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Old 12.10.2014, 13:21
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Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

Hi folks,

we will be saying good-bye (atleast for few years) to land of mountain, lakes and cows (did I miss something !) , for north california towards end of the year.

I was wondering, say, if there are any specific household items that we should carry from here .

Specially wanted to ask folks who have lived in the USA (california specifically) as to what they would want to carry back home (only items, not things like rain, less traffic ) e.g. things that are of good quality here (furniture, other household things ?)

I am considering whether it will make sense to buy some good quality furniture from here before the move

Since I will be shipping household items anyway (since relocation package would not exchange the cost of moving goods for buying goods in the US, and I did get plenty of space in air and sea shipment as part of my package), so might not hurt to replace some old stuff with new one


We are leaving behind all electronics stuff.

thanks a lot for your support
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Old 12.10.2014, 15:02
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

Quality is not an issue in buying furniture, clothes, appliances, or anything else in the USA. You will find it much cheaper and easier to buy in the US, and a much greater variety to choose from.
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Old 12.10.2014, 15:02
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

None of the white goods unless they're already American made. Wrong voltage and size otherwise.
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Old 12.10.2014, 15:15
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

Forgot to mention - if you are taking your mattresses and beds - you may want to buy extra sheets because the bed sizes in the USA are not sized the same.
Also - Americans do not use duvets usually - but you can find them - they are sized to American beds though, so if you plan on using your same bedding, then get those items here before you go.

Another thought - if you are moving to a larger place - and you want the continuity of furniture style - then buy your matching pieces here. Furniture styles in the USA is a bit different as are the houses with bigger rooms and heavier styled furniture compared to the more modern styles here.
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Old 12.10.2014, 15:16
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

Buy what you need over there for more choice and lower prices. Maybe one exception: coffee. My hubby brought his from Germany.
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Old 12.10.2014, 15:37
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

thanks folks,

our furniture is old anyway, and we will most likely end up in a bigger place. So the idea is to use it for few months (just to reduce upfront costs), and then buy new furniture later to replace existing ones
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Old 12.10.2014, 17:13
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

Go across the border in France and get healthy, but expiration date in mind, cheap medical and vitamin supplies.


If you like baking on the metric system, gram scale, that can be said as well for your weight scale.


If you like Nescafe instant coffee, buy it here, as it is not the same there, nor is Nescafe the same anywhere in the world as they make it different to adapt to local tastes.


Aromat(only if you have to).


Don't bring dog food products as anything meat based in forbidden. We had it seized on the way into Switzerland as well for bringing back dog bones, and I know it is the same in the states.
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Old 12.10.2014, 17:22
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

White socks.
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Old 12.10.2014, 17:26
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

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White socks.
Chino shorts
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Old 12.10.2014, 17:29
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

thanks @SOBETT and Connor MacLeod -> must be hard spending Sunday at home

Last edited by Newbee; 12.10.2014 at 17:38. Reason: reworded
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Old 12.10.2014, 17:38
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

The U shaped vegetable peeler with a movable blade?.(if that doesn't already exist in the US?)
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Old 12.10.2014, 17:43
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

Spaetze maschine
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Old 12.10.2014, 17:44
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

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White socks.
No way, America has the best white socks in the universe.
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Old 12.10.2014, 17:44
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

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The U shaped vegetable peeler with a movable blade?.(if that doesn't already exist in the US?)
There is a better one that comes from the states.
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Old 12.10.2014, 17:53
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

There are very few things you cannot get in California that you can in Switzerland. When I go home I bring Ovomaltine spread as an unusual treat. (We have all the same chocolate.) "cost plus world market" sells import european goods if you find there is something you are missing.

Don't worry too much about the coffee, there are tons of great small roasters all over California. You can get starbucks beans in the supermarket, but many of the local coffee shops roast their own beans and sell by the pound, or even ship to your door. Every grocery store sells over the counter medicines, but places like target and Costco sell generics much much cheeper (think 1 year supply for $5-$15.) Vitamins cheaply can be had at Trader Joes, the grocery store of all things wonderful.

