I’m here. Sorry for being gone so long. No good reason for it. We haven’t traveled too much recently though so I’d just use that to diffuse any talk of my general procrastination. Chiz did, however, fully roll the whisper of her maybe going to Singapore on business into actually being there as I type this. It’s a business trip in pretty much every sense of the term but she is staying right downtown with a walk to the office so seems like a good place to find the pulse. A couple Yanks will be showing her around but I told her that is no excuse for her coming back without having eaten something she normally wouldn’t. She’ll be back on Thursday and if you are half as excited as I am that she might regale us with her tales on this very blog then you are one third as excited I am about Ron Paul.
The main inspiration for this post though was to document my experience at the Zurich Street Parade this year. For my complete, yet very brief history, with this event check out the post from last year and see where I was coming from.
The street parade tonight was nothing like that. It was super lame. We saw the event in the afternoon last year and thought it was only a hint of things to come in the evening. This year I would attempt to find out. In actuality, a combination of light rain and being only a few thousand rep from a Netherwing Mount kept pushing back the launch time. So, I leave the house at 9 and walk down there (the trams aren’t running) and start to hit the crowd and really get some bass at Opernhaus where they had a stage set up. I wanted to get to the center so I headed for the bridge. I’m starting to brush a few shoulders by Bellevue and I hear some competing music but no actual stage at Bellevue. It was also around here that I begin to notice I am walking in a MORFAS zone (moderate-risk for ankle sprain) among a minefield of plastic and glass bottles. But my spirits are still high and I see a stage on the bridge with tons of lights and dancers and hints of activity behind that at Burkliplatz. That’s where I needed to get to. At the bridge, the crowd was really packed in and the going was very slow. A dancer had commandeered the large dumpster-like trash container as her personal stage and nobody was going to say word one about the trade-off. So, this snail’s pace actually served to downgrade the bottle danger to a LORFAS even though the amount of trash on the ground was growing. I chuckled a bit to myself when I thought about the theme of the event this year being “Respect!” The official site: “Respect for people, nature and the environment is the theme of the 2007 Street Parade.”
And the crowd itself was very unimpressive. It could have been the off-and-on rain we had throughout the day but there were hardly any crazy costumes or clubbing gear to be seen. Just regular dudes like me. Worthless.
So I reached the stage on the bridge and was looking at the dancers. Again, it was a disappointingly rag-tag group. Last year, the stages were pretty consistently filled with The Beautiful People. You know, young guys and gals who were probably being paid to dance on that stage because of the way they look and dress. I’m pretty sure these people were just random drunks and pill poppers from the crowd who managed to climb aboard. There were very few in any sort of costume and many of them weren’t even dancing at all. The only thing cool about the stage was that it was actually a very long bed attached to a semi-truck that was inching along the bridge. Even with the crowd I easily outpaced the sad stage and moved into Burkliplatz to the promise of more entertainment. This stage actually did have some Beautiful People on it and I found a nice spot to blend in and shoulder-dance for a while. Then a DJ came onto the stage and started shouting about how this will be his final Street Parade and how he did his time and fulfilled his obligations. Not even the DJ wanted to be there this year. Anyway, by this time the moving stage was slowly creeping up on this area and the DJ didn’t want to be outdone by this interloper so he tried to get a hearty round of call and answer going. “Hey, Ho, Hey, Ho.” This was steadily drowned out by the bass from the moving stage and somehow over the course of a few hundred feet the crowd on it had deteriorated even more.
That was the only stage in Burkliplatz so I headed back across the bridge. The moving stage left a trail of indifference in its wake and the crowd had significantly shrunk. And I finally realized the problem: The Street Parade was pretty much over for the day!? I really thought it was supposed to be an all night party. There was no sign or sound of entertainment down Limmatquai so I just wandered back toward Opernhaus. There was a stage set up closer to the lake that I had missed before so I moved to check that out. It turned out to be a stage set up by Cannon doing some photo promotion and it was just filled with employees straight from a trade show booth in red polo shirts and necklace badges bopping their heads. Bah! I made one last stop by the Opernhaus stage I had bypassed on the way in but it was more of the same. I was pretty disappointed by then and the tattoo covered, speedo-clad gimp being spanked by a dominatrix with a whip was just too little, too late.