I landed in Basel, Switzerland on the evening of Friday, March 13. An uncertain future lay ahead due to COVID-19 fears. I was told Basel had closed its borders not long after I had landed at the France-based airport. A brief, nearly vacant flight met the wild effervescence of an entire soccer team.
I, on the other hand, poorly rested and a bit anxious.
Not very long ago I had watched as POTUS announced vague travel bans on U.S. admittances. I, like most Americans in Europe at the time of his announcement scurried to find an immediate flight back to the States. Thankfully, some clearheaded motherly advice convinced me to wait until the morning before rushing to the airport for answers. Reports later clarified POTUS’ televised announcement but the damage had been done. I called the airline the following morning and was able to book an earlier return flight. My trip was now much briefer than anticipated.
An entirely different world in retrospect.
I visited Basel after meeting Naz during a solo birthday trip to Los Angeles in the summer of 2019. We bonded almost immediately and ended up celebrating our birthdays together at a live music concert, Echo Park followed by fantastic pizza at Triple Beam Pizza. She invited me to visit her hometown Basel, Switzerland. I had no clue that we would be reunited as early as we did, but there I was, being greeted by her beaming face at BSL arrivals.
We dined at a restaurant not far from Basel Town Hall. It was a chilly night, the streets were sparse. Naz assured me that the current climate had a huge impact on the crowds– the bars were bare because COVID-19 fears had circulated and 40 person limits had been enforced in such spaces. We ended up grabbing a drink in a rustic Irish bar.
On my last day in Basel, we decided to explore on foot.
I consumed local fare and photographed Basel’s historical sites. As the crowds continued to thin on the cobblestoned streets of Basel, a new world awaited.