Having Switzerland be the first destination outside the country that I went to was a scary proposition. It was the year 2008. I was less than 2 years out of college and I was travelling alone. I had only heard about how expensive Switzerland was in general. So when I first landed there for a short work stint, I was handed my spending money upfront. I had to ration that out over the 15 days. My stay was covered separately, so I didn’t have to worry about that.

My hotel stay had breakfast included. I was initially regaled by the wide array of breads and cheeses on offer.

I spent the next five days saving money on food by buying bread and cheese at the local supermarkets. Sixth day onwards I started feeling nausea whenever I thought about food and the bread and cheese I was going to have to eat. One day it got so bad that I decided I would go out and just eat whatever I wanted (that wasn’t insanely expensive). I discovered a local resto that served some decent margarita pizzas. The first time I ordered it I had a hard time even trying to understand what were my options as a vegetarian thanks to my non-existent German language skills. But it was good inexpensive food and I had the same thing several times thereafter. There may have been other vegetarian options but procuring that information was too arduous an exercise so I just settled for the Margarita.

On another day that I went exploring I came across a McDonalds. Again just one vegetarian burger. This again tasted blissfully good. I decided from then on that the few days I had remaining I would have McDonald’s every day if I needed to. It was also when I stopped converting every price in Swiss Francs to Indian Rupees.

Over my stay there I came across several eateries that looked very interesting, that I stupidly refused to try thanks to my fear of running out of my allotment of Swiss Francs. A lifelong regret.

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