As all of my readers will know, I am now an Au Pair in Switzerland.
I feel as though that calls for a post or two about both life as an au pair, and also about the fine country I am residing in.
I have many things to say, so there is plenty of promise for more posts.
You lucky fuckers.
This post shall focus on the beginning. Naturally. On the generalities from the first few weeks settling into my new life.
Before I arrived in Zurich, I didn't really think about moving. I was too busy living my life in England and telling everyone I was exervous (excited and nervous). This was true. I was both exervous. But I didn't really actually feel that excited or that nervous because I didn't really feel anything at all. Moving was just something I spoke about that would be happening in the future.
It didn't seem real.
So, when I arrived and I saw the family I would be living with and their welcome balloon and the sign the girls made that read 'Becca" decorated with monkeys, I felt a bit strange. It didn't feel like a dream because I knew it was happening. But it didn't feel like reality either.
The first day, well the first week, was a bit manic and I looked around with wide eyes and I didn't say much and I went along with the family and what they were doing in a trance-like state. Almost. I mean the family don't think I'm crazy so I must have been able to pull it together somehow.
I swam and I ate and watched Disney films and I looked at drawings of dogs that the girls had made. I didn't think about anything. I didn't have time to think about anything. Everything was too new and daunting to really take anything in. I just went along with it all.
That was until I got to my room in the evenings. And I was alone. I had time to become a person with an actual mind. Although I often went to sleep early because being in a trance is actually quite tiring, before that I would have a little cry about how homesick and lonely I was. I never really get homesick or lonely. But the shock of moving to another country and realising the impact of my decision on my life was intimidating.
All I can say is thank fuck for my friends. And, of course, Facebook.
I would have been absolutely lost without you to speak to. So I would like to thank you for your patience and kind heartedness. It really helped me out far more than you have imagined.
All was not lost though. Luckily.
Speaking to friends online does have the power to make you feel 400 times better about yourself, but it doesn't really stop you from feeling lonely if they are 1000 miles away and you can't see them in front of you.
But within a week I had met a couple of other au pairs and one in particular who I instantly connected with.
Having someone who you can talk to about absolutely anything, including how often you are shitting, is a relief. And it has already made a drastic improvement to my life in Switzerland.
This Said Friend comes with me on five hour hikes through forests. In fact, she even plans them.
Said Friend has let me watch English Television when English Television is being aired. And not on my 11inch MacBook Air screen with a slow internet connection, but on a 40inch LED television.
Said Friend listens to my stories about boys and friends from home and never tells me to shut up about how much the toddler I look after can drain all my energy with his eagerness for new games every three and half minutes.
Said Friend introduced me to the English Speaking World of Zurich.The result of which means I have met some incredibly lovely people who even continue to associate themselves with me after I have collapsed outside of a bar, vomited after five too many vodkas, and after one paid for my taxi ride home.
Perhaps they are just still waiting for me to pay him back.
Basically, I have learnt that no matter where you go or what you do or how you do it, the most important thing you need to enjoy doing these things is people. You need your old friends. Your friends for life who are always there to support you, no matter how many times you complain about the same issue. And you need new friends. New people to make you feel like you are living life and living it on top of hills with amazing views.
Friendships really are the key to happiness.
And although watching X Factor on a Saturday evening might not seem much to you, having someone who gives you the opportunity to do just that, to make you feel settled and content with your life as you currently know it, is something that shouldn't be taken for granted.
That, dear readers, pretty much sums up the generalities of the beginning of my trip.
I did say they would be generalities but there will be plenty more to come.