Switzerland – one week on

I’ve been in Switzerland a week now, so let’s recap what I’ve discovered so far shall we?

  • Everything is expensive (except taxes – Jan pays much lower taxes here than in Germany). I’ve already showed you what I got from a normal supermarket for 34 francs, and all the cocktails I’ve seen so far have cost 15 francs (€14.36 or Β£10.62).
  • However, I have discovered the Swiss cheap supermarket chain! It’s called Denner and you can tell the minute you walk in that it’s a discount supermarket – think shelves crammed full of stuff in no discernible order and definitely no signs explaining what’s down which aisle. If you’ve ever been to Aldi you’ll know what I mean. But I don’t care how the stuff is laid out as long as it means spending less. The nearest Denner is roughly a 9 minute walk from our flat so that’s alright. There are Aldis too, but they’re few and far between and I’m yet to discover one near me.
  • Migros sells Tetley teabags in boxes of 100! Not that I’m particularly bothered about having Tetley teabags specifically, but I do prefer my teabags to come in decent amounts rather than the pathetic little boxes of 20-25 I’ve been used to from Germany. Not that I’ll be needing teabags for a while – I’m still working on the bag of 250 that I bought from the Asia shop in Karlsruhe πŸ˜‰
  • Free public toilets actually exist! At least in Basel they do. This probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to some of my readers, but those of you who’ve lived in Germany (where toilets usually cost 50 cents and can even go up to 1 euro – looking at you, Mannheim train station!) will understand.
  • Public transport – at least in Basel – is excellent. There are 2 trams that will take me home from the city and so far I’ve never had to wait more than 3 minutes for one of the 2 to turn up.
  • People in “service” positions – e.g. supermarkets, post office and the Gemeindeverwaltung (municipal authority) – are happy to switch to something closer to high German if they notice you struggling to understand their Swiss German (however, the same cannot be said for the building management people who showed me round when I was still looking at flats!)
  • The fine for drivers who do not stop for pedestrians at a zebra crossing is ridiculously high – which is why they all stop if you even look like you might be going to cross. It’s just like being back in Britain. Although the stripes are black and yellow, not black and white… does that make them tiger crossings? πŸ˜‰

That’s all I can think of today. Next week I’ll give you a tour of my new neighbourhood – if it ever stops raining long enough for me to get out and take some photos for you!

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33 thoughts on “Switzerland – one week on

  1. Oooh looking forward to a tour. I’m glad you found a cheap and cheerful supermarket. I’m sure you will find more and more tips to help you spend less, the more you get to know the area. πŸ™‚

  2. It’s great to hear things are going well, you’re finding what you need, and that you’re only minutes from a grocery store with reasonably priced items! Free public toilets!! I’ve yearned for those at times… I’ve heard all traffic/driving violations result in excruciating fines – speeding, especially. Hopefully you never find out!

  3. Free toilets!! Very important to me as an American & made me absolutely crazy in Europe. Switzerland already has a big plus in my book!

  4. Didn’t know that there is no zebras but tigers on the streets. That’s cute I think. I know what you mean about crossing the street in Britain- it’s really relief that people respects pedestrians.
    Sounds that you slowly settling, even found cheep supermarket what is very essential for everyday life.

    1. I read somewhere that you should live in Switzerland for tax reasons and do shopping in Germany because groceries there are cheaper (and eat out in France because supposedly they have the best food).

    1. The people are lovely, but I’ve heard it’s difficult to make proper friends. So far I haven’t even met any Swiss people (except those serving me at the post office, etc.)!

  5. I really enjoyed this post I love knowing little weird and random facts about where people live in other countries its fascinating or maybe I’m just nosey haha Free toilets thats exciting to me to I payed 50p to use a toilet in London and then realised the door didn’t lock (so their was no need to use my 50p) and their was no loo roll or place to wash your hands! Also there should be more public toilets hanging around there is never enough ! I look forward to the tour of your neighbourhood πŸ™‚

  6. Ha, tiger crossings! Glad you found a cheaper supermarket! Yes, we were really happy to find somewhere cheap in Die Schweiss! I remember the loos in Switzerland although went in a NASTY one in Geneva!x

    1. Yeah, Swiss German is really difficult! I’ve heard when it’s Germans they’ll go even more Swiss but either I’ve just met nice people or they can tell I’m English so they decide I’m worth making an effort for πŸ˜‰

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