wandering around cobblestone streets as I mentally compile my grocery list. I will miss the civility of people here taking the time to get dressed in the morning. Not looking like slobs, just because they can get away with it. Seems shallow, but I was seriously appalled back home how lazy people are. Comfort reigns supreme. If it's not elasticized they don't want to wear it. That makes me sound so snobby, but I don't care. I mean, I actually knew a girl who WORE YOGA PANTS TO HER OFFICE JOB. Think about that. No, her office job was not doing filing for a yoga studio. It really annoys me.

I will miss our family ritual of coffee and pastry on Saturday mornings at our favourite place.

I will really, really, really miss my friends. Oh god, how I will miss them.

I will just plain ol' miss it here.

Things I won't miss?

All the recycling. I'm serious. Sometimes I just want to throw something away, dammit! I don't want to get a call from the caretaker telling me I can't dispose of 'x' item in 'y' spot. I have to take it to 'z' but not until the third Tuesday of the month! I'm really tired of all the recycling. Of course I'll still keep it up in Canada, but not to the extreme I have to do it here. Yeah, that's me, pissing all over Mother Earth.

And on that note: riding public transit. I'm over it. Ever since LB came along, I am sick of taking the bus. The transit here is so good we felt like it was a waste of money buying a car, but not anymore! I am ready to now get in my car, crank my tunes, and drive to the grocery store without interacting with another human being. The old guy I got in a fight with on the bus last week just sealed the deal for me: I'm over it!

I'll look forward to eavesdropping again. No seriously, I will! I have a lack of good story ideas since Swiss-German is still the bane of my existence.

I look forward to Thanksgiving with family, to spending Christmas with family (five years without a big Christmas. FIVE YEARS), to taking LB camping out in the middle of nowhere, to owning a house, helping LB with her homework, driving her to soccer tournaments (if she plays soccer), and just being settled.

We loved it here, but we never actually felt settled here. We probably could have gone on indefinitely with that 'not settled' feeling because it wasn't that uncomfortable, but when I think about all the things on the horizon for our future in Canada, planting our roots is what appeals to me the most.

We moved here for an adventure, and now the biggest adventure lies in the life we're going to build back home.

Because Canada is, and always was, home.