Flipping the Switch

Winter in Tamarin

I made it back home. As there are not direct flights from Zurich to Mauritius, I decided to travel via Dubai, thus avoiding any European airports such as Paris, Munich, or Brussels.

Also, Emirates is a nice air carrier, with modern and well equipped and maintained airplanes. Even in Economy, you have on-board Wi-Fi and mobile phone connectivity. When checking in on-line, I was offered a promotional upgrade to Business Class, which I accepted. It was my first experience with that kind of air travel for many years (I once flew to Montreal in Business, with a miles upgrade, back in the day).

It’s easy to imagine that this is a nice experience, and it is. As I am wont to do, I was thinking about what exactly it is I must value to justify the high(er) price. While the champagne and food are enjoyable, for me it’s the space and comfort, from checking in to arrival, the peace of mind, privacy. No fight for overhead space for your bag or continuously checking that no-one crushes your photography equipment therein when rummaging for their own stuff, no-one is jolting the back of your seat when they stand up or sit down. That you can convert your seat into a full-length flat bed is comfy for a 13+ hours journey for sure, but that you have your own space is (was) it for me. Of course I am spoiled now…

Before my trip I had been considering how quickly I would adapt to Swiss conditions first, then back to the local ones here, with regards to climate and weather, left-right side driving, and the daily life in general, considering that it took me some time to get used to these things here. Interestingly, no problem at all, in either direction. It is as if my mind and body flipped a switch between two known states. Sure, when driving in Switzerland, I smashed my left hand once or twice against the left car door when wanting to change gears, and the other way round when coming back. :) Then flip! and I was back.

And even the adaptation to the climate and temperatures was quick. I am wearing jeans, socks, and a winter jacket here now, even if it’s 22 degrees C.

In general, I realised that I do not miss Switzerland, or Europe. There is little I can get, or do, in Switzerland that I cannot get or do here. OK, having my Mac fixed was easier. And I enjoyed my stay in the mountains, and I will always be drawn back there, but the sea and warmth of the climate have a higher appeal for me right now. And so on. But the two countries, contexts, and ways of life, are so different, it would be silly to make one-to-one comparisons. Also, I am aware that being back in my previous environment must have triggered old memories, partly unconsciously, of the life I wanted to change, so no surprise here.

I looked very much forward to come home.