April 7, 2017


I was at Geneva for two days in 1984. It was also my first visit to Europe.  I had gone there in connection with a foreign assignment which I had been offered by U.N. Volunteers in Lesotho, Africa.  Their joining date did not suit me and I wanted to get this date extended. The UN Volunteers had their headquarters at the UN Complex at Geneva.  I happened to be a short visit to England and therefore thought of taking a train trip from London to Geneva, to plead my case at Geneva and also to see France and Switzerland.

               As is common with everyone on such occasions, every visitor likes to buy something to commemorate their visit. I decided to buy a Swiss watch at Geneva.  There are numerous souvenir shops at Geneva selling Swiss watches.  Most tourists like to buy a watch from Switzerland.

Watches on display in a watch shop at Geneva

               I had a look at the wrist watches for buying one for my wife.  There was a large variety and these were not very expensive too.  Somehow I grew suspicious about the genuineness of these watches and changed my mind.  But still I wanted to buy something, preferably a watch from Switzerland.  Then I saw small clocks with a swinging doll at the pendulum.  I liked that.  The clock had a Swiss flag painted on its dial indicating that it was made in Switzerland.  So I bought one.  The sales girl gave me a piece that was packed in a box.

               When I opened the box at Mandi, I got the shock.  It was not made in Switzerland but in Germany.  Though it was not a bad quality watch as it lasted with us for many years, but still it was not a “Swiss watch”.  

               My experience after visiting so many places is the local people are never fair to tourist visitors and always try to cheat them.  It is same all over the world.  They do not consider it unethical.

               So beware while buying souvenirs during your foreign trips.  Turkey is famous for its pottery.  But I noticed that many of the pottery items being sold at Istanbul were from Khurja, India.

1 comment:

  1. It is not surprising as German made quartz movements are cheaper than the Swiss made ones. I was also quite surprised to learn that most of souvenirs in Australia are actually made in China. If you want to buy a Swiss watch/ clock, better to go with the famous Swiss brands.