Sunday, September 1, 2013

New Country, New Job - II

Well, it has been two weeks since I landed in Switzerland, a whole load of stuff has happened in those two weeks.

First was a trip to register my work permit at the Basel immigration office, then it was a trip to the tram office to order a tram pass, so I now have a photograph tram pass and then a trip to the bank to get my Swiss bank account.

I am really impressed with UBS, the interview was in English, the last went through what I needed from a bank account, went away for about 10 minutes, then came back with all the forms filled in, I just had to sign them. It took a couple of days for my Maestro card to turn up and half way through the 2nd week, my Visa and Mastercard turned up, with all the stuff for online banking, very efficient.

On the 3rd day (sounds like something out of the bible), I went to visit the house we will be renting and meet the owners. It was a very good meeting, we signed all the paperwork, and the owners showed me what furniture they were going to dispose of, and asked if I wanted it. So we now have a desk, a massive L shaped sofa, garden furniture, book cases and cupboards, this will make moving in very easy.

Instead of using the busses and trams to get around, I have tended to walk where I can, I feel I see much more of the city this way, and have been racking up more than 5km per day, so the old tummy is reducing too.

Last weekend I was invited to a party in Rheinfelden, the German side, so had the chance to use the train, which was great fun, then walked over the bridge from Switzerland to Germany, this is the 1st border crossing I have done on foot, but will not be the last.

This week has been a week of eating out.... Tuesday, Dave and Richard were over from the UK office, so I had dinner with them, Wednesday, I met up with an old friend and he took me to Germany for dinner and Thursday, I met up with the folks from the English Speaking Forum, so made some new friends there.

I am starting to get into the swing of things here in Basel, but can't wait to get Lynne over here with me. I am needing my partner, so that I can share the experiences with her, and we can explore together.

Today is Sunday, a day of rest and relaxation in Switzerland, so after a hearty breakfast of sausage and egg, I decided to go down to the river and find out what this Rhein Swim is all about... The basics, is you start at the East side of Basel, jump in the Rhein and float downstream, getting out before you hit the border...

It was cold at first, but I very quickly got used to the temperature (I think the wet suit shorts helped), then you just have to float, the current takes you quite quickly, you just need to keep a distance from the shore, otherwise you are grazing your shins on the rocks, but you also have to stay close enough to the shore, so that you don't cause a menace to any shipping... It was a great way to spend a morning, just watching the city go by.