Differences between San Francisco and Switzerland that don’t matter

We’ve moved to SF from Zurich, Switzerland three weeks ago to build our company Humbot (where you can read short and awesome science explainers).

I have been to the US about a dozen times before, and with half my family living in Chicago I am quite familiar with the culture. But some things you only notice when you live in a place, not only visit it. So here goes my list of seven things that are different, but also irrelevant because it doesn’t matter.

1) No powdered soup

In Switzerland, you can buy powdered soup in every super market. Just add boiling water, and bam, 🍅 soup . I always assumed that this is available everywhere. But here, you can only get soup that’s already mixed with water:

I bought this 32-ounce Organic Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup at Trader Joe’s and had to carry it home like we’re in 1890.

2) More water in the toilet’s default state

Half of the bowl is filled with water. Of course, there are pros and cons to this. If you want to discuss them, message me.

3) People eat really fast at restaurants

If you go out to eat in Switzerland, even at a not fancy place, you usually spend around 2 hours there. The folks here sit down, then dinner is served swiftly, and after that topped off with a bill instantly where you have to add a 20% tip because the US gastro industry is too dumb to set better minimum wages for waiters. So, it’s not really a chill experience, to be honest. But the next point makes up for it.

4) Every bar offers food

Which is fucking awesome. When you go out in the evening for drinks, you don’t have to care about if you have already gotten dinner somewhere or not. Just order a flatbread or cheese or fries at the bar! 🍕🍹

5) The urinals have always two different heights

Talking of bars — and this is only relevant for dudes — there is always a lower and higher urinal in the restroom. Almost like it’s made for children. But those places are 21+, so they are probably made for tiny adults:

This is a sneaky restroom photo I snapped at SPiN. If you take the right urinal, it all splashes back on your jeans. Also, SPiN is the place where Mark Zuckerberg was caught with some ping pong babes by the paparazzi. So probably, Zuckerberg also peed here. I wonder if he took the right or left one.

6) No roll-on deodorants

Of course, there are spray deodorants, but let’s be honest, they suck. In Switzerland, you can get roll-on deodorants that have like a ping pong ball that rolls under your armpits and evenly distributes the deodorant. Here in SF, it doesn’t exist. You only have the stick deodorants as an alternative. Nasty, nasty shit.

7) Shampoo and shower gel bottles are twice the size

I don’t even know how people with small hands hold them while in the shower. Why America? Why do you need to make everything so big?

Anyways. I love the diversity and vibrancy of this place despite the differences. It’s an awesome city to be in if you’re working in tech. Also, If I’ve missed some non-essential difference, let me know.