I miss my hammer

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Waiting for our furniture, we decided to buy some basic stuff from IKEA so we can get out of our apartment hotel.
I’m quite proud of my check list, so far I have put together; four wardrobes, six chairs, one table, two beds + headboard and one kitchen unit (for kids). I didn’t even have a hammer, used a stone from the garden. All this together with a 1,5 year old who wants to help out…

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Equipped

I equipped the family with skis today. The feeling of having your own skis again…its awesome!

Four long years without snow. The only thing that I was truly sad missing is SA.

When I remember my childhood there were long, warm and light summers and cold, dark, magical winters.
Christmas includes snow, red noses, cold fingers, dark mornings and evenings. I am so looking forward spending Christmas here. A full day in the pist coming home and walking around all fresh and exhausted in your thermo underwear drinking hot chocolate and resting in front of the fire place.

Everyone here talks about spring. I pray for the longest winter Wildhaus has ever seen. I want to ski in Mai!

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View from our dining room

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Found this on Vittorio’s ski pants

Mountain Angel with a soft heart…

We decided to take our car and drive up to a small mountain lake. When we passed the sign saying “snow chains required” we didn’t give it a second thought. We drove on and everything went fine until we had to stop to let a passing car through. We stopped and when we tried to start again we ended up in a snowdrift standing diagonal across the road. No one could pass and we couldn’t move.

The man in the other car looked like a mountain Hells Angel. When he stepped out of the car we prepared getting yelled at for taking two innocent kids out in a poorly equipped car and ignoring every sign since the last 10 minutes. And all in Schweizerdeutsch . At least an “amateur” through gritted teeth.

Nothing, he was the friendlies guy!
He looked at the car and said “ein moment” and then he took his car and drove back the way he came. Five min later he came back with a bucket of sand. For at least 20 min we tried everything and eventually he got the car straight and backed it down to better, not so steep grounds. I drove his car (awesome 4×4 Russian Lada). While I followed him, I suddenly felt I wasn’t alone in the car. I checked the backseat and found a Chihuahua and a Jack Russell. An mountain angel with a soft heart for small dogs.

I gave him a big hug and told him I wanted his car. We spoke English the whole time and he spoke Schweizerdeutsch, and yet we understood one another in some miraculous way.

Lesson learned – always have a shovel in the car. Always warm clothes (which we had) and always always always respect the signs…

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After that adventure we went to Lischtenstein and took a walk up to the castle.

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Organisation!

The adventure continues.
Yesterday was amazing, we woke up to sunshine. The mountains showed off, white snowy tops agains a crisp blue sky.

We went to Vittorio’s school and handed in his paper, he is starting on tuesday next week with Mrs Holmström. And yepp she is Swedish. Oh and the the headmistress lived in Joburg for a while…(signes)

Then we went to Gams to try out the local pizzerias. We already tried pizzeria Zorro so it was time for nr two (forgot the name). We took a long walk around the little town and every where we looked was just mountains and beautiful hills. Wow!

Today it’s raining again. The city/town looks like any other boring grey town. But the fact that I know what is behind the clouds makes it different. And rain in the valley means snow on the top!

We went to Andrea’s kindergarten and were impressed by the organisation and the layout. What a beautiful building (made by Hilty of course). Hopefully he starts next week. Fabio’s office is 200 meter away so I know who will do the drop off.

Then we went to the Rathaus and got instructions on what colour our dustbins must be in (orange) and that we must put our name on the door. Organisation organisation organisation.

Now we just came home from Vittorio’s school and I have been invited to my first Swiss baby shower yeay!

Yesterday’s weather

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Today..

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Day 1

Gabi on 12th has become Gabi in the Alps. On Tuesday we left our dear beloved Joburg and our friends for a new adventure.

I wish I could tell you what this new place is all about, but I still have no
clue…I know skiing is a big thing ;)

I give you three observations from yesterday.

1. People are very friendly! The girl who works in the restaurant really tried to give us instructions in English and all with a smile on her face. Then I asked for a decaf Cappuccino and got warm milk…I thought that was quite sweet and logic.

2. We walked from our house (where we don’t live yet) up to the local pizzeria. V was very fascinated of the snow and told me it was like ice lollies, he ran out on a muddy field to make hand prints in the snow. We all went with him to experience it together. We all stood in the middle of a muddy (super muddy) field looking at a small patch of white brown snow. I wonder what our neighbours were thinking.

3. Walking up to the local pizzeria, we past the barn (!), and said hello to the two small cows and the sheep.

Wish us good luck today!

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I just had to…

I live in two realities

Reality 1.

I woke up this morning, the sky was clear blue and the air was full of buzzing insects. I took Vittorio to School 200m from our house. We walked in the sunshine, 14th street down, 5th avenue and then 15th street. After leaving Vittorio, I picked up the dogs and drove to Delta Park. Good music in my ears, I decided to sing out loud while I was running along the spruit. Max and Svea ran all over the place, so happy to be out and about. After the run, I went back home through Craighall park, Hamilton Road and then first avenue, then 15th street. When Im in the shower I get two watsapp messages they say…

Reality 2.

Message: Suspicious vehicle old Toyota. We went for a run this morning around 8:30 (in parkhurst) and this vehicle pulled up close by us. Single b male was very intimidating. Last seen at verity park in Parkhurst 

(At 7:45 I walked with my son and more or less passed Verity Park…)

Next message

Att hijacking at 133 15th Street Parkhurst, 3bm, 2 confirmed armed with firearms in a white vehicle unknown make and reg, nothing taken, no injuries. No further info

(At 8:45 I drove passed 133 15th Street with my car after the run in Delta park)

These messages are from the from neighbours watch list. They send out things that happen in the area so you can keep an eye out. I didn’t reflect on the messages more than ok- I’ll keep an eye out.

