Friday, April 4, 2008

Jodeling conzert and Klosters

I am trying to get around Switzerland as much as possible… and made it to Klosters the other day. I only went there for the name. And had a good, um, 5 minutes before heading home. But it is for the train ride that I travel, not the ending place. Although I guess a bit more time would have been nice. It is in Graubunden, Eastern Switzerland.

Then, I was to be in the home by 5:00 as we had a dandy jodeling conzert.

It was sort of a meal and show deal, and my host mom was in the show. The entire concert was a compilation of different songs written by this dead man, who just so happens to be my great host uncle. So he was a composer and wrote the hymn and other classics for Nidwalden, the other half of my canton, Unterwalden. I live in Obwalden (and we are the best! I have been taught to have a loathing for the Nidwaldeners).

It was a great evening, just listening to the Swiss culture music of their heritage. What I find great is how a tiny little region, a city the size of Kenmore, can whip up quite the choir. They are really into community and stuff here and have pride in their heritage. I find that awesome.

In the middle came the Tombola. Like the Swiss lotery. For 10 CHF (which is practially 10 dollars due to our failing dollar) you become 11 ticket role tubes. They are mass produced, I think in Alpnach, and are tiny colored pieces of paper rolled up and stapled on the ends. On both sides, it is peforated so you can easily rip of the ends and see what the paper says.

The majority say, “Danke, Merci, Grazie, Thank You.” Which is the polite way of saying, “You just wasted a freakin’ dollar for this piece of paper and are just a looser!” However, every once in a while you encounter one with a secret message…. A number! You go to this booth where you match the number to a prize with the matching number. Overall there were around 150 prizes you could win. So lots of loosing and a bit of winning. It was quite addictive. My host family ended up spending a good, or bad 50 franks on this game and ended up with the following:
A clothes brush (for me)
A huge amazing cow bell (Max)
Towels (Max)
A blanket with those little tag thingys that babies like to play with (Lisa)
Free Caffee with schnapps (Me, and yes, it tasted quite good)
And those were our winnings. The bell was defnitly the highlight.

This concert went until 11:15 or so at night, so naturally the two youngest fell asleep. The middle child, Max, was on his mother’s lap, sleeping, when she had to go play the violin again. So I took her place. Barely anything beats a sleeping child in your lap. You can’t help but love the kid. Just breathing, who knows what is going on in their little head. That made me feel warm inside, sleeping Max.

After the concert, the afterparty began. A talented youth band of two accordions and a double bass took the stage… and I was quite impressed. These kid’s play to entertain. I was almost in awe, just watching their fingers fly over the keys… even the bassist was moving to play a different bass note every second. He wasn’t taking the one-note-a-measure road. Nope.

And pretty soon the old people got up and danced. Even the birthday lady, she was 94 years old to the date, got up and danced. She loves dancing.

And that was my second full day with the new host family.

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