Monday, January 21, 2008

U.S. Shopping List...

We will be leaving for Chicago this coming Saturday. It's been four months since I was last there, and I'm really looking forward to going back.

I need a Chicago fix at least three times per year in order to maintain my sanity.

This trip will be a little different from past trips because I'll actually interrupt the Chicago feedbag and visiting of family and friends by taking a quick trip down to my parents' winter-home in Florida. Yes, the packing list will be complicated slightly because I'll have to throw in a pair of shorts, a couple of light shirts, a bathing suit, and some flip-flops along with the arctic-cold survival gear that's required in Chicago at this time of year, but I think I'll manage - somehow.

Of course, we'll also bring along a couple of extra suitcases so that we can haul some stuff back to Switzerland. Not much stuff, mind you, but a few of the things that we find that we can't live without. For example:

binder clips - hard to find here, and one costs the same as about fifty cost in Chicago. These are needed for maintaining my extremely anal-retentive filing system.

Crest toothpaste
- not sold here, and it's one of the few must-have things I always bring back from the U.S.

Sweet 'N Low - not sold here, and I like it because no other sweetener makes my coffee as sweet as Sweet 'N Low. Also, the sweetener here is called Assugrin, and it always makes me think of "ass surgeon" when I see it, and that definitely lessens my coffee drinking enjoyment.

Eucerin - I need my big tub of Eucerin hand lotion. I glob it on my hands right before I go to bed, put on my cotton sleeping gloves, and in the morning I have soft hands that adequately represent my lifestyle completely devoid of hard physical labor.

Vitamin E (400 I.U.) and Vitamin C (500 mg) - I can buy vitamins here, but they are ridiculously expensive. Seriously, a jug from Costo containing 500 tablets costs about the same as a container containing 30 costs here.

Target multi-symptom, night time, cold/flu relief (cherry flavor)
- I look forward to colds (have one right now...YES!) just so I can drink this stuff. Just two tablespoons (ok, maybe a little bit more) before going to bed puts me into a coma for hours. Plus, the stuff just tastes so damn good! Mrs. TBF thinks I'm addicted. However, I'm not. tongue is not unusually red!

Shake 'n' Bake - I've never brought this back from the U.S. before, but I've just been craving some Shake 'n' Bake lately. Do they still sell the stuff?

Aveda hair care products - There is a new Aveda store in Basel (stopped by there with Mrs. TBF for the first time this weekend to check it out), but the products Mrs. TBF uses (Be Curly and Sap Moss...whatever the hell that is) are more than double the price of the same products in the U.S. However, I did notice that the "Pure Male Lunch Break" (facial and manicure) was fairly reasonably priced at our local spa, so maybe I'll have to head in there for a little "maintenance" in the not-too-distant future.

Ban deodorant - After years of listening to my mom tell us that Ban is the greatest deodorant ever created, Mrs. TBF finally decided to try it a few years back, and...she now agrees. Ban is now a permanent fixture on the U.S. Shopping List. My deodorant crystal continues to serve me well, so no deodorant for me.

Oh....and I almost forgot!

Mrs. TBF also wants an iPod touch, and I'm gonna buy me a new MacBook Pro.

Who knows? Now that house prices are falling in the U.S. (down 5% from last year and expected, by some "experts" to go down as much as 20%!) and the value of the dollar keeps dropping, maybe we'll buy a house too! Nahhh, just kidding! But I did check this past weekend, and one Swiss franc was worth 91 cents. When we moved here in 2000, the Swiss franc was worth only 57 cents - a difference of 60%.

Hmmmm...maybe we will buy a house.

Now...where's that big jar of loose change?


Michael Lehet said...

Yep, we've still got Shake-n-Bake and I helped!

Mrs. TBF said...

Dearest, one of my external colleagues is a little concerned about the fact that you wear gloves to bed.

The Big Finn said...

Well, it's winter - I have to wear something!

Gretchen said...

Don't you remember that you can buy Crest at Coop Gartenstadt?! :)

The Big Finn said...

Gretchen - I haven't needed THAT Crest since July of last year.

The Sour Kraut said...

I'm so jealous of your Mac purchases.

islandgirl4ever2 said...

Great that you guys get to go back THREE times a year.. Wish I could make it back to Cali 3 times a year, too.. I sure MISS that San Diego sun ... and beach!! Our suitcases will be JAM-PACKED with U.S. goods.. We'll bring ALL of Target, Whole Foods and Michael's if we can.. If not, the extra suitcase a piece at whatever the highest weight will be it... I am a baker so it's a MUST to have Nestle's choc. chips in absolutely EVERY flavor.. cake mixes, and chow mein noodles.. Reach toothbrushes and Tom's fennel toothpaste.. GOD!! I really miss Whole Foods!! Anyhow... good to see you guys are Mac users... If you get a Macbook... PLEASE check to make sure that the hard drive is NOT a Seagate- I forget which serial number but their is a DEFECT in Seagate's hard drive and my "new" Macbook (at a little over one year- 2 months past the warantee- CRASHED.. I lost EVERYTHING!!!!!! I didn't have everything backed up.. but still... It was a pretty new computer ... check before you buy.. and look on the web to find out the serial number.. If my hub still has it.. I will send it over to you.. Bon Voyage to you guys!

Unknown said...

hope you have a great trip, and a macbook pro... oh my.. I'm in heaven... But waiting..

Kirk said...

Hope you're having a good trip back to the sure to support the Aveda spa in Basel because Guy, our hair guy in Basel, is the manager there and we want to see him do well.

My Brand New Swiss Life said...

Frango Mints!!! Marshall Fields may be gone (Macy's, pshaw!) but the mints are still there on Michigan Ave I'm told.