Friday, September 11, 2009

When living in Switzerland...

  • Make sure to open your windows three times a day so that your apartment doesn't end up with mold. Very important to circulate the air.
  • Know that you can buy un-refrigerated eggs and milk and they will taste and be okay to ingest
  • That accident insurance is MANDATORY to live in Switzerland and must be purchased. This differs from apartment insurance, so make sure to check your policy.
  • Need to buy special garbage bags to dispose of all trash. These can be purchased at Coop or Migros by asking the cashier. While there, ask for the paperwork to get a Cumulus Card or Coop Card. Each time you shop present your card, they will swipe it, and send you cash in the mail once you acquire so many points.
  • You must weigh your own produce in the grocery store by finding the appropriate number that corresponds to the vegetable or fruit you want to buy. Weigh the produce, push the number, affix the sticker.
  • IKEA is not far away, and can say you a lot of money when you compare Switzerland prices to theirs. Worth the trip. Make sure to go to the Spreitenbach location. Much easier to get to.
  • You can order groceries online through Coop and Migros for a 10 CHF fee and they will deliver them to your house. Very useful when you first move here if you do not know the language.
  • Most places expect that you will either pay in cash or use a credit card. Most popular and accepted in Europe are Mastercard and American Express.
  • Make sure that you drive the speed limit. You never know when the camera's will take a picture of your license plate and send you a ticket. This can get very expensive.
  • You are required to have snow tires on your car in winter or your car insurance is void.
  • Dogs can go in almost all public places and are very well behaved. Just make sure to bring some doggy bags with you to pick up your doggie's waste. They also have Hund toilettes centered by different areas in the city which is a fenced in area where your doggy can do his business. By registering your dog with the canton, the community supplies doggie waste bags available in those same areas. Look for the green box called Rapidog.
  • If you jump onto a bus or train WITHOUT paying for a ticket, you are doing so at your own risk. If caught, they will give you a ticket that is payable on the spot of at least 100 francs and a harsh reprimand.
  • It is common place to see someone pushing a grocery cart from store to store. That is because in order to receive a cart you must deposit 1 or 2 francs in the slot and it will be returned to you once you bring your cart back. It is also common to see people shopping with bags they brought from home because they do not give you bags for your items. Reuse, Reduce, Recycle...
  • They have several festivals and holidays throughout the year that tend to follow Catholic or pagan days. During these festivals within the town, there is a real sense of community.
  • Mayonaise comes in a tube instead of a bottle.
  • Don't honk your horn, unless there is an emergency. Honking your horn is illegal in Switzerland and you will receive a ticket. Ask my friend Ronnie who luckily was able to honk her horn and prove it wasn't hers.
  • In any parking ramp frei does not mean free, but that they have available parking spaces. You are required to push the button, grab your ticket, and then park. When you are done, and are ready to leave, you must find the machine where you will pay. It is here that you insert your parking ticket and pay. If you wait until you leave the parking garage, you will be unable to get out and may have an embarrassing line behind you. Make sure to not keep your ticket in your coin purse or near your credit cards, because it will deativate your ticket.
  • They recycle almost anything and encourage you to do so. Bags for trash are quite expensive, so even if you don't want to save the earth, you may want to save money.

Hunenberg Recycling

I have found that the recycling place near the Gemeinde in Hunenberg is the best. It is located near the soccer fields in Hunenberg on Zentrumstrasse. The hours are as follows:

Monday - 2:00pm -5:00pm
Tuesday - 9:30am- 11:30am
Wednesday - 1:15pm-5:00pm
Thursday- 9:30am -11:30am
Friday - 2:00pm-5:00pm
Saturday - 8:00am-11:30am


The cantonal Hospital in Zug has a 24 hour emergency service even for children. When my daughter was hit by a firecracker during Swiss National Holiday festivities, this would have been helpful to know.

Zuger Kantonsspital
Artherstrasse 27
6300 Zug

Telephone: =41 (0) 41 709 77 99
Website: Cantonal Hospital

Emergency Numbers

In the event of an emergency, and they will happen, here are the numbers to remember. In fact, my propane grill caught on fire, and I didn't have these numbers. Luckily we were able to put it out, but I hope you will learn from my mistakes.

Police Emergency 117
Fire Department Emergency 118
Ambulance Emergency 144
Poisoning Emergency 145
Rescue by Helicopter 1414/1415
Emergency Road Service 140
The Helping Hand 143
Telephone Support for the Young 147
Doctor on Duty +41 (0) 41 211 14 14