Whether packing up two giant suitcases and shuffling them a matter of a 100 metres of so falls under the classication of “moving,” I do not know, but I know I am getting tired of moving, even if they are micro-moves.
How did we get this way? Here is how:
Before arriving in Switzerland, we had emailed back-and-forth with the hotel about their long-stay suites that had been recently renovated and did not require a lease. Leases are an issue when one arrives without a residency card, but one cannot get a residency card without a lease/permanent address. This Catch-22 is a modern form of torture that leaves no outward bruising.
But when we arrived, the suites the agent showed us were nothing like the ones on the website.
We shrugged. We’ve been overseas before and cheating, fooling and/or overcharging North Americans is standard, so we were just glad to get a place with hot water.
Several nights sleeping by the corner of a downtown intersection, however, wore on us, so I returned to the hotel desk to ask if there were any other suites. Daniela, the front desk clerk, said yes, and then showed me two absolutely fabulous suites that matched up with the website photos we had seen from Canada.
How can this discrepancy be explained?
The two suites – the noisy one we were in and the courtyard one I quickly snapped up yesterday are in the same building, owned by the same company, however, the ugly ones are sub-leased to a rental company. Our corporate rep mixed up the two.
Our employer had already signed a long-stay lease with the ugly-apartment agency – were we trapped?
Happily not. Our corporate rep, who is redeeming the reputation of bureaucrats everywhere, quickly negotiated a solution and in the space of 45 minutes we moved to the new suite.
Daniela, the front desk clerk, is a wonder. She came over after her shift, dressed in her street clothes and ready to head home, but insisted on helping me move, then refused to take a tip.
I am beginning to think the Swiss are practically perfect in every way.
This weekend we head for Lucerne. Or Lausanne. I’m not sure which.
How your blog brings back memories. When I backpacked through Switzerland in 1982 with a girlfriend I wanted to go to the village of Leysin to go skiing. I remember trying to buy a ticket at the train station in Zurich and the clerk asking if I mean Lucern or Lausanne. I had to keep saying, no, c’est Leysin.
I’m language-obsessed, owing to my many limitations. Today, I said “Bless your heart” (a phrase I picked up when living in Atlanta) to our hotel manager. When the light of understanding came on, he said, “Ah, it means that I walk among the angels.” Close enough.
The new place looks very nice 🙂
Thanks – it is uber-quiet.