View of Zürich from the University
View of Zürich from the University
After lugging my overweight suitcase across town in the rain, I finally made it to my beautiful new flat! To my pleasant surprise, my flat mates even knew my name already because a friend had sent me a package that arrived a week prior to my arrival!
I’ve only met a few of my new flat mates, but the ones that have been living here for the past year were very quick to show us newbies around. One of the more imperative pieces of advice was that the supermarkets close at 8, and are closed all day on Sunday!! (Diet Coke alert!) So Claudia (the Mexican girl that moved in today as well) and I made our way to the local Migros in order to get a few groceries.
Sticker shock. Yes, Zurich is the second most expensive city in the world, but I suppose it hadn’t really set in until I had to buy groceries. It’s almost a luxury to buy meat here. A steak would have cost me more than $20! However, there are a few very affordable things: eggs, bread, cheese, and chocolate. This really can’t be fair. I ended up buying the eggs, a few croissants, and yogurt. That sounds like part of a well-balanced diet, right? At least I didn’t buy the cheese and chocolate?
The biggest shock though was that you not only had to bag your own groceries, but you also had to bring your own bag. Yeah, people do that in the U.S., but it’s impractical most of the time when you can hardly fit all of your groceries in just one bag. Then I realized that most people here don’t drive to the grocery store, but rather use public transport or walk (as we did.) So, Claudia bought a bag while I awkwardly stoodthere with my groceries and received a few puzzled glares from the cashier. I carried the bag home, and it was heavy enough to ensure that I will never forget to bring a bag to the supermarket again!
The Diet Cokes
Of course one of the Diet Cokes is that there was no Diet Coke at the grocery store. And then also the price of meat, the lack of my favorite Silk Soy Milk, and the generally outrageous prices that kept me from buying the things that have a regular place on my grocery list.
The Coca Lights
Although I instinctively wanted to classify the bag dilemma in the “Diet Coke” category, I now think that it’s more of a Coca Light. Yeah, it was really awkward and inconvenient at the time, but it is definitely something that I can get used to. I don’t desperately miss the plastic bags, it’s actually kind of nice that Migros encourages their customers to be more environmentally conscious by bringing their own bag.
Another “Coca Light” are the store hours here. The hours are significantly shorter than at home, and I am definitely not used to everything being closed on Sunday. I’m starting to think that the shortened hours are kind of nice though. It’s almost refreshing to not be able to run errands on Sunday and have nothing to do but stay at home. Coca Light might not be so bad, after all.
Klompen from my wonderful Dutch friend, Alicia. :)
Canadian Diet Coke! :)
For anyone back home who hasn’t used a translation tool on my blog title, it simply means, “Where is the Diet Coke?” As Americans, most of us take for granted that all of our favorite brands and products will be available all the time, wherever we may go. WRONG. During my last stay in Europe, I went to a McDonald’s expecting to take care of my Diet Coke fix for the day and get a little greasy food as a bonus. To my surprise they had only “Coca Light,” which didn’t taste even minutely similar.
Eventually though, I found that I didn’t need to have four cans of Diet Coke per day just to survive. In the same way I don’t need a car, a 24-hour Wal-Mart, and Sheetz MTO all the time. I find new things here that are just as good, if not better, than my old American comforts - a.k.a. “Diet Cokes.” And then of course I will experience a few “Coca Lights” which I will have to acquire a taste for in time. So this is what my blog is about. A ridiculous system of comparing Europe to Coke products. Enjoy.