- Learn not to tip. Service is included and waiters are well paid. This feels a bit mean to me, the accepted compromise approach is to round things up a bit. Extra Swiss-points are available for grumbling about the bill and look mildly put out at having to pay it at all.
- Don't pay the full price for any kind of public transport. There will be a railcard or a special deal for everything (and they are generally fantastic value).
- Use price comparison websites for everything. I have downloaded an iPhone app which tracks the price of groceries and alerts me, the savvy shopper, to the best deals in my local supermarkets.
- Buy in bulk. Especially for household products like washing powder. Swiss people must have enormous utility rooms.
- Never pay for anything in advance. In general, invoices have 30 days payment terms and consumers are trusted with credit a lot more readily than at home.
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
To help with cultural assimilation I am trying to gradually adopt Swiss attitudes and behaviours. This week I am beginning my Swissness financial training. Specifically, this so far involves: