and tonight there was Pantano
The country of Switzerland personified herself in the form of a traveler I met in late 2004. Through correspondence a cultural exchange began to emerge. A unique explanation of the Swiss Manifesto was littered with personal stories, photos, and odd facts that one is unable to research through a stack of books or the internet. Did you know that 70% of the world’s coffee beans are a re-export from Switzerland? Names and Events taking place 5.500 miles away seemed to live in my backyard. There it was, my very own field correspondent coupled with my own interest and time spent investigating how to become an expat, it seemed the only thing left to do was fly over there.
Within the next year, I spent a total of a month enjoying Sprüngli Chocolate, touring exclusive watch museums, attending the auction of the prestigious Swiss Air, backpacking to Peter Zumthor’s Vals Therme, exploring extensive art exhibits (! finding Emmanuelle Antilles work), snowboarding in Zermatt, attending Bombay Beatz at Moods, and attending the happenings of Rundfunk.fm. I was sold, all I needed was a legitimate reason to stay there, like a job.
I came back to the states with a different perspective. I began German lessons, started using public transportation, and spent twice as much time researching the intracacies of Swiss culture- it still being the largest of my bookmarked folders. I read their constitution, read articles published from UBS on global purchasing power, and started perusing The English Forum– an english guide for those new to the country.
With out specialised qualifications, the realisation of little possibility to move there turned my love more into a lover’s affliction. Over time, the energy spent digging up anything remotely related would begin to wane and eventually even the letters stopped coming. I began to live life where I was physically located, investing my time in my own community, my own people.
A few days ago a newsletter from marvin.fm arrived in my inbox. As an avid lover of music and having an insatiable attraction to event production, it provided me with a rabbit hole to delve into. It was like running into an old lover; giddiness coursing through my veins, picking up exactly where we had left off. Back to the forums, the articles, the fabulous events being held all over the countryside. The latest and greatest event? The Gurten Festival in Bern! Four Glorious Days of Music: Peter Bjorn & John, Kelis (LOVE), 2raumwohnung (LOVE LOVE LOVE), OJOS DE BRUJO (are you kidding me?), and Cypress Hill (was this festival made for me or what?). !!My inquiries this time leading to an invitation for a Backstage Pass due to my 24th birthday falling on the last day of the festival!
Heart-crushing; closing in on an end to my four month travels, it is almost impossible to plan for a trans-atlantic trip during the highest travel time of the season.
Feeling rejected, it is here I stumble across Daniele Pantano and his story of exile.