This time last year I was in my Spring term break in my Master’s program. And this is what I did the last week of break: traveled to Zurich with a few other drama school students and lead theatre classes in Bulach (a small town outside of Zurich) for a week.
It was a very strange and surreal trip. The second we got to the school we were whisked off to different homes. Yes, at the age of 23 I was doing a “homestay/workstay” in a foreign country.
On the first day in Switzerland my host family took me on a trip to the Rheinfalls. Apparently everyone else’s host family had the same idea because that Sunday we bumped into nearly everyone on our trip either on the ferry to or from the viewing deck.
(Beautiful but freezing)
(This is the least impressive picture of a super impressive sight)
Even though this was supposed to be a pseudo-vacation, it was actually a really stressful week. Teaching Swiss students between the ages of 10-17 all week, finishing with a performance in front of the entire school. About 1,000 Swiss students. Yikes. Also let me tell you something about teenagers: they do not think acting is cool. They do not think group participation is cool. This generalisation crosses all cultures.
Luckily, Alice, one of my close girlfriends, and I found time to unwind. By having a leaping photoshoot around the streets of tiny Bulach. The residents must have thought we were absolutely, 100%, certifiably crazy.
(Leaping for joy at my Swiss adventures)
Theatre in Switzerland is state-funded and the facilities are absolutely incredible because they get so much money to spend. We received an amazing backstage tour/talk with one of the company managers at the Schiffbau. We were lucky enough to get a chance to see a major production in Swiss German, and it was crazy interesting. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if the only Swiss-German word I knew wasn’t “Chuchichäschtli” aka “kitchen cupboard”. But I am pretty sure the play was about a pedophile that lured children in by dressing up like a teddy bear…I think…
(The theatre is in an abanonded warehouse where they used to build boats.)
I was also there for “Sechseläuten”(or “sexyloytun” the way it sounds phonetically to me.) It’s a festival celebrating the coming of Spring. All the traditional guilds parade around the city throwing candy, coins, and DEAD FISH at the crowds. You know, usual parade fare. But then at the climax of the festival they burn the “Böögg”this giant snowman/boogeyman effigy. I was led to believe that it symbolised the end of winter. So they start burning this snowman (whose head is filled with explosives) and the quicker it is between setting him alight and his head exploding the faster the warm weather will come.
(Spring seems to be taking its sweet time this year.
Burn more snowmen?)
Of course, whilst in Zurich we did a lot of chocolate eating and shopping. The city has the most expensive shopping district/street in the world. It was crazy and I wouldn’t afford to peak in a store let alone buy anything. I did come home with some incredible chocolates and a lovely new Swatch though.
(Alice on the bridge. Or the “Monster Bridge” as I called it.
I told you my Swiss German was good.)
Apparently, in the summer swimming in the lake and river is amazing. As is sitting outside and drinking loads of beer. I must plan a warm weather trip one day.