I second about the beds being a different size, but a 160cm bed at Ikea is exactly equivalent to an american Queen size bed.

Metric baking supplies can be had at any kitchen shop (and there are tons) but you will find that the flour is quite different and you may have better luck using american recipes anyway.

Bring just the things that are too expensive to replace-- I've got a full set of fancy pots and pans in California that I wish I had here, but are too heavy to ship and too expensive to replace. Quality furniture is easy to find and way less expensive than swiss furniture, but more expensive than IKEA.

The hardest part about buying things new will probably be knowing what stores and catalogs sell the things you want for the most reasonable prices. If there are things particular things you are debating on whether to bring, I'd be happy to point you to shops with comparable items (most have complete online catalogs.)
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Old 12.10.2014, 18:10
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

It's a bit sad , isn't it, that there is nothing worth taking from Switzerland. Except their very low risk of cardiovascular disease, which isn't applicable to us.
Wonder what a Swissie would recommend?
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Old 12.10.2014, 18:23
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

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It's a bit sad , isn't it, that there is nothing worth taking from Switzerland. Except their very low risk of cardiovascular disease, which isn't applicable to us.
Wonder what a Swissie would recommend?
Well I thought the question would be things the common person would want to bring to California, that might not be able to find from Switzerland.


There are a lot of Swiss products already in the USA, that there is no point in bringing as they are already there. And for the common person it is enough.
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Old 12.10.2014, 18:41
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

1) Buy 25 packets of aspirin, about CHF 12.50 a packet of 20 tablets. In the USA they sell them in bottles of 500 tablets (hence the 25 packets) for less than $4.00, at the grocery store right between the light bulbs and the hunting ammo. Granted, those are only 325 mg instead of the Swiss 500 mg, but your Californian neighbors will turn green of envy when you tell them that you have aspirin that's 80 times as expensive as their stuff.

2) Bring your old Sibir fridge for the same reason. You'll need a step-up transformer for it, which can be pretty expensive, but hey, you'll be the talk of the 'hood with a 76 liter fridge that cost as much as the customary american walk-in fridge with 750 liters and built-in automatic ice-maker.

3) Breakfast cereals to show the new neighbors what a great variety we have in Switzerland.

4) A keg or two of Rivella Blau.

5) Feldschlösschen.

6) Valser Wasser. Just don't tell the neighbors that it's owned by Coca Cola.

7) Brown sugar. There's no brown sugar in the USA.

Now wait a minute.....
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Old 12.10.2014, 18:45
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

hilarious , fortunately I already have an american fridge at home , and not a big fan of cereals and exotic drinks

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1) Buy 25 packets of aspirin, about CHF 12.50 a packet of 20 tablets. In the USA they sell them in bottles of 500 tablets (hence the 25 packets) for less than $4.00, at the grocery store right between the light bulbs and the hunting ammo. Granted, those are only 325 mg instead of the Swiss 500 mg, but your Californian neighbors will turn green of envy when you tell them that you have aspirin that's 80 times as expensive as their stuff.

2) Bring your old Sibir fridge for the same reason. You'll need a step-up transformer for it, which can be pretty expensive, but hey, you'll be the talk of the 'hood with a 76 liter fridge that cost as much as the customary american walk-in fridge with 750 liters and built-in automatic ice-maker.

3) Breakfast cereals to show the new neighbors what a great variety we have in Switzerland.

4) A keg or two of Rivella Blau.

5) Feldschlösschen.

6) Valser Wasser. Just don't tell the neighbors that it's owned by Coca Cola.

7) Brown sugar. There's no brown sugar in the USA.

Now wait a minute.....
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Old 12.10.2014, 18:50
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Re: Leaving for California - what to take from Switzerland/Europe

I find kitchen utensils in Switzerland have better quality and design. Also, many healthcare and beauty products.
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