It started yesterday afternoon when 3 girls dressed as gangsters got on the train to Luzern.
Then, 5 minutes later, a separate group of about 15 men and women got on the train. There were athletes in track suits, nuns with glasses, an angel, and "old" women in leather and punk t-shirts. Out of curiosity, I walked behind them once we arrived in Luzern. Outside the station they joined about 20 others dressed in a similar fashion and were given a very warm and loud welcome.
Then, on the streets of old town Luzern, there was a giant pink bunny. Just one.
Not selling anything. Just walking.
Finally, as I was walking home about 2 hours later (having once again seen the gangsters, whose numbers had grown since the train), I passed a party of people on a side street, most of whom were dressed as furry animals. Not all, mind you, but the ones who weren't dressed up had props. One had a push-along doggy bike. Others just stuffed animals. They were having a great time and singing loudly to Sweet Caroline. Why I didn't stop to get a picture is a mystery to me.
To top it off, as I was waiting to cross the street a few blocks away, the man standing next to me started softly singing Sweet Caroline, having obviously experienced the same sight. I couldn't help but laugh. He did not seem to know English and definitely did not know the words, but hey, he sang it anyway.
It's that kind of song.
Oh and same day, while waiting for a bus in a tiny outside of Rotkreuz, I also saw a group of people hanging out with a camel.
Did I miss some kind of memo?
If you had asked me 10 years ago if I ever wanted to live in a city, I probably would have wrinkled my nose and said “no way.” I didn’t like cities much. I mean, they're great to visit for a day, but live there? No thanks. Too crowded, too noisy, and just not for me.
Well, people change.
Florence was my first taste of city living when I was 21, where I experienced the joys of walking everywhere and being around lots of people.
Then after college came DC, which I absolutely loved. If Switzerland hadn’t happened, I’d still be in Capitol Hill, playing skee ball on H St and visiting Eastern Market every weekend.
And when I first walked out of the Luzern train station this past October, I already loved it. That night, Liz joked that I should move to Luzern. I decided that it was a fantastic idea.
Fast forward 6 months, and here I am in Luzern! It’s been 2 months since I moved, and it was a fantastic decision. Luzern is a small city, about 1/10 the size of DC, but it is a great place to live. I lucked out in my apartment search, and I got one exactly where I wanted to be. I can walk to the train station in 5 minutes (4 if I’m really late), to the lake in 5 minutes, to Liz’s house in 5 minutes, and to the old town in about 6 minutes.
The lake is beautiful, especially on those bright, sunny days…
The old town has cobbled streets, outdoor dining, and painted buildings scattered throughout…
And on those rare occasions when I get the urge to go running, I love running up the hill to the old town wall, where there are few people and pretty views…
I live close to some friends I already have, and I’ve made some new friends through Meetups, pubs, and other people. We’ve gone dancing, taken over the karaoke stage, enjoyed rooftop views, and won pub quizzes (although sadly I didn’t contribute too much to the winning quiz).
There’s plenty to do, and I love my new apartment.
I haven’t yet made it to the transportation museum, or into the KKL, or on a boat tour. But the weather’s warming up, the sun’s coming out from behind the fog, and the slugs are (unfortunately) back.
Spring has finally arrived.
Kelly is an American teacher living in Switzerland and enjoying everything the country has to offer.