What a difference an l makes

As some of you know, the past weeks have been rather busy because I was preparing to move to Zürich in Switzerland. After some weeks of preparation, last week was the big step: On Monday the Hamburg office of FSFE was cleared out and back home I finally turned off the fusebox. Besides some hardware replacements, this is the machine that originally hosted the first temporary FSF Europe web page over a coupled channel ISDN link in 2001.

The next days were spent packing and cleaning up, Thursday the truck came and everything (including my beloved motorcycle) was stowed away. After intensive renovation on Friday and Saturday I was finally ready to hand over the keys for my old appartement, just in time for the flight on Sunday.

Monday was filled entirely by first needing to buy a sofa and cupboard because delivery always takes a few weeks. The first station was IKEA, which turned out a somewhat stressful experience: IKEA is near the station Dietlikon, but we almost took the train to Dietikon, which is on the opposite side of town. What a difference an l makes.

The trip to IKEA was not exactly successful, but we found the things we need in a store nearby, also a power drill and some other necessary things for people who move into new appartements. We got back in time for the truck bringing all the furniture and spent until 22:00 unloading, storing and sorting things.

Today I did most of the necessary administrative tasks already, and also started to deal with the customs, which still feel uncomfortable about my motorcycle: because the Hamburg traffic administration has been on strike for 5 weeks now and is likely to continue until at least 3 April, most of my papers are still with them. So I have an unregistered motorcycle with no plates that has incomplete paperwork thanks to the strike in Hamburg. Sorting this out will have to wait until the strike is over, but meanwhile I need to deal with the Swiss customs authorities who threaten to impound my baby. Oh well.

Other than that all things look good so far, though. I found the Swiss authorities very friendly and helpful. Also, although people here speak a little funny from my perspective, I am already willing to swear that people are a little more friendly than most Germans.

Time to get going to sort out some more necessary prerequisites to get back to work here in Switzerland, like a mobile phone and an office for FSFE. I’ll keep you posted.

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About Georg Greve

Georg Greve is CEO and President of the Board at Kolab Systems AG, a Swiss Open Source ISV for collaboration and communication, also available as Swiss hosted service Kolab Now. During his 20+ year career in Free and Open Source Software he has been author of the Brave GNU World, one of the most widely spread columns on the subject, founding president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and provided input to various governmental and inter-governmental organisations. In 2009 Georg was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon by the Federal Republic of Germany for his contributions to Open Source and Open Standards.
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3 Responses to What a difference an l makes

  1. rudy says:

    Good luck!

    George, good luck with your new place! I’m going to move soon too. So I’m heading towards the problems all movers face :)

  2. myriam says:


    Welcome to Switzerland, Georg! Hope you enjoy your new home.

  3. shane says:

    Good luck!

    Good luck with moving into the new place, and do send me an invite for the house warming party :)

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