Southern Migration

If someone were to tell me at any point in my life that on June 4, 2010 I would have bought an ice cream cone for 3.50 sfr in Zurich, awaiting my work permit to allow me to accept a position as correspondent for Swiss Public Broadcasting…I would probably have laughed, smiled, and said, “I guess we shall see…but I doubt it.”

Except here I sit, in Zurich, and the taste of strawberry ice cream is still faintly, and expensively, on my lips.

In comparison to the last three moves my family has made, this southern move from Munich to Zurich was a piece of cake:  we rented a mini-van, packed up our goods, and drove until the wrist watches and chocolates were plentiful.  We didn’t navigate airports or train stations.  We moved at our own pace.  We listened to cd’s. (Remember those round things, before ipods?)

And in the shadow of the Alps, being passed by 100 mph BMWs and Mercedes, the reality of our new life was sinking in–we are moving to Switzerland, with a work contract and apartment to boot.

On the road
Driving across three countries in as many hours is surreal to a person used to driving in the desert for hours without seeing a town.

As I mentioned in a newsflash on this site, I accepted a position as Zurich Correspondent for Swiss Public Broadcasting.  Its English-language service World Radio Switzerland had an opening for a US-style public radio reporter, and my skill-set fit the bill.  I will be responsible with finding and telling interesting stories from the German-speaking majority in this country, with the sounds and styles public radio listeners cherish.

This is a post I didn’t expect to find.  Sitting still in Phoenix pondering what route my life may take I postulated I might make it to Washington D.C. one day, or maybe Los Angeles.  Zurich?  Where?  But in my little time researching and brain storming Switzerland should be a place ripe with stories.  Switzerland has had its share of Catholic sex abuse scandals.  The country is struggling to remain relevant while outside of the EU but forced to work with it.  And culturally, the Swiss have a curious and uncomfortable relationship with Germans.  (suffice it to say, the German language doesn’t necessarily unite all German-speaking countries.)

In the last years of traveling back and forth from the US to Europe I have always taken a tempered approach to my situation.  I know I am blessed, plain and simple.  Not many people can travel multiple times to Europe in a lifetime, some folks don’t even make the journey once.  But here I am, with my family, living frugally but comfortably in Europe…waiting on a work permit and sunny days.

I am still taking my life one day at a time, and concentrating on the things that matter…those “things” being the individuals pictured above.  And with this move south, I should be able to add to my already interesting list of experiences and radio features.

I do hope I don’t stop appreciating the important things, or lose my grounding in reality…no person should think 3.50 sfr for an ice cream cone is normal.  On a journalist’s budget such reality checks should be easy to come by.

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