from an imaginary visit to Lucerne, 2010.

I don’t know what’s happening. I don’t know what all these people are doing here. There is a giant float in the street, with bamboo walls and a palm frond roof. Inside the float are miniature human skulls, and the heads of roaring animals. The skull of a deer with huge antlers protrudes from the front of the float. No-one is on the float, and the driver is hidden somewhere below all the decoration. The float glides by, unmanned and somehow sinister. Yet the people standing around it are cheering, and hooting, and blowing plastic horns that make an ear-splitting noise. They are speaking a language that I can’t understand, so that even if I asked them what was going on, I wouldn’t be able to understand their answers. I wonder why I came here. I am starting to miss home, and the way that back there we respect the space between people even in the narrowest of streets.