Monthly Archive for May, 2008

Notable changes

This is for you, Mum.

Here are some things I have noticed in Switzerland that have changed since I was here last:

  • Most terrible thing – that awesome cafe in the middle of Aarau (where we went after Jugendfest with Marianne with the yummy Coupe Danemark and gipfeli) is no longer there… what is in it’s place you ask? a Starbucks! No way, so disappointed!
  • Cremetta is no longer $0.90 but $1.oo, Giandor is no longer $1.30 but now $1.50. Not a major but yeah!
  • Migro Buchs is huger than ever
  • no more Aarau Bahnhof (well, it is still functional – there will be a brand new one soon)
  • Carlos has no hair

Things that haven’t changed:

  • Everyone here still smokes
  • The food is so so yummy (best bread ever)
  • Aarauer Badi still rocks
  • Grossmueti
  • such cool shoes!
  • such cool furniture stores!
  • everyone still bikes everywhere (including 70 something year old grossmueti!)

Love you so much

Two dummy Noah

My crazy kid!  We said we would get rid of the dummy when we arrived in Switzerland (was great to have it for the flight over here) as he is too old now for a dummy (he calls it ‘mummy’).  Here is a photo of how I found Noah yesterday morning in bed.

picture-050.jpg

A job for Daniel

So, we heard yesterday from Liip Web Development and they have offered Daniel an awesome job. We are stoked! He starts in June so we have a couple of weeks together to hang out and travel before he starts. The job is in Zürich so is a bit of commute from where we stay (about 30 minutes by fast train from Aarau) plus walking and catching another tram so an hour in total. But hey that is about the same as Manurewa to Auckland (except that involved a slow train going about half the distance in twice the time!). I can’t believe after two days of being in Switzerland God has blessed us with work already. Wow. So awesome. I was quite concerned about having to spend months searching for jobs which probably wouldn’t have been ideal anyway. So so excited.

We had to register today at the ‘Gemeindehaus’ (local council) of our intention to stay in Switzerland for a time. Was quite a mission trying to understand all the technical terms they used. Definitely tested my Swiss German skills. They have two options on the form for religion – either Catholic or Reformed! Too bad if you are Muslim or an Atheist!

Anyway, we haven’t done too much in the way of tourist or travel stuff. Just been settling into our house we share with my aunty Maja and two beautiful cousins – Ramon (12) and Julia (8) and guinea pigs (4 of them). Had heaps of fun walking and exploring the area. Below are some photos.

Hope you guys are doing ok without us!! We miss you heaps and heaps. Our next big mission is finding a church where we can serve and find friends.

Love you all

Toby, Noah and Julia on a tractor outside our house in Oberentfelden

Toby, Noah and cousin Julia on a tractor outside our house in Oberentfelden

view of the fields / farm at end our street

The view of the field and farm land at the end of our street (awesome weather too!)

Settling in

We’re in Switzerland!

The boys are a little unsettled, but they’re getting better; they slept much better last night than they did the night before.

Yesterday morning’s job interview went very well; I’m expecting to hear back from them this afternoon.

We’re enjoying the good weather, yummy food and the lovely country-side.
Just about to head off to the pools in Aarau.

I’ll try and get some more photos up soon.

In Hong Kong airport

Just a quick post from Hong Kong airport, courtesy of PCCW’s free Wifi, written on my E90.

The camera-purchasing adventure came to an end this morning when it became apparent that the cheap-as 450D prices were simply a lure to get me to spend more money on better lenses and to get a better model. None of the shops promising cheap prices actually had any stock, and for some reason the “warehouse was closed today”.

The shops that did have stock seemed to have less persuasive staff and more realistic prices; i.e. they were comparitive with the parallel import prices in New Zealand.

So I remain without camera (except for my current digital compact, the venerable Canon Powershot S50).

The boys are really tired, but are having a ball on the playground at gate 23 here in the departure lounge.

We’ve still got three hours to kill before we board, so are hoping the wee chaps will soon wear themselves out and have a sleep. We seem to be travelling very well, so are quite grateful.

Catch you later!

We’re in Hong Kong!

I love Hong Kong!

We arrived in Hong Kong early this morning, and after a mini-van trip to our hotel, we’ve pretty much been resting, exploring a little around the hotel, and basically taking it easy. The boys are very tired, and slept through dinner tonight, although they’ve both been really great to travel with.

I’m very impressed with the friendliness and quality of service we’ve experienced here in Kowloon. We had dinner at The Spaghetti House, just around the corner from our Hotel, Holiday Inn, Golden Mile.

A couple of photos I’ve snapped on my new Nokia E90:

Looking for a camera

So I’ve always had a hankering for a Digital SLR. I’ve had my eye on either the Canon EOS 400D (Digital Rebel XTi / Kiss X Digital) or the Canon EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi / Kiss X2 Digital). I’d tried to do a little research on prices before I left, and had determined that they were cheaper in Hong Kong than in New Zealand. But a short walk down Nathan Road
found several retailers selling the 400D and 450D for seriously cheap prices, e.g. $3800HKD for the 400D with lens kit – that’s $637NZD. The cheapest parallel import 400D kit in New Zealand is about $879NZD.

Being rather cautious, I went back to the Hotel, found some WiFi and did a bit more research. I found Roland Lim’s post on camera shopping in Hong Kong, and he recommended Echo Photo & Audio on Hankow Road, which was just around the corner from our hotel. I talked to the chap there and he had neither the 400D nor the 450D in stock, but had a price of $4500HKD for the 400D. When I asked why the guys on Nathan Road were much cheaper, he said a couple of things; firstly that the units they sell were sometimes Canon factory seconds, and secondly that they’d would try their darnedest to up-sell you, so if you know what you want, stick to it and don’t be swayed.

So while the “gray market” sales are heaps cheaper, they may be of dubious quality, and most probably won’t have any sort of warranty. And yet the genuine official retail units are still about as cheap as parallel imported units are in New Zealand.

So, I’ve not bought anything yet, but I have a few more places to check out tomorrow – Tin Cheung Camera on Carnarvon Road, and a couple of other places, as per Roland’s recommendation.
Anyway, enough camera talk – it’s time for bed.

We’re flying out to Zurich late tommorrow night – until next time, bye!

One more sleep!

So we’re finally packing our bags. The reality of it all is starting to sink in. I think the boys are feeling it, too. They’re a little unsettled, watching all their stuff getting stuffed into suitcases.

Thank you to everyone who came to say “bye!” last night; we’re going to miss you all lots!

Perhaps my next post will be from Hong Kong or Switzerland?

1 week to go

I got a suitcase out today to throw some stuff in to take with us. I managed to fill it in about 55 seconds. Be interesting to see how much all our bags weigh!

So what are our plans for when we get there? Dan has an exciting possibility for a job in Zurich with a web development company. Will let you know more on the 13th May (Crazy Dan is going for a face to face meeting for this job the day after we arrive – jet lag and all!). I plan to be a lady of leisure. Kind of… with two kids in tow. We plan lots of hikes up mountains, touring round on fast trains, visiting friends and relatives and eating good good food! It is incredible how many of our friends are also heading out to Europe and how many already live over there. So will have lots of visitors too. We are really excited about joining a Swiss church too. Be hard to find one as cool as Trinity though.

What we will miss: you, Trinity church, marshmallows, the elections, Giselle (and her parents and our families)

What we won’t miss: helen clark, Auckland’s wonderful public transport system

Come visit us. We will initially be staying at my Aunty Maja’s house (the top floor has three empty bedrooms, living area and bathroom for us – God is good!)

Talk again soon.


View Larger Map