Many years ago, I was travelling with family in Northern Italy and we went into Switzerland for a brief visit… a day trip around Lake Lugano.
This is not to be confused with Lake Como, Italy, which is a different lake on the Italian side of the border. I’ve sometimes seen photos mislabeled ‘Lake Como, Switzerland’ or ‘Lugano, Italy’. Lugano (on Lake Lugano) is Switzerland’s largest Italian speaking city but… it’s not in Italy. Como (on Lake Como) is near Switzerland but not IN Switzerland.
But I am straying from the point of my story.
OK, it went like this. After a nice auto-tour of the lake, we stopped in Lugano to walk around, take pictures, look at the shops and the lake and the mountains. It was all so beautiful. The air and water were crisp and clean. The sky was a deep shade of blue that you just don’t see in the place where I was raised in Canada.
And the people! Even the people were good-looking. The pretty girls strolling along the streets. The sweet middle-aged couple walking their dog. The kids were adorable. The old people were cute. The mailman was good-looking. The police officer was good-looking. The old guy on the bicycle was good-looking. The lady carrying her groceries was good-looking.
I started to detect a disturbing pattern. I began looking for unattractive people. In stores and cafes. Up and down the lake shore. Along narrow side streets. Everyone… EVERYONE was good-looking. The closest I came to seeing a person of even average aspect was a little old lady sitting near the doorway of a clock shop… and even she was cute as a button.
My search became more desperate. I was looking for someone… anyone… who was at least slightly unattractive, plain or even frumpy. After an hour, I would have happily settled for ordinary.
But it was not to be. Sad and dejected, I climbed back into the car, no longer able to ignore the plain unvarnished truth.
I was the ugliest person in Switzerland.
For me, it was a long, quiet ride back to Como.