Negotiating the “morning after” at Balmer’s

I laughed out loud at Terry Ward’s observations over at World Hum of young Americans awkwardly negotiating the “morning after” scene at Balmer’s Herberge in Interlaken, Switzerland. Laughed, because when I was a 21-year-old college student on a study abroad trip, Balmer’s was a sacred place – a destination for hordes of other kids just like me, proudly sporting university sweatshirts and perky enthusiasm for the soft-core adrenaline adventures on offer around the town. Ward’s description is a spot-on retelling of my own experience there: waiting for the liquid courage to dance, then getting wasted on beer from plastic cups, running into a new friend at breakfast the next day and having an awkward, stilted conversation about the Italian coffeemaker he’d bought his sister in Italy. I also recall waking up that morning and finding my contact lenses in shriveled corpses on the floor next to my bed; I simply stuck them in solution and popped them back in. Oh, youth.

Like Ward, I have no desire to revisit Balmer’s. On subsequent visits to Interlaken, I’ve stayed at the pleasantly peaceful HI hostel. But I also don’t (totally) regret my drunken couple of nights at Balmer’s. I’m one of those people who hates missing out on any kind of experience, and at the time, a night or two at Balmer’s was what I was after.

Anyone else have a similar experience there?