It sometimes feel like I live in a bubble. All these thing happens around me and all I see are blue skies and buzzing insects. I know I take precautions and I always have an eye on my surroundings. If I feel something might not be right, I don’t hesitate. Even now while writing this post, I double checked that the garage door was locked. If I see a suspicious car outside my driveway, I pass and I call the security (happened this weekend). 9/10 its nothing but I never never never take the risk.

I hesitated to write this post, but this is my reality and this blog is about me. Lately I have had no motivation to write, partly because I want to write about my reality. Not about being a mom, being an expat, house wife. I want to write about my reality and I just can’t. I can’t because it is sometimes tough and very different from Sweden. I know crime exists in Sweden but I think you know what I mean. I can’t write about it because I don’t want to worry anyone especially my family. And this is putting a wet cloth over my motivation.

So I had to write this short post, I just had to. Its not much but it made me a bit happier. And from now on I will try to add a small taste of Joburg reality, an not only the good stuff. I love Joburg to bits and I will keep writing about its amazing entrepreneurial spirit, its pulse and the PEOPLE. But I will also add a small part that stings because that is my reality, something I live with 24/7.

To my sweet son Andrea

The evening before you were born, your father and I had dinner the “normal way”, sitting in our kitchen on uncomfortable high chairs, eating tuna salad (your dad) and pasta (me). I think we watched the first episode of Sopranos. Your dad’s gift to me, so I could have something to do while breastfeeding.

Your dad had taken a couple of days of and we were desperately trying to sleep train Vittorio before your arrival. Meaning:

  1. Not let him sleep in our bed
  2. Not let him sleep with me
  3. Sleep on his own in his own room ….alone

We (your dad) had managed step 1 and 2….but he still spent more or less the night in V’s bed waking up with stiff shoulders. I got some good night sleeps though.

At 09:00 am we (me and Vittorio) parked the car outside Bambananis for a playdate with Su and Lotti. I felt a little bit uncomfortable and the stomach was hard but nothing else. During the playdate I realise that I have contractions and I send an sms to my midwife Sue saying “I’m having contractions very small but still…Every 20 min ish. Not strong!

At around 11 we leave Bambananis and Su makes sure that I get all the way home. I sms Fabio and he promise to be home at 12.

I put Vittorio to bed and I lie down. Now I’m having contractions every 10 min for 1 min, took two Panados  and smsed my midwife and doula. Fabio came home at 12:00 and ran down to VovoTelo to buy some lunch. At 13:00 our outdoor furniture arrived and we managed to install them between my contractions. At 14:00 the contractions hadn’t changed much but I really didn’t want Vittorio to wake up and see us leave. So we decided to make a “run for it” between contractions.

In the car I smsed my midwife and doula again and said  – I’m on my way. Sue called me and explained that they were 45 min away and that Genesis would not let me in without my caretakers. I felt a bit stupid and also my contractions were starting to fade. Then my doula called and asked me if we couldn’t wait at home another hour. I didn’t want to turn around so I faked a contraction on the phone – wonder if anyone ever done that? Then I said that we could park at Genesis and walk around zoo lake while waiting for them.

Arriving at Genesis it felt like my contractions were gone. This made me quite nervous – I really didn’t want them to send me home again. So while waiting (in the playground at Genesis) I walked around rubbing my tummy and trying to make the contractions more active. When Sue and Rosalia came – I excused myself and said that they are probably going to send me home. They laughed and said – well lets see. We got the same room as the last time, so you and your brother are borne in the same room.  We were left alone at first, I told Fabio not to unpack anything as I really felt too confortable. I walked around rubbing my tummy and trying to get the contractions going. Eventually they came with the “equipment” to measure the contractions. And I told myself – I’ll be happy if I’m 2cm open. They checked – 6 cm. YEAY – we got to stay.

While they started to build the pool, Fabio laid down next to me and held my hand. So from 15:30 to around 16:45, we had a quite confortable time. I got stronger contractions but I focused to lie completely still and just breath through. Your dad massaged the palm of my hand, pushed every time I breathed out, it really helped. Sometimes he pushed too hard and it actually hurt more than the contraction. I thought that was quite funny. We had a really great time and laughed a lot saying “we have to do this again”. I managed to get runners high after every contraction so I was quite high. We also noticed that the air con went on and off. And in some miraculous way it always went on when I had a contraction. At 16:45, Sue came back to measure me. I was 8 cm open and everything was fine. Suddenly the water broke, you jiggled you head. The last words I remember was Sue saying now it is going to go a bit faster. Yep ….

17:05 and I saw your beautiful face for the first time.

My dear Andrea, you rock the world! You are the coolest most relaxed child I have ever met. This first year has been a though one, because of your older brother, you have been sick a lot, even admitted to hospital and having grommets at 8 months.

I see your personality so clearly and I know we are in for a tough but fun ride. You are probably even more stubborn than you brother and and that smile just gets you away with everything.

Happy birthday sweet sweet sweet Andrea!

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Frankfurt…

20140919-165416-60856319.jpgLeaving OR Tambo yesterday. I love that airport especially the welcoming circle. It is truly a rainbow nation.

The night was ok, extremely uncomfortable but I saw a great movie, Chef. It’s a pure luxury to travel on our own, pure luxury!

20140919-165625-60985725.jpgWaiting for our flight in Frankfurt and using the freeeee Internet, eating a panini and watching a A380 dock. Truly a big airplane. Thinking about the internship I got at Airbus working on the propulsion system. As an engineer I should have been jumping with joy, instead I chose L’Oréal & Lancôme, every girls dream…or maybe just mine.