When I first arrived in Switzerland the first thing to catch my attention was the scenery. The alps off in the distance, and the beautiful architecture, certainly something I wasn’t used to in my small town part of the US. I’m sure there are beautiful places across the country, but I can only go off what I saw, which was a suburban town with one street of stores. This city, was like something out of a fairy tale, and I spent the first two days there just wandering around, looking at every tiny detail. I’m sure I would have only been more obvious with a shirt that stated tourist in bold capital letters, but I was fine with being enraptured with the beauty of a place I was just now seeing for the first time.
By this point I was settled in the small apartment arranged ahead of my travels here. It was nothing overly special, mainly a room with a bed, and a separate room that doubled as a kitchen and living room. For the budget I had to work out over the span of the year I would be here, it was what I could afford, yet it still served my means, and I didn’t expect to be spending a lot of time just sitting in my apartment when there was so much to explore in the area. I had a four day rest before I was to begin my apprenticeship and so took the opportunity to truly explore my surroundings, take a lot of pictures, and video call the family back home to let them know I arrived safe.
I wasn’t sure what to expect the morning I woke up to get my first days apprenticeship under my belt, or who to expect even as I walked through the door to the workshop. I was greeted by a nice older lady, who spoke in fairly good English, pock marked with a heavy Swiss accent. She had me fill out some paperwork while I was there, and brought me to an office to meet with the master I would be apprenticing under. I expected a crazy haired man in a cardigan, those glasses with four sets of magnifying glasses attached to the side. But the man who walked in was maybe only 10 years older than me, sharply dressed with a leather apron over his dress shirt.
He was somewhat emotionless, giving me the once over, and then breaking out into a big welcoming grin and shaking my hand firmly. I assume he also wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and something in either my dress or mannerisms put him into a more comfortable state, I never really brought it up for fear of coming across as rude. We spent the afternoon talking about what we would be doing over the course of the year, and about the potential to continue my apprenticeship to second and third years if everything worked out with work and visas, and of course finances.