A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to visit Basel, in Switzerland. A friend is living there, and so when I had a conference in Tübingen, I figured it was close enough to visit, so I took the train from Tübingen to Stuttgart to Karlsruhe to Basel and spent the weekend. I was glad I was there for only a weekend. Why? Because the prices were so expensive.
See, the thing is, I guess it is because Berlin is one of the cheaper capitals of Europe. I can get a nice entree in a restaurant for less than 10 EUR. So just imagine my surprise when I go to a pub and order pub food and a 0,5 liter of beer. The beer costs 9 CHF (about 7 EUR), and fish and chips was like 25 CHF. That was expensive, especially when you can get beer for less than 3 EUR here.
I was thankful that I didn't have to pay for accommodation for two nights.
So I wondered, why are prices that jacked up? Why is there an island in the middle of Europe where prices are just higher? I then looked a little bit online and found out that Switzerland is not part of several large governing bodies that sort of regulate prices in the EU; after all, they are not part of the EU, so why should their economy be regulated?
I remember when I was in Denmark in 2008, I was a student back then, which meant that I was watching my wallet more than I am right now. But I think I am shocked more with Switzerland than with Denmark. And that says something. Because in 2008, I was earning in USD, while in 2013, I am earning in EUR. I could only imagine what it feels like for an American to see Swiss prices.
So, would I visit Switzerland again? Probably, but not unless I really need to. That's the weird thing when one is living in Europe; if one wants to travel for vacation, there are plenty of interesting places close by, but things there are expensive. But when one wants a place where things are not expensive, then one has to travel far.
The funny thing is that Swiss people are just fine with the way things are.
I suppose I'll just get some humor from the fact that their version of German is a little interesting. And they make things small and cute by adding the -li suffix, instead of the -chen suffix. And they seem not to have word-final consonant devoicing. Long story short, I couldn't understand Swiss German.