He could eat at his work cafe, but an average lunch there costs 25 chf (Swiss francs are roughly equal to dollars). That adds up.
When we were living and working in Chicago, we would start most mornings with coffee in bed together and then go our separate ways. I would pick up a scone or some other sweet, bread-y sort of thing on my way into the office where I would arrive and immediately pour myself another mug of office supplied coffee. Lunch was typically a sandwich or soup at a chain like Panera or one of the smaller mom and pop restaurants around my office. Sometimes I would bring leftovers from dinner the night before if there had been anything leftover. In the evenings, if we had both had long days at work (typically the case), I would pick up a roast chicken and ready-made salads from Whole Foods, or we would (far too) frequently order delivery for dinner.
When we moved to New York, we ate out a lot. Quite possibly, we could own a vacation home now for what we spent eating out in restaurants. But there were so many wonderful places to eat there! Every food from everywhere on earth was available. And why spend the time and effort making a curry when you could buy one for far less that tasted far better on your way home from wherever?
Anyway. Switzerland? Not exactly a culinary capital. Though I've had a few nice meals out since arriving in Zurich, it's a bit of a hit or miss proposition. And if you are spending 32 chf for a cheeseburger, you really want that cheeseburger to be just short of mind-blowing. Eating out is insanely pricey. We don't do it much.
As I am not working*, it stands to reason that I can and should shoulder the whole food part of our life here. I do the meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Three meals a day for 2 adults. This, it turns out, is a not inconsiderable amount of work.
We don't have a car, so the acquisition of sufficient groceries to make all these meals means several trips to the store every week. Which, even without a car, would be necessary given the diminutive size of our fridge and freezer. Which isn't really a complaint. I like our kitchen here, I like the smaller fridge. In all of our apartments in the States, the refrigerator was always some hulking stainless steel monster that stuck out a good 6 inches beyond the countertops. Always bugged me. Why can't these things be produced compatibly? (I do miss automatic ice* makers, though. Sigh.)
|I usually annex the kitchen table for additional work space.|
|Fridge. At least it blends.|
|Barbie-sized freezer. Those drawers are only about 10 inches deep.|
|Kinda gross, right?|
|And they hang on a wall like socks or something.|
|The Coop Grocery store. This is one of the largest ones. With sufficient room for 2 carts to actually pass each other! Such novelty!|
I read a book by Jill Alexander Essbaum shortly after arriving in Zurich. Hausfrau: A Novel is the story of a young American woman named Anna living just outside Zurich with her Swiss husband and children. The heroine is modeled (sort of) after Anna Karenina, and is bored and unhappy with motherhood and the suburbs. She falls into a series of steamy and unhappy love affairs. The reviews make a big deal about the sex scenes as well as the general passivity of the main character. To me, Anna seems quite obviously clinically depressed. But the thought I kept returning to while reading her story was: How is this woman able to care for 2 small children AND keep a house clean to Swiss standards AND still have the time and energy for all her various sexual assignations? Impossible!
*More on these things in a later post.