Sunday, January 13, 2008


(click here for more pics)


How to describe it? A whole lot of fun? Like Mardi Grass… but Swiss Style (which includes a 16 year old legal drinking that everyone ignores).

Well.. I went to Fasnacht last night and really enjoyed myself.

Fasnacht… like Halloween clothing wise. Everyone was dressed up. We had people dressed as lumberjacks, traditional Swiss, cats, tourists, lots of teenage guys in onsie fuzzy animal suits, cows, guys with long blond wigs braided, guys as nuns, guys as girls, girls as girls, Ricola, cheese, Flava’ from MTV, and anything else crazy that they could whip up. Quite popular were faces painted black and brown and black afro wigs.

I got the train at 9:44 at night to begin my journey. Already on the train were friends Romy, Elianne, Adrianna, Maja, and another Maggie. That was the group for the night. We arrived in the next town, Sarnen to catch the shuttle bus to Kerns.

The thing is… they aren’t as worried about being politically correct or offending someone of another culture. I saw a lot of people dressed as people from Africa or Muslims (from painting the skin complete brown to the traditional garb). For example at the bahnhof (train station) there were a group of 8 or so teens in blue jumpsuits with orange vests. All were painted brown. Had black Afro wigs. And a additional piece of clothing I will not list here. And a nametag saying they were with Uganda Airlines, Air Traffic Controllers, along with some sort of name that could be associated with Africa. Wrong or not. We got to talk to a few of them. They turned out to be the group that stood out most at Fasnacht.. the loudest, and everywhere all the time. Making themselves known. It was apparent that when they were at the train station, they had already had a lot to drink.

It took three tries to get to Kerns… a lot of people and the shuttle buses only had so much room. But that gave more time to talk and meet people and so forth.

Finally we got on the shuttle and took the 6 minute or so bus ride to Kerns.

We arrived..and immediately my ears will filled with the pounding distinctive “Guuggenmusiq” music that is only played at Fasnacht. (it is spelled different in almost every part of Switzerland.. but that is the Central Schweiz way)

It would put any high school band to shame… not that it is skilled, it is hard to describe. It is lively.. the people are totally dressed up in crazy clothes, dancing as they play. Moving. Having a blast. Playing how they want. It is amazing. Like a marching band, they do march.. but better. It has a drumline and everything. I will try to get some vids up so you can hear it or see it. Anyways.. I love the Inglemoor band, but this makes them look dead.

They took new takes on the Beatles and Andrew Lloyd Webber and other Swiss classics. The rhythm is other than that of typical music. It pulsed and played the entire night. Just ringing on. So loud. Over powering. And this is music you dance to. Or jump. Or move. Or whatever.. which we needed to do, it was quite cold.

I was hooked.

Anyways.. we arrived and pretty much the entire night consisted of wandering around, grabbing drinks *coughRivellacough* meeting people, searching for people, dancing, hanging out in the pub, heading to the tents, and just taking in everything.

See, they took pretty much the major part of the city, fenced it off, and turned it into a giant party central. Imagine them doing that in Seattle! And everyone was wasted… yeah. Not the coolest part. But people were safe. I was right by a fight when it started and it was broken up within 10 seconds (literally) by the security walking around. I also saw medics there. There were three of them walking a totally out of it man to a place to rest I guess. He could barely walk.

So there was the darker sides I am not used to, but it was a happy night.

At times overwhelming.. but overall I was quite the happy girl.

At one point I saw a kid I knew, year older, as he walked towards me and shouted, “Molly!” I thought he was about to talk to me, but he said that so I looked away. He was like, “Molly!” and I said, “Who is Molly?” Apparently, that is my new name Molly.

The night was over at 2:00 for me and my friends. My friend’s mom drove me home, quite nice. And I realized what a state I was in.

I was covered in confetti leaving a trail to my bedroom.

And my socks were soaking.. but not because it was snowing or raining. It was beer. My socks were soaked through with beer. Gross eh? And my shoes were worse.

My pants were soiled to the knee with who knows what kind of alcohol and dirt and grime.

All my clothes smelled heavily of smoke.

Welcome to Switzerland.

But I really did enjoy that night, just making memories with my friends.

It was, well, amazing... and nothing beats a night of Swiss culture.

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