Monday, March 14, 2011

Why I love Switzerland (Geneva)

Before I start telling you about why I love living in Geneva, I have to emphasize that I don't believe in the "Paradise on Earth" concept. You can go and live on a beautiful tropical island or in the hypest cities of the world, this in itself is not going to make you happy. However, you can definitely prefer one place over another, and I must say that I am pretty impressed with what this one can offer. I'm obsessed with the bright side of life and would probably find a hundred things to enjoy in a desert or in Siberia or even in tribal Africa (some places where I can less easily see myself fitting in...). And I did love living in Hungary, though a couple of things did really bug me continually. But you know what? I just seem to have found my place here. And even if it takes so much effort and time to make Geneva accept me, I think I named it home like a week after landing. Wanna know why? ;)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Teaching English in Switzerland

 [A less comprehensive but somewhat more straightforward update can be found here.]

I'm sure there are many foreigners teaching English (or other languages for that matter) in Switzerland. And many more looking for a way to earn a living teaching here. My experience is restricted to the Geneva area and, though I've heard quite a lot of the situation in other cantons, this is mainly what this post is going to be about. Some of the information here is general, but most of it is specific to the area and is a result of my own "research".
In addition, my experience might also be considered restricted to the private sector as I've been looking for teaching positions at private language schools most of the time. Throughout my career I've mainly taught adults and this is what I actually prefer doing.
So are you thinking about joining the club and becoming a language teacher? Or are you already teaching and planning a move to Switzerland? Maybe this can help you.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Change in Regulations: Hungarians welcome! ;)

Hip-hip hooray! Hip-hip hooray! Hip-hip hooray!
Soon (as of May 1, 2011 as far as I know) Hungarians will count as EU citizens when it comes to Swiss work permits. This means that an employee interviewing a Hungarian will no longer have to consider Swiss and other EU nationals before making a choice. In other words, it will become a lot easier (i.e. feasible) for a Hungarian to get a job in Switzerland. This also means that "jobseeker permits" (as far as I know it's a special kind of L or B permit, to be changed for a "regular" one once a position is secured) can be applied for. I don't know how this affects tourism, though, whether tourists can stay longer too, but I'll look into it.
I'm not a huge nationalist (as you could guess from my posts ^^) and I am by no means biased towards Hungarians. But I do find it rather unfair that citizens of the later batch of EU countries were under such restrictions for such a long time. I do know that in many ways Hungary's barely reaching the standards set forth by the Union. In other cases these are just out of the countries league, period. But one thing is certain. When it comes to workforce and education, we are good. :) Maybe that's what the Swiss fear...
Anyway, jokes aside, I'm looking forward to the changes this new regulation might bring. I know that there are quite a lot of illegal or barely legal immigrant in Switzerland, who find it hard to get work. I hope this opens some doors to them.
And as long as Hungarians keep eating all that Swiss chocolate, it's only fair that a couple of them get imported into cheeseland. And once there, they will now be allowed a life as well. Thank you, Switzerland!

More tips and info soon.
Have a nice week.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Style #6 [OOTD] Playful and Sophisticated

I was so longing for jeans and a tee towards the end of the week! But I did have to go to work and that meant facing all those very important people wearing suits and pencil skirts... I found an alternative, thanks to my fun and exclusive Lanvin for H&M T-shirt and denim blue H&M wool jacket. Here's the look:

Soft Turquoise Spring Eye Makeup

I love turquoise and all shades of green. But I have to be careful when I use them as eye makeup colors, since they can very easily wash my eyes out and give me a cheap 80s look. I've been experimenting with different options for years but always ended up removing the makeup before I left home. I didn't feel I could wear the color with confidence.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hair (My "Success" Story)

[Update: Maroccan oil is a life-saver, I can't tell you how much it changed my life. I now simply couldn't live without it.]

We're living in an age of eclectic fashion and everything from pixies to super long tresses is in style. I love the fact that whatever previous fashion era you prefer or whatever your personal style, nowadays it's hard to err. You can sport your grandma's sunglasses and "plastic" A-line dresses from the 60s or you can dig out your 80s disco attire and be the most stylish girl (or guy) in town. Don't forget to throw in some more modern pieces to avoid the crazy retro effect, and success is guaranteed.

The same goes for hair. I can see (both on catwalks and streets -- which often equal in quality here in superstylish Geneva) cuts from the 20s to the 90s and even some very up-to-date styles, all worn with the greatest pride and ingenuity. And I think that's the key to today's fashion, ladies and gentlemen. Ingenuity.

So lately I've been busy embracing my own style, belle epoque glamour with some hard rock influences, and I've been having a hard time figuring out just what hairstyle to sport with all this eclectic awesomeness...

For the past 10 years I've been stuck in the all-too-well-known cycle of short hair/long hair. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the pain of waiting for recently (and impulsively) cut locks to grow out and the ennui that often comes over us girls when we discover that there's just so many things you can do with long hair...

Today's fashion, however, offers countless remedies. First of all, no style is out of fashion, so while you're in the process of waiting for your hair to go, there are many intermediary haircuts you can go for, without looking strained or ridiculous. Second, if you simply prefer one length over another, there's no pressure to change your style. I remember how out-of-date and looked down on short haired girls were in the 90s and how strange and unpolished a simple long haircut seemed around 2005. But this is over, ladies, now the floor is yours and your imagination can take wings on the cool winds of a new fashion era.

I've taken advantage of this encouraging atmosphere to go from this

My Style #5 [OOTD] - Long Legs in a Sec, No Workout ;)

Look at how slender and long some XL boots can make your legs look! ;)
This is real magic! ;)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

When Snow Takes on a New Meaning

I've always loved the extremities of nature. Some say (mostly jokingly) that I can only go on five-thousand-franc holidays, but this is so not true. A view from a mountain top (hilltop in Switzerland ;)) or the breeze through the lake is enough to make my day. Make it a snowy slope or a tropical island and you have me thrilled and virtually high with ecstasy.

But, incredible as that sounds, it can get even better than that if we're actually taming those elements. The view from the top of a volcano is stunning. But it becomes an unforgettable experience if you climb for hours to get there and race all the other climbers to be the first to glimpse the sun rising on the horizon! And sledging can be huge fun, as much as a vicious snowball fight. But when you're making the snow your element, turning and slowing and going faster than the wind, when you feel as if you'd been born to conquer all the slopes in the world, when you feel that you could walk the highways of the Alps forever without tiring -- then it becomes something more. Then snow takes on a new meaning.