For me, shopping in Switzerland has always been a rather uninspiring task characterized by the lack of social interaction and the distress of consciously ignoring the abundance of advertisement. Too often I have found myself in the middle of impatiently queuing consumers who were saying nothing to each other, thinking, “No I do NOT need a shaver with 17 bloody blades in order to live a happy and fulfilled life.” What from an evolutionary perspective not too long ago used to be humanity´s main purpose (collecting food) was downgraded by capitalism to a hectic exercise that is supposed to take place somewhere between after work and the evening yoga class. Getting your groceries in India, however, is a completely different story.
A frenetic frenzy
Finding your way through the perfect chaos of a colorful and dynamic market can easily turn your life into a frenetic frenzy. Marketers are shouting out their slogans in catchy rhythmic melodies, customers are insistently negotiating prices and one can discover exotic fruits not seen yet. The high level of social interaction is what makes the Indian market experience such a valuable one. The groceries are furthermore harvest-fresh and the sellers personally know the farmers who cultivate them. The short cycle of this exploitation chain puts the end user in close proximity to the producers, so the use of chemical preservatives becomes obsolete and personal ties between suppliers and customers replace the anonymised advertising messages; not only a welcome change, but also a source of inspiration for the consumerism-fatigue Auslandschweizer.