Language fail

Guten Tag. This weekend sees me in Basel.

That’s German not Swiss German.


But there’s no point in getting Swiss francs, my friends assure me, as Basel’s unique position, in a niche between France and Germany, means we’ll be paying in euros when we head over the French border for dinner tonight. That’s after doing the grocery shopping in Germany, where it’s not only cheaper but, by filling in a few forms at the border, my friends get the tax back. How EU-tastic is that?

And Switzerland’s not in the EU, which is why the get the tax back.

4 thoughts on “Language fail”

  1. Well, High German being an official language of CH, and indeed the normal language of written communication of the largest language block in CH, I’d give him a pass on “Guten Tag” rather than “Grüezi” or “Guete Tag”…

    And as all here should be well aware the shopping is cheaper cos the Euro tanked against the euro about 4 years ago and supertanked a couple of days ago. If we still had the FFR and the DM the current situation over the northern borders would not exist. How EU tastic is that?

    However, it’s not like you can buy unlimited quantities of food in DE and bring it back into CH – 1kg of meat-containing products (it’s meat where you save the most money), 5L of wine, beer or similar, 1kg butter, CHF300 (IIRC) total, otherwise it’s Mr. Import Duty for you, at quite punishing rates.

  2. What abcab said. The written language is still basically high German.

    Anyway, isn’t it good that the euro is tanking? I thought the anti-euros had been wallabying about it being too high for years. Now it’s tanking that is seemingly as much proof as it is doomed as its being too high was.

    Just further proof that you can’t win an argument against ideologues, and it doesn’t really matter what the ideology is.

    Also, the customs fees are a rather hypothetical risk, based on personal experience of several hundred CH-DE/IT border crossings.

    Danke vielmals,

  3. BiG, CH is highly dependent on exporting to the Eurozone.

    When you’ve got a purchasing parity with France of 1.6 CHF per EUR and an FX rate of nearer 1.0, you’ve got a bit of a problem if you want to sell your stuff to the French.

    And yes, customs fees are indeed a risk, but if they ping you and you don’t declare, there’s supplementary naughty boy fees. Sometimes my cross-boarder commuting colleagues are late to work cos the Douane stop and search every car. During rush hour 🙂

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