Tuesday, 7 September 2010

It's Not All Fun And Games

I don't want anybody reading this blog and getting the wrong impression about Switzerland.

It would be tragic if you only assumed that life here was all cheese, chocolate, scenery, and cows. You probably want to know the nitty gritty details of this small nation.  You probably want me to search the clean streets to find some dirt and despair for you, so that you can sleep easier tonight knowing that the helicopter patrols of your neighbourhood are tame compared to what goes on in Switzerland.

In the interest of unbiased reporting and journalism, I will do just that for you.  I am going to present you with Switzerland's dark side...

So imagine you wake up one fine Sunday morning, eagerly anticipating the hike that is to happen that day. The sun is warm, you are feeling energized, and the buses and trains are nearly empty.

What a start to such an eagerly awaited day.

Then you get to your destination, and the hike begins.  You barely need to step a toe onto the trail before you are saturated in the scenic splendour you have so come to expect from these excursions.

Foolish excitement

Don't get too comfortable on your ridge trail because in a few hundred meters, danger lurks.

As you proceed, they will hit you out of the blue; you never saw them, nor heard them, coming. You will be swarmed by a ring of thugs that are just waiting to put a blight on your day.  They will try and confuse you with their numbers; they will get in your face; they will yell in your ear; even worse, they will try to get in your pants and up your shirt.  Boys or girls, it makes no difference to them. All they want to do is take your sanity hostage.

Never was there a more feared posse of alpine bandits than the gang that call themselves The Flying Ants.

Save the women and children!

They're gaining ground, they've taken control of the benches!

As fast as your uncoordinated legs will carry you, flee The Flying Ants. Don't look back, don't open your mouth, and for heaven's sake don't try and play dead; these aren't bears: they will cluster on your still body.

And it's when you think that you've escaped them that you need to keep moving, because chances are you're still being followed...

Save yourself!

I hope you don't have nightmares tonight, I know the story was gruesome.

But if you're still feeling like I haven't satisfied your need for dirt on this otherwise clean country, oh I've got dirt for you.

After you've successfully fled The Flying Ants, chances are you're going to be thirsty. I advise you all to accept the canteen of water that your husband offers you, and not to try and quench your thirst at the log basin of that roughly hewn mountain fountain, that is perfectly centered in a pastoral field. 

As you start to make your way to the fountain (which has actually been constructed for grazing cattle) you notice the ground is a bit boggy. But The Flying Ants episode has given you a powerful thirst, and all you want is cold and plentiful mountain water, not stale canteen drops: you persevere.

Your dogged determination means you fail to notice that gruesome gathering of low-down smelly, rotten, stinking, thieves known as the Mud Bogs. Hopping from stone to stone, your uncoordination gets the best of you and you stumble; the Mud Bogs seize their chance and wrap their stinking fingers around your legs and pull you down--right down.

Those Mud Bogs fill your boots with mud, they smear it up the backs of your legs, and as you tip over to brace yourself, they will even throw it in your hair.

A scale of humiliation

You will be so embarrassed to have been so mistreated at the hands of the Mud Bogs, that once your husband gets over dying of laughter at your expense, you will angrily refuse to let him take a picture of you.  You will march past other clean and breezy Swiss hikers and ignore their stares of wondering.

Later that night your sense of humour will be restored, and you'll take pictures of the fallout.

So there it is people; don't say I didn't warn you that Switzerland wasn't perfect.

Don't say I didn't warn you....


T said...

hahaha, love it Caitie! I can actually picture the humiliation and discomfort of having to finish a hike after the mud bog experience!

Habebi said...

The horror the horror!! This story cracked me up! Way to face those evils of Switzerland and get through that trail! Imagine in a year how you'll look back on this experience and be proud you made it!

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Ais said...

Try and get in your pants and up your shirt? Phew, only flying ants. I thought you were going to say you were surrounded by a group of teenage boys lol. Ewwww, flying ants look grose! Mosquitos are bad enough.

And by the way, youre looking great Cait :)

jess said...

are those ants for real!?!? hilarious, and awful. i never saw those while there! i'm gonna ask my hubby!