It’s The Little Differences, Really, Part One

Every reasonably-sized city in the Western world is basically similar. One can understand life in Zürich quite easily by thin metaphor and direct reference to New York or San Francisco or Berlin. Of course, the language is different, and the local history is unique, but local history is unique everywhere, and the difference between an accent, a dialect, and a language is simply a matter of degree along a continuum of mutual intelligibility. The emergence of global capitalism over the past century or so has served to further bind the set of cultures already based upon the common classics of the Enlightenment, medieval Christendom, and the Roman Empire before them.

I'm not saying at all that I'm disappointed with the relative lack of difference; indeed, this is precisely what made moving here possible. But it does mean that it's largely the little differences that grab the attention.
Today's little difference: Swiss expiration dates. Most perishable items here seem to have two dates printed on the top, labeled A and B. A is the sell by date, after which I presume the item is taken off the shelf; B is the consume-by date. I have to say I like this way better; I've always been rather strict about expiration dates (for some reason, milk never smells quite right to me sniffing the carton) and here I actually understand what the expiration date means.
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Brian Trammell
Temporarily Shiftless Layabout

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