an idiot in germany

October 2001

Saturday, 13th October 2001.

I left the toilet as the train exited the tunnel into Switzerland. Germany's blue skies had been replaced by grey foggy Switzerland.

Lucerne is, to a simple country lad such as moi, like the set of a James Bond film. As the fog lifted, a city by the lake was revealed in all its glory. Hotels and a casino by the blue expanse of Lake Lucerne, expensive yachts moored at the waterside, narrow streets filled with beautiful people, shops for the rich and famous, endless cobbled alleyways to explore, and a sense of comfort and affluence.

I was a little startled when, at 5:49pm, all the bells of Lucerne went mad. Just out of the blue, every single church bell and what-not started chiming or being rung or whatever. No-one else seemed to notice.

There were a couple of Swiss kids staying in my hostel room, and I couldn't understand a bloody word they said. In fact, I thought they were Dutch. The German bloke in my room couldn't understand them either. And I couldn't understand his hair.

"We go now..." the Swiss kids announced as they made to leave the room, "...and have some fun!" Well, no doubting their intent, then!

I did find time to watch some Swiss tv. And what's Swiss tv all about? It's about a blindfolded kid guessing the make and model of hairdryers by their sound only. I am not making this up.

Well, it was actually a German programme, but hey Swiss, German, Austrian, they're all the same! Ho ho! Er, right!