We’ve moved! Tuesday was the day of action, and we were up bright and early to see our final sunrise over the illustrious Rotkreuz train station.
We had an early handover at the new apartment, followed by the unloading of the container that had made its way from Australia, registering in the new Canton, moving our possessions from the temporary apartment to our new home, and of course cracking into celebratory champagne. Once again the relocation people were fantastic and there were only a few hiccups (a delayed customs clearance due to our apparently suspicious sofa, a few breakages, bookshelves too large for our new home which are now stylishly placed on their sides as opposed to their upright position, and I’d bought only one bottle of bubbles). We’ve spent the week settling in and getting familiar with both our new space and the local neighbourhood. Thus far, we’re delighted.
Tuesday also marked the arrival of my friend Lauren, en route from living in the States back to Australia by way of a four month holiday. I’d not seen her since the baby was tiny, and I didn’t stop talking for approximately three days.
Her help was indispensable with the move: there was assistance with crappy Buykea trips, assembly of furniture, recycling runs and distracting of baby. Most importantly, though, she was able to mediate between Motsy and I in furniture and art placement debates and therefore circumvent an early divorce. I’ve missed her.Due to the move, we’ve mainly hung out in Lucerne, but we made a trip out sans baby last weekend. My hometown, Wagga Wagga, used to hold an annual festival called the Gumi. The Pidgin word for ‘inner tube’, the Gumi race featured a bunch of homemade crafts – made not only from inner tubes but also plastic milk bottles and the like – floating down the Murrumbidgee River. Half the town would build a craft and sail, the other half would line the banks of the river and cheer (and throw water bombs, flour bombs and – I am sure I remember school mates doing this – pig poo bombs). Unsurprisingly perhaps, the Gumi was cancelled due to insurance, environmental and health and safety reasons some years ago. It is remembered fondly by Wagga people of my vintage, and has always seemed to me to be one of the perks of small town life: quirky low budget festivals that unite the townsfolk long after the event itself has ended.
Thus, when we heard about the Räbechilbi Richterswil, it was hard to resist attending (although the day beers at the brewery happily situated around the corner from our new home nearly put a stop to it). Based in the town of Richterswil on the banks of Lake Zurich, the festival held every November is an ode to…the turnip. Featuring 26 tonnes of the vegetable, school children spend weeks carving prior to them being turned into lanterns for one night of turnip-illuminated fun. There are turnip lamps dotted throughout the town, and a turnip parade. We hardly knew what to expect, but Loz and I headed there to check out the action. Once embarking from the train, we made our way into the tiny town which was indeed alight with the humble root vegetable.
Root vegetables, and cauldrons of Glühwein. We did our civic duty and indulged in a few glasses.
It was, indeed, so fein.The parade was a trifle confusing. It featured large billboards with turnips fixed to them in a variety of images. There didn’t appear to be a particular theme and we watched disney characters, local monuments and a variety of creatures – including an octopus with an unlikely pair of lips – go past. I also suck at taking snaps and we were vying for a good position with a ten year old boy, so you’ll excuse the blurry images.
We had no idea who this guy was. The local sans-beard Santa? The father of twin Ponnochios?The kissable Octopus, followed by Caspar.
This turnip-embossed monument had an operating fountain dispensing water (sadly, not Glühwein).
Darth Vader made a (somewhat lacklustre) appearance. We argued about this guy – Loz thought it was Hugh Jackman in his Wolverine days. I asked a local and he confirmed it was an actor but the language barrier prohibited us finding out exactly who it was. Either way, the parade was paused for a turnip to be replaced (or a blackhead to be picked, if you’ll excuse our Glühwein fuelled humour).We didn’t stick around for the grand finale (which looked like the ‘What, Me Worry?’ Mad Magazine guy) which may have been a good thing if the pig poo bombs from the Gumi were anything to go by. Instead we lumbered back to the new apartment, where we’ve spent the rest of the week carving a new home for ourselves.