Friday, December 13, 2013

The Move to Zurich!

Henry in the back seat, enjoying a rawhide.
Since Henry (our dog) would be flying in a crate with the luggage, we wanted to take one, direct flight to Zurich. Unsurprisingly, that's not an option from Columbus, so we booked a flight out of Chicago, rented a car to drive the six hours there and stayed one night in a hotel so that we could all rest a bit between legs of the journey.

The drive went very well. It was easily the longest car ride Henry has ever experienced, and he handled it well until the last 20 minutes, or so, when he began to pace and whine.

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we met up with my brother, Joe, for a late lunch and a trip to the airport. Thank god he went with us to wrangle luggage and Henry as we dropped off the rental and checked in everything.

The process of checking in Henry for the flight was a bit confusing. The staff at Swissair weighed him and his cage and argued about whether the charge us for a small or medium cage (without every measuring it). After decided on the cheaper charge (phew!), they had us walk Henry over to have his cage x-rayed. We then put Henry in the cage, which he did for a treat without fuss (yay!) and left him sitting by the staff, watching us walk away (terrible!). He didn't bark, unless he started after we left. I was feeling pretty good about the decision to fly him in cargo.

The flight to Zurich was uneventful on our end. When we arrived in Zurich, Henry was waiting for us quietly in his cage, all of our luggage was intact and Henry's paperwork passed the customs inspection (YES!! More on Henry's paperwork fiasco another time). This was a huge relief!

Can you spot the dirty, holey underwear?
Matt's boss and co-worker met us at the airport and drove us to our temporary apartment in Uster, Switzerland. This is the point where things began to head south. We arrived at an apartment that, at first glance, appeared to still be lived in! Dirty clothing and linens were piled in the closet and all over the bed It was absolutely disgusting. We eventually learned that the previous tenant had moved, but had left TONS of his stuff, along with bags of stinky garbage and broken dirty, furniture. Without basic cleaning supplies or any knowledge of how to dispose of things, we were at a bit of a loss for what to do.

Luckily, Matt's boss quickly got us set up in a nearby hotel while the apartment is cleaned and repaired. We should be ready to move in on Tuesday, fingers crossed.

In the mean time, things have been rough. The hotel is nice, but the internet is too slow and choppy for streaming Netflix or Slingbox and the cable is all German and French (I know, I know. I better get used to it). If we want to use our small kitchenette, we have to buy some cookware, so we're eating a lot of take out.

Henry and Matt are pooped.
Worst of all, Henry is an absolute mess. He barks and cries his head off the minute we're out of his site and does. not. stop. Seriously. We went to breakfast at the hotel and he was still going strong after 20 minutes.  We've tried every method we can think of to calm him, none of which have worked. He refuses to sleep and jumps up barking at the slightest sound, so he's incredibly grumpy and tired. I think the best we can do is give him time to adjust to the new sites, smells and sounds (especially the sounds). In the mean time, we're bringing him everywhere we can with us, which often results in one of us standing outside with the dog in the cold while the other runs the errand. Hopefully, once we settle in to our temporary apartment, he'll adjust. Fingers-crossed!

Otherwise, we're getting things done slowly, but surely. I am just desperate for a bit of normalcy. An English (American) tv program would be wonderful. A meal in a restaurant instead of sitting on our hotel bed would be heaven. So would a decent pillow. Tuesday can't come soon enough!

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