Not everything about living in Switzerland is adventure, chocolate and, cheese. Not everything is hiking, alps and scenic views from trains. No. Sometimes it's crippling homesickness, isolation and feeling disconnected from everyone who knows you.
Within the first month of us living here we had the following conversation with family and friends back home on more than one occasion.
Person back Home: Did you hear that *insert name here* *insert life changing news here that is several weeks old.*
Person back home: Oh we thought you would have heard.
Us: From whom would we have heard this?
Person back home: Through the grapevine.
Us: Sorry our grapevine was lost in the move.
Yes these conversations actually happened. They actually still happen. Not as frequently but they still occur. Whilst we appreciate the fact that our families like to think of us as still on top of all the family news, gossips and rumours we're simply not. I guess in a world of email, facebook, skype and smart phones people assume we're just as connected as we always were. Like we're still plugged int. Unfortunately we're not. We're generally the people last to know now. We've gradually grown to be okay with this.
The time change has a lot to do with this. We are 5 1/2 hours ahead of my parents. 7 hours ahead of Johnathans family and most of our friends. 8 hours ahead of my Oma Regina and my brother and a whopping 10 hours ahead of my Aunt and Uncle on Canada's west coast. These are not trifling time differences and lead to a delay in the relaying of news.
Due to the time difference and a few other factors I didn't find out from my Dad that my Oma had passed until the next afternoon. It was no one fault. The news was coming from Manitoba to Newfoundland to Switzerland. That's a lot of time zones. However enter logging onto Facebook, there was a vague Facebook post about it from a family member that I saw when I logged on Friday morning. Yes, FACEBOOK told me my Oma was gone before my father could tell me. Cue freak out and a phone call to my husband at work. His instructions, until someone from my family tells me personally calls me and tells I needed to go about my day and get the hell off facebook. Now I'm not angry this happened. I'm not mad at the person who posted it. They had no way of knowing there was a granddaughter that didn't know yet. It just happens and it's one of the perils of living in the age of everyone posting everything on facebook.
Skype on the other hand has this amazing ability to invite you into your families home but at the same time remind you, that its only an illusion. You can't reach through that monitor and hug your niece. You can't cuddle your cat. You can't just grab a snack from the fridge. You can't tickle your goddaughter. You just sit on someones counter, coffee table or foot stool and watch everything unfold.
|Our niece, her Uncle Francis and, us on Christmas Day 2011|
Yes, we are aware we could have avoided all of this by not moving here. But as I've stated many time. The regret would have been worse than anything else. We accept we're going to be the last know for as long as we're far away. It's one of those prices you pay for having an adventure.