Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stuff about Switzerland 9 (the parallel universe post)

Tomorrow we leave Switzerland (sigh).

1.  The smartest thing I can think to say about Switzerland is that it is a physical manifestation of a hedge fund.  However, everyone who knows anything knew this already.  It's like Yogi Berra said - cash is just as good as money.

2.  Switzerland is second in per capita chocolate consumption, fifth in cheese consumptionseventh in coffee consumption, seventh in wine consumption...and yet still third in life expectancy.   

3.  If you don't want to pay the sky-high list prices for everything, you have to find the ubiquitous special discount card - from the phone to the train to the pool, etc.  However, there are endless variations on the discount cards such that a detailed inquiry would lead to madness.  I believe the man-purse is popular here because there's no way all the discount cards would fit into a wallet.  

(The man-purse is fine, as well as man-pris, unironic sunbathing in a Speedo, riding to work in a suit on a tinny little scooter, etc.  But let us praise the universal adoption everywhere of cargo shorts.  Now, I don't look like a slob in Europe - I just look like every other guy.)

3.  Also there are parallel restaurant breeds.  First there are the aperitivo places, where somehow a meal that would cost $50 is yours for the cost of an overpriced drink or two (this makes no sense to me).  Then there are the grottos, the great levelers of Ticinese cuisine, where guys arriving in Ferraris share tables with kids playing games on their phones, couples, and anyone else who drifts by.  We had family in town, and based on a recommendation headed over to the Grotto Figini.  It was simply delicious (but can it be "absolutely authentic" if it has a Fodor's review?).

4.  Generic Red Bull!


Yours for only $0.60.  As far as I can tell it's the same stuff.  Coop worked overtime to make their generic product packaging look horrible (remember the generic beer?  Also, here's a fun page dedicated primarily to bashing Swiss beer).

5.  Finally got a picture of the Tecno Impianti Termo Sanitari trucks we've seen from time to time:


Great email address, too.  Another odd reminder of Edmonton.

1 comment:

Cath said...

We have to post what Switzerland didn't have: no hipsters! Also, there was pretty much a complete lack of panhandlers of any kind. While the Lake Lugano festival was happening, there was one guy who asked for change (I think, he spoke Italian!), but it was probably before the Swiss got to him. I also didn't see anyone in a fat scooter.