When Shopping Becomes Exciting

So, we are not buying very much stuff here. Well, we buy food all the time, and tickets to get places, but not much else. Always in the back of my mind I have to think – will I have to dispose of this by the end of the year?

However, we did have fun shopping on Saturday between our various events in the Tonhalle. I had decided that 4 short-sleeved shirts weren’t quite enough, and as we passed an H & M, I saw some T-shirts on the rack – 2 for 19.95 CHF (just over $21). First of all, the VAT (Value Added Tax) is already part of the price, so when you see the posted price, that is what you pay. I chose two purple shirts, attached together.


Then we found our way to a Mexican shop that we had read about on Yelp. I decided that for the price of canned beans, I could certainly make what I needed with the dried beans, so with a small bag of black beans, a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and some hot sauce, we walked away happy. The woman at the counter spoke to other customers in Spanish, but to us in German. (Side note: we also saw some Marie Sharps hot sauce there – the kind we bought in Belize!)

Oh, yes, there are a few things I need for music-making, so we went to the gigantic Musik-Hug to see what was there. Which was just about everything from CDs and sheet music, to instruments and accessories. I looked at the wire music stands, but wasn’t ready to pay $60 for one (you can get them for $10-20 in the US), but I knew I would need a mute to play in orchestra, so I had a nice conversation with the sales guy in German. He asked me if I needed one for the concert or one for practice, and I knew exactly what he meant. I was happy to shell out the $3.75 for just the mute I needed.

Last stop of the day was the Orange Store. I haven’t really felt the need for a cell phone yet, but occasionally I would like to text H to let him know that I am running late. In order to have a cell phone account here you need your residency permit, and we got ours two weeks ago. I had no idea about what German vocabulary I needed to set up a pay-as-you-go plan, but H had done the research, and we managed to get what we wanted. The best part is that we paid 10 CHF for the chip which gave me 25 CHF worth of text and talk. (We already have our daughter’s old G2 phone, so no cost there.) I would say that was our best deal of the day.

Also proud to say that we did not have to resort to English AT ALL during these transactions!


One thought on “When Shopping Becomes Exciting

  1. Dear Charlotte,

    That’s great, that you are coping in German!!

    I took the liberty of forwarding your site to a friend who will be going to Lübeck this winter, and she wrote yesterday to thank me, and say how much she is enjoying reading your posts. 😉

    Classes start today, for my last term at Carleton.

    I’d best get back to thinking about that first class.

    Best to you both, Anne

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