Packing it all up (July 28, 2007)

It's funny packing everything up to go. I mailed over 20 boxes over here, and I will only send about 7 back to Atlanta. I'm throwing out files I never looked at, books I never cracked open, clothes I never wore.... and dishes which, after all the wonderful things our friends gave us after the wedding, are no longer useful. That George Forman grill served me well, but is it worth its weight in shipping? I think not.

Logistically, it is more interesting than you would think to try and give stuff away. Ebay, popular all over the United States, is not used much in Switzerland. Likewise for Craigslist, and nor is there a Goodwill to take the last bits of stuff and dump. I had to ask around quite a bit to find the Swiss equivalents. So far I have found:

For the rest I don't know. While I hear it is illegal in Switzerland for companies to throw lots of stuff away, and thus that recycling and disposal is a government-protected industry of its own, I am not sure what to do as an individual. I will surely end up throwing some stuff in the trash that I would have dumped at Goodwill in the U.S.

That is all logistics. The real funny thing is that it is a little sad to leave this place behind. Overall, I will certainly be happy to leave. I have found Switzerland austere and confusing, sometimes downright mean. Shopping and other daily affairs are difficult due to the hours and the red tape--even the school piano is only available 9:00-5:00, so I guess all emoting must happen during the scheduled time. Apartment rental is completely broken, and at my last apartment they even tried to cheat me out of 3600 CHF. The social world here is impenetrable to me, for reasons I cannot figure out. Everyone smiles and is polite, but it is impossible to arrange social activities. Both times Fay visited, I failed to arrange a single person for her to meet among the locals. I suppose at least that is an accurate view of what it is like here.

So where is the funny part, you might ask? Well, there are certainly parts I will miss. The work is awesome, and is a chapter that will close soon. The view is amazing from all over town. The croissants are out of this world--in fact, in just a moment I will walk three doors down and get me one. Also, it is interesting somehow to watch a different place go by, even from the outside. In the end, it does not even seem so different; the over-the-top political ads are familiar, and the city festivals are much like the ones you see in Greenville.

Yes, there will be things I miss, but still I will be happy to get back. Half of my stuff is already shipped.

Lex Spoon