Yes, the news are talking about Coronavirus everyday. And I'm seeing the pictures of my Korean friends having to work from home. At this time, I traveled France and Switzerland. Pretty crazy, right? I was also worried about this trip. I didn't want to go, but I didn't want to waste the ticket either. So I left, and I learned a lot from this trip.
Here’s my 10 favorite experience in the trip
1. Three course French dinner at Vincent’s house with Facondo
2. Riding bike in Strasbourg with Vincent
3. Walking Basel with Maridel
4. Walking Belfort with Marie
5. Going to beer festival with Leo
6. Going to Hospices Strasbourg Wine cellar with Mislav
7. Enjoying breakfast with Claire
8. Wearing Fasnacht costume and walking Basel
9. Watching rain with Levi Vincent and Facondo
10. Visiting Maridel’s lab to learn about Daphnia and meeting her friends
Flight ticket 77
(599 RMB Easyjet, booked with Alipay)
(Euroairport to Belfort 5 + Belfort to Strasbourg 5 + Strasbourg to Basel 3)
(10 for beer thing + 3 for cappucino + 1.1 for bread)
(1.7*3 for bus ticket + 7.8 for Tartes Flambees + 3.9 for wine + 1 for bread)
(20 CHF = 1.8 bathing soap + 1 quinch jam + 4.7 AB zone ticket + pullover 10 + 3 sandwich)
Total expenditure for 6 days: 142.2 euros (18만 8000원)
I’m in Belfort. It’s a city of lion. The tag line of this city is “stay wild”. I met Marylène, a ceramic artist in Belfort. We are now in tourist center, where I saw the delicate ceramic lion she made.
The difference of Germany and France is: First, I see so many artists in the city. The shops and the products are unique here. I see a lot of local French restaurants and artist shop. (No Kebap place) also, I didn’t see any franchises in the old city.
Also, the city doesn’t use copper as a architectural material. So I don’t see the mint color roof top here.
Third, there are French flags everywhere. I even see the three words symbolizing France on top of the school: #liberteegalitefraternite . #france #belfort #belfortoldtown #oldcity #lepotaufeubelfort #staywild
The city used to be a fort. The view from the top is amazing. Mari and I stood there for a while enjoying the wind and silence. Under the blue sky, beautiful pastel houses stood. The soldiers used to live in those hills. Once, Polish soldiers walked till here.
I met Leo. He is a Vietnamese born in Belfort. After the Vietnamese war in 1976, Leo’s parents wanted to move to France to make a living. But the grandmother would never let them. After she passed away the couple took a flight to France and found a job in Belfort and gave birth to 4 children. Leo’s dad worked in a steel company.
Leo learned food science and he is working at food production company. After working 3 years, he traveled Asia. He said a lot of families in Vietnam still have three generations living in one house.
We went to a local bar MBC and had a beer. It had French touch to it. French music and nearly done avant-garde interior. I took a beer and it tasted like Soba, in a good way. Leo said it’s supposed to be smoked taste.
He said in order to find a job in France you need a car. He said that in the CV you need to put whether you own a car or not.
Leo and I went to #microbrasserie in #belfort and I had #rockol . It tasted like soba in a good way, it’s supposed to be like smoked taste. The #bar in #france surely has #frenchtouch to it. The music, the paintings, waitress and the sofa seats. After that we and Leo’s 6 friends went to #culturebiere festival in #montbeliard . We paid 10 euros and we were given a cup with three tokens. We tasted 3 beers with cheese there. We conversation about life in France, and how they compare it with the life in their country. It seemed like we were the youngest people there. It was interesting experience to #drinkbeer in France.
He said there are 5 expats working in Belfort, which I find it very interesting.
There are four people working in physiotherapist in Hospital here. They say that it pays better here than their country and gives more holiday. 2 from Spain, 1 from Italy Turin and 1 from Romania. Spanish guy said he everything close more earlier than Spain. In Spain you can still have dinner at 10. Other difference is that here the people are more closed. It’s harder to make friends here. He said he will try to move to a city that is closer to sea. In average they worked 1 year in France.
Tarik, a Polish man works in accounting team in GE. He said the company is trying to move the office from Belfort to India, because the price is lower there. He would have to leave the job in April. He said he will try to enjoy his hobbies for a while.
Denis is from France, Macon. He learned English in England and found a job in SEO in company in Belfort. He worked for 7 years, and he is thinking of moving to Lyon.
I’m leaving Claire’s house. She made a lovely breakfast for me. It was salad with apple, banana, kiwi, raisins and dried apricot. We ate it with the baguette that I bought. Claire put cumin Lehman cheese, and two other strong cheeses. She made a herb basil, sesame and garlic. It was so good.
She is working at the public sector for the people in the province. She organizes festival, culture fair, and performance for the people. It’s sometimes for immigrants or the people with gender issues.
Eva: You’re doing an important job.
Claire: I get to look back my life. As i think of these people. Actually I had burnout. So I’m not working now. I paint and I sing. I like to put it down.
I met Marylène. She kindly offered a ride to Strasbourg. I walked to her house, and knocked the door but nobody answered. I asked 6 neighbors around her house if I can borrow a phone call, using short French “silvouple..” and “pousvevou..” and making phone call gestures. Fortunately I met her at the exact appointment time. Her family was going to her uncle’s wedding there. They elegantly wore Paris midnight blue attires. Her parents were living in a house with thatched roof, which was very distinct compared to any houses seen in that area. The house also had a huge balcony on the back yard that looked like a roofed openair restaurant. Surround by streams and birds singing, the house was so peaceful. They were really happy family we laughed all the time during the two hour car ride. Driving the Alsaceplain I remembered my cycling trip. Her dad generously gifted me a bottle of Hungarian wine which I really appreciated. They rode me to the door front of my host’s house in Strasbourg. French people are so nice and kind.
Marylène's mom is a teacher for little kids. She was wearing a cross watch. She said that people must hide their religion at public places. Mari has her website where she shows her works (Envolcreation.com)
Her family cooks for 100 people in east France on weekend. That's for family and friends and other people.
Mari used to do it one year. Marylène's dad works with old people to distributes food to them. The organization put the camera to see if he/she needs help. On Christmas, her dad helps sell her ceramics