...you are a pretty city, in a conservative kind of way. Of course, one of my worst nightmares is to be obliged to move to the south, either to southern Germany, to Austria or to Switzerland. But it's not your fault that I wake up sometimes, heart racing and cold with fear because I just dreamed I was promoted and had to move down south.
Promoted for what and in what job you might ask, I know. But you know how it goes. Sometimes, when I'm really tired I wake up in the morning because something beeping insists - in-sists - I wake up and those mornings two questions come to mind: 'Who are you? And do you have a job you have to go to?'
Easy to answer: I'm Julia - and I don't have a job. Or not what most people consider a 'regular' job. I draw pretty pictures for a living. Sometimes they're pretty acid, but mostly they're pretty pretty.
But I have occasions or events I have to rise for. Every once in a while. Like markets, design fairs, a heavy workload for the day... or selling wine. Once in a while.
That's what I came to visit you for.
And I must say I was charmed...
because hadn't it been for you, Basel, I would still live with the assumption that some things got to be out of fashion twenty years ago.
And oh, Basel, I do love a good dingy hotel when I can find one.
You know the kind: With real keys (those credit card thingies are way overrated) that get stuck in the keyhole every time you use them and that make a real racket when you try forcibly to pull them free. Hotels that save energy by not having any light on the floors and hallways where people walk. The kind of place where every room has a name, so that even dead drunk and seeing numbers backwards you can find your own bed.
As the two young French guys put it in the morning:'And for breakfast you have the choice between nothing and ...nothing.' - That's my kind of place!
You know, it might seem as though I was being sarcastic here, Basel, but actually I laughed and chuckled a lot during those three days and I do have a collection where this menu fits right in (they mean 'in between' by 'between through', just in case you're wondering). And on my first evening in said dingy hotel there was an older man in the lobby, working on the computer that had already been an oldie-but-goldie in the early nineties, who said 'God bless you' because I showed him how to produce an underscore on the machine. He also put swiss franc into the vending machine to get out the beer I so desperately craved and let me have the illusion that the couple of euro I gave him in return were enough to make us even.