Once upon a time in Europe – Part 1 – Basel
There cannot be a better title than this, na? I have been thinking of publishing this Europe series since June. But, in the meanwhile, I got stuck in a state of dilemma if I should go ahead with that idea or not. Finally, took a One Rupee coin and tossed to arrive at a more ‘mature judgement’. Assigned Tails to ‘I should’ and Heads to ‘I shouldn’t’. Heads came up, but I had always liked only Tails, and so here it is. 😀 😀 😀
Ok, now before I get into the post, let me make it clear to you all that, this is, in no way, a travelogue. I don’t think I can ever do justice to such a write up. Moreover, I really don’t remember what all I had seen there and now that it’s almost 4 months after my return, I even forgot whatever I was supposed to remember. 😀 😀 😀
I left to Swiss exactly three days after I had made an announcement here in my blog. I traveled in Emirates and the flight was first from Chennai to Dubai and then, had to board another one from Dubai to reach Zurich. I personally hate flight journeys; they are too bohoring! And yes, too many restrictions; cant walk freely, cant sing loudly, cant roll over while sleeping! Sheeesh !! I couldn’t sleep the previous day because of my shift timings and I had to go to the airport directly from work. My eyes were already worn out and my body was aching like crazy. I tried making myself comfortable in the seat to find some sleep, but no way! and even if I slept, I would miss out on all those goodies they served inside the flight. So I kept my eyes wide open, switched on the TV and watched movies all through the journey !
By the time the flight touched Zurich airport, I started feeling feverish and developed a nasty cold. My brother was already there at the airport and together we proceeded to board a train to Basel, the station for which is just below the airport (Zurich Flughafen). How convenient, huh? Railways and Airports at the same place !
Reached Basel station in one hr and got into a tram right in front of the Basel station (Basel SBB) that dropped us at a junction that’s like 5 mins from my bros home.
My sis-in-law and brother were actually surprised to see a slim ‘n’ trim version of me. When they had left from India, (which was just two weeks before I reached Swiss), I was at my bulkiest best. I managed to reduce 6 kgs in two weeks just for this trip so that I could get into some of my fav Tees and also to fit into a single frame of the camera 😀 😀 😀
After all those general ‘just arrived’ conversations, I got into the bathroom to wash my face and legs, and came out to get my clothes for taking a shower. Meanwhile, my bro went into the bathroom and :
Bro : Daaaa, what did you do??? Did you pee on the floor ?
Me : Whaat? Me? No ! Why ?
Bro : Then, how come theres errr…liquid on the bathrooms floor ?
Me : I washed my legs, that’s all !
Bro : You stupid, you aren’t supposed to wash your legs on the floor?
Me : Why? some kind of rule here in Swiss?
Bro : No, you are supposed to do that in the tub over there !
Me : What crazy land ! Theres no drainage system here or what ?? Oh Btw, oops !
That was his first sigh ! Little did he know that he would be sighing this way for the rest of that month !
But, these westerners are crazy, I tell you. They still have no idea how to construct their bathroom. No exhaust fan, no drainage system, and only paper to clean your ass ! C’mon, is it that difficult to have a provision for water in the bathroom and isn’t it more convenient to have water than stocking all those papers ? I guess, they still want to follow the style of Neanderthal Men who used to clean and cover themselves with leaves! Believe me, if there was any place in Europe that I was afraid to go or I didn’t want to go, its those bathrooms! I don’t understand why its so freaking silent once you enter the bathroom ! Even if a single drop of water fell on the bathroom floor, it would sound like a tsunami to people sitting outside. Well, its not that I make disgusting noises all the time when I am inside, but damn, the silence made me so damn conscious! I was afraid if I would at any time…you know…you know….!!
Anyway, the embarrassing jokes about my ignorance on the architecture of western bathrooms continued for a while between my brother and sister in law and later on the jokes reached my uncle in Dubai who fortunately supported me. At about 5 in the evening, I dozed off on the sofa and woke up when the sun’s rays hit directly onto my face. The suns rays were too bright for my already worn out eyes, checked the time on the clock and I got a shock of my life.
It was 8.20 !!!
“Did I sleep for one whole day? How come no one woke me up for dinner last night? And how did I even end up sleeping for one whole day when I find it difficult to sleep for more than 6 hrs on a normal day?”. Rubbed my eyes and checked the time again , now on my mobile. It read 12.20 am IST; subract fours for Swiss time – “its 8.20 pm. Whaat? 8.20 pm ???” I went to the balcony and had a nice look outside; went back in checked the clock again. “8.20 pm? So, I did wake up on the same day, phew !! But what on earth is happening? Why is sun shining at this hour ?”
Me :Bro, its 8 pm and our good old sun is still up there, shining at its best ! Weird isn’t it?
Bro : Havnt you learned that in geography ? The days are longer during the summer ! This is what it means!
Me : Oh! It doesn’t happen this way, back in India. This is the craziest thing I have ever seen. Its 8.20 pm !!!
Bro (sighs again! and pretended as if he wasn’t listening to me anymore)
And I kept looking out, the bloody sun was up there smiling till about 9.30 pm !!! I wanted to go out for a walk, but my bro was a little scared to send me outside after all the ignorance that I was showing off on that day. I assured him I would be back and went out.
In not more than 10 mins, I rushed back home shouting, “Whaat a country ! You call this summer ??? It was like being inside a freezer out there”, to which my bro casually replied, “Oh, you forgot to take a jacket along with you, didnt you ?”.
Now, tell me guys, who would even think of carrying a jacket in this planet during summer ?
Well, here are some of the snaps that were taken in and around Basel on two different days. Please note that I am a hopeless photographer when it comes to sceneries and locales. Give me a few human beings and I can show off my photographic skills. 😀 😀 😀
After the first day ..…..
Bro : What is it that you want to see here in Swiss ?
Me : Snow ! It has always been my dream to touch snow. Any near by place ?
Bro : You are already sick. Can you travel? And that too snow?
Me : That’s ok. Cold and Cold, it will neutralize 😀
Bro : Snow it is, then ! Get ready, we are leaving to Zermatt tomorrow !
Next part in this series : Zermatt.
Next Post : The a–T–b–A–c–G