Sunday, June 29, 2008

The train has left the station

I gave notice on my apartment yesterday! It's starting to sink in that I'm actually going to be moving home soon. There was a bit of last minute excitement--I had originally intended to leave at the end of October, but when I looked at my rental contract I was reminded that I have one of the "standard" Swiss contracts which allows me to vacate my apartment on only 2 days in the year (1 Oct or 1 Mar). If I wanted to leave 1 Nov, I'm still legally obliged to cover the rent till 1 Mar, and would have to find an "after-renter" (nachmieter) to take over the lease. I was really worried about finding someone--the place I have is fairly small and kind of dumpy (hasn't been renovated since the 70s--most places are renovated at least every 10 years) and also the neighborhood isn't so great (noisy, lots of immigrants, very near the red light district).

I realized on Thursday that if I want to leave the flat on 1 Oct I had to send in my notice by Saturday, so I hurriedly cleared the idea with my boss (he's fine with me working from home, whichever continent home is on), painstakingly wrote out several termination notices in German (for the flat, the cable TV, internet, health insurance, and "personal* insurance", all of which require 3 months notice).

I'm surprised at the mix of emotions I feel, although I guess it isn't really surprising. I'm excited and terrified at the same time--I was practically hyperventilating on the way to the post office yesterday, although that was also partly due to the impending conversation in German required to send registered mail...

I've been looking forward to going home for so long, what if I get there and don't like it? I'm sure that I've changed since I moved here (I have lived 10% of my life in Switzerland, as a matter of fact), and the coming-home culture shock in some ways must be harder than the going-abroad culture shock: I'm supposed to know and like how things work at home, right? And I'd sort of forgotten about all the logistics of international moves. A couple weeks before I moved here, I had a routine appointment with my therapist at which I blurted out "I think I have an anxiety disorder!" She looked at me and said, "You're moving to another country. You should have anxiety!" At least I can laugh at my anxiety this time around!

Mostly, though, I'm just really excited!

*I have no idea what "personal insurance" is either, but I was told it's virtually mandatory and since it's 80 bucks a year, I just paid up rather than risk some looming fiasco. I think it covers the in between things--if I hit someone while driving a car, my car insurance would cover that. I guess if I hit someone with my hair-trigger umbrella and they got injured, it would be covered by this insurance?



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