"Look at that girl's HAIR!" Waves of that uncomfortable unease immediately grip Stacy and me. Joey is really loud at his comment. "No Seriously, Dad! Look at that girl!"
It was an increasingly uncomfortable scene on the #6 Tram in Zürich. Several people were giggling out loud, and Stacy gave me that look -- well I can't exactly say "that look" because I don't think I've seen it before. It's that look of "We need to put a stop to this" and also a look of "Let's see how this plays out" and also simultaneously a look of amusement.
"Look at that girl, Dad! She has blue hair!" Joey said in a loud voice, loud enough for the whole tram to hear. In Bern, we can usually get away with speaking English, and most people don't understand, or don't act like they understand, especially when we speak with thick American accents, or speak quickly or use lots of slang. In this case, the inhabitants of Zürich usually know English far better than their Bernese or Fribourgeois counterparts.
"Yes, Joey. She has blue hair. I actually think it's kind of cool. " I calmly replied in a hushsed voice, trying to get Joey to switch the subject. The two punk rock girls who got on to the tram were laughing. I am sure they have heard this before, probably in Züridüütsch, instead of English. Maybe the novelty of it being in English was enough to amuse them to the point of giggling.
"Turn your head and look, Dad!", Joey, 4, was really concerned that I wasn't making eye contact with the two punk rock chicks who boarded this tram. I definitely saw them before they got on the tram, and maybe even secretly admired that blue hair style, combined with multiple facial piercings.
"How do they make them like that?" Joey continues at loud volume.
"Like what, Joey"
"With all those things in their face".
"Those are piercings" The volume ratio is still identical. Joey loud, me responding in the lower volume that hopes to guide the next sentences into ever decreasing levels of volume. Joey is hypnotized. Judging by his unwavering gaze, and out loud comments, there is no doubt this is a new phenomenon for him. In Switzerland, sure there is the occasional grown woman who has the streak of purple in her hair. But in Bern, we have yet to see the girl who has gone all blue to the hair.