Tidying up these blog pages, I found this section form our Swiss days and I just can't bring myself to delete it. Half of our married life to date was spent in Switzerland and all three children born there so it's a special place. The opportunity to go came at the perfect time for us and we loved our time there. We knew it wasn't in our forever plan so I can honestly say, we enjoyed it for what it was... even with all its little oddball ways. I often find myself deliberately not talking about those for years for fear of sounding pretentious and everyone thinking of eff off back to effing Switzerland will ya! I'm getting over that.

Funny thing is I had this really odd encounter in the barbers yesterday. Joseph was getting his hair cut and this lady and her son came in and sat next to me and the girls. Her son had the most gorgeous curls which I commented on and we got taking a little. As it turned out, they are moving to Switzerland in the next few weeks.

'Oh really, where abouts? I lived there for a few years.' Turns our they are moving pretty close to where we lived and I found myself really excited for this family and the new life they were about to embark on and there I was ready to talk.

There I was ready to go, willing to help. I was panning ahead in this fantastic conversation to the point where I'd offer her my email so if ever she needed me to help with info or connect her to some people. But it didn't pan out that way at all. It was met with a serious lack of enthusiasm. Sure, she was interested that I'd lived there and isn't it a small world sorta thing but I was so disappointed that we didn't engage. Or rather that she didn't engage. I was ENGAGED. I was raring to go! I couldn't help myself scribble a few references on the back on a shopping list to give to her and she seemed grateful but honestly there was so much more I could've told her.

And its was here on my blog. Coincidently its National Swiss Day so here's to you lady in the barber shop. I think you will probably get along with the locals quite well. Bon chance!

Written around August 2013 :: We've spent the last four years living in Switzerland and, while I am by no means an expert, I thought a few links and pointers in the right direction could help anyone who is new to Switzerland or thinking of a move in that direction.

As with living anywhere, there are a lot of pro's and con's to Switzerland. I am going to try to be just like Switzerland in my approach. Neutral. 

We lived in Geneva for a couple of years before moving out to the vineyards of Vaud. Personally, I prefer the countryside. Geneva is a nice city, small and compact. Commuting into Geneva from Vaud is a popular option for many an ex-pat. 

There is a huge expat community in Switzerland. According to Geneva.Info, Geneva is the most international city in Europe with over 40% of the population coming from outside Switzerland. Thankfully, there are many resources to help make sense of the Swiss ways. Trust me, you'll need all the help you can get! 

AngloInfo Geneva covers a huge range of topics from Education, Healthcare and Legal to Family and Community Life. 

Glocals is similar but seems to take a more social approach. I have sold lots of stuff via their Classifieds Pages. 

World Radio has a great website too with a Guides section. Their Classifieds pages are really good too advertising anything from concert tickets to property! Its also nice to check their News pages for local news in English. 

Other sites I used were English Forum and the Know It All Passport. Know It All, supports an excellent book detailing a whole lorra information but it comes with a hefty price tag. To be honest, a second hand copy would do and with the websites having chat forums, getting local information isn't too difficult. Comparis is a great site that compares the best value for money on things like Insurance and Phone and Internet options. They have a smart Moving To Switzerland section.

If your French is good, you're at a major advantage. If not, Google Translate will be your new best friend! We are lucky to have colleauges and neighbours to help us out when we get stuck. Our neighbours have been a huge help with the 'Swissues' we had with our Regie {Estate Agent}.

Estate Agents, or Regies as they are called here, will be your enemy. I never once heard anyone say anything positive about them. Sadly, you need them. To get a roof over your head, you have submit an application for each property you wish to apply for and then the decision is in the hands of the devil himself! Am I being over dramatic? Perhaps. Actually, no. They are a hateful bunch. 

Good sites for property searches are Homegate, Immostreet and Immoscout. Each of these sites show properties from different Estate Agents meaning you don't have to trawl through a ton of Estate Agents sites.

It is compulsory to have basic health insurance. It is worth getting a full private package if you are planning to have babies. Luxury, I tell you!

You must change you drivers licence to a Swiss Driving Licence within one year of living in the country. Otherwise you will have to take the Swiss driving test. One persons experience can be found on this Glocals forum chat.

We used Swisscom for our home TV and Internet connection. They had a good British TV package. There is a way to get Sky TV via a UK address. If you go to Jims British Market St Genis-Pouilly shop in France {it's just across the border} on the first Satuday of the month, there is a guy who will help you out. Jim's British Market is a great stop for a few home comforts. The shop in Gland is a short drive out of Geneva and well worth a visit. 

If you need to know anything else, drop me an email or leave a comment. I'll try to point you in the right direction. Good luck.

Stunning views over Geneva to Vaud with the stunning Jet d'Eau standing proud.

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