Adwoa Owusuaa Bobie – I came with no expectations
I arrived in Basel in September 2016 and it was my first time in Europe. I came with no expectations, I was ready for any experience that awaits me, and I have had thrills of experiences. My first impression of Basel was the calmness of the city and how that shapes everything that goes on. The calmness produces warmth and security which can almost be felt tangibly. You immediately feel welcomed as you walk out of the airport into an orderly and highly organised city of Basel.
Basel is a city highly organised in terms of transportation. Coming from a place where cars-being commercial or private- are the major means of transportation, I was struck by the many use of bicycles as private means of transportation and the bus and tram system for commercial use. Many of my colleagues and even lecturers come to school on bicycle making movements easier and experiencing less traffic on the road. The city tram and bus system is so efficient you can easily organise you day and schedule around them. They are always on time as shown on the display at the stop and it times of delay, you can bet it will not delay past two minutes. This is one experience that continues to fascinate me about Basel.
I love the conservative traditional look of Basel. Basel is noted for art work and this is expressed through their buildings as well. The old city gate-Spalentor- is one of my favourite places, I cannot explain why but observing the art of the construction of a city gate feels great and “ancient”. It connects you to a story that is old but feels resent. The Munsterplatz and the various protestant churches whose clocks churns every hour, vibrating through the city to be heard everywhere is my timer. I love how the city is a fusion of modernity and tradition.
Another thing I fancy about the organisation of the city is the community parks. Every community has a park which allows for all kinds of outdoor games for adults and kids as well as training. The community park in my vicinity is my training grounds during summer and early autumn. I love the green nature, the neatness because they are always under maintenance and out of my regular use of the place I have struck friendship and acquaintances with fellow trainees and workers of the park.
Talk of relationships, Basel offers a cultural mix of people from different backgrounds. Basel is a community of people from all over the world and this is one of my thrilling cultural experience. From my hostel to the school to the church, I meet people from various cultural and racial background and we form a community instantly. My church is a small English church of less than 100 members, a survey was taken latter part of 2017 and it was revealed the membership is made up of almost 60 different nationals. That is Basel! So diverse but communal. It shapes your thinking and makes you opened-minded when dealing with people. Living in Basel, the world becomes the point of reference and not any specific country or culture.
Adwoa Owusuaa Bobie, Doctorate student, Centre for African Studies (Sociology)