|It costs 3 times more to feed this beast in Switzerland|
I've nicknamed the little corner of the world I live in, Switaly. It's technically Switzerland, but it's pretty much Italy. Life in Switaly is pretty sexy. Then again, after 15 months in Franconia and the experiences I had, everything but an Uzbeki prison would be sexy!
So yes, I'm probably wearing light rose tinted glasses and the ecstasy will probably wear off eventually, but so far, it's great. I hadn't realized how much Germany had beaten me down until I caught myself wincing every 5 minutes. In Germany, I just expected things to go wrong, because well, 90% of the time it did! If my parking ticket expired at 5:01, by 5:02 I'd get a ticket. If the speed limit was 50 km/h and I was going 57 km/h, I'd expect a speeding ticket. If I accidentally cut someone off on the street, I'd expect the driver to follow me and road rage on me in German. I think I'm "finally" breaking out of the wince. Today for instance, I had a ticket stub for parking. The first 30 minutes were free. I put my ticket in the machine and happily discovered, I was still within the free time. I looked down at the ticket and realized I had pulled in 29 minutes ago! By the time I got to my car, drove down 4 floors, surely the free time would be up and I'd have to pay. If it was Germany, the story would go down like this: I'd go up to the machine, it'd be free. I'd get to my car, drive the 4 floors to the ticket machine. The ticket machine would tell I'd have to pay. By then, I'd have 4 cars behind me without the possibility to reverse. I'd run to the machine only to discover it doesn't take the only coins I have. The drivers of the 4 cars would all come out of their cars in Germany and ream me out. Guaranteed. That's how it would go down. So as I approached the ticket machine, this scene was playing out in my head. Put ticket in, machine says "grazie", gate rises. No drama. And that's pretty much how it's been here. No drama. Just the way I like it.
Though it's great here, this nirvana does have it's downsides. Luckily, I've found a workaround for most of them. For instance, some things here are expensive. prohibitively so. ridiculous. Not everything, but the things that are, are ridiculous. Face cream, plants and laundry detergent are at least double what I used to pay in Germany. Meat? I'm practically a vegetarian by sheer cost! Dog food? You'd think I was buying caviar. Instead of the 12 euro a bag it cost me to feed Lucy, here it's about 40 chf a bag! (about 3 times more) But because I live in Switaly, it's a quick 15 minute drive to Italy where prices are a lot more reasonable.
Also, there's traffic in nirvana. A lot of it. Even though only 75,000 call this little city home, you'd think it was 10 times that from just the traffic! it can take 10 minutes to travel 1 km. Ride a bike you say, gladly. Only when it's 35C, the last thing I feel like doing is building up a sweat to show up at work with hair plastered to my head and my clothes soaking.
So far, those are my only Switalian complaints and I'd say both are reasonable. Life could be worse. A lot worse. I know, I lived it for 15 months!