Helping the economy

Sadly, our days have been focused disproportionately on shopping and as such have been a total nightmare. The most successful outing was to Zurich earlier in the week during which I failed to bring my wallet, which should indicate how low the bar was set.

We need to purchase a bed before we move, which I assumed would be a simple and potentially enjoyable task. Fool! The beds are completely different sizes than all the linen we own, they have single mattresses (which is apparently a great thing), you need to purchase slats for each side individually and they are as complicated as circuit boards, each side has a weird independent tilting system, and all these variables are explained in Swiss German…gah. Adelaide had a meltdown today in the store we’ve visited three times this week and frankly, I was entirely supportive.

On top of that, we’ve been hanging at various supermarkets. We’re having our first guests (that aren’t my parents) over to dinner tomorrow night, and I confess I have culinary nerves. Like everyone in the post-chef-worshipping era, I enjoy cooking and take an interest in food (by which I mean, of course, that I’m a total glutton), but by no stretch of the imagination am I any sort of gourmand. I tend to try new recipes for guests and as a result have had my fair share of mishaps, but nothing that can’t be solved by the twin mantras ‘put an egg on it’ and ‘put nicecream on it’.

However, grocery shopping has been the biggest challenge in pulling it together. I’m still not certain – despite spending a disgraceful amount of time in the supermarket – what I’ll be able to find in terms of fresh produce, so the menu had to make a last minute change this afternoon. I’ve exchanged Adelaide for some lamb – meat is ferociously expensive here, and I’m hoping I’ll cook it well and won’t have to resort to using said egg. We also don’t have the pantry and utensil arsenal I’m used to – I’d taken for granted having a range of spices, sauces, spatulas and the like at my fingertips. The biggest pickle, though, has been the labelling. Everything is conveniently described in three languages; sadly, I am too ignorant to read any of them. Locating cornflour and baking powder became a five man task this afternoon and I’m very grateful to the staff and fellow shoppers for trying to interpret my hideous attempts at butchering their language.

Other than keeping the franc flowing, I am probably the only person ever to hope that their kid is teething – she has none yet, and I’m convinced she never will (if you have a business in baby dentures, please get in touch). She’s been grizzly and dribbly, and although that could just be her personality and hygiene practices I’m hoping fangs will emerge soon. If they ever do she could help us with the continuation of the Chip Challenge. Remember Light and Tangy? Add a fancy frenchy name and bam! here they are, straight from the 90s to Switzerland (we yummed them up nostalgically).

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My extensive shopping did assist in one area. There’s a Swiss seasoning called Aromat; we’d seen it around various restaurants and read about it prior to coming in several Swiss food articles. It’s hugely popular and apparently makes everything taste better…because it’s pretty much MSG in a brightly coloured shaker. It is also my new Swiss dinner party saviour in case things go hideously wrong: egg, nicecream and Aromat.

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