Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Things I can't live without (Part I)...

This past weekend, we met a couple named Eric and Rita while at a dinner party at John and Rammy's house (Note to Rammy: Who the heck holds a dinner party the night before going away on a ten-day vacation? You're insane!). Eric and Rita lived in Basel for something like fifteen years before going on a two-year assignment in Washington, D.C. In a couple of months they'll be returning to Basel.
During the course of the evening, one of the things Eric asked me was what I felt was worth bringing back from the U.S. to Basel. In other words, what are some of the things that you can get in the U.S. which you just can't get in Switzerland. Now, I have to tell you that I don't really bring back too many things other than clothes and electronics when I visit the U.S. But, there are a couple of things that I ALWAYS bring back with me.
The first thing: Q-Tips. American Q-Tips are FAR superior to any other Q-Tips I've ever used. Using the European version of Q-Tips are akin to cleaning your ear with a chopstick. Rita and Eric (if by some chance you're actually reading this blog): prevent damage to your medula oblongata by bringing a lifetime supply of good old "Made in the U.S.A." Q-Tips!
The second thing - and I didn't think about this one until a few minutes ago - is/are: The Libman Dish Scrub & Soap Dispenser! I ALWAYS have Libman Dish Scrub Refills in my suitcase when returning from the U.S. My cuticles begin to crack just at the thought of doing dishes without my beloved Libman sponges. What do people use in Europe? I have no idea (washcloth maybe?). All I know is that they don't sell this product, or anything that even resembles it, in Switzerland, France, or Germany. Whenever I show THE Libman to a native European, they say something like: "Wow! What a great idea!"
Hey Libman Family ("Family Made Since 1896!"...): Isn't it about time somebody in your family figured out that there are about 500 million people here in the E.U. who could use your product? Maybe just take the big "Made in the USA" off of the back of the package. That might hurt sales a bit.
To be continued...


Kirk said...

If you're a Crest toothpaste devotee (as we are), that's something to bring back. Colgate just doesn't cut it for us, and the only other place I've found Crest was in Hong Kong. Go figure.

Oh, and good deodorant.

Gretchen said...

I'm with you on the Q-tips AND the dish scrubber! We just recently ran out of real Q-tips and I was forced to buy some here to make it through the next couple weeks until I bring a new supply from the States. Like you, I've been amazed that I can't find a good dish scrubber here and am glad that I brought plenty of refills. I don't know the specific brand you mentioned, but I have a favorite from Target that's quite similar.