Things got pretty ridiculous pretty quickly this week, winter wise.There was a definite festive feeling. Tim had the first of his Christmas parties: he went to Germany on Friday night and arrived back in Zurich on Saturday considerably shadier. Neighbouring apartments and businesses have started hanging Christmas lights – a glimpse out of any of our windows is guaranteed to reveal golden twinkly stars, angels or trees. And my contribution? Eating all the Christmas snacks. Yup, they’re a thing and yup, they’re gingery and delicious.
I also had my first spousal work support meeting. Part of our relocation agreement included a ‘find a new gig in Switzerland’ package, through which I have been allocated an agency to manage my transition back to the workforce. We’d teleconferenced prior to leaving Australia and I’d sent my CV to them; since arriving I’ve had several conversations about my prospects. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not sure what I want to do with myself (which, other than drinking all the wine and eating all the cheese, is nothing new) but my previous employment isn’t likely to be able to transfer over here. I knew this and am pleased about it – I’m ready for something new – but it turns out the most transferrable skill I have is quality management and assurance, which is second in dullness only to occupational health and safety. I was also told the average amount of time it takes to find a new job (for the Swiss and expats alike) is 9 months; I’m not sure how much of this was expectations management and how much was slack agency. I’m also not sure if I’m fussed – I’m still not sick of staying at home with my girl. Even though it can be terribly tedious some days (OK, every day, especially around meal time when my ancient body is bent over cleaning squooshed broccoli and berries off the floor yet again), I still love it. I feel like I shouldn’t, like I’m less of a professional or possibly even a person, because so many people I know have become listless or bored or itching to return to work (nobody says it or means it – or even thinks of it – that way as it’s an intensely personal thing) but nonetheless I know Pre Baby Wendy would judge Post Baby Wendy, and there we are. This Tiny Offspring Experience is nothing if not unexpected.
In between discussing CV styles (they like personal pictures here, and lists of hobbies) and potential employers (international companies primarily; I really need to take those German lessons) the best thing, hands down, to come out of the meeting was a recommendation to travel to Engelberg. About 40 minutes away without snow tyres, it was a winter wonderland. We’ve not had much to do with snow before (as was painfully clear based on last week’s enthusiastic post) and this just blew us away.
The town itself is small but its scope vast. Every now and then the clouds would part and Alps would reveal themselves, disturbingly sneaky for masses so enormous.
Engelberg is also home to a range of baby (and more advanced, but irrelevant to us) ski slopes. Irrelevant not because we have a small child, but because we’re not skiers (or indeed, in my case, even remotely coordinated). We wandered around, gingerly treading through the ankle deep snow, agreeing to return to try the uber-beginner-friendly slopes some time in the future.