A Nigerian-German in Liechtenstein
I stayed in a hostel just off Liechtenstein’s one and only main road - it was flanked by meadows and mountains on either side. There was a bloke unpacking in my dorm and I gave him the usual “you alright mate?” and he shot back with a “fucking hell! you’re not from around here, are you?”. It turned out that he was in Liechtenstein for an international martial arts competition. Later, it also turned out that during this same weekend was Liechtenstein’s Independence Day. The two seemed linked. Maybe the international martial arts lobby was desperate for tax relief.
Later that evening I met my two other roommates: a Dutch lass living in London and writing a book and a lovely bloke from Berlin with Nigerian-German heritage. While our martial arts friend was out scrapping with the locals, we drank a lot of white wine and tried not to melt in August heat.
The next day I went to watch the Independence parade and followed it up to Liechtenstein’s castle, where I had a pint with the Prince of Liechtenstein. He even paid for it :)
I was the first back at the hostel and could hear the kindly Berliner arrive before I could see him; he got on a bus to a nearby Austrian town where a group of old Bavarian women accosted him and pressured him into buying a set of authentic cream-coloured, leather lederhosen. He considered it for a second, remembered that it was Liechtenstein’s independence day and thought to himself: when in Rome. Mind, the Liechtensteiners don’t wear lederhosen.
His lederhosen squeaked as he walked and he had to peel himself out of it in the evening. He came back to our room streaming with tears of laughter at the mistake he’d made walking around the richest, whitest parade in Europe as a black man wearing cream-coloured lederhosen.