Revisting an old post again, today the turn of my favourite Swiss musicians Yello.
I first visited Switzerland in 1987 as a member of a scouting troop. I was about to turn 16, and the ability to buy and consume a beer was quite something. My drinking companions weren’t the most dynamic of folk though. One was the DJ fellow I mentioned before with the father who loved explosions, one was notorious for having drunk a bottle of bleach and having a father who built an Elvis shrine at home and the other guy was kind of dull, not just in comparison. I don’t think I was really on my best behaviour either as I seem to remember cutting the Lacoste logo from someone’s prized shirt in what was most likely a traumatic experience for them. If that’s you, I’m sorry. Children are cruel, especially with an audience goading you on.
Anyway, the things I remember in particular about this country were the chocolate, the watches, the exotic flavours of crisps and the pornography. I bought my first Swatch here, browsing a Swatch museum seems to indicate it would be Jelly Fish as shown below.
It reminds me of times in white jackets and bad fashions. My own sadly.
Also, it’s kind of odd the memories than an image like this brings back. I remember this watch very well, and remember taking it apart when it eventually failed. I remember the hands sitting in a bowl of thumbtacks I had for no reason other than I never got round to throwing them in the bin and still felt some attachment to the watch. It was the first one I bought with my own money.
Coming back to Switzerland 13 years later, the Swatches are still all over the place, the chocolate is still awesome if that’s your thing. The flavours of crisps haven’t changed as Paprika is pretty much the only one available and the pornography is still easily available. My 15 year old self was transfixed by the magazine at the train station all those years ago. I couldn’t believe you could name a magazine Pussy and have a completely naked woman on the front. The staff at the station eventually got wise to the troop walking in to buy chocolate and staring at the pornography and moved that magazine out of sight. I still get ocassionally distracted by the covers of porn if I need to go to the kiosk for anything as they don’t seem at all concerned about nakedness on display.
There’s a sketch in the Glaswegian comedy show Chewin’ The Fat where a couple of small boys are at an Ice Cream van and when asked if they want anything else, one says “He says gonnae gies a swatch a yer fanny.” And they remain there all day, astonished by what they have just seen.