I’m rather bemused by the American news stories about gas being $3.91 a gallon. People are up in arms! They’re riding their bikes; taking the bus.
$3.91? That’s a downright bargain! Do you see those prices in the picture? Those prices are for liters not gallons. Gas prices in Switzerland are now averaging 1.85 CHF a liter for unleaded.
So what’s that a gallon? Let’s do the math:
1 US gallon = 3.79 liters*.
3.79 X 1.85 CHF = 7.00
Swiss franc = US $1.16
1.16 X 7.00 = US $8.11.
$8.11?!? I shouldn’t have done that calculation because I’ve depressed myself. I had never converted the cost per gallon because I really didn’t want to know. Dang, ignorance was indeed bliss.
Our car runs on diesel, which is even more expensive. At 2.05 a liter that’s $9.01 a gallon. Another calculation I shouldn’t have done. If I weren’t already sitting I’d be on the floor.
My husband George likes to remind me, “It’s not apples to apples. European gas has a higher octane. Swiss gas has 95 octane and the high test is 98. That lousy American gas is only 87 or 89 for premium.” Octane, shmoctane. I just need something in the tank.
The Swiss might grumble about gas prices going up, but no one’s talking about toppling the government. In fact, there is a proposal in parliament to increase gas prices by 23 centimes a liter. That would make gas cost, heck, I don’t even want to think about it!
You’d think that with gas prices so high, the Swiss would drive small cars. Nope, there are more Land Rovers and ridiculously-large BMWs on the road that I can possibly count. I’ve even seen a Hummer or two. If you want to see small cars, cross the border to France.
Swiss gas prices aren’t even the highest in Europe. We were in England last week where the average gas price was $8.60 a gallon.
When I come back to the States for a visit this summer, I bet I’ll be only person at the pump with a smile on her face.