I Went to Karaoke in Switzerland and Fell Out a Three-Storey Window
We all know that a drunken karaoke session can make even the most admirable person fall from grace. I just didn’t realise how far I would plummet.
It was summer in the humble Swiss village of Lauterbrunnen – a picturesque resort town nestled in the Alps, surrounded by green fields filled with winter flowers and waterfalls that flow from snow-capped mountains. There’s something magical about the place, something that makes you want to take hold of Julie Andrew’s hand and run through the fields of flowers singing the ‘The Hills are Alive!’
In the middle of the day, sure, run through the flowers and sing to your heart’s content. But alas, during the evening you will be highly frowned upon for interrupting the tranquil silence of the sleepy village.
To make up for the evening noise restrictions and accommodate to the needs of the revelling tourists, Lauterbrunnen has a number of thriving karaoke bars where one will actually be encouraged to get up on stage and sing to their heart’s content, to the amusement of the other patrons. It was in one of these booming venues that I found myself on that fateful evening.
The bar was conveniently in the basement of the hostel I was staying at, so patrons could spend far too many Swiss francs on overpriced beer and then stumble straight upstairs to the safety of their rooms. No muggings, no lost friends, no falling in ditches. You have to give it to the Swiss to come up with a fast, safe and extremely effective way of making money; it was quite the business model.
I was on a guided trip across Europe, travelling alone, and since it was still early days, I was pretty eager to make some friends. I find binge drinking to be quite an effective way of bonding with strangers quickly, especially with other Australians, so found myself downing beer to combat the social awkwardness. In no time, I was standing up on tables, linking arms with the other guys from my dorm room and patriotically singing along to Men at Work’s ‘Land Down Under’. Yeah, Aussies abroad can be insufferable – but I was on my first ever solo trip and honestly, I was having the greatest night.
But binge drinking can take its toll, and before long I found myself feeling a little sick. Rather than vomiting on myself and ruining the friendships I’d just forged, I decided to quietly slip out the back door and up to bed. My dorm was on the top floor of the hostel, and after stumbling up six flights of stairs, I made it back to my eight-person room. Everyone was still partying downstairs, and so I slipped into a pair of my daggiest undies and hopped into bed. But damn I needed a cigarette.
Instead of going to all the trouble of getting dressed again and going downstairs to the outdoor smoking area, I decided I would just slip out of the little window next to my top bunk, sit on the sill and enjoy the fresh Swiss air whilst puffing on a ciggie (lmao), looking up at the stars.
The window was quite small, and in my drunken state, I figured it would be easiest to just slide my legs through and then push my body out and up onto the sill. And I did just that. Except where I had arrogantly assumed there would be a sill, there was nothing but air… and a sheer two-story drop.
With a little whoosh I fell from the window and smashed into the plastic roof two floors below. Luckily the dodgy plastic broke my fall, and I landed with a crack so loud that the people in the karaoke bar below rushed out to see what all the fuss was about.
What they found was a miraculously uninjured and incredibly drunk boy, lying in a daze on a broken roof, under an open third-floor window. And to top things off, I was wearing my daggiest undies.
I woke at 6 the next morning in a booze-fuelled haze. One of the other guys in my dorm had set an alarm because we were leaving the hostel early to make it to Paris that day. As I rubbed my eyes I remembered the fall. But did it actually happen? I didn’t seem hurt? Was it just a dream?
That’s when the guy in the bunk below me said something.
“Did anyone else hear someone absolutely neck themselves last night?”
Everyone else in the dorm said they had heard something, and started speculating as to what could have happened. I nervously swallowed and peeped my head out the window to look at the roof below. Sure enough, there was a little bum shaped hole in the plastic. I couldn’t believe it. I had actually fallen out of the three-story high window.
“Um, I think I know what happened”.
By breakfast, the entire tour had heard the story. Let’s just say I didn’t have any problems making friends from that moment on.
Cover by Christy Kurtz