Girls just wanna have fun

Post by Lauren

I was gleeful when I ran into a group of singing French girls on my way home from the gym Saturday morning. They carried a huge basket of candy. I immediately associated it with Halloween and trick-or-treating.

But, alas, no. They were a bachelorette party making their way through the streets of Geneva. They approached all men for cash and would give them a piece of candy in return. Not sure if the cash was for the bachelorette festivities or the wedding fun.

Anyhow it brought a smile to my face as the boarded the pink tram (decorated for Breast Cancer Awareness month).

Notice the person in the foreground looking aghast at the horror of it all.

Halloween in Geneva

Post by Lauren

In Europe, Halloween isn’t such a big holiday. Gabe & I had a few friends over so that we could properly celebrate.

First, he carved a pumpkin, which is a necessity for Halloween. By the way, large pumpkins are sold sparingly at the big grocery store, labeled Gros Halloween, or Fat Halloween.

Then, I made a few “scary” dishes:

Then, a few friends joined us for the fun. Note, most of them came on public transport and got lots of odd looks. Including people who were taking photos of them. Again, Halloween is very strange here, especially to dress like characters (see yesterday’s post).

You are probably wondering who won the pumpkin? Well, the big prize goes to The Girl in the Dragon Tattoo.

Congrats and Happy Halloween!

The American

Post by Lauren

Since Gabe’s company has headquarters in the US, they encouraged all the employees to dress up Friday. Here is Gabe dressed as Magnum PI. It was relatively easy to pull off since he had a Hawaiian shirt and cap and S & S had given us a bunch of mustaches (you’ll see why for tomorrow’s post). Anyhow, comparing the two, I think he did quite well for a costume pulled together in ten minutes, morning of.

Since only about 5% of his office is from the US, he knew that people may not know Magnum PI. However, he figured he would get equal education in their characters….maybe some politicians, movie stars, etc. However, people only dressed up like witches and goblins.

We now know the European definition of Halloween is to dress up like a scary thing, not characters, historical references, or pop culture icons like we do in the US.

Lesson learned.

At the end of the day, they circulated an email featuring everyone who participated. People had subtitles of Goblin, Witch under their photos.

Gabe’s simply said, “The American”.

Gratitude Friday: Autumn in Switzerland

Post by Lauren

This Friday, I just wanted to express my gratitude for Autumn in Switzerland. Since our house hunting fell in Winter and our move in Spring, Fall is the last season that I have yet to see. It was worth the wait…..


Bon weekend, everyone!


I’ve got wheels.

Post by Lauren

No…I haven’t learned how to drive our car, Sven, yet. But I have my own set of wheels. I finally got a grocery caddy. If you ever told me that I would get excited about owning a grocery caddy I would have laughed at you. But after 5 months of living in a city without the ability to use a car, the day has come.

The cool thing about it is that it folds up. My French teacher was quick to point out it wasn’t very good for heavy loads since there wasn’t a structured base. I agree. But nevertheless, I like it because if grocery shopping is 3-4 errands into the day, I don’t want to have to drag a full grocery caddy platform around.

Pulling this guy up our steep hill still gives a workout but its a lot easier than carrying four bags of heavy groceries on my shoulders.

The Price Is Right – France vs. Switzerland

Post by Lauren

Do you remember the Grocery Game on the show The Price Is Right? I used to love watching this show when I was a kid. So for the spirit of fun, we are going to play the game on this blog with the prices of goods in France vs. Switzerland.

Good luck guessing. A little more challenging than Bob Barker’s version.

The prices are equalized by currency, and I took it a step further to actualize it into American dollars. So, euros x 1.4 and Swiss Francs x 1. 2.

Be a sport. Scroll til you see the product and no more before you guess the prices.

Roll of Pizza Dough:


$ 6.48 (5.40 CHF)


$ 2.80 (1.37 euros)

500 Grams of Spinach


$ 7.08 (5.90 CHF for 300 g)


$ 3.50 (2.50 euros for 500 g)

Kronenbourg Beer 10 pack


$ 10.68 (8.90 CHF)


$ 5.72 (4.09 euros)


Guacamole, jarred*
I know, its gross, but beggars can’t be choosers


$ 6.60 (5.50 CHF)


$ 3.02 (2.16 euros)

Canned green beans


$ 8.22 (6.85 CHF)


$ 1.33 (0.95 euro)

Coke 4 pack, 1 liter each


$ 9.12 (7.60 CHF)


$ 6.72 (4.80 euro)


So how did you do? I hope you were a winner.

Me, I’m depressed after putting together this game.

Swiss political ads

Post by Lauren

Switzerland held elections this past Sunday.

Leading up to the election, political ads have been in full force, covering trams, buses, and about 80% of the Geneva billboards. To be expected, right?

What wasn’t expected by me was the shocking nature of some of these campaigns. For a neutral country, they can be very direct. Particularly, the Swiss People’s Party ones which are fear based to stop “massive immigration”.

Believe it or not, this year’s campaign’s are tame :

Previous years have been a bit more appalling. I did a quick Google search and found some from the last big election in 2007. You really don’t need to know French or German to interpret the xenophobic message conveyed.

For more background, check out the CNN article here on the election results, or a portion of the Jon Stewart show which talks about the minaret topic.