Posts in Basel Switzerland

A second, more slow-motion shock was the flood. A siren sounded before we left our Airbnb. By noon we were barefoot with rolled up pant legs and joking about getting “the real Venice experience.” But that wasn’t the end of it. The following morning there were heavy rains and wind and a much longer siren that meant most of the city could flood.

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Pantophobia (Part 2)

Okay, pantophobia or not, there are at least a few things I’m not afraid of.

Like, Turks, for example. 

Let me explain:  Earlier this month I visited my father who now lives in Basel, Switzerland. Basel is a beautifully quaint, sophisticated, cosmopolitan place with historic fountains, ancient Roman ruins, and modern pharmaceutical factories.  Nearly everybody I met had traveled widely and spoke English.  And yet, I kept overhearing the same kinds of worry-mongering that we’re used to hearing in the US about the dangerous lower-income immigrant section of town.  Who knew?!  Turks.  Turks not learning German.  Turks not assimilating. Turks keeping their wives under lock and key. (And don't get me wrong--I don't mean this as Swiss-bashing.  The Swiss have far more refugees per capita than the US.)

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