My Swiss life (post 5)

September 17th, 2012

I’m still an outsider, of course. It’s never so clear to me as when I take the boys to the village playground. I don’t really know the other mothers on the playground, except on we recognize each other from picking our kids up from Kindergarten terms, and I don’t really know how to get to know them. There are language barriers, and cultural barriers, and the barriers that exist when everybody but you already knows each other. I’m recognized around the village, am greeted by name in the bakery, but I’m still an outsider here in this small town.

The boys, especially SB, fit right in. They speak native Swiss and can negotiate the playground; thanks to school SB has a lot of pals and when I take the boys to the playground (SB could get there and stay by himself, but Boychen’s not old enough for that yet) he almost always runs into kids he knows to play with. Now, slowly, Boychen too recognizes kids his own age on the playground and, slowly, is starting to try to play with them instead of automatically tagging along after his big brother. The boys are fine, and if people sometimes look at us a bit funny when I speak to them in English, I also know that these same kids are going to be angling for ways to do their English homework with SB in a few years’ time. Preferably at our house.

But I am still an outsider here. Some days, some locations, more than others.

(Previous “My Swiss life” posts can be found here.)