Drunks were everywhere this weekend.
At the Bern train station, a dread-locked man bark loudly in the face of passengers stepping onto a train.
The passengers stoically looked the other way while he pressed in, determined to make his presence known, if not felt.
Drunks upset the delicate social balance where we all agree that when we venture out, we not bark at others, and if we cannot stop ourselves from barking, then at least we should stay far enough away so that our victims are not soaked in our saliva spray.
Is it too much to ask? Apparently so.
Staggerers, shouters, boorish keg-carriers – I judge you all.
A red-faced young man carried on what could have been the longest yodel ever as he stood on the train platform. A few minutes later, he smacked himself down in the quadrant of seats behind ours on the train, still yelling. He could have been singing, or bragging, or screaming ‘Help me, I am about to fall into an alcohol-induced coma.’
Given the unpredictability of drunks, especially that their moods switch swiftly from party to sour to let-me-punch-someone-in-the-face, we quietly moved to another car.
Last week, on the train to France, a tattooed scramble-haired man in an agitated state sat across the aisle from us, hissing into his cell phone. Was it a drug deal gone bad? Was he going to take it out on us? It did focus our minds, but not on the French countryside.
This weekend, as we got off the train at Fribourg, we were happy to leave the drunken yowler behind, but after we made the walk down Fribourg’s plunging cobblestone streets and through its rustic wood-beamed covered bridge, we heard a familiar sound.
The skinny yowler staggered into view. How was it that he was still standing?
We had just taken out our map to plot our course, but the yowler, not the map, was going to decide where we would go.
He turned away up a narrow side road, his arms flailing, his head cocked oddly, while he continued in that strange thin bellow.
We took the road that he did not, and it was an enchanting road, but it lost some of its allure as we kept an ear open for the yowler.
For the first time since arriving here, I missed my car.