I am living on an island, cut off from my surroundings, my only escape route is one road towards West. If I want to take the risk of travelling East, it might be that I will never return, doomed to the road East, to the places that would be foreign to me.
To explain the situation, some time ago it was discovered that our main road was bearing signs of wear and tear. No big problem, just a few road surface repairs, some holes filled and everything is fine. However, the powers that hover over us in our approximate 1,000 soul village, decided that just repairing the main road is not enough. There will still be some money left to do more, and so they are doing more. The complete road is now being re-organised, new paving, new sweet little concrete islands in the middle. If you have the money, why not use it.
Of course, they told us all about it before the work began, with a timetable and various ways of escaping, should the going get bad. We are now at the point where the going is getting from bad to worse, and in a month it will be at the worst possible stage. Of course we can take a walk around the village, but mainly on my side of the main road. The other side of the main road, where our local castle and a herd of cattle live, is now an obstacle course, especially if, like me, you depend on a walking stick.
My last walk through the village was almot two weeks ago, and I discovered that there is a way to cross the main road. It is combined with a 10 minute walk to a tunnel leading to the other side of the road. As my limit is now 30 minutes walking, I decided to return and the other side of the road is now a foreign country. There is a rumour circulating that border guard posts will be built if you wish to cross the road to get to the other side and you must take your identity card with you to prove that you are an inhabitant of our village of Feldbrunnen.
The photo above shows the view from my computer window. It is orange, all important signs in Switzerland seem to be orange, and shows the word “Fussganger”, meaning pedestrian. It shows the way to go, because the normal route no longer exists: has been removed and blocked by a wall of rubble. That means me, and the others that live in the village, we are now all pedestrians.
A few days ago Mr. Swiss was on an important mission to the local post office, although just a minute, we no longer have a local post office. It was closed down, a waste of time and money for 1,000 pedestrians, and amalgamated with the post office in the next village of Riedholz. This is now a problem. Mr. Swiss drove Eastwards towards Riedholz in our car on the main road . He arrived at the post office in the next village. Apparently the post should have delivered a letter to my son, that has lived with us for the past 46 years, 20 of which in our village of Feldbrunnen. He did not receive this letter as his name was not on the letter box, it has never been on the letter box, but up to now there was never a problem, as every person in Switzerland is registered where they live – the state is always watching. Mr. Swiss explained it to the post office boss in Riedholz, but he said “no name, no post”. In the meanwhile I found the thickest black felt pen we possess and wrote the name on paper and stuck it on the letter box, for all to see, even a short sighted postman. It worked. I am drifting.
Mr. Swiss was now ready to return to our village of Feldbrunnen. Unfortunately this day was d-day for turning and driving in the opposite direction. In the meanwhile the road was only available for Eastwards transport. As he is a local boy/golden oldie, he was not lost and took a detour over the local mountain to return home. That is the problem in Switzerland. If a road is changed, the only escape is to drive higher on the scenic route. The inhabitants of Riedholz are even in a worst situation. If they want to visit our next town of Solothurn which usually takes 10 minutes by car, they now have to make a detour to cross the local river and drive on the opposite bank, adding half an hour to a usual quick shopping trip.
I will be going to London next week, but it will be an easy straight forward trip with a train to Zürich Airport and a flight to London City, easier that arriving to the next village on our main road.