Ba-Dum Tssh!

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In big cities, buskers come in all shapes and sizes. In Italy, we found a man tucked away down a side alley playing the accordion beautifully, however, there were others dressed up as centurions in the busier parts of the city, asking for tips aggressively. In France, we found multiple street performers, some dancers and some who offered tarot readings on the curb. In the Czech Republic, there were more musicians and a few renaissance fair-esque actors. Each city has its own story to tell and one of the easiest ways to find out what it is is to find the buskers.

When we were in Switzerland, we stumbled across a busker who was performing a mix of magic and comedy. We only stopped because there was a large group of people surrounding the man. We all know what curiosity does. Through gaps, we were able to see a few tricks, ranging from the familiar penny-in-the-ear one to a few sleight of hand ones that made us chuckle.

We stood near the back of the crowd alongside a Frenchman, a lady from Spain, and a small group of German tourists. It seemed that none of us could see the act properly, but after a little while, the busker found a box that he could stand on. Up on his mini-pedestal, he was visible to more of the crowd, but he looked at us specifically and waved.

“Can you all see clearly now?” he asked and we all nodded before replying.

“Yes.”

“Oui.”

“Si.”

“Ja.”

(Please feel free to add your own rimshot noise here.)

Jokes aside, sometimes all you have to do is slow down and watch the buskers because although they might not have groundbreaking performances, they’re the little things that give a place heart and soul.

Sod’s Law

Sod’s Law says whatever CAN go wrong, WILL go wrong. Which is precisely what happened upon arriving in Bern, Switzerland. Thankfully, we easily found the hostel we were staying at and met the lovely fellow travelers that were sharing our room. In fact, everything was perfect until the next morning when we decided to do some sight-seeing. Of course as soon as we tried taking pictures, our camera decided it had had enough of being told what to do and broke monumentally. It pixelated each shot and turned them neon, then wouldn’t work at all.

This was the second day of our trip and we still had almost two weeks to go. Feeling brave, we decided to find a local store that sold affordable digital cameras. You haven’t put your foreign language skills to the test until you’ve tried figuring out the specs of a camera to know which is the best to buy. In broken French, we tried to ask the employee questions and they answered back in broken English; we were about as good as each other. However, I’m sure we all grew from the experience.

Nevertheless, they helped us when we were in need and we will forever be grateful. The picture above is one of the first ones taken with our new purchase and it must have been the right choice because, three years later, we’re still using the same camera.

An experience that could have put a damper on our travels ended up being one of the highlights! Perhaps Sod’s Law isn’t such a bad thing…at least until it rears its ugly head again!