Having lived in Switzerland for 12 years, there are many things from the UK that I either no longer miss/have got used to living without or for which I have found an acceptable substitute (or have appeared in the shops here such as Ginger Nuts). Nevertheless there are still a few things that I wish existed in Switzerland and some get imported
- Decent teabags. PG Tips get imported in bulk
- Radio 4 in the car – available on the internet and most cable TV offerings, but still, I always listened to it in the car and I miss that. I’m sure technology will catch up in due course and an internet stream will be built into ICEs before we’re very much older but for now, I miss it.
- Cheap aspirin/OTC medicines. No trip to the UK fails to include a raid on Boots and there is no substitute, in my book, for their tea tree and witch hazel foot spray
- Marmite. Love it or loathe it, it’s inimitable. You can sometimes find it here as a speciality but you have to look hard and dig deep to buy it. Big tubs from the cash and carry are non-existent
- Custard creams and Mr Kipling cakes.
- Jo Malone perfumes. I must confess I only discovered these when I was given the Red Roses bath oil as a present 4 or 5 years ago, but as someone who had never found “my” scent until this epiphany, I now enjoy the luxury of two. To be fair, Jelmoli in Zurich has just started stocking them if I’m desperate enough to pay for somebody else to have imported them, so all is not lost, but it’s still something that for years required a UK trip or a commission to someone travelling there
- Draft Scrumpy. None of this Strongbow rubbish
- Crème eggs. ‘Nuff said.
There are also a couple of habits that, despite my best and conscious efforts, I just can’t rid myself of:
- I still always carry a jacket if I’m going to be out in the evening, even though I know the temperatures simply don’t drop in the way they do when you live closer to the sea
- I still subscribe to the school of thought that carrying an umbrella will prevent it raining
How many resonate with you? What do you miss from “home”, wherever that was?