Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Halloween and the day After

Are we sitting comfortably, then I will begin. If I lived in America, or perhaps even in my homeland of England, my kitchen would probably have had supplies of candies and sweets for the trick or treat visitors I would have expected on the evening of Halloween. Living ins Switzerland, the message has not yet reached us that there is something going on on 31st October. That vampires, werewolves and ghosts are travelling the streets begging for something sweet to still their hunger is not something that the Swiss have really heard of. Perhaps only the children, who read their comics and stories with American origin, or the youngsters looking for a reason to have an event somewhere - a disco or whatever.

A few years ago two of our largest supermarket organisations did try to introduce some ghostly sweets into their selection, but there were all sold at half price when the fright night was over so they gave up.

With this in mind, Mr. and Mrs. Swiss (me and my other half) were ready for a quiet Sunday evening at home, watching the television and perhaps reading a book. The first signal of interrupting activities was at 8.00 in the evening. Thinking it might be my neighbour who rang our doorbell, I had a look. There was no-one outside my door so I walked along the corridor to the main entrance. In the meanwhile, as I am not such a fast walker as in my younger years, the doorbell rang again - altogether about five times. When I got to the glass entrance door I saw about 8 youngsters, age approximately 10 years. Some had their face painted with ghostly marks, not exactly a work of art, and others just had a funny hat on. No, I did not open the door, but told them straight away I have nothing.  There was a chorus of moans and groans and one of them gave a ghostly shriek (which was probably his trick). In the meanwhile other doors were opening in the apartment block as they had naturally rung at every bell they found. No, I am not a spoilsport and if I lived in a country where halloween is celebrated I would have been glad to oblige.
I returned to the warmth of the living room to continue reading, when the doorbell rang again, and again, and again. We live in a small quiet village, but the children decided halloween should be celebrated. Needless to say I did not open the door and eventually we were left in peace.

From Wangen to Solothurn 001
Today is 1st November, commonly known as All Souls Day. As we live in a catholic Kanton (State, County) all the shops were closed. The only place to have entertainment today was the various cemeteries where most people were paying their respects.  As we live more or less next to the cemetery we do not really need a special day for paying a visit, and we had to go hunting. Although we bought enough before the week-end to cover our immediate hunger, we still had a few things on the hunting list.

We decided to drive to the next village in the non-catholic Kanton of Bern where the shops were open. It is a nice picturesque village as can be seen from the photo, Wangen on the river Aare, but it is small and its shops had a reduced selection. Otherwise it was a pleasant drive, almost no traffic and we noticed that the parking space at the village shop was almost taken over by cars with number plates beginning with "SO" showing that most customers were from our Kanton of Solothurn. It made a change to have a break in the normal routine and we seemed to be driving on empty roads.

Road to Feldbrunnen

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