Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Zurich and I'm Poor

One of my worries with the whole relocation thing is the quite large possibility that I will be moving over the Zurich sans employment and furthermore sans cash monies. Husband has assured me what's his is mine but the idea of total dependence is not sitting very comfortably with me and I can't help feel like I will be penniless. Zurich has recently officially become the most expensive city in the World, cost of living wise and whilst I am trying to find employment, I seem to be at a disadvantage as I only speak English. Me no speaky the German sehr gút (but I am learning). Part of the reason I decided to Blog in the first place was because of this, I thought it would give me something to do should I remain stuck in an unemployment limbo. I won't deny that the idea of being kept or a man of leisure is not appealing for a while but in the long run it just isn't maintainable. Thing is I am a bit of a stickler. I like bargains, good deals on restaurants, entertainment, clothes etc and Zurich brings out the worst of my inner stickler traits. In my 3 short visits so far I have yet to buy one luxury item, this is unheard of for me when I am on holiday. Travelling to another country usually has me spending compulsively in various stores, vintage coats, latest gadgets, graphic novels and shoes for Husband but my stickler won't even entertain the idea in Zurich. It's like I've a tiny accountant in my head going:

Tiny Accountant: ‘Why would you buy those shoes when you can get them cheaper at home? Why would you pay 40CHF for jeans in H+M when you can get them for €20 at home.’

And so on and so forth, yada yada yada. Problem is, I've grown to trust my Tiny Accountant wholeheartedly. By listening to him where it matters like weekly food shopping in ALDI on the cheap meant I could splash out on the things that I really loved like trips to Italy, music gigs and eating out in great restaurants. Dublin is by no means a cheap city to live in, in fact at one stage the cost of living was outrageous but it's all about how you play the system. There are cheaper café's, shops (hell a whole street dedicated to discount stores on Talbot Street) where you could go when you were on a budget. I'm struggling to find these cheaper alternatives in Zurich. When I mention this to any of the residents I usually get a response along the lines of its all relative and when you have a Swiss salary it will not matter as they are quite robust. That may be, tiny expat community I've only just met but I don't have a Swiss salary. I will have Husbands spare credit card that I am terrified of using. Maybe I'm wrong about all this, readers (if I have any) if you any of you out there are Zuricans and know how to work the system let me know. Tips please!

I mean just the other day I went to a hipstery café out in Kreis 5, the type of place the blogtard and creative community go to tap away on their Macbook Pro's (guilty as charged), I ordered a bowl of soup and a cappuccino. Dublin equivalent this would of set me back about €8 -€10. Here I paid CHF18.30 works out as about €15, granted they were both delicious but why the mark up guys? Can we just assume for a second that everyone here isn't loaded (I think I can hear boundless Zuricans laughing at the very suggestion in the distance), how do you even get tourists to visit this place, backpackers destination it is not, affordability wise. I fared no better in the local MacDonalds or Burger King, given the universally lacking standard and quality of the food I assumed the cost would not differ country to country. How wrong was I? 15CHF (€12) for a medium burger meal in Burger King, Dublin price bout €8 max. If I hadn't stumbled upon Bretzal street vendors during my time in Zurich I actually think my Tiny Accountant would have had an embolism (CHF6-7 for a cheese and salami filled Bretzel and a taste heaven in your month).

I don't know what I'll do, cut coupons, shop in Goodwill, is there even a Goodwill in equivalent in Zurich? Maybe education is the key? Add some more strings to the bow and get the language down. I could fund this by being a stripper at night with a heart of gold. Or maybe not as I don't think I have the pecs for that job.

Whatever happens I know it's all part of the adventure :-)


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