Traveler's Tales

Introducing the Swiss Family Cuthbertson

by Lou Cuthbertson

The Irish are flying a new flag in a new home.

Welcome to the Expat Chronicles, which looks at what happens when the foreign destination becomes the new home. Our debut installment comes from Lou Cuthbertson, who last year decamped from London to Switzerland with her Irish husband and toddler son and infant daughter.

A year ago this week, we moved to Zurich. In that time, we have made a few inane observations, including:

- It is easy, and embarrassing, to mix up "huhn wasser" (chicken water) with "hahn wasser" (tap water).

- Everything costs 100 Swiss Francs. Everything. From a loaf of bread to a speeding ticket.

- Beware of speed cameras. The Swiss LOVE them.

- Quickly cut out "Friday night is fondue night," otherwise you will need new jeans.

- You can crawl out of bed at 8:00 and be on the ski slopes by 10:00.

- If you go to a party, you must go around, shake hands, and introduce yourself to each and every person in the room. Otherwise they think you're really, really rude. This takes some getting used to, particularly as you're expected to leave the party by saying goodbye to everyone individually — while REMEMBERING THEIR NAME.

- Plumber making a repair costs as much as a maxillo-facial surgeon taking out a wisdom tooth. Seriously. We have receipts.

- You are the only ones who think Wankdorf is a funny place to live.

Lou will be reporting her Expat Chronicles as often as she'd like to. If you're an expat with chronicles to share, drop us a line. 

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.