Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Two random things I've noticed

I was feeling a bit restless and couped up yesterday evening so I went on a walk. As is my wont, I went down the Hauptstraße, up the hill to the vineyards, and then back again along quieter roads through town. Firstly, as I was on the hill I noticed a large building to the left of the centre of Basle as I was looking. It clearly glowing red. I then realised that it must be St. Jakob Park, home of FC Basel. An extra tier had been added to one of the sides of the ground last season, and with this side facing north towards Germany it's a lot easier to spot from far away.

Secondly, I noted a peculiarity about my neighbourhood in Weil, which I should like to share with you. Most of the houses in this neighbourhood were built in the 1920s to accommodate the families of railway workers. Largely renovated today, they give the place a snug suburban character - situated on peaceful tree-lined streets, with uniformly arranged front and back gardens and pretty little doors often with a few steps leading up. On warm summer evenings like yesterday, a fair few residents tend to sit in twos or threes on these steps for hours, it seems, and chat or stare at passers-by. You would think they would sit in the back garden - for that is what any modest Englishman would do - but no, they camp out at the front. Coming from a country where sitting out in the front garden is usually associated with squatters lying spaced out on discarded old sofas, I find it slightly unnerving.

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