We'd just finished lunch at our favourite Indian restaurant when we passed by the American Market.
"Let's go in," said the Captain.
I resisted. We didn't need anything, particularly not a 10 franc box of Cheerios, but the Captain's sweet tooth prevailed.
Walking through the front door, I was immediately transported to small town USA. It smells American, if that's at all plausible. (I don't say Canadian because, having grown up in pre-Wal-Mart Canada, I remember the days when obtaining Ranch-flavoured Doritos demanded cross-border shopping.) The shelves were packed with every American processed food and confectionery you can imagine, and a few you'd never thought possible. Crunchy apple bits in a chip bag? I shuddered to think. To complete the illusion, 1960's rock 'n' roll played on the radio behind the cash. Need your Ben and Jerry's fix? Look no further. Sour Cream and onion chips? This is your place. Need to rid yourself of excess cash quick? Fill your basket. Trust me, you won't need two.
We left the market one bag heavier and 72 franc lighter. Here is a picture of our haul less two Blow Pops, a bottle of cream soda, a pack of Twizzlers, cinnamon Tic Tacs and some Bubblicious -- all but the Tic Tacs are gone.
To be honest, the real tastes of home, the ones I look forward to having in two weeks' time, were not to be found. Things like my mom's roast beef, bagels from St. Viateur, sushi from Kaizen, and Swartz's smoked meat don't travel well and can't be found anyplace else. Like most things in life, there are no short cuts to the things that mean most. I know that someday I will be mourning the things I love about Switzerland. And when I do, I know I won't be able to find them in any store.
Now, where are those Tic Tacs?