Moving from Kuala Lumpur to Zurich; a chaotic month
Five weeks ago now, we moved from Kuala Lumpur to Zurich. With three large suitcases, two hand luggage, two backpacks, and two winter coats, we boarded a plane from KLIA to Singapore, where we had to change for the big crossing to Switzerland. Time to catch up!
Wednesday 24 February was the day of the move. This date had been marked in my diary for some time, and it was something I had been dreading for a week or two. Flying again, and this time it had been a year since we last sat in a plane. And that was not the only obstacle, because we had to arrange a lot of things before we were allowed to fly. Malaysia was at that time in the CMCO (we have seen all the abbreviations), and that meant no interstate travel, so without a valid reason, you are not allowed to go to another state.
Fortunately, we had a good reason, but the police had to agree too. So with a bunch of papers, in Bahasa, we cheerfully walked to a boiling little office on top of a car park. I secretly took some pictures while Jeroen asked for permission. If you don’t, you run the risk of being sent back at the roadblocks. It seems that with a few ringgits, you can get a lot done, but we preferred not to take that risk.
After we got permission, we had to have a PCR test done at the hospital. This test was the first time for both of us and quite an adventure in itself. I would almost have to write a separate blog for this haha, but luckily this too went without a hitch. Well, in Jeroen’s case, it went a little less smoothly when his uvula was tickled a little too long, but we both got a negative test. That something so negative can be so positive at that moment! We were ready to leave and had one last obstacle to overcome: saying goodbye.
Because we were not allowed to travel to other states, saying goodbye was quite a challenge. It is a pity that it had to be done this way, but with the necessary creativity and running away from the police, you will come a long way. On our last evening, we dined with Marco and Cynthia at Marini’s. This is where it all started for us two years ago, and it was a very cozy and, not unimportantly, delicious evening, to end the Malaysian adventure at Marini’s.
The next day, we decided to leave for the airport in time to avoid any ‘surprises’. At KLIA, where it is normally super crowded, there was now not a single person to be seen. It was a quiet airport where everything went very smoothly. We checked in quickly and had to get through the next few hours. All restaurants were closed except one Starbucks.
As expected, there were only a handful of people on the plane to Singapore. The perfect flight where I could get used to flying again. Less than an hour(!) later, we were already on the ground at Changi. And then the circus started! All transit passengers were led by people in blue overalls to the area where we had to wait. Of course, in Singapore, everything is arranged down to the last detail, and this made for a relaxed experience where we just followed the overalls and saw what would happen.
After four hours of waiting, our flight was called, and it was time to line up again. Not that there were many people to form a real queue, but okay. Meanwhile, we were curious how many people would be waiting at the gate…nobody. In the end, there were twelve of us in an airplane, which normally accommodates more than passengers, and fifteen crew members. The Singapore Airlines crew is amazing, and they took fantastic care of us! After a peaceful journey of 13 hours, the plane landed at Zurich Airport at eight in the morning.
Here we were given a fantastic welcome and immediately felt the cold, but fresh, Swiss air. For the first few days, we had rented a serviced apartment with a small kitchen where we had to stay for four nights before getting the keys to our new home. The first few weeks were hectic with lots of picking up furniture, and assembling things we had ordered, and arranging our visas. For two weeks, we both have our visas, which is at least ‘a bit’ faster compared to Malaysia.
Meanwhile, we have been living for four weeks in our still somewhat bare and hollow flat, but we are having a good time. Now we have to wait for our stuff from Malaysia to arrive by ship. It seems that the freight has arrived in Antwerp, and now has to be put on the lorry to Basel. So this will probably take some time. Even though all restaurants are closed, we try to go out anyway. We have spent a day in Lucerne, and last weekend we stayed in Davos. A wonderful weekend where we could enjoy the mountain views, the sun, and the company!