Being poor in Switzerland


I will never forget one of my worst memories in Europe. I was in Switzerland, in the gorgeous land of Zürich. I loved all of Switzerland, which might be why this memory sticks out so much.

It was the first night I was spending in the town. The first thing I do in every city is walk the whole place by day, and then walk the Old Town by night. That night I walked all the way to the end, and got to a plaza with a church and a candy store that was still open for some reason. I was a little hungry, I thought I wanted candy, so I went in the store to browse. Then realizing the prices were way above my budget, instead of leaving, I asked how much some rainbow candy gummy strips were.

Now I was wearing this giant green jacket. It’s way over sized for me, but it love it, so I wear it everywhere.

This is painful for me to write about…

They looked at me, and I assume they felt bad for me. I probably looked homeless. They then gave me a bag of rainbow candy gummy strips for free. I tried to turn them down, but I guess I wasn’t firm enough, and I wound up walking away with the bag.
I sat in the plaza, bitterly enjoying these rainbow candy gummy strips. I did NOT want charity. I definitely did not need it. I felt so bad for accepting this gift.

I spent a long time there feeling bad for myself. I didn’t want to deceive anyone. I didn’t want to look homeless. I just wanted to know how much that candy was.

Today, I look sharp. I still wear that giant green jacket, but I also wear a woolen sweater with buttons. I wear creased khakis. I wear brown leather dress shoes. I have made sure that I will never make that mistake again.