Sunday, March 20, 2011

Poor me

My head still doesn't want to get up but of course not, it's 5.30 am UK time but there's ski-ing to be done so the body is willing. I twitch the curtains, intrigued as to what's outside the window. A wall, a hedge and praise the lord, a spattering of snow even at this level. I head for the living room window before thinking of breakfast. Probably to make sure yesterday's nastiness is gone before I commit to getting up. I am rewarded with a glorious view of a snowy mountain that I'm sure wasn't there yesterday and a sky as blue as I've seen since Obergurgl.

Breakfast is eaten with as much speed as two coffees will allow and much faffing ensues.

We go to see the gorgeous Roman for some skis and a 20-a-day cashier voice sells me a ticket which goes in my pocket and isn't needed for the rest of the day. What a rip off. With my touring skis I could have walked up before anyone was out of bed. He heh. Yeah right.

Our determination in venturing out this weekend was rewarded with smiles, empty slopes and pristine pistes. My hosts theorised that last week's lousy conditions had scared most into the decision that the season was over and it was time to pop the planks in the basement and declare it spring. All the better for us to play in.

There's nothing quite like ski-ing an area with its locals and for someone like me who tends to control the day's ski-ing in a holiday situation, it was luxury to just sit back in the chair lift and my boots and let Tim and Fi guide the day's events.

We soon met up with Sara and Mark and after a run or two we headed across the mountain to find Catia. My fears that Fi's friends would find me somehow rude and crass were quickly quashed when a tirade of banter about pants, personal hygiene and Mark's sexuality started to develop alongside some very fluent swearwords. Swiss jokes were quickly translated for me and the day was an absolute peach. I was ribbed for my order of hot chocolate instead of the more traditional Jagertea but only because I ordered it before the beer that I ordered with my Gulaschesuppe. What more can one say about a beautiful day of ski-ing?

The company was amazing. My legs still hurt more than ever from too much walking in the wrong shoes but the more alcohol I drank, the less it bothered me. The joy of being the only non-german speaker was my ability to switch off from time to time and gaze into the trees and the sunshine.

Particularly as we waited for the last bit of enjoyable piste to melt to a condition which justified us leaving the mountain in time to drink champagne whilst the sun set on the Alpen Hotel. It wouldn't be a trip to Fi and Tim's without a taste of how the other half live.

Sunday evening was the last day of the carnival season in Klosters so a fancy dress theme was going on and amongst others we were passed in one surreal moment by the porche car salesman's wife dressed in a pink diamante mask and tutu with her son dressed as a cyberman, the blues band with massive-thighed dancers, the hotel staff all dressed in flamenco (women in show girl head dresses), what looked like the men from 118 and a black man in drag and a blonde ByoncĂ© wig. If all this and drinking champagne in the company of Angus Deaton wasn't enough to see how the other half live we went to nosey around Brian's new 5.3M CHF (£3.7M) apartment. It's still a shell of a building but we could still marvel at the 2900 CHF (£ 2000 ) shower head in the wellness area, even if it hadn't been delivered yet. It would have been rude to take photos but this is the garage with enough room for all of Brian's ferraris, his Lambo and maybe even room for the porche he bought his wife for her 40th.

Put in my place back with the poor people we drove down to the cheaper apartment in Klosters to eat my favourite Swiss dish as a treat. I suppose the poor must have some pleasure in life.

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