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Old 04.08.2011, 17:14
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First Weeker Questions

So, we arrived last Wednesday, got registered, got a bank account, moved into a temporary apartment, sussed out the grocery store, and here we are. This weekend I'll tackle the whole health insurance question, but I have a few random questions that are yet unanswered after a week here (some of them are along the lines of "Why is the sky blue?", but some actual questions in here, too)
  • How many people die every year due to the random fireworks on 1 August?
  • Is there a store where I can buy things in bulk (i.e., bins with things you scoop, label, weigh – not Costco/Sam’s-type bulk)? I’m specifically looking for beans and grains, but if there was a place that had spices you could measure out in smaller quantities, that would be great!
  • What’s the best way to say “Do you speak English?” – Sprächen sie Englisch? Or is there a better way in Swiss German? Or should I just launch in with a sheepish, “Uh, hello, yes, help me, please!”
  • How do people sleep in the spring/summer/fall with these duvets?
  • If I were to buy a little grocery push cart, where would I get one? Same question for waffle maker. I went to the Coop City near us at Sihlcity Nord, but didn't see either there. Would a bigger Migros have these?
Thanks!
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Old 04.08.2011, 21:49
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Re: First Weeker Questions

Hi. Many questions. The best way to adjust will be only to be open and accept the things as they are. Switzerland has a very distinct and rich culture. If you approach people with respect and a smile then you will be alright. "Sprechen Sie Englisch" is by the way perfect.
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Old 04.08.2011, 21:59
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Re: First Weeker Questions

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So, we arrived last Wednesday, got registered, got a bank account, moved into a temporary apartment, sussed out the grocery store, and here we are. This weekend I'll tackle the whole health insurance question, but I have a few random questions that are yet unanswered after a week here (some of them are along the lines of "Why is the sky blue?", but some actual questions in here, too)
  • How many people die every year due to the random fireworks on 1 August? Fewer than those who are killed by bears in WA, probably. But a house did burn down in Aargau this year.
  • Is there a store where I can buy things in bulk (i.e., bins with things you scoop, label, weigh – not Costco/Sam’s-type bulk)? I’m specifically looking for beans and grains, but if there was a place that had spices you could measure out in smaller quantities, that would be great! Presumably you're in Zürich if you shop at Sihl City. I'll leave it to the Zürchers to advise on buying in bulk. Could you update your profile with your city of residence, please.
  • What’s the best way to say “Do you speak English?” – Sprächen sie Englisch? Or is there a better way in Swiss German? Or should I just launch in with a sheepish, “Uh, hello, yes, help me, please!” Adding a "bitte" to the end of your question would be nice.
  • How do people sleep in the spring/summer/fall with these duvets? On beds. Under or on those duvets, or just a sheet if you prefer.
  • If I were to buy a little grocery push cart, where would I get one? Are you a 90-year-old granny? Same question for waffle maker. Fust, Micasa, Co-op City (they do have them), MediaMarkt, Interdiscount, Manor, Globus, and of course online shops -- check toppreise.ch, to name a few. I went to the Coop City near us at Sihlcity Nord, but didn't see either there. Would a bigger Migros have these? Oh yeah, Migros MM or MMM too (Micasa is the homewares brand of Migros).
Thanks!
You're welcome.
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Old 04.08.2011, 22:15
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Re: First Weeker Questions

Sprechen Sie Englisch, bitte?

Kann ich bitte Englisch sprechen?
Can I speak in English please?

Ich spreche leider kein Deutsch, sondern nur Englisch.
Unfortunately I do not speak German, but only Englisch.

* * *

We have a summer and winter duvet. In summer you simply unbutton the second layer used in winter only.

I would not recommend to sleep without any duvet or sheets, except when the night temperature is also above 20 degrees (rarely, definitely not this summer).




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What’s the best way to say “Do you speak English?” – Sprächen sie Englisch? Or is there a better way in Swiss German? Or should I just launch in with a sheepish, “Uh, hello, yes, help me, please!”

How do people sleep in the spring/summer/fall with these duvets?

Thanks!

Last edited by Guest; 04.08.2011 at 22:27. Reason: Corrected quote formatting
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Old 04.08.2011, 22:30
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Re: First Weeker Questions

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Hi. Many questions. The best way to adjust will be only to be open and accept the things as they are. Switzerland has a very distinct and rich culture. If you approach people with respect and a smile then you will be alright. "Sprechen Sie Englisch" is by the way perfect.
Thanks! I'm working on the smiling.
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Old 04.08.2011, 22:33
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Re: First Weeker Questions

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You're welcome.
Post-thanks! All very helpful - and I've updated my profile. And yes, I am a bit of a granny. Weak hips and bad eyesight and all that fighting with my chronological age.
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Old 04.08.2011, 22:38
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Re: First Weeker Questions

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Sprechen Sie Englisch, bitte?

Kann ich bitte Englisch sprechen?
Can I speak in English please?

Ich spreche leider kein Deutsch, sondern nur Englisch.
Unfortunately I do not speak German, but only Englisch.

* * *

We have a summer and winter duvet. In summer you simply unbutton the second layer used in winter only.

I would not recommend to sleep without any duvet or sheets, except when the night temperature is also above 20 degrees (rarely, definitely not this summer).
Thank you for the translations!
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Old 04.08.2011, 22:46
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Re: First Weeker Questions

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What’s the best way to say “Do you speak English?”
"Do you speak English" is best. If they don't understand, they don't. Easy. Why ask in any other language?

Tom
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Old 04.08.2011, 22:51
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Re: First Weeker Questions

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"Do you speak English" is best. If they don't understand, they don't. Easy. Why ask in any other language?

Tom
Well, it's funny you should say that as I was at Heathrow once, when a German woman came up to me and said, in perfect English, 'Are you German?'
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Old 04.08.2011, 22:53
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Re: First Weeker Questions

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"Do you speak English" is best. If they don't understand, they don't. Easy. Why ask in any other language?
's polite. And doesn't come across as a touch arrogant.
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Old 05.08.2011, 08:15
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Re: First Weeker Questions

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How many people die every year due to the random fireworks on 1 August?
They are not random at all, it's the local 4th of July. I'm sure less people die because of them here than the amount of people dying in the US because of their "random fireworks".

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Is there a store where I can buy things in bulk (i.e., bins with things you scoop, label, weigh – not Costco/Sam’s-type bulk)? I’m specifically looking for beans and grains, but if there was a place that had spices you could measure out in smaller quantities, that would be great!
I'm not sure about the spices, but depending on the city you might find local, Mom & Pop type of stores. Not cheap. Regarding bulk, there is one chain that I know of (there might be others) called "TOP CC". It's like Costco, but you need to own some sort of store of be member of a type of club to get a card. Once you're fully settled you can try to find people who have a card and can issue an extension for you. You don't use it to pay, just to be allowed to shop there.

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How do people sleep in the spring/summer/fall with these duvets?
We have those too, we use regular sheets and blankets.

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[*]If I were to buy a little grocery push cart, where would I get one? Same question for waffle maker. I went to the Coop City near us at Sihlcity Nord, but didn't see either there. Would a bigger Migros have these?
I don't know if Migros carries these, probably Manor does. We bought one of these, and we use it all the time.



For small shopping needs you can get one of these:



They sell these in many places, but for eBay type of purchases, go to www.ricardo.ch, it's far better than eBay in Switzerland.
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Old 05.08.2011, 08:27
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Re: First Weeker Questions

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  • How do people sleep in the spring/summer/fall with these duvets?
  • If I were to buy a little grocery push cart, where would I get one? Same question for waffle maker. I went to the Coop City near us at Sihlcity Nord, but didn't see either there. Would a bigger Migros have these?
Thanks!
We had a thread recently titled "question for cohabitating couples" that was all about how do you sleep at night with this bloody heat?!?! I still can't figure it out.

I have seen the shopping bags on wheels (not a push-type, but a pull-type) in the baggage departments of department stores like Manor, Coop City, Pfauen, Globus, etc. The larger grocery stores sell them, too. If you're going to a Migros, look for one with 3 Ms on the store front.

1 M = small store, limited selection
2 M = somewhat larger store, larger selection and greater variety
3 M = big store, lots to choose from, expanded departments.
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Old 05.08.2011, 08:35
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Re: First Weeker Questions

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They are not random at all, it's the local 4th of July. I'm sure less people die because of them here than the amount of people dying in the US because of their "random fireworks".
They sure seem random when you're standing at the top of Zurichsee! (I'm talking about the people setting off fireworks in the park and not any show that the city may have organized - if there was one, I missed it. We left because I was tired of getting hit in the face with fireworks debris)

Also, regarding bulk foods, I'm specifically NOT looking for Costco type places - more talking about a Whole Foods type set up (though I've seen it at places other than Whole Foods), where you have a wall of bins with beans, grains, flours, sugars, dried fruit, nuts, etc, and can take as much or as little as you want. I've also seen this with spices, though less often. Is that something that's done here? It's really useful when you want to try something and not commit to a whole bag/package, or when you just want enough for the night's meal

Last edited by anowheels; 05.08.2011 at 08:39. Reason: wasn't done typing
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Old 05.08.2011, 08:48
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Re: First Weeker Questions

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Also, regarding bulk foods, I'm specifically NOT looking for Costco type places - more talking about a Whole Foods type set up (though I've seen it at places other than Whole Foods),
It's a good question. I haven't seen any such set up here, unfortunately. Perhaps one of the small, mom & pop-type Asian stores?
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Old 05.08.2011, 08:53
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Re: First Weeker Questions

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For small shopping needs you can get one of these:

What? A wife?
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Old 05.08.2011, 12:20
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Re: First Weeker Questions

Hi there,

Glad the move went smoothly, so welcome

I just sent you a PM to see if we can aid you with the Insurances.

As far as the grains etc I would take a trip to the Viadukt Market; they have al-sorts of wonderful fresh produce in there and you can even meet our EF resident Grumpygrapefuit at his awesome cheese and produce counter mmmmmmmmmm
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