Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cheap Gas?

The uninitiated could easily be misled by this sign at a Swiss gas station: gas for $1.66 per gallon? Let’s break that down:
First, that’s 1.66 per liter. There are about 3.8 liters in a gallon, so that would be 6.31 per gallon. But then we’re talking Swiss francs, not dollars. 6.31 Swiss francs per gallon would be approximately $5.74 at the current exchange rate – and that rate is more advantageous for the dollar than it’s been in a long time. Gas is one of the very few things that are cheaper in Switzerland than in the rest of Western Europe; for example, in France it’s about $6.68 per gallon right now.

Still wishing you were driving in Europe? This is yet another reason so many Europeans use alternative means of transportation – bicycle, motor scooter, motorcycle, train – and oh yes, feet. Not to mention the near nightmarish difficulty of finding parking in many cities, let alone affordable parking.

Sort of makes us Americans a little slower to complain.

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