A grande cappuccino costs £2.40 at Starbucks in Oxford, but on arrival in Geneva, I found the price here is £4.60 (6.80 Swiss francs). Swiss prices are sky-high, and for a week or two, every time I bought anything in this city I had a painful sense of money slipping through my fingers.
Two weeks later, I had mostly stopped feeling the pain.
On the face of it, there’s irrationality here. Either I was irrational to be so disturbed by the high prices originally, or I am irrational to be so blasé about them now. Which is it, then?
And yet, maybe the deeper rationality consists precisely in being disturbed at first and less disturbed later. Changes in our environment may bring danger, and we must be vigilant in detecting and responding to them. Yet these costly cappuccinos will not break my bank account, and one must get through life. If you’re alert to everything, you’re alert to nothing.
[22 February 2014]