(Swiss Expat Series)
So am going to start my article with OH MY GOD!
Omg…. I have not written in what seems like, ages!
Omg…. I work in Vevey and live in Basel!
Omg… I had a surgery on Fools day! (No kidding)
Omg… I have no idea where my life is going, like seriously and not literally. Uncertainty is uncanny!
This is not a short story
Well by all that, you would have understood that this post is not going to be short; this is going to be at least a 4 part series. (Be excited, yaaa!) So first things first, let’s talk about the elephant in the room (no am not taking about Malika Dua), “How the hell has it been going? Or more blatantly what is the aftermath of this success story” (the last time I wrote, it was about my graduation and my “swiss” job) While people usually leave these things unsaid, very similar to movies where the lovers struggle to be together and then they finally get married and BAM! That’s the end. All the married people out there, know that – that’s not the end – just the tip of the iceberg. (Stop grinning you!)
So, while I still hold my degree and my swag as my badges of honour, I have moved on from patting myself on the back, I am not even sure if I ever did that. But, for everyone who reached out, thanks, it meant a lot! Getting to the point:
My Swiss Life: The BIG UPDATE
The Corporate Dilemma
This is real, when you’re away from this zone you crave to be back and when you’re back to it – you think to yourself, was I really missing this? Often during my train rides between cities, this thought hits me – do I even want to participate in this rat race? Am I a rat? And if I am not a rat – then why am I running in the wrong race. Pretty sure, a lot of you have these thoughts of being “non-rats” in this rat race. I get over it, my work keeps me very busy.
Fortunately, I don’t have much time anymore, I barely have the time to breathe. And I am not joking.
In a man’s world…..
Amidst all this, am a woman in a man’s world – and trust me, by no means am I trying to take a sexist tone here. All the people who report to me are men, all the people who I report to are men and all the people around me are also all men. And the good thing is, I hadn’t noticed it, till someone himself pointed it out to me.
My days are filled with power points, reports, excel sheets, numbers and coordinating between people. I do not take breaks, I don’t have friends at work (except Netflix which is a great friend), I eat alone (to women, this is a big thing, ok?) and thankfully, I keep really busy to realize that I am quite alone after this change. The expat feelers are hitting me after 2 years I guess… Ironic!
I went back to work after a period of 1 and a half years, so your memory at this point gets selective. What I remembered was all the good stuff – each and every breakthrough and learning but what I forgot was the pinch of salt, salt being politics. The pinch this time is hurtful, it’s taken me time to digest the food, I was always fond of the sweet stuff.
So yea, this isn’t for everyone. People call me brave/bold (WHATEVER!), I am not really brave or anything like that – I have always been a fighter who was raised with the standard “desi” middle-class values. I just live by them, and it keeps me going, it keeps me grounded.
No Family Drama
I have always been the girl who chose her relationships over anything else, so for me, family is everything. Be it running home to India for a wedding, or be it having sleepless nights ‘coz my daughter is unwell. Life’s been kind, but I have not taken things for granted.
Everything is the same (minus the guilt) – but then the support and love keeps me going. I multitask a lot in order to manage things around my house, I have more help enabled and I have largely sacrificed my social life.
It could be better, and we as a family strive together to hit that balance. *touch wood*
Are we rich?
In a word, No. Money is actually a funny emotion, the more you have, the lesser it gives. We maintain two houses now (yea, in Switzerland 🙂 ), we eat out a lot more, our frequency of employing help has gone up – but all these are bare necessities. They are mere enablers, they do not buy happiness or contentment.
What I still enjoy the most is a cappuccino at Huguenin with my husband or my girls, sitting by the river or just strolling around Freistrasses. These mundane, routine outings are nowadays a privilege. I miss my partner-in-crime, and friend Cyndy immensely. But our stars are bound to reunite.
The FAT effect
Fit, flab and fat. I have had so much of a dry spell with my health. I will talk about my unexpected surgery in my next post (I promise you humour there…) but apart from that, who do I blame – the weather has been a bitch and so has my turbulent lifestyle. Fevers, colds, migraines, backaches and plantar fasciitis went to another level of discomfort this time around.
Sometimes, the aunts that you meet at weddings throw shit at you! Shit like, “tu itni motee kaise ho gayee hai ye toh bata?” Well hello, I am neither 22 (the thin Pragati that you remember) nor am I here to massage your ego – but then there is this silver lining. I am eating healthier (post the snarky comment) despite the lack of time, I am looking for a trainer and I am totally tracking my steps. Small beginnings, there is no other choice here than positivity. Be that person, fighter remember?
Blogging and Social Media Stardom
Today feels good, this very moment feels good – this is my pursuit of happiness. This is because, I am writing, writing after this long sabbatical and have I missed it or have I missed it? I don’t really care about stardom, what I really care about is churning out good content. There is so much, to give back and there is so much to write about – this is something I continue to love. The gratification is surreal, I still do a lot of IG stories, I enjoy doing those and I have some really special followers out there who are hooked on to my stories. However, I am no longer a social media personality but I would like to continue to have my little slice of the internet.
So come on, pull up a chair, let’s get to know each other… Stay tuned for Part 2.