Friday, April 17, 2009

Things that are different

  • Exit doors open in, not out. This does not bode well in case of a fire and panicked exit. Of course, the Swiss would probably just line up.
  • Grocery carts go forward and backwards, just like in the States. But, they also go sideways. Seriously. Sideways.
  • If you want to cross the street, just stand there and look like you want to cross and no matter how much traffic there is, all the cars will come to a halt. I always feel embarassed by this. Really, keep driving. I'll wait.
  • It takes 1 hour and 40 minutes for my washing machine to run. My very small washing machine. Thankfully, I have my own. I don't know how I'd manage a shared one.
  • Church bells ring regularly. It sounds just like the marriage scene in the Sound of Music.
  • Totillas are 5.40CHF for 8
  • Grocery stores close at 6:00, or 8:00 on Friday and 4:00 on Saturday. They aren't open on Sunday. All stores follow these rules unless they are close to a train station (train, not tram) or are a gas station. Stores can be open on Sunday if they are independantly owned and only family members work there.
  • As Sarah keeps pointing out, everybody speaks German.
  • People assume that there will be people walking in the streets. This is nice for us walkers.
  • I now worry about letting Sarah watch French television. Will this inhibit her German acquisition?
  • You can't buy boxes of baking powder. Only two tsp sized packages.
  • Bottled vanilla is non-existent as well. You can get vanilla sugar, or vanilla beans.
  • Corn chips? Ha! If you find them, it's 7CHF for a small, small bag.


  1. Sounds like its time for you to hone your corn and flour tortilla making skills. This whole thing is fascinating.

  2. too bad about the baking soda!--I've got a HUGE bag of it! :)

    My sister is living in Denmark, now, and she complained about not having bottled vanilla either...

    Do you need me to put a corn chip/vanilla/baking soda care package together for you?

  3. Wow, and hour and 40 minutes just to WASH the clothes? And that doesn't count drying time too? I thought the Swiss were supposed to be efficient! ... Maybe you can start a business selling home made corn chips and tortillas. Or a burrito restaurant even. Yum!

  4. Should I bring you a box of baking soda when I come to visit? Let me know what else you need...

    I'm really enjoying reading about your adventures!