Oct 06 2010

2 years, and it still isn’t easy

by at 10:27 pm

Not that living anywhere is easy.  This move, plus, just simply still being in Switzerland, has added plenty of fuel to (re?)discovering some odd things about this place.

  1. Let’s start with laundry.  As if there is a better place to start.  New place, Sunday slots, schedules we sign up for…easy peasy, right?  Nope.  Turns out the long time slots which are an inhibitor to frequent and short laundry runs have a reason for existing, and it isn’t washing machine lunch breaks.  There is no clothes dryer in the laundry room.  Yes indeed, at least in the traditional sense.  Instead, there are clothes lines in the shared laundry room with a giant fan at one end.  Said fan blows cold air on your clothes, and actually works reasonably well, if you only wash a load or two at the beginning of the time block and then have the space to spread out all the clothes, and the time to regularly run down and shift them around on the lines over the course of 5 hours.  However, since we did a month’s worth of laundry on Sunday, beginning at 6:30 am, there was no way it was all getting dry by 2 pm.  So, besides turning our apartment into a spiderweb of clothes lines, we hauled the seriously damp stuff up the hill to the (now closer, still just as expensive and busy) laundromat.  By 4:30, most of our clothes were back in the apartment and dry.  We folded them on Monday night.  Our new gameplan: small amounts of laundry, often, and it will just have to take 7 hours each time.  Joy.
  2. Tourist tax.  Yes, because I have a residence permit, and because Lausanne has a tourist tax which taxes those persons here on residence permits, I have to pay it.  As if I’m a tourist.  30 chf/month for the joy of “vacationing” in Lausanne.  I was notified about this in a letter I received Monday.  Thank you, Lausanne, what a pleasant surprise.  I get to pay this on top of the money I pay the bureaucracy to create residence permits for me (95 chf/card)?  I’m suddenly appreciative of Renens.
  3. Since I’ve moved to Switzerland, I’ve had an AG, abonnement generale, which allows for the use of all public transportation in Switzerland after the hefty fee for it.  Because of the complications of paying for it on a monthly basis, I’ve always just fronted the wad of money for a yearly one.  Since we won’t be here a full year, we aimed for the monthly payment plan this time around so we could opt out after 10 months.  This required a huge amount of paperwork, since Seth also needs one this year, and since we were moving, and since both of our residents permits expired and we are waiting for new ones.  Since the monthly AG requires more trust on SBB’s part since they don’t get the money up front, and since we wanted to take advantage of the youth and partner discounts, we have to prove we’ll be here legally for at least 4 months, prove what our address is, prove we’re under 25, that we cohabit, etc.  It worked for mine, but Seth was unable to prove he’d be here for 4 months, so SBB sent his documents back.  When Seth went to the station yesterday to shell out the money for a yearly one, he had a revelation—when we leave for good, we get a document from Lausanne saying when we’re going, and then we can cancel all contracts, and for the SBB that means…we can get a refund of any unused portion of transport passes.  So Seth can get the money back from the last, unused month or two.  Why didn’t we realize that they’d do that earlier, even though they never say that is their policy?  We should’ve known by now.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “2 years, and it still isn’t easy”

  1. HSFon 15 Oct 2010 at 8:46 am

    On point #3: Oh just you WAIT until you are exiting Switzerland for real – there is a ton more paperwork for the “check out” procedure, almost more than for arriving. And with a puppy no less! Good luck!!! 🙂

  2. […] But they were happy to take my money anyway. I’m also pretty sure I’m exempt from the random tourist tax Jackie blogged […]

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