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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Gatorade is a sports drink that was developed in 1965 and is now the official sports drink of most American sports leagues and is also expanding world-wide. I love Gatorade for when I run, play volleyball, ultimate, football, or do any kind of exercise. So, I was happy to see Gatorade was sold here in Geneva. Specifically, they had the standard Blue, Red and Orange ‘flavors’, even if they left out the yellow-green lime flavor.

I distinctly remember the first time I bought some of the red flavor. I was expecting Fruit Punch, as it’s sold in the US. It wasn’t; it was Red Orange or something weird. Yuck! So, next time I bought the orange flavor. I was expecting…..well, orange. It wasn’t; it was Mandarine! Yuck! Well, the third time, I bought the blue one, but I did check the label this time and was not surprised.

To this day, I see the three flavors there on the shelf. I *really* like the Orange and Fruit Punch flavors and find it baffling that they don’t sell those flavors.

Recently, they had a special “Let’s try this for a month or two” flavor: watermelon! I loved it! Really yummy. I bought it weekly. But, now it’s gone.

Now, here’s what I don’t get. I can’t remember ANY marketing by Gatorade here in Switzerland. Meaning, that all these Swiss people that see it in the stores probably have little or no idea what the hell it is. Why they need it or might want it. To me, this means that the only people who really understand the product on the shelf are the Americans who grow up with Gatorade: ads, sponsorships, NFL coaches getting doused with a big vat of Gatorade when they win the Superbowl, and so on. We know what it is. And we’ll be likely to buy it here as we recognize the product.

So, Gatorade is here, not marketed to the Swiss and therefore mostly purchased by Americans. I don’t know if that’s 100% true, but it seems logical to me.

But, the flavors that are offered are *not* ones that the Americans recognize, and at least in my case, not flavors that I like.

I would *really* like to see Gatorade have more of a presence here and more importantly, please stick with flavors that have a track record. Bring Orange, Fruit Punch and Lime to Switzerland. Please!

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I drive around in Geneva a lot. In my job, I visit lots of clients at their homes in many areas in and around Geneva. I have my trusty iPhone which helps me find the addresses to a certain degree, but it’s not a full GPS system, so I end up frequently looking at the instructions and remembering the next major event (“ok, the third left should be avenue de l’Ermitage.”) and then I count streets and look at street signs. Most of the time, it works pretty well.

But, every so often, something goes a bit haywire and I end up on the wrong street. And when that happens, it’s like I’ve fallen into a black hole.

Switzerland has a reputation of being orderly and logical. But, in cases like this, I find it anything but. Or at least the places I’ve been.

When I find myself in unchartered territory, I look at the map on the iPhone and I look at the street that I’m on to get my bearings. I love maps. I have been reading maps since my Dad asked my “help” when I was barely in school. I can read a map, but there are certain things you need. Like street signs.

Inevitably, when I need to find out what street I am currently on, there is *no* street sign anywhere. I can drive up and down, look at all the cross streets, but there is no indication whatsoever. Frustrating. Infuriating.

I went to see a client the other day. I got there with little problem but the way back was a bit more difficult. The way to get back on the major road I had taken to get there was a bit different. Luckily, there was a sign when I was expecting to turn saying “Geneva” so I knew I had to follow a different path. I followed the sign and waited for the next indication. It never came. I drove on and on until I recognized where I was, but it was clearly *not* what I had in mind nor what had been implied.

I returned to that same client today and paid more attention. About 200 meters after the sign that said “Geneva”, there was a hairpin turn to the left at a light which I should have taken. There was *no* sign, no hint from either direction, nothing.

This is but one example. It happens all the time. The city really could improve the road signage here. I hope they do.

In the meantime, pay close attention and don’t rely on signs.