My four months of freedom

It's usually not fun to lose a job. But when Credit Suisse went on a big money-saving round and let go 900 people I actually considered myself a winner. First of all, I hadn't really liked my job as the assistant in an IT department there very much. I simply hadn't had a good idea what I wanted to do instead. Secondly their social plan granted everybody their full salary for 4 more months - without having to work for it.  

It also turned out that the Summer of 2003 was the most sunny in many years - and I was off during that time!
Actually, I had 2 weeks of vacation time left, so I already left my desk in mid-April and was on vacation until the end of August.

So what do you do with 4,5 months of luxury time?

Well, the first two weeks were very busy because I had put off a lot of things "until I am free". So when that time came, I had to take care of my long to-do list.

But then... I enjoyed the lazy life, plus various trips.

Well, most of my time I enjoyed my little balcony, my symphony in orange:
I had turned it into a cosy extra room.

To give my day some structure I decided to go for a walk every morning. After all, the weather was lovely almost every day! I had to leave at 10 AM the latest or it would get too hot.
Fortunately I live rather close to the Allmend in Zurich:

Zurich is over there in the Background...

The first of my trips was to Istanbul in May. You can read more about it HERE.
During the months before I had become online friends with Davic, a young Norvegian dancer I had met in the discussion forum of
Back then he used to work the night shift at a hotel reception in Stockholm and we often chatted via e-mail until late at night.
During one of our discussions I wrote something like "I could show you, but you would have to come to Zurich." To which his answer was "OK!" And then he went and booked a flight!

By coincidence he had booked a flight that arrived at the airport nearly at the same time I came back from Istanbul, so that is where we first met in person.

Not only did we do some sightseeing....
I also arranged a party with many of my friends and he performed for us in my living room. Quite a privilege, seeing how he went on to become an international star dancer!

He also gave me some Bhangra lessons which I enjoyed a lot. 
To continue my studies and simply because we had become good friends I took the opportunity of my free time and went to visit him in Sweden in June. HERE are some pictures and a short account of this trip.
Our next short vacation was a dance related road trip to Graz, Austria. I wrote about it HERE.
Before I even knew that I would lose my job I had already booked a 3 weeks vacation in July with my friend Mona. It was a one week round trip through Sri Lanka followed by 2 weeks of a beauty / wellness / Ayurveda treatments in a hotel by the sea. HERE is more on what we did.
After all these trips I had to stay home a bit more. Here's the thing: the more time you have, the more money you spend... So back to the balcony!

We also did some short trips to Montreux, one of them for the lovely wedding of my boyfriend's brother Raphaël and his wife Laurence.
It was a big affair and even several relatives from Japan had come over.
While I took out one of my nicest heavy silk saris from India.
The following day everybody took the opportunity to hang out on the terrace by the lake.

You might ask yourself if I did any job hunting during that time? Of course. But it turned out that most of what my agency offered me were other assistant jobs and I had already decided that I just wasn't made for the secretary way of life.

In the end I just wrote an e-mail to my former employer, a  asked if they were would hire me again. And voila, they even offered me two different positions of which I could choose, starting Septemer 1st. 
That's how I became a trainer in a call center, a kind of work that I liked and did for many years.

But after having 4,5 months off and only getting bored for about 5 minutes during the entire time, I have to say I am quite looking forward to my retirement!