Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Settling in

So I am totally enraptured with our new apartment. Which feels great - I was a wee concerned that I would like it only in comparison to B's studio, and I'd start bugging B to move in another year or two (which is totally normal in Boston - many people I knew there, myself included, often moved every few years, but here, it's definitely not done. People find a place and hunker down).

But instead, I find that each time I tackle something, it becomes more awesome. I am currently baking cookies, my first attempt at baking here, and it's wonderful. The oven preheats normally, the estimated cooking times in recipes are accurate, and even though the kitchen is small, it's set up smartly and it's very easy to make things without lots of running around.

Today is a holiday (Labor Day), so B is home and we did a fair amount of sorting this morning and putting what we can away. The spare room is currently our holding space, so there are still a good dozen boxes and bags in there, but I felt ready enough that I just brought up 2 suitcases from downstairs to open and explore (I unzipped the first one and decided to bake the cookies instead, so maybe I wasn't totally ready).

Yesterday B took off work (his company grants a day off for moving locally, which sounds like a very reasonable policy) and we headed to Ikea. While I like to think that I am an adult and past buying furniture at Ikea, it turns out I'm totally not. There are a few pieces I am holding out for in terms of quality (mainly a couch and a decent mattress), but we ended up with quite a long list of items that we'll order for home delivery. However, we won't receive them until we come back from US in mid/late May, so there's only a limited amount of unpacking we can currently do.

For some problems, it's been one step forward and one step back. We picked up our new TV yesterday, which B was keen on setting up - but since we don't have a TV stand, it's currently just sitting on the living room floor. We bought some curtains at Ikea yesterday, so that we could keep our blinds up. Unfortunately, all curtains here turn out to be three meters long (!), so they dragged a bit. We tied them up so they don't cover the floor, but the knot of course defeats the purpose of having them prevent people from seeing inside. I am trying to convince B that this is a sign that I need a sewing machine.

I spent a couple hours outside planting some seeds and plantlings today, as well as pulling some weeds from the flower beds (I HOPE they were weeds - I tried to only pull out stuff I was confident about or that appeared dead).

In the containers: strawberry plants and a pepper plant. In the beds behind, a rose bush, more strawberry plants, and many plants of uncertain assignment.
 It was perfect weather to be outside, and apparently some neighbors felt the same way. There is a German-speaking family on one side of us with a young son and daughter (I'm horrible at guessing children's ages, but I would say the son was 5 and the girl maybe 2.5?). The entire family was sitting on their patio, and the boy had a play bow and an arrow that he was shooting around. We exchanged friendly hellos, but nothing more - I am still a bit unsure what the protocol is in apartments here, but I've heard that Swiss neighbors are usually not terribly welcoming at first (fine by me - otherwise I'd would've had to give my standard "Sorry, I speak only a little German" and pulled B out of the apartment to make conversation).

In the containers: tomato plant, raspberry plants, and 2 trays of expired seed packets (we'll see if any of them sprout). Behind - another rosebush, forsythia, and more unknown plants. This summer's garden will certainly be surprising, if nothing else.
At some point, apparently the little boy's arrow went missing, as both parents spent a bit of time wandering around on the hill looking for it. Later, B came out to join me on the patio, and the little boy gave us several curious looks as he re-emerged and continued the hunt. At one point while directly in front of us, he called back to his mother on their patio (I understood nothing but "Mama.....").

B turned to me and said, "He said that he thinks the strange lady next door stole his arrow."

To be fair, I wouldn't judge the boy if he thought this figure was in the business of stealing arrows. (Also, note the size of the plant I am holding in my hand. I really hope it was, in fact, a weed)
Of course, it turns out that the little boy actually said nothing of the sort. B is wonderful at straight-faced bold lies (at our wedding, he almost convinced my cousin that he used to play golf professionally), and usually I can call him. However, this time I bought it hook, line, and sinker. Point to B.

As punishment for him, I'm eating all the cookies. And they are go-ood.


  1. Sounds like you are finally settling in - it makes such a difference to have a place where you are comfortable and feels like home, right? Can't wait to see more of the garden as it takes shape (and I hope you stay a while - I need to finagle a way to see it all in person!). In the meantime, if you are bored (ha!), I nominated you for a blog award/meme... If you have the time/inclination, it would be fun to read your answers :)

  2. OMG that arrow comment had me ROFL and still lol when I read it was a Bruno-lie... everyone at work asked me why I was lol... that Bruno... always been like that... I was pretty good at catching those in comparison w/ Cristina that is SO gullible.
    You'll have to give pointers to my B on how to grow tomatoes b/c his have fail everytime he's tried.
    Also, so what did the lil boy actually said?

    1. He timed it perfectly. Sometimes I get mad at him when I believe his lies, but this one was really funny. I have no idea what the boy said, you'd have to ask B!