Friday, August 9, 2013

10 more things I am looking forward to about living in Switzerland

To follow up on my initial list, here are 10 more things I am excited to experience during my adventure in Switzerland:

  • #1 The mild climate
  • Considering I grew up in Rio de Janeiro, you would think I would be all about the scorching hot weather (much like Ashley is!). The truth is I actually really enjoy milder weather. It seems Lausanne's climate stays within a pretty comfortable range. Winters don't seem excessively cold or snowy, but have enough of both to be charming and enjoyable. Summers don't seem to get too hot and sticky, but there seem to be a fair share of warm sunny days. Lausanne does seem grayer/wetter than I would like, but as a whole I think I will enjoy the milder weather there. Hopefully Ashley will be able to appreciate it too!

  • #2 - More coverage and access to sports like Soccer and Formula One

  • Hopefully everyone will just accept that Brazil will win it all in 2014, so no friendships will be damaged.
    Being Brazilian I obviously love soccer (maybe I should get re-accustomed to calling it football). But I have to say in the US it is very hard to follow it consistently. A lot of the interesting matches fall at awkward times, there's not a whole lot of media coverage, and it takes some effort and planning to stay on top of it. I also enjoy Formula One, but the races fall at even more awkward times, and the sport gets even less attention over here. Being in Europe I am excited to have more access and to be a little more informed about some of my long-lost favorite sports.

    You know what's gonna be really cool (and potentially problematic) next year at IMD? Being friends with people from all kinds of powerhouse soccer nations, during a World Cup year!

  • #3 - Having a Swiss bank account
  • Ha, yes I know it's not going to be that kind of Swiss bank account. I understand it's just a logistical step we'll need to go through to be able to function, pay our rent etc. But for whatever reason, being able to say I will have a Swiss bank account just makes me feel so distinguished.

  • #4 - The diversity
  • I don't think I'll ever be part of a community as diverse as the IMD community, considering the range of backgrounds and nationalities of my classmates. But I'm also fascinated by how Switzerland as a whole is so diverse, despite being relatively small. There are four official languages! I'm excited to visit the different parts of the country and see how the different French, German and Italian influences intermingle together.

  • #5 - Hiking/nature
  • Switzerland is just a naturally stunning place. You can tell even before you arrive! When we first visited Lausanne in April, seeing the mountains and the lakes from the plane was just incredible. Even in places that aren't quite as scenic, I find it very refreshing to pack up a picnic and go spend a day hiking outdoors. Between the lakes, the mountains and the valleys, Lausanne should give us lots of exciting hiking possibilities. I'm definitely looking forward to taking in some of Switzerland's natural beauty.

  • #6 - Swiss Efficiency and Punctuality
  • The Swiss definitely seem to love being efficient and organized. As an Economics person I certainly appreciate that. I do worry that, as a foreigner, I may not fully understand the Swiss way of operating right away. I may end up grinding some gears when trying to get things done. But all in all I have a lot of respect for how the Swiss are adamant about having a system and making sure things work well.

    As far as punctuality, it has never been my strong point, but I feel as though living in the US has made me a lot more conscious about timeliness. The Swiss seem to take their punctuality as seriously as anyone. I personally think it's a great trait, which I hope to really incorporate while living there. And I hope Little Marshmallow will take a page from the Swiss book, and decide to come on time!

  • #7 - Trying different beers and wines
  • I'm by no means a beer or wine expert. But I do appreciate (and regularly enjoy!) both beverages. One of my favorite things about going to new places is the opportunity to try different foods and drinks, so I'm excited to try a good variety of new beers and wines whenever the opportunity presents itself. (I know, between classes and the baby, it might not be very often!) I'm even excited about the more "mainstream" beers. For example, I know I really enjoy Carlsberg and Kronenbourg, which seem to be staples in Lausanne but are pretty hard to find in the US.
    Cardinal beer: Marshmallow tried, Marshmallow approved!

  • #8 - The charming, old-world architecture
  • Sometimes I find it almost hard to grasp the history and timelessness of the architecture in Europe. Take the Lausanne Cathedral, for example. It is still standing in all its glory, almost one thousand years after it was first built! Having lived in the "new world" for most of my life, I am looking forward to being surrounded by such rich and interesting architecture.

  • #9 - Ski resorts, and maybe a little skiing!
  • What can I say - we're gonna be so close to some of the most famous ski resorts in the world. It would just seem wrong not to visit some! Yes, I am an awful skier (and Ashley has never skied at all. I'd like to get her on a bunny slope some day!). But I really love the ski resort atmosphere. Even if we don't go up to the slopes, I am still really excited to check out some of the resorts, stay in a cozy lodge and enjoy a warm beverage in a chalet at the bottom of the mountain.

  • #10 - Christmas Markets
  • Ashley was the one who told me about the Christmas markets that pop up all over Europe leading up to the holidays. They sound so cool! Arts and crafts, delicious food and drinks, and just a general sense of tradition and merry spirits, like the holiday season should have! I can't wait to check one out. Hopefully Ashley and I will have a chance do so in December, before 2014 comes at us like a hurricane!

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