Sunday, November 20, 2011

Geneva Ranks Last in European Shopping Survey

Manor, a large Swiss department store, is advertising their new “late night” shopping hours on a gigantic poster: the store is now open until 8 p.m. on weeknights. While this is a big deal for Switzerland, it’s still not enough to put a Swiss city on anyone’s list for a shopping tour. Especially considering the prices. (Yesterday my husband paid $10 for a bottle of barbecue sauce. Sigh.)

In a recent survey, “Globe Shopper City Index” by the Economist Intelligence Unit, of the 33 European cities studied for shopping, the one Swiss city in the survey—Geneva—came in last. I can’t say I’m surprised. Geneva is a city where you can’t even find a restaurant that’s open on a Saturday night, let alone a store.

Anyhow, top cities for shopping in this survey were: London, Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris. Some of the things considered in the survey were number of shops, opening hours, and affordability.

What are your favorite European cities for shopping?

Friday, November 11, 2011

10 things you notice about Switzerland when you have a baby

One: Most building entrances have stairs and no ramps

Two: It is possible for the concept of shared laundry in the basement to get even worse

Three: It’s really uncool to take a stroller accessible spot on a bus when you don’t have a stroller

Four: There are a lot more hills in your town than you thought and somehow they got steeper

Five: Even when they are 35% off at Migros, it’s still cheaper to buy your Pampers in Germany

Six: The Swiss authorities are more concerned with that misspelling on your birth certificate 30+ years later than the City of Chicago ever was

Seven: Quiet hours need not apply

Eight: Even when the grocery store is across the street, online grocery shopping takes on a whole new appeal

Nine: You neighbor no longer lectures you about how you do laundry; instead she brings it up to your door when you forget to take it out of the dryer

Ten: When the maintenance guy wants to come at 7 am, you no longer think that is too early

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Grocery Shopping Online with

Now that I'm a mother abroad, I do things I never did before: like order groceries online even though I live right across the street from a grocery store.

Not only is it a little harder to get out these days, but I also had a coupon for a CHF 30 discount if I ordered at least CHF 100 worth of stuff from To me, this coupon, along with Baby M, justified what could otherwise be viewed as complete and utter laziness. Also, as anyone that lives in Switzerland knows, it's not too hard to spend CHF 100 on groceries when maple syrup alone is CHF 7 and a six pack of Dr. Pepper is CHF 8.

Wait...Dr. Pepper?!!

Yes., which is Migros' online supermarket, has more selection than the actual store. For instance, you can buy wine, beer, and British food like American Doritos. Yes. I will forgive for categorizing Cool American Doritos, Cheerios, and Oreos as British food for the mere reason that they HAVE THESE PRODUCTS and I can order them. This is a major breakthrough for Switzerland and worth the CHF 15,90 delivery charge alone.

Also, they delivered the very next day, exactly when they said they would, between 5-8 pm, which was plenty of time for me to actually get dressed and look somewhat presentable, unlike the man from Die Post, who had the nerve to ring the bell at noon today when I was still in my circa 2001 plaid green pajama bottoms and bright blue and yellow Tweety slipper socks.

Anyway. Baby or not, I highly recommend shopping at Not only will you avoid having any Migros moments, but the website is even in English.

Anyone else have experience grocery shopping online in Switzerland?


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