Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Party Pooper

I tried. For five years. But I just can’t like Fasnacht (the Swiss version of carnival).

There are things about it that I love. I love seeing Swiss people smiling in the streets. I love the costumes. And I love watching everyone let down their guard and throw confetti with abandon. But I do not love that the very people that criticize me for recycling a glass bottle on a Sunday or eating popcorn during a movie think it’s just fine to beat drums and blast horns until 6 a.m. for three consecutive nights outside my apartment.

Every country has hypocrisy. Fasnacht is Switzerland’s.

I would probably love Fasnacht if it were more Swiss. Like if they stopped banging the drums at 10 p.m. on a weeknight. (I’d even put up with midnight.) That seems reasonable, doesn’t it? Especially since I’m not supposed to flush my toilet after that.

But when it’s 10 p.m. and you’re tired, and you know that despite the blasting fan, the earplugs, and the pillow over your head, that you’ll still be hearing the banging until 6 a.m., it doesn’t exactly make you love the holiday. Parties are fun. Except for the ones you can't leave.

Not to mention, the moment I emerge from my apartment, bleary eyed and exhausted, some Fasnacht clown will want me to pay for the privilege of listening to their music by buying a placket. Sorry. The thing I will pay for? A ticket out of town.

12 comments:

Hattie said...

If it weren't right of the middle of the coldest, dreariest part of the year, I could relate to Fasnacht. I have spent more time than I care to remember in the freezing outdoors watching parades with my kids and participating in unfun milling about type activities when I would rather have stayed at home.

Chantal said...

This year was warmer but it still didn't make me like it any better. :-)

Rob in Lausanne said...

Come to southern Switzerland Chantal. Fasnacht does not happen here. It is almost impossible to get a pizza or a conversation in Lausanne after eight pm any time of the year. The Swiss way continues to baffle me (it has only been eight months). I sometimes get the feeling that to tell someone face to face what you want them to know is almost sinful, so it doesn't happen here. You just get a letter in the mail in French.

Chantal said...

Rob, that would be my dream. Couldn't they just celebrate Fasnacht by writing about the kind of noise they could make instead of actually making it?

M'dame Jo said...

Rob beat me to it, I was also suggesting that you come to Western Switzerland :)

Rob > you need to know the right spots. You can get (decent) pizza until 3 am in Lausanne (it used to be 5 am a few years back).

mestiza said...

Ouch. I was in an Oper Air Guggen Fest in both swiss and Germany. The first I noticed is that everything took place in the streets just where 'downtowners' live. I asked wtf and I have been told that most of them are celebrating or in 'Urlaub', as an obligation. Several little quiet hotels were included in the parade. And dont forget that here they celebrate for three Donnerstags very early in the morning, and it is all about noise. Anyway I found the celebrations really good for kids with so many activities and costums. I live 10 km. away from the noise anyway.
And they schould pay you!! as an insurance for the minus slepping hours...

Chantal said...

Yeah, I've often wondered if I could book a hotel somewhere quiet and bill the city...

Lindsey said...

Wow, Chantal, that completely sucks! Where I live in Adliswil is just about the quietest, most boring place in Switzerland. There's a very cheap Ibis hotel here. Look into booking a room for a few nights next year. Seriously!

Chantal said...

It's these Catholic towns. They are so rowdy :-)

Paul said...

I tried the German version of carnival, which is similar to the Swiss, but I found it more than a little strange! :-)

Paul
http://fromsheeptoalligators.blogspot.com/

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

oh, I can relate. I bloody hate Fasnacht. Excuse me, I cannot vacuum on Sundays but you can wake me up at some ungodly hour with the local marching band to let me know it's the first day of Fasnacht? I really couldn't care less - I would much rather sleep. And vacuum (and flush my toilet) when I damn well please.

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