Basel Tattoo

I’m not talking about a FCB (football club Basel) inked on my skin.      It is a display of military bands from around the world.

Not normally my cup of tea but as the tickets and dinner invitation were given as a gift, I was politely attended.

My expectations were low they are always low. I’m not so easily impressed.  Not fully comfortable clapping for organisations that kill either.   That will be my one and only political statement.

I do however like a bit of pomp and pageantry, I like shiny things, loud music and fireworks also. Which is a lovely use for gunpowder.

I’m not aware of having a thing for uniforms but I must say those 500-year-old Swiss Guards outfits of blue, red, orange and yellow look a lot more chic in black & white. Anyway…


I was soon won over by all the shiny helmets, fancy garb and deafening noise from those blingy brass instruments. Drums I like, horns I can tolerate but bagpipes, well luckily they weren’t too irksome.  Yet funnily enough I can still hear their annoying echo bounding around my brain. Must be to do with the Scottish strands of DNA, I know to come from my birth mother.

My husband believes I didn’t develop much past the age of seven. As I’ve been telling myself I should grow up since about then I know he is correct. I’m an uncomplicated person when happy I enthusiastically chat, a lot. When I’m down I sulk in silence. Lead by my emotions which I cannot override with false joviality or by pretending to be in a bad mood.

So with the sheer wonderment of this amazing spectacular event, my childlike emotions were soon swamped. The big butch military bands played a Lady Gaga medley and an ABBA tune. I never realised the whole show was going to be so camp. Swept away I got right into it, clapping and of course chatting. I have opinions some say I’m opinionated, perhaps I am but on this I don’t actually have one.

I’m in my forties and people shout at me like I’m a youth.

I know I look dodgy. When I first meet people I have to work hard to dispel whatever it is they see in me, BAD mostly.  Even though I left my street life behind in 2000.

Since then I have been playing at happy families and have actually been accepted into Swiss society more than I ever was or could be in England. I’m working class. I think I even dress like one of them now.

A tip: Everyday Swiss people are not designer label orientated and pay little attention to such trivialities.  Shows of ostentatiousness equals a low I.Q.   So never brag to a Swiss about wealth, besides chances are their own bank balance easily exceeds yours.

I got shouted at on my first visit. I walked into a bar carrying a joint and got thrown out. It wasn’t lit neither was it illegal at the time. As I was still trying to impress my husband I left the bar without making a scene excluding the one created by the irate owner.

Next time was shortly after I moved over. In a corridor of a sports hall kicking a ball against the wall. Again I had to receive a tirade of angry sounding words. My language skills were none existent.  Thirteen years later and it’s still happening. Being ordered to stop talking at a musical event by a short insignificant weedy looking man one row in front, pissed me right off.

It always throws me the way people can confront me in this manner when I know full well if it happened in England, my gob alone would have sent him reeling?

I know it’s only because in Switzerland, even verbal threats of violence are illegal and if there are witnesses you can be prosecuted. So although I REALLY wanted to go all street on him and perhaps gauge his eyes out (in a mini tantrum) I had to sit there fuming in a sulk.  This pissed of my dear hubby, who although had been patiently gentrifying me over the years, said he couldn’t take me anywhere.

You are above this he told me, don’t let that idiot spoil your evening.  Too late, I spent half an hour giving the back of that guys neck the evils and hardly said another word.

I had one small victory, I stared him out good and proper, TWICE.

Sucker had no idea the sociopath glaring back at him was the “staring out” family champion at the age of seven.

A dirty look mixture of “you’re a cunt” and “I could quite happily rip you face off” won the silent non-violent argument.

So I suppose I am slowly adapting after all.


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