The traffic was jammed. Whether it was all the weekenders travelling home from the mountains to the cities, or a crunch or a crash up ahead, we didn’t know, but we were thoroughly stuck. Utterly bottle-necked on the roads and through the tunnels outside Luzern. The tedious inching forward of three lanes of traffic with no end to the snarl-up in sight is one thing on the open road, but quite another in a low-lit tunnel that winds on for two kilometres or more.
But then – music. Was this an example of Swiss efficiency, of thinking of everything, by pumping music into the tunnels to soothe depressed drivers and petulant passengers? Generous, expansive, orchestral, power ballad type music, overflowing with sentiment and gusto and key changes.
No, it wasn’t the work of the Swiss authorities. It was a woman in a soft top VW Beetle, hood down and volume up, serenading us all as she sang along – complete with gestures – to the booming vocals in an undecipherable language about who knows what, but possibly love, probably unrequited.
Thank you, tunnel music lady, for the queue-shortening smiles you raised in us that day.