Friday my wonderful friend Monique came and helped Keith and I move. As soon as the kids left for school, Keith and I took the tram to our new place where we met Monique. Monique and I brought some loads from her house and from our old place while Keith waited for the deliveries. The used furniture store and IKEA both came right on schedule and by 1:00 we were starting to assemble stuff. We didn't get very far because Keith's company had a big party that started at 2:00.
The party was great and was at the Gurten which is on top of a big hill in the middle of Bern. They had great food and the company has it's own band that played. They were actually quite amazing. The lead singer is an American, so they sang popular American songs.
Saturday was long and hard and poor Keith had to leave the next day to go out of town for a week. He was feeling real pressure to get things put together.
On Sunday we had dinner after church and it was amazing. They had set tables up in the Relief Society room with tablecloths and china, they grilled bratwurst and had everyone bring salads, breads, and desserts. It was so much fun, I just love our ward.
Side note - We were waiting for the funicular after the party and a man from Keith's company started talking to Kelly in German. I was worried that she felt uncomfortable, and almost interrupted, but then I listened to her speak back to him in German and they continued to have a pretty long conversation. I was amazed and asked her later if she really understood everything he said, which she did and was able to respond. Yesterday on the tram she picked up a newspaper and was able to tell me what the stories were about. She couldn't read every word, but enough to get the idea of the story.
There are many things I have taken for granted in my life. After this experience I will never look at things in quite the same way. Here are some of those things I never really appreciated before:
- Garbage disposals are a wonderful invention - without them, you have smelly food in your garbage that attracts bugs. All of Switzerland does not have garbage disposals and I think I was told it has something to do with rats in the sewers, without the food in the sewers, you don't get rats.
- Our beautiful church hymns. I am sure that they are just as beautiful in German, in fact they sound so beautiful in our tiny ward and everyone here sings! But I miss hearing the hymns in English as much as anything. I cry every time one of my favorite hymns is sung and it's not the words I know and love.
- At home I take the garbage out daily. Just grab another small white plastic bag and throw the old one in the can. Here the garbage bags cost 1,70 francs and you are required to use these. Since they are kind of expensive you keep them and fill them up for as many days as possible - add in the smelly food and it's not so pleasant.
- Ice and free refills. As in most parts of Europe, they don't believe in ice, their drinks are tiny, and they don't give refills. And water from the tap can cost as much as a soda.
- Maybe I have always appreciated people not smoking in public places, but I will always be grateful for our strict smoking policies.
Don't get me wrong, I love Switzerland. In fact, I love it more everyday. I love the people here, I love the beauty of it all, I love the architecture, I love the trams and trains and dread going back to driving, , I love that the people are so diligent at recycling, (which is why they charge so much for garbage). But there are a few modern conveniences that I miss and will not take for granted when I'm home.