Going to the grocery store was something I enjoyed when I lived in the U.S. and South Africa but in Geneva I find it unpleasant as everything is ridiculously pricey. Often, I stop myself from purchasing certain things based on principal. For example how can it be that a tiny package of chicken costs 6 Swiss Francs (CHF) which is about $6/ZAR81? Upon seeing the price I am no longer in the mood for chicken. The outrageous prices are not limited to meat and chicken. Everything, every item in the grocery store, costs much more than it should. Yes, I am coming from South Africa where prices are cheap for expats being paid in foreign currency but prior to that I was happily shopping at Whole Foods in New York and those prices never shocked me as much as the ones I find here.
|In my local grocery store in Geneva less than half a kg of chicken costs 6CHF which equals $6.00. I was reminded of the fact that in Diepsloot one can buy a whole chicken for just ZAR50 ($3.87)|
Thursday, my friend (no need to specify which one as I only have one friend in Geneva) asked me if I'd like to go with her to France and go grocery shopping as the prices are much lower there. She has a car and offered to drive.
You might think of grocery shopping in France as a delightful excursion. You may imagine an overload of fancy sights and smells as happy voices speaking French language drift through the air. You might imagine lovely items for sale such as bundles of lavender from Provence, the finest mustard from Dijon, crunchy perfect baguettes just waiting to be put in a bike basket and driven home to a chateau as well as cheese to die for and of course endless wine. These things may be true in some cases but the store we visited was no fancy market. Instead I would compare it to a Makro for the South African readers and to a Target Superstore for the the American readers. It seems that even France is full of regular people who like a good deal on pork chops and want to buy their toilet paper in bulk.
|The grocery store we visited in France, just outside of Geneva.|
Thursday was a holiday in Geneva and I think all of Geneva had the idea to head to France and pick up some less expensive goods. The place was mobbed with shoppers.
I ended up spending 113 Euro for three large reusable size bags of groceries and a 12 pack of beer. As France uses Euros and Switzerland CHF, and as my mathematical skills are underwhelming at best, there was no way that I could convert on the spot the cost of each item to ensure I was getting a good deal. I could have used my phone and currency converter but as I was in France I would have had to turn on my data roaming so instead I hoped for the best. I think in Geneva the same groceries would have been three times the amount I spent in France but that is just an estimate. For those of you counting at home 113 Euro equals $136, ZAR1758 and 128CHF.
|For anyone who has wondered what a rabbit without its fur and skin looks like here you go.|
|This was in the section featuring American products. No, I didn't buy any.|