Perhaps they would reveal, in hushed undertones, of the Swiss plan to
do whatever it was the Swiss were planning to do. I move towards them. And stop. Something is wrong.
The anarchic rebels against clean and orderly society are very... clean and orderly rebels. The green hair recently
washed, the denim cut-offs with 'Hate' neatly embroidered on the back, freshly pressed.
The punks are plants! A honey trap!
I back off.
Time for a coffee and a new plan.
Guten abend, says the waiter. It sounds like Goooten ahhbick!.
The test again.
Ich möchte einen Schale Milchkaffee, I say, tyring to sound casual.
Hooty toooty toooty?, he inquires. I freeze, unable to figure out what he wants. My cover is blown. The waiter's
eyes narrow, and he barks a sharp order:
Hootty Tootty Tooty!
Escape from Gemütlichkeit
The dash to the border. To Germany and freedom. I smuggle myself on board a train and hold on for dear life through Zurich and
Basel, stopping only for a stroll to the catherdral, the view over Lake Zurich and a pleasant afternoon along the Rhein.
And then I escape. From neutrality.
In Luzern, I visit the Löwe, a dying lion carved in the living rock in memory of Louis XVI's Swiss who died
loyal to the doomed king. Swiss troops were once found at every battle in Europe, when suddenly, without warning, they withdrew
to their mountain home, where they've waited ever since, hidden behind cunningly-built defences of postcards, jaeger hats
and alpenhorns. Switzerland is a bastion of peace, calm, and natural beauty. Trains
run on time. Everyone is good-natured, open-minded and cheerful.
They're definitely up to something.