Have you ever kept a change jar? I know I did as a kid, but I lost the habit during adolescence and college and only started keeping one again when my mom gave me an electronic piggy bank for Christmas a couple years ago. I saved for one year with no clear goal in mind and then Adam and I decided to get married on a Tuesday and I used my savings for our wedding dinner. It was great.
Of course I can’t use that piggy bank here because it only keeps track of US coins, but Adam and started the tradition shortly after we moved into our apartment last year. We actually kept our change in a Blanton’s bourbon box, but I transferred it all into a plastic bag to take to the bank this week.
It is amazing how quickly one can accumulate change here. Not only are there standard coins for Rappen (the cents version of the Swiss Franc) but the currency also uses coins for 1, 2 and 5 Francs. A handful of change can easily equally 20 Francs or so, which perhaps doesn’t go a terribly long way here, but it will at least buy you a (cheap) lunch.
So, having saved for a year we were eager to see how much money we had collected. There are no Coin Star machines here and it turns out it’s rather tricky to find a bank that will change them for you. The standard response I got from banks and the post office was that I’d have to roll them myself in papers and then bring them back. These papers are nothing like the US version and looked like a migraine waiting to attack. I finally found a bank that changed them for me, but since I’m not a customer took a hefty 10% fee. It’s obviously not ideal, but trust me when I say it was a better alternative to rolling the coins myself.
We ended up with Fr. 481.85, though after the bank’s commission it was closer to Fr. 431, which is still an awesome sum. We’re planning on taking part of the winnings with us to the Zurich Wine Boats in November and splurging on some nice bottles of wine. Cheers to saving money (and blowing it on something fun)!
What are you up to this weekend? I’m getting my hair CHOPPED this afternoon (!!) and having a low-key night with a friend tonight. Tomorrow Adam and I are going to Lake Geneva to ride our bikes from Lausanne to Vevey, stopping in to the various vineyards and wineries for tastings along the way. I’m really, really looking forward to it.
I hope you have a chance to do something festive and fall-ish this weekend, but if you find yourself inside here are a few links from around the web:
A cool new-to-me song
People from infomercials can’t do anything right. Made me laugh out loud. What klutzes!
Clever napkins for your next dinner party
How about those Royals?! We are loving it. Here’s a great t-shirt for all you Kansas Citians
I made pumpkin soup this week and it was delicious
Common mistakes when caramelizing onions. These tips were super helpful for a dinner last week
A guide to drinking wine at home
Second-graders react to a tasting dinner at Daniel in New York
Interested in what goes on in the restaurant kitchen? “Don’t Eat Before Reading This”
This cozy blanket is a steal. WANT.
A very cute DIY Halloween costume
How to grow a minimalist wardrobe. I need this suggestions…
Or do I just need this?
This Korean North Face store is crazy!
Lastly, I start German classes again on Monday and I am so nervous! It’s been nearly a year since my last class and I’m having some jitters about starting it all again. Here are one man’s tips to mastering a foreign language as an adult.