Basel – A Maze or just Me?

June 18, 2014

One valuable lesson I have learned while navigating the city of Basel: make sure you know where you’re going and then have five back up plans.


This city’s transportation labeled for dummies, and there are signs letting you know exactly when the bus/tram is going to arrive. . .yet, somehow I still manage to get lost!


The good news is: there are so many trams and busses - when you do get lost - all you have to do is hop off, figure things out and hop back on.

However, I have still managed to get turned around more than once.


I was reading the chapter “Ice Cream Cones and other Things not to Sweat” in a funny little book titled, I Thought We Agreed To Pee In The Ocean, by Alena Dillon.

Once I had gotten to the end - laughing out loud, a lot - I realized that we all have our moments of frustration in light of ideals we just can’t seem to achieve or recreate.


Sometimes, its worth taking a step back and realizing that they just aren’t attainable at all - or at very least when we want them to be.


In these cases, it is good advice to take a break - breathe - and approach the task at hand with a little more ease. I’ve found that walking around in a haze of frantic energy will actually get you right back to the place you started. . .literally!


The first day on the job, I was walking around trying to find a electronic appliance store. To my luck, my wonderful mother was able to provide me with information that my 'not-so-smart', ancient Nokia flip-phone could not. The place seemed to far away. But when I got on the bus I realized, I was just a few stops from my destination.


Wanting to show my employer that I was capable, and responsible enough, to run the errands she had asked of me, I decided to get off and try to find this place. I got off the bus and asked for directions, which were kindly given to me and continued down the street. I was ecstatic!

Here I am skipping along, thinking I’d finally found this store.

Afer spotting the name of the street from afar, I remember thinking 'It really wasn’t that far after all!' But, as I got clsoer, instead of 'street' the sign read ‘platz’ (square – in german). . .at this point I figured - stupidly - 'the street can't be that far'.


So, I walked a little further, between some houses and down a little tunneled shopping area, only to find that I had ended up right where I had started off.


Befuddled, I ran back up to where I’d come from. Mind you, I am doing all this with a 11 month old littler girl, a stroller, diapers, groceries and a backpack. Once at the top again, I asked another shop owner where the street and store was I had been searching for. . .turns out, as he started to chuckle, I was at the very other end of that road. He gave me the direction. This time though, just to be sure, I asked him how long the walk was. He assured me it was six minutes by foot. . . and six minutes later I found myself at the store – finally – only to be told that the appliance cable I was looking for was not sold at the store.  Haha, jokes on me. . .always call ahead.


Anyhow. . .long story short, I then read Alena’s story on my bus ride home that evening and realized: we all do silly things! Often!

Plus, I must say I did enjoy all the beautiful views of the city along the way! And boy, what a trooper my litte play-mate was. It was a beautiful day, and beautiful walk and I guess. . .shit happens. . .


On another note:

If you do need a good laugh, I entirely recommend the book. Its written in a very endearing way. I can relate to the stories only too well and most of all each chapter isfunnier than the next. With each chapter being a different story the book lends itself to any commute! My favorite story, by far, is “Romance is Dead. I killed it.” People were staring at me on the train, because I was laughing so hard. . .

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