Welcome to Valley Overseas. We’ll hear from students exploring new lands full of strange customs, seemingly impenetrable language barriers, and Euro-trash. They’ll dish out the good, bad and the ugly of living in a home-stay, and the tales of discount airlines. From mixed-up vocab to drool-worthy people in fantastic fashions, let us show you the experiences of a lifetime.
While abroad, weekends are pretty much synonymous with country hopping. First off my checklist? Switzerland.
Switzerland was full of beautiful architecture surrounded by vast snowy mountains resembling a winter wonderland. The streets were lined with luxury fashion stores from Hermes to Gucci signaling to us that shopping was definitely out of the question. Also notable were the abundance of bars and restaurants serving German foods and Irish-inspired drinks.
After touring the cities of Zurich and Luzern in Switzerland, we finally found our spot: Mr. Pickwick’s Irish Pub (People Also Sleep Here). Yep – that’s it’s name.
Just our luck, when we went to the bar/hotel, it was karaoke night with DJ Jon.
“Perfect!” we thought, “This has to be something American that we can relate to.”
My roommates and I eagerly put our names into a pile of people ready to put on a show. We waited patiently through countless renditions of The Rolling Stones songs butchered by inebriated Swiss natives and one of the best covers of Janis Joplin’s “Piece Of My Heart” I’ve ever heard before. Soon enough it was our time to shine and show the Swiss what American’s do best.
Scanning a book containing hundreds of American Classic songs, we chose to sing along to “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen. Might as well embrace the true American spirit, right?
The crowd at the pub seemed to be rather uninspired by the past performances but we were about to change their attitude. After a few shaky stanzas, we became true performers and the foreign crowd loved it. Some German tourists even jumped into our song and become part of our five-woman karaoke group.
Taken by the thrill of the spotlight, we then continued our moment in the spotlight, performing the classic, “Don’t Stop Believin’”.
Half way through Journey’s one-hit-wonder, we had the confidence of Beyonce at the Super Bowl, owning the stage of Mr. Pickwick’s Pub. By the end of our rendition, an entire crowd of people acted as back-up singers, making us look like the true stars we were. How our sub-par singing voices went unacknowledged is still mystery.
We came into Switzerland as newbie American travelers looking like absolute tourists and left karaoke stars with a Swiss following. Even with the obvious language barrier, we connected with the people of the pub on a level that can only be experienced through Mr. Pickwick’s karaoke night with DJ Jon.