Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back in Bellevue, Washington - we're no longer expats!

We can no longer call ourselves expats anymore - we're back in Bellevue again.

It's great to see all our old friends again, and plug right back into our former social life.  I do miss Geneva and our friends there a lot, though.

We're back in our old house - it feels so huge!  It's 3200 sq ft, so large, but not incredibly huge by American standards.  Our our apartment in Geneva was about a third of the size, though.  It feels like acres of rooms,  vast swaths of counter space...sheesh, and the cabinets...what did I ever put in there?  The kids can play downstairs, and I can literally not even hear them.  But I never really felt cramped in our Geneva apartment. I've always liked smaller spaces, and to me it seemed that there was plenty of room.  Also storage was set up more intelligently in Geneva - there weren't these huge cavernous closets like we have here, there was more easily accessible shallow storage.

Some of the differences between Geneva and here that struck me the most are:

  • Nobody's walking on the sidewalks!  And that's where sidewalks even exist.  One of the most traveled roads close to my neighborhood, Newport Way, has a library and a community center on it, but no sidewalk at all.  You're forced to drive, or take your chances on a really busy narrow road.
  • Back in Geneva I drove maybe 5 or 6 times total once we bought a car - it was just rarely necessary, and usually I let Eric drive.  Here I've already driven at least 20 times, and have just slid right back into the driving lifestyle.  There's really no alternative, not in the neighborhood that we're in.
  • Customer service is incredible here.  You go to a store - not even a high-end store, a regular store like Target or Walmart - and clerks are usually helpful, friendly, and even chatty.  Very different from in Geneva.
  • Finally, no more sticker shock.  Prices at stores are reasonable.  We just went to a mega grocery store (Winco) to stock up on groceries since we have nothing, and came away with a car full for about $300.  It would have cost at least $1000 in Geneva.  

1 comment:

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