Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Just Rambling On and On...

Mrs. TBF has begun taking the bus to work instead of the tram. The bus line that runs by our house is considerably less crowded than the tram which means that she's able to get a seat instead of standing the whole time. Since I ususally walk with her to the tram in the morning, I've begun walking with her to the bus stop.
On Monday, I had to pick up some dry cleaning at our new Swiss dry cleaner, so I joined Mrs. TBF for part of her bus ride. I've been bringing our very sporadic dry cleaning to the dry cleaner in France because it costs less than half the amount of dry cleaning in Basel, but Mrs. TBF has developed a mistrust of the French dry cleaner - maybe it's because they lost a couple of our things. Who knows?
It's been a few years since we used a Swiss dry cleaner, and I forgot how incredibly expensive it is. How expensive, you ask?
Mrs. TBF's suit + Mrs. TBF's dress + 1 pair of TBF's trousers = 64 CHF (about $50 U.S.)!!!!
Then, when I picked it up, the lady seemed a bit perturbed that I actually wanted her to wrap the clothes in plastic. I told her that I was walking home, and I didn't want the stuff to get all dusty. She cared not!
On Tuesday, I rode the bus with Mrs. TBF again. There's a Migros grocery store a couple of stops into the journey, and I told Mrs. TBF that I'd ride with her, and then pick up a couple of things at the store.
We live right next door to a Migros. But, the one next to our house SUCKS!!! I'm tellin' ya, that produce worker is stocking the produce with his butt cheeks or something because I've never seen such bad produce in my life. The one along the bus route is much, much better.
So, Monday/dry cleaner, Tuesday/Migros, Wednesday/???? I decided this morning to take a longer ride with Mrs. TBF. I told her I'd ride the bus with her to the point where she has to make a transfer to the tram. This is several stops into the route.
Mrs. TBF: "Why are you going to do that?"
TBF: "Because...I can!"
Mrs. TBF: "Sassy!!!"
I remember that I had to pick up something at a store in downtown Basel, and I decided to just take the bus to a stop called Schifflände. Mrs. TBF said she'd ride with me to that stop, and we thought that would be the point where she'd "give me some sugar" and then we'd go our separate ways.
About half way into the route, an announcement was made over the intercom. Naturally, it was in Swiss German, so I understood about 4% of what was said. I heard something about having to walk between two tram stops, but I couldn't really figure out what the problem was. It wasn't until later...too late...that we found out that a huge chunk of the Basel tram system was comletely effed up!
I waited with Mrs. TBF, and her tram never came. Finally, she decided to hoof it. Who knows when she finally made it to work? I went to my store, picked up what I was there to pick up, and then made my way to the tram stop to take the tram back home.
On the way to the tram stop, I finally saw what the problem was. It appeared to me, at least, that a tram car had derailed right at a main intersection which resulted in a total disruption of several lines. I mean, to a Swiss person, this is a disaster of epic proportions. I'm's nearly call the Swiss Guard time.

We interrupt this ramble for more stream of consciousness rambling...
Oh...mentioning the Swiss Guard just reminded me of something. While we were in the Vatican City a little while back, I gave a couple of members of the Vatican's finest, a.k.a. the Pope's Swiss Guard, a "grüezi mitenand" and they gave a "grüezi" right back at me. How cool is that? It was THE highlight of my trip to Rome. How many people can say they've spoken with members of the Swiss Guard!

Back to the first rambling...
I stood at the scene of the accident for about five minutes just staring at the workers doing their thing. Then, I realized that I was being incredibly Bebbi (nickname for people from Basel). Baslers are AMAZING starers. I guess they're just a curious people, and they'll stare at anything endlessly. On many occasions, I've been the subject of the Basler stare (I guess a very tall bald man without a care in the world is stare-worthy), and I've had to just basically shrug my shoulders after a couple of minutes and say "Was?!?!?!" to get them to stop.
I snapped out of my hypnotic stare, saw that I was surrounded by old Basler men doing the same thing I was doing, and slinked off to a tram stop that seemed to be functioning normally.
I finally made it home at 9:45 a.m. Ninety minutes of aimless wandering.

...Because I can!


CanadianSwiss said...

That's probably why the dry cleaners in France are so much cheaper - they make money with the "lost" clothes that they sell off.

And you're right: When trams don't work in Basel, it IS a disaster.

Gretchen said...

Thanks for the explanation-- my German teacher had told us this morning that there was a problem with the trams, but I didn't know exactly what the problem was. Where was the derailment?

What would we do without our dear trams?

The Big Finn said...

The problem was at the curve right after Theater heading toward Bankverein.

Unknown said...

Haha I can totally envision you staring at the tram. And the migros worker stalking with his butt cheeks made me practically fall out of my chair!

Kirk said...

I had a colleague who complained about the same thing this morning. Not that I understand what this says, but the Basler Zeitung is all over it...

Ms Mac said...

Hah! What an ace post! I am, like, so gonna chuck a "Gruezi" the way of the Swiss Guard when I go to Rome (like, in a gajillion years or so!)

Also wondering if Basel starers are as good at staring as the French we encoutered on Paris PT.....