Tuesday, June 19, 2007
And today I had breakfast with Se. after what felt like an age - and was likely at least a year - and our time together stretched until 4 pm. We walked along the Rhine to the Museum Tinguely to see the Situationist International exhibition. The water was turgid after all the storms we've been having, but that didn't stop dozens of intrepid swimmers. After we left the museum, we stuck close to the river, stopping for ice cream before camping out at the Schmale Wurf for Panaches and cigarettes, the first I've had in months. She said that she felt that Basel was the best kept secret and that she didn't want to tell anyone because she doesn't want it to change. Then again, her friends in Paris won't come and visit her here. The rest of Europe loathes Switzerland because, as she put it, "their biggest problem here is boredom."
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
This time around, I fared much better. I decided to stay across the river in Oberkassel at the DJH hostel. When I travel alone – or with others too, for that matter – being in the thick of things is less important than someplace quiet in the evenings and pretty to look at in the day. The hostel is surrounded by a neighborhood that appears to have been spared by war bombing, unlike the city center, and a lovely riverside park that is home to hundreds of bunnies. Their presence in the park is inexplicable and oddly appropriate: think of the scene in Guy Maddin’s
I have discovered that, in addition to Ohropax and an eyemask, there are three other items worth having on hand for communal bunking: a pair of flip-flops for showers, a towel, and the best map you can get of the place where you are. I also realized this time around that the only thing I do these days to really plan for a trip (other than book a room and the transit to get where I’m going) is to look up the cinema program for the city and note what films are playing that I want to see and when and where on the nights that I will be in town. I also always have check that foreign films have subtitles instead of dubbed voice-overs: I haven’t been able to bear a dubbed film since Pippi Longstocking ran on Sunday morning television circa 1982.