Wendy and Nils

Switzerland Story

     Switzerland: Home of the Matterhorn - a mountain that looks like a pile of wienerschnitzel topped with stench ridden fondue which is disguised as snow and surrounded by mountain goats moaning like an Alpenhorn player with altitude sickness.
     Years ago, Wendy and I had looked into an African vacation only to discover that a large portion of flights to the mother country had layovers in Switzerland.  When we were told that we would have to attend the wedding of Wendy’s sister (Michelle) in Luzern - Switzerland, we decided to make it a stopover on the way to Africa.  The wedding was scheduled for Cinco de Mayo, which led me to unsubstantiated hopes of a tequila ridden celebration topped off with deep-fried ice cream instead of the anti-climatic flavor of tradition fruit laden wedding cake.  No matter what my expectations were, our trip to Switzerland was sure to amount to the most epic travel layover of all time.
     We started our trip with an overnight flight from Boston to Zurich, which went excellent with the help of my self-prescribed formula of not non-drowsy Benadryl, which assured me an evening of activities filled with sleeping and more sleep.  I woke up in Zurich and Wendy’s parents (who were on our flight with us) showed us a secret passage that allowed us to avoid Swiss entry customs, so I managed to smuggle in my regular supply of pornographic weapons and contraband.
     Wendy’s sister greeted us at the airport and offered us a lift to Luzern in the form of being strapped to the roof of her car (her parents and friend were allowed to sit on the inside of the vehicle).  We declined her offer and took the train from Zurich to Luzern which gave us an excellent view of the Swiss countryside, the Alps, graffiti, more graffiti, and even more graffiti.
     Luzern is a picturesque Swiss mountain town that is filled with centuries old attractions, beautiful scenery, and tour bus groups.  The last time I visited Europe was in 1985.  I was excited to see if it still had all the appealing activities that I remembered so well from my last trip there, such as naked sunbathers, the encouragement of youthful participation in the habit of smoking cigarettes, public drunkenness, and readily available live pornography.
     Upon our arrival, we stopped at the first restaurant that we walked past, which was located on Lake Luzern.  The restaurant had placed ash trays on every table, so I was able to confirm one European activity that I had remembered from the 1980's.  Now it was time to find the nude sunbathers.  During our search for toppless beachgirls we visited a variety of tourist attractions such as The Church of St. Loedegar, The Lion Monument, and The Old Fortification Wall.
     I bought a beer at the local grocery store and walked around in public drinking it, which made me realize how much more freedom people in Europe have.  It also made me wonder why we call the United States the land of the free.  Then I came to find out that jaywalking in Switzerland is a commonly enforced offence, and I decided that the right to jaywalk is much more important than drinking beer in public, so I concluded that we Americans do have more freedom than the Europeans.
     Our second day in Luzern was going to be our last morning in which we didn’t have any celebratory obligations, so Wendy and I rented bicycles and rode around the lake.  Looking at the mountains under the bright blue sky while listening to the birds chirp psychedelic symphonies brought me back to acid laced California afternoons that I never experienced.  That evening we were expected to attended a pre-reception party at Michelle and Henrik’s apartment. We spent the evening teasing Michelle’s dog and throwing random biodegradable objects off their balcony at the people below.  On our way back to our hotel, we stopped at a spinning playground ride and I pushed it in circles really fast until a few kids fell off and hurt themselves.  Then we stopped and took bets on a local bocce ball tournament, watched a lederhosen band perform traditional songs such as “Nasse Unterwäsche Prostituierte” and “Fotzenfick Huren”, and then we went home and went to sleep.
     The following day we were obligated to participate in matrimonial celebrations so nothing too exciting happened.  It was an all you can drink event, but no hard liquor or beer was served at the function, only wine and champagne.  Fortunately for myself, I smuggled in a few bottles of Swedish Schnapps, which made the formal affair much easier to tolerate.  None of the speeches were too long winded, and we were not forced to pretend to enjoy ourselves while dancing to inauthentic non-offensive music provided by a washed-up wedding DJ, therefore I can say that the event went really well.
     The next day we headed back to Zurich and spent the afternoon in the historic district of the old town.  One question that eluded us had to do with why all the stores in Zurich remained closed on Sundays, even when thousands of tourists were walking around in hopes of emptying their wallets.  I also have to mention that interspersed within the restaurants, historical sites, and the boutique stores there were a multitude of burlesque theaters ready to accept VISA and MasterCard.  Though I never did find the naked sunbathers, our next stop was Africa, and I remember “reading” a National Geographic with an exciting expose about what seemed to be naked sunbathers in an small African village, so I still had hopes of encountering such a mystical place in the coming weeks.
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