Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Zurich the Weird

Okay, I'm just going to say it. Zurich was weird. Neither Reagan or I had been before, so we thought why not tag Switzerland onto the end of our travels? Note to self: do not wait til the end of a ten-day trip to go to the most expensive city in Europe. After a few surprise expenses in Vienna and Innsbruck, we ended up pretty much broke by the end of our trip. No, but really. The panic was beginning to spread. We made a fun little game called, "Is it free? Can we make it free?" Because it's fun to be poor! Maybe it was our tight-strapped wallets, but Zurich left something to be desired in my wanderlust.

We happened to be in Zurich for their Carnivale weekend (much like our Mardi Gras) and quite accidentally came upon the main parade our last day there. What we thought was going to be a good old fashioned celebratory parade quickly turned terrifying. The parade was made of musicians and dancers... And bands of witches that would terrorize children while their parents laughed and encouraged it even. Seriously, what kind of parents are these people?

But these hags didn't stop with children; Reagan and I became prime targets for confetti bombs and involuntary face painting. Twice Reagan was absconded by some orc-ish fiend, the second time by a particularly ornery warlock who dump her into a trough of straw and buried her in it. After this, she was recaptured by the same hag and tossed into a covered wagon of hay. They began to cart her away. As everyone continued to howl in laughter, I began to wonder if I would ever see my friend again. (They never cover these kind of scenarios in the all those Pinteresty "10 Tips for Traveling Abroad" posts.) Thankfully she was released, and came back to me a little "moo"dier than before. That's a little agricultural pun for all you hay-ters out there. 

And then there were the random Latino dancers strung throughout the parade. 
Super random. But pretty!

Add onto this that our couch surfing host had a predisposition to mind games which left us wondering whether he really was a serial killer and his numerous murder jokes just didn't translate well. Between his "let's play a game" introduction when we first arrived to his numerous off handed comments of "Well if I was a murderer...." We closed our eyes extra tight to forget the paper mache shrunken heads and eyeballs he proudly displayed from his Halloween party. Never mind the camera on top of his television that faced our futon...

On the other hand, he was enormously generous in letting us stay in his downtown apartment for free. He also made us a traditional Swiss dinner followed by incredible Swiss chocolate fondue, all served casually on his heirloom china and real silverware that he had tossed around his bachelor pad. He always made sure we had food for breakfast, and even gave us a little tour of the main city center of Zurich. So who's to say, maybe he is nice guy after all who just didn't know how to translate a twisted sense of humor to two American girls.

Let's just say, I was so happy to back in the land of baguettes and metro smells and jaywalking once again. Sometimes you have to spend some time in the wrong city to know that you found the right one.

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