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.