03 March 2009

Parallel import

The post on imported baking ingredients last week made us think about which other things we are having summoned from other parts of the world. Obviously certain products are not widely available and we feel nostalgic about them (TimTams from Australia, smoked rolled sausage from the butcher in Tue's hometown; Danish chocolate turtles) but we don't actually NEED them. But here we present some of the things where we haven't been able to find similar products or where the found substitutes just can't match the preferred items.

First the stuff we are having sent/bring back from Denmark:

Cheese strings - The Danish/Scandinavian cheese cutter isn't yet globally found so we have to send for spare strings when they snap. Luckily they don't take up much room and a packet of three strings lasts a long time.

Liquorice - because in contrast to all expectations it is almost impossible to buy liquorice here in Geneva. With the proximity to Northern Europe we had expected that it would be easy to find but actually it was easier in California where Trader Joe's carry Panda liquorice (connaisseurs will know what this is) as part of their regular assortment. In Geneva the best option is to go to IKEA but since it's both quite far and they only have a limited selection, we have build a little stock pile after several visits from and to Denmark.

Lypsyl lip balm - Despite the fact that our lip balms states an US address we never succeeded in finding this brand in Santa Barbara and neither here in Switzerland have we seen them. So we make sure to buy them when we're in Denmark because attempts with alternatives have not been successful. Since we also prefer the same type and they are rather small, it doesn't prove difficult.

Books - Both of us like a number of Danish and Scandinavian authors so in order to follow these authorships Danish books are often found on our wish lists. Before Lisbeth moved away from Copenhagen, she attempted to keep Tue up to date on the best new Danish movies but this is an area where we have given up now.

After our stay in the US we are also relatively dependent on certain non-Danish things:

Biotherm cleansing foam - Yes, it is possible to buy Biotherm in Switzerland but not the specific foaming soap that an insistent sales woman in Nordstrom, Seattle made Lisbeth try and then prefer. So on his recent visit to the Netherlands poor Drew had to bring several bottles across the Atlantic.

Gillette clear gel - It is not just Lisbeth who is particular about certain beauty products because when Tue on his arrival to Geneva realised that he couldn't buy the special Clear Gel version, he promptly imported 6 sticks from the UK. And since that's plenty for maybe another year Drew didn't have to go shopping on Tue's account.

Excedrin tension headache - Drew was however also delegated to bring Lisbeth more Excedrin since her stock ran out in November. But since he brought a huge jar (250 count - no, there is no reason to hide one's medicine consumption) she should be covered for a long time now.

American magazines - Desired British and American books are relatively easy to locate here in Geneva and if not, we are keen customers with Amazon but Lisbeth really misses Border's wide selection of magazines. Bon Appetit was one of the few favorite magazines which it was possible and affordable to sign up for an overseas subscription of so every month we test the efficiency of both the US and the Swiss postal systems (so far we have received 2 out of 3). Other magazines can be bought here in Geneva for astronomous amounts of Swiss francs which is why she is starting to do without...

We have no immediate expections for the need to import Swiss stuff when we move again but we guess we won't know until later just how dependent on Gruyère Salé we have become!

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