Douwe Osinga's Blog: Of food and drinks

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Zurich is a lot more easy going and international than most people would think. Bars stay open late, there’s food from every kitchen of the world and some of the streets look distinctly raunchy. But there is some of the traditional Swiss character left and it sometimes shows.


I came back to work after dinner and after some more work, me and two colleagues decided to go for a beer. One of them hadn’t eaten yet and it was kind of late and the kitchen of the place we went to had closed. There was a fast food like place around the corner run by a guy from Pakistan, pizza and sausages, that kind of thing and waiter pointed out we could get something there. So two of us decided to order the beer, while our hungry friend went for pizza. But then the waiter came back and informed us that even though the kitchen was closed, they did not allow outside food. Please eat your pizza outside in the rain. Obviously we left and had the beers at the fast food place.


The reverse happens too. It was less late, but we still wanted a beer. So we went into the Rheinfelder Bierhalle, a place famed for its Jumbo-Jumbo Cordon Blues (they are huge) and their cheap beer. But none for us. It was dinner time and they wouldn’t serve us just beer, which seemed strange for a Bierhalle. The Bierkeller next door however had the same policy: no food, no beer.


The English pub around the corner had no problem with people just ordering beer. I guess that’s where globalization really helps you; providing Pakistani and Brits that undercut the Swiss traditions when they work against you.