Wednesday, May 25, 2011

If I stay really busy,


It's sitting there. Sad and lonely. Waiting for my pen to begin making lists. The Transportation files. Lists of what is in every room and what the replacement value is. In these moves, it's better to be over-insured than under-insured - you actually penalize yourself if you're too conservative in the event that things 'happen.'

Oh, and I'm supposed to indicate what items were bought overseas but over 1 year used and what is under 1 year. Because US Customs would like some tax please on anything over the allowed customs limit - same as if you took a trip to Europe and came home with some souvenirs. As if living in Zurich we didn't already surpass that dollar amount by purchasing new socks and underwear for growing kids. 8% VAT already included in all purchases. Half of which we couldn't substantiate anyway because there are NO receipts given for most of our stuff - hello! bargaining with Egyptian's in the marketplace/ceramics on the road in Portugal. Really - they have no replacement value in $$ because it's value is in our memory of where we were when we bought it. We don't spend much on souvenirs - I take lots of pictures.

Oh, I'll get to the paperwork. Hey Bart - I even made a 'dump' run so I didn't have to look at it. Maybe all those years as an accountant filling out forms traumatized me.

My other trauma was the last transfer(we hope) of $$ into the Swiss account. Lowest transfer rate ever and I had to look twice. I haven't talked about this for a while so I'll explain: Bart was paid by the US side, not Swiss, so we've been transfering $$ for 5 years into our "swiss bank account" to pay the bills. Which sounds cool and all until the USA had a spat with UBS and now nobody really wants to give accounts to Americans unless they have to (ie - we're residing in their country). Note - they will ask us "where do you want your money wired to so we can close your account?" as soon as our deregistration and address change is processed.

When we first moved here, and I'm using round numbers to assist in the mental imagery, the rate was about 1.24 = for every $10,000 transfered, 12,400chf was deposited into the account. That rate went as high as 1.29 at its short lived peak. But things have changed. Last transfer was at .86 = $10,000 is deposited as 860chf. That is a swing of over 500 chf purchasing power. Times are not good for the American tourists in Switzerland. I can't complain too loudly as we do get a COLA (cost of living adjustment) but when prices are 2-3x higher and you see the change reflected so dramatically - it makes you think really hard.

I'm still thinking hard about that hot pink floral purse.

I did get one piece of paperwork completed today (2 actually as I have 2 kids). The Health form required by the State of CA for children enrolling in school. I didn't know about this and was glad I checked the school district website - not so happy about the 19 pages per child forms that have to be filled out. What is it with the paperwork? I'd rather pull weeds. I have been and the garden looks nice by the way.

OK - rambling. I called the District and they said our Dr. here could sign off on the forms so off we went this morning. Kendra was not happy to get an MMR shot. For whatever reason, she was only administered one and so she's in the catch-up category for Switzerland and the US. At one point the Dr. says "so she's healthy?" and I said "yes, as far as I know" to which he laughed and signed off. I'm thinking my kid's aren't the target market for these health forms. He did check all the other items but found it very 'interesting' as they don't do this same procedure in Switzerland. People are expected to have the common sense to take themselves and their children to the Dr. as needed and required. Oh, and everyone's required to have insurance.........

Rambling again.....

Another distraction: this lovely young lady playing in her Spring Arts Festival. This intense concentration was during a Brandenburg Concerto (JS Bach). She was on fire. Very proud.

And when all is said and done and I still don't want to look at the paperwork, I can pop one of these into my mouth:

There are only 3 left. Meringues with a little almond in them. From my favorite bakery in Colmar, France. Seen here:

Colmar is in the Alsace region bordering Germany and Switzerland. I probably love the surrounding small villages even more but Colmar has big parking lots and lots of shops due to the tourist interest. The Disney "Beauty and the Beast" village must have been modeled after the Alsace region - I'll have to post some more pic's later.

The Alsace is known for its wines - light, fruity - White, Rose and a Pinot Noir that looks like a
Rose to me and someone once described it as "punch." I wouldn't call it "punch" but it is light and easy with food. Their "pink sparkling wine" is also popular - they can't call it Champagne because it's not grown in the Champagne region. And it's hard to find these wines in neighboring Switzerland. A political and economical matter.

I find it funny that I have a favorite bakery in France. What I fell in love with there was the Macaroons. Crispy coconut on the outside and soft in the middle. There are no pictures as I ate them quickly. Maybe this is why I like to take people to Colmar? So I can visit the bakery.

And this restaurant:

Also a favorite. But we (mom & I) had eaten a large lunch (salad w/ Quiche Lorraine) in Riquewhir and just weren't hungry. They make a delicious Tarte Flambe.

That's it. It's bedtime and I've successfully avoided the paperwork for another night running. And emails, I need to get to the emails. I need a secretary.


1 comment:

Judy said...

Counting everything you own? Ugh. I remember that well. Hubby helped with that a bunch before he headed to the US to start his job. Moving overseas (and back) is so much more involved that packing a suitcase, huh?