Opposites attract

One is an extrovert, the other an introvert: Pablo Hess and Peter Häfliger might be an unlikely duo, But they’ve felt a connection to one another since childhood and their friendship has endured every phase of life and relationship.

Text: Katharina Rilling; photo: Colin Frei

When Pablo and Peter were 17, they decided to go on a road trip on their mopeds: from Central Switzerland criss-crossing through Valais and ending up at Lake Geneva, where Pablo’s girlfriend was waiting. Peter accompanied him. It was a journey that would take nearly two weeks, during which they ate their spaghetti with a spanner and secretly spent the night in a small chapel in Chur. Peter Häfliger laughs: “Everything was hurting by the time we’d finished.” But the memories of this trip are still very much alive for the two friends 44 years later. “We met when we were 13 – we know each other inside out”, says Pablo Hess.

Opposites attract

When Pablo’s family moved to the lower part of the village where Peter lived, Peter was immediately intrigued by the wild and noisy boy who was open to anything. And Pablo appreciated Peter’s considered and down-to-earth nature. Peter explains: “Pablo is willing to try anything, whereas I’m more reserved. These opposites keep our friendship alive.” Pablo says: “I always know I can count on Peter if I lose my way, which is a comfort.” Despite their differences, they ended up following a similar path in life: marriage, three children, followed by divorce and the search for themselves and their own masculinity. Here, too, they support each other. Peter: “I’m brutally honest with Pablo. He finds it hard to give and receive criticism.” Pablo and Peter are convinced that the secret is to challenge each other, because emotions such as love, anger and frustration are not limited to husbands and wives.