Friday, April 10, 2009

Swiss Culture is Different

Well, in addition to Jason not having to work over Easter weekend, the people who work at the grocery stores don't have to work either. Yikes, as we had no food.

Fortunately, we got two calls from Ward members on Thursday afternoon to warn us that the stores would be closed Friday and Monday. Grocery stores normally close at 6:00 and it was already after 5:00. This is by law, by the way.

Stores located in a train station can stay open until 10:00, so I left Jason with the kids and headed out with a pocket full of francs. (They don't do credit cards the way Americans do, so I have to be prepared with cash, which is totally foreign (ha!) to me.)

This was my first trip out on my own, and I was concerned about getting off the tram at the right spot. Jason had instructed me, and I was all prepared and paranoid. In order to get off the tram, you have to push a button to open the doors. Unlike the subways in NY, they don't automatically open.

I was counting down the stops until the Bahnhoff SBB (Bahnhoff=train station) and the announcement came that my stop was next. I prepared myself to get off. The tram stops. I jump up and push the button. The doors do not open! Everyone is looking at me funny.

Turns out, the tram had stopped prior to the station to wait for another tram to move out of the way and we were still a little bit away from the station. Oh well, embarrassing situations are always fun.

The store was a nightmare. Since the only stores in the region that are open are at the train station, and it was just a small store in the first place, it was so crowded I could hardly fit down the aisles. I stood in line forever as well. But, we got some food, I had enough cash to pay for it, and I headed home.

I did not make a fool of myself on the ride hoome. Whew!


  1. Have you had any language barrier issues yet? For instance, was there any exchange of words with the grocery store clerk? Did he/she know English?

  2. I would have been so nervous to ride the train and not know the language!--You are one brave girl!

    What an experience this has been so far!--I'm so glad that you are documenting it!--It's so very interesting!! Since my sister recently moved to Denmark, I find it intriguing to hear both of your European experiences being recorded...