Switzerland is not Neverland
When I first moved to Switzerland, I had a hard time meeting people. I couldn't quite figure out why I was having a hard time integrating. I had only been there for about two months when a Mom starting talking to me. "Where are you from?" I answered, "It's complicated but originally from the States."
A few weeks later, a few coffees later, I had a friend. I told her I was having a hard time fitting in and she howled with laughter stating, "Darling, you let your son wear German Lederhosen one day, the next he is a pirate and then there is the Peter Pan costume and the Davy Crockett Coonskin hat! People think you might be a bit strange!" I sat back and thought about it for a second, laughing with her. I didn't even feel that this was weird behavior for a mother when I moved to Switzerland. I simply forgot that I need to step back and look at myself from another perspective; I had been blinded and couldn't see myself. I didn't see how strange I looked to the others.
True to myself I still let him go to school in full costume. I just was more relaxed at other people's gazes and laughed at myself. The result, other people might have thought I was strange but they respected me.
—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife