Sunday, October 07, 2001

Diary: 10/7/2001

Dear friends and family,

This was a slower week, a quieter week. There were less major events, but also less "extremes" - including the lows.

On Monday we went back to the house to take some measurements. We also used the time to capture the place with the video camera. We're pretty sure our stuff from the US will fit, but we also know that we'll need lots of closets. Unlike houses in the US, there are no built-in closets whatsoever! If you have a chance to buy stock in Ikea, now is the time because once we go shopping they can close their doors for the year!

We also had a chance to drive around the immediate area. We found a small playground within walking distance, which overlooks the surrounding countryside. As opposed to where we are now, which is very urban, Morrens is extremely pastoral. You can see (and hear, but hopefully not smell) cows grazing nearby. Morrens is also located relatively low - 718 meters above sea level. Just to give an idea, it hasn't snowed down any further than 2000 meters up the mountains yet. We're not sure when it will snow near us, or how much to expect. One couple from Chicago said "it's nothing", but the natives around here talk about winter tires, chains, and slipping and sliding. I guess we'll just have to see.

Another exciting even that registers on the "normalcy" scale happened this week - Isabelle lost a tooth. We are all happy to report that the International Corps of Tooth Fairys were able to locate us. They were apparently baffled with the exchange rates, however, and Isbelle walked away with a whopping 5 swiss francs and 1 US dollar.

Debbie spent a few of her days this week driving around with friends, trying (successfully) to find various shops or locations. On Friday a large group traveled past Geneva into France. This visit proved once and for all that things are waaaaaay cheaper over there - sometimes as much as a quarter of the cost.

Saturday is our wash day, so while Debbie and Joram shlepped 5 loads up and down steps, Leon and the girls went out and ran errands in the morning. Then we all spent the day making runs from school to the house, timing each route and trying to find the fastest/easiest/simplest one.

Sunday dawned wet and stormy and we worried that it would be another "blah" day. It took a long time to get moving but we finally decided to test another route from school to the new house. It turned out to be the fastest yet - just under 20 minutes. Granted, that's with Sunday traffic, but we'll find a few shortcuts along the way as we get more familiar with the surroundings.

We also took time to drive around the village of Morrens (not much. Don't blink or you'll miss it). And also find the closest shopping.

By the time we finished all that, the sun had broken through the clouds and things were warming up. We headed down to the lake again, to a park that had a min-train for the kids plus a nice play area. The kids burned off some energy until 4:00 when we met another family and headed up to the house of a couple who was moving back to the states, and selling all their good stuff. We were the vultures. It turns out that this couple is moving out and selling their house to the family that currently lives in our future house in Morrens! How weird is that?!? On top of it, the woman grew up in Shaker heights. In the end, we got a great deal on a bunch of stuff we needed like bookshelves, armoires, and more.

All in all, a nice way to wrap up the week.

This week should also be relatively quiet. We are getting ready for next week, when the girls are on vacation and we've decided to check out EuroDisney. If anyone calls, please don't say anything, as we haven't told them yet and probably won't until we're on the train! In any case, we'll have to spend a little time packing and preparing for that trip out.

It's been great hearing from everyone on the various goings-on back home. You are always in our hearts and never far from our thoughts.
Debbie, Leon, Heather, Isabelle, and Joram

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