Arriving in Basel
Trip Start Jun 13, 2007
13Trip End Sep 16, 2007
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As the taxi pulled up to my building, there was a clap of thunder and the skies unleashed a torrent of rain like I haven't seen since living in DC. The second I stepped out on the curb, I was soaked.
As for my apartment it is a small one bedroom, but is nicely laid out with a little kitchen and bathroom, each separated with doors from the main living area which has a dining table, chairs, TV, full-size bed and arm chair. I knew I was in Switzerland when there was a big bar of Toblerone chocolate accompanying a welcome note. Fortunately, I am on the top floor (and there is an elevator) facing west toward the sunset, and have a view of a garden and several chestnut trees in full leaf. I watched the sky grow dark as I unpacked, though it grows darker here than even Seattle! I go jogging at night and sometimes it is 9:30 at night and some cars are still driving without headlights on!
My neighbors knocked on my door shortly after I arrived. Michaela, Veronika, Susanne are 3 young German women who work in the chemistry labs at Roche (in fact most of my building consists of short term housing for Roche). People have been generally quite friendly since my arrival 2 weeks ago.
I went for a little walk after unpacking. The sky was largely dark by that point, but the trams rolled along, the sleek newer ones being barely audible, gliding along like magic carpets. They contrast starkly with the cobblestone sidewalks and centuries-old building in the city center
I walked to the Rhein River and paused for a few minutes, looking out over the edge into the fast moving river. The wind picked up and I got the chills and started to feel really tired (I was surprised that by that point jet-lag had not yet sent me into a coma), so I wandered back to my place, through some side streets, hearing bells of gliding streetcars every so often and the laughter of people inside the pubs and restaurants that I passed.