We’ve been looking for a place for a while now1. Living in Zürich is weird; finding a flat here is a matter of months and involves writing introduction letters and attaching pictures to most requests. We never know if they want to do racial profiling or judge your sense of fashion or just want to filter applicants based on the effort they make. We stayed in the current place for six years but now want something a bit bigger — not too much, nothing baroque — so we’ve been making a proper effort for about six months. Seeing a flat or two a month, that kind of thing.

In the process we’ve gotten to know more neighborhoods of Zürich. Oerlikon, Altstetten. We currently live in Wiedikon, which is beautiful and has a vibrant orthodox Jew community but a bit expensive if you want a nicer flat. So we’ve been thinking of moving to Oerlikon, which is further out but relatively cheaper while still being nice and modern. I’ve come to feel it is a place that is a bit like the future; it was built anew a few years ago and has interesting modern architecture and all (I think), and one of my favourite places in Switzerland: MFO Park. It’s just a park with scaffolding, but what can you do, I love it. I want to go to the park once in a while and read a book. It is beautiful and there’s a bunch of different groups there, both couples with babies and teenagers smoking pot. I sometimes feel like we are in between so I think we’d fit right in.

But not everything is good about Oerlikon. It is an expensive place in an expensive country where people earn a lot.

There is a place near Oerlikon called Irchelpark. I’ve never been there, yet. Some day I’ll go, and what it represents in my mind will have to move somewhere else. Furtively; like an object that always remains just out of sight, always on the limit of your field of view.

I’d like to get there and discover an inclusive and open neighborhood which votes 51% socialist and works an average of 20% and a 90th percentile of 50% on issues such as climate change and ending hunger and. Perhaps still living privileged lives, but helping others and making a difference; trying to help enough in enough different ways.

I fear the place I’ll get to see will be inevitably located in Switzerland, but the place I really want to visit is elsewhere, in Flancia. Just around the corner, or perhaps never.

  1. nine months.