A Swiss Chinese New Year

January 26, 2009 § Leave a comment

In the tiny little village of Wangs, I am celebrating Chinese New Year in a pretty picturesque Swiss house, with cute timber shutters and twinkling snow covered rooftops. The house itself is rather ordinary, just like all the other houses, standing silently at the foot of the Swiss Alps, besides the fact that it is inhabited by a small group of tattooed skater boys. And a girl. And me, for a week.

My friend C picked me up from Zurich a few days ago, amidst a giant hailstorm. As the small balls of ice pelted painfully on my face, I was beginning to wonder why nature thought it was funny to present me with various difficult weather conditions on the first day of every place I ventured. Anyhow, I was used to it by now. We made the hour long drive to C’s house.

The inside of the house is average, with the usual suspects – brown laminate floors, economical Ikea furniture, and a kitchen filled with store brand items. Of course I mustn’t fail to mention the large stacks of ‘Tatoweir’, ‘Playboard’ (as in Playboy but with skate and snowboards), ‘Easy Rider’ and obviously also ‘FHM’ magazines strewn about lazily in every room. The walls are sparsely decorated with posters of naked girls, black tape discreetly covering private areas. The sofa bed I’m currently sleeping on, is surprisingly comfortable, even with the giant Virgin Mary skull painted in sharp black outlines against the bright yellow wall over my head. The row of skateboards, lovingly arranged on the wall, adds to the ambience.

Far from being intimidating, these boys are in fact quite sweet, despite external stereotypical appearances of pierced cheeks, dyed mohawks, and bodies filled to the brim with ‘mean’ looking tattoos such as pirates and skulls. In fact my friend C, tough on the outside, big bear on the inside, patiently spent an afternoon teaching me how to snowboard, and afterwards cooked me a hot dinner, and made sure I was having a good time.

So, Happy Year Of The Ox, for all you people celebrating.

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