It is well known that Switzerland is home to some of the wealthiest cities and people in the world. This is exemplified by the outrageous cost of food, and living expenses in general in this country, with specific reference to Zurich, (where I am currently.) You can rack up a dinner bill of over 100 CHF (about $106 USD) for two main courses and a bottle of wine. Not to mention the cupcake I just bought to indulge on yesterday was about $6 USD. SIX DOLLARS FOR A CUPCAKE?!
Using the gym is another example. My boyfriend, who has been living here for almost 9 months now, finally caved and signed up to use a gym in the heart of the city (with a couple of locations at his disposal throughout Zurich.) In order to sign a contract with the gym, you must decide today that you are committing to one year of usage. They do not allow month-to-month memberships, and you cannot commit for less than 12. This is pretty standard, even in the U.S. where the gym wants to make sure they have you as a definite member. The difference, however, is that in Switzerland they ask you to pay the full 12 months upfront. There’s no waiting for the paycheck to come in, it is just assumed whatever your paycheck is can afford a hit of $1,000 or more in one shot. That is money talking. Then you have to feel sorry for those travelers (ahem, yours truly) who want a good day at the gym, but simply cannot afford it at the rate of 30 CHF per day for a “guest pass”. I’m still floored by that number!!
The Swiss definitely know how to live well and to live in luxury, and I suppose that is how the system has always been set up. People are paid to be able to afford the cost of living in their country, and everyone gets a fair price on products and goods so that they too can afford their way of life. The only problem is for anyone from the outside coming in looking to enjoy themselves, which is quite nearly impossible for any reasonable sum of money. Guess we should all just strive to be rich like the Swiss!