Market Police !

When you live in a new country, discoveries are quite the regular occurrence.  At the beginning, it’s a daily thing.  Every little activity – whether it’s taking in the mail or buying milk – tends to be totally different and needs getting used to.  Mayonnaise in a squeeze tube, dinner at 6:00pm, calling people by their last names only, no small talk with the grocery cashier lady and people telling time by the impeccable arrival of trams. Six months in Zürich, Switzerland, and I’d say it’s rare that I don’t scratch my head at something new at least once a week.

Market Police, Zürich, Switzerland

The latest: market police!  Ah yes, policemen full clad in uniforms, tall leather boots, pants weighed down with intimidating objects sticking out of the pockets, strolling through the market.  Why?  It was 11:00am.  That’s why.  The Bürkliplatz market is open from early morning until 11:00am.  That’s it.  If you are caught on either side of those piles of fruits and veggies, selling or buying, you will be fined!  Market hours are over, go home!  I had a little laugh about this with one of the vendors.  I put on my most incredulous face, scrunched up my forehead as much as possible, looked him in the eyes and said, “really?!”  His reply, “Yup.  The Swiss police don’t have much else to do here in Zürich.”  Now that’s something I can get used to.

Market Police, Zürich, Switzerland

11 Responses to “Market Police !”

  1. andrea says:

    I love your blog! I am an American who has spent a LOT of time in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. I miss it daily…longing always to be back. Thank goodness for your blog which helps me numb the pain of my Heimweh-Fernweh. Keep up the good work!

  2. Romy says:

    Hi Kerrin, I greatly enjoy reading your blog as well! I’m Swiss originally but grew up in various countries, went to college in the States, and now live in Adliswil with my American husband.

    I have a huge sweet tooth as well and it’s fun to read about Switzerland through fresh eyes – I wouldn’t even have looked twice at the market police! If you’d ever be interested in meeting up in the city for coffee sometime, feel free to send me an email.

  3. jen laceda says:

    Really? What do they expect to find? A food fight? 🙂

  4. Sarah says:

    Our market here in Kirkland absolutely WILL NOT sell you anything before 11:00am when it opens or after 6:00pm when it closes. There are also police there but they are mostly directing traffic at the crosswalk so no crazy drivers run over the the market-goers.

  5. FN says:

    That is hilarious!! How much is the fine, do you know?

  6. Robert Aguilera says:

    Amazing stuff on the Market Police in Zurich. A graduating class of police officers in Boston were laid off right after their ceremony.

    Crazy times.

  7. Tammie says:

    sounds a lot like China. Regardless where we were or at what time of the day or night, there was no fear of wrongdoing. I don’t recall seeing a policeman once as a matter of fact. It’s great to live and travel in an environment like that. — Tammie

  8. Jill says:

    It does sound like China,only the difference is in China,it’s not the business of the police,but the urban management personnels,legal gangsters.

  9. tanya says:

    I was so happy to have this explanation for the vendors’ strange behavior at 10:55. It seems crazy that a market is not open during lunch time.

  10. Zurich local tips | Bürkliplatz Market – Bi-weekly food & flower market says:

    […] quite early. And if you come even minutes after 11am you might not be able to buy anything as the market police might just put the market out of business for selling after hours. No […]

  11. Jamie says:

    This is hysterical! We often saw the market police filling up big black trash bags with fish and things off of market stands in Milan. They came around to check for freshness. But boy do these police push that old Swiss reputation! Ooof!

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