Sam could have been a Swiss banker with a fast car, a gold watch and a house overlooking Lake Zurich. He could have been a lot things–a sheep farmer, a TV producer, a Chinese interpreter–and he was all those things until he decided to move to Israel after he spent a day and a week with the woman who is now his wife.

I had a similar encounter with my husband, so I don’t find this odd. I’m not sure I find any of Sam’s story odd, except of course that he could have been neighbours with Roger Federer.

Switzerland, he tells me, offers a very good life, but everything is already built. (I consider the view from Federer’s balcony as he says this.)

Sam helped build and lead a company–the largest online platform for Swiss cinema and entertainment. He was in a long, long-term relationship and he had mastered 4 ½ foreign languages. Everything was built, except perhaps the extension to his house on Lake Zurich.

Was your family surprised when you left? I ask. No. I think they always knew I would do something like this. Like, leave your safe, stable, Swiss life behind for this shrapnel-shelled shtetl in the desert? Something like that.

His life is pretty simple. He works in digital design and all that SEO goodness, he stirs a lot of fondue, and from time to time, he goes to ulpan. He and his wife are expecting their first child.

I am confused as to why he couldn’t have done all this in his house on Lake Zurich, but as he goes on about the local elections and the dismal peace process, I realise that he probably needed to be in a place that wasn’t yet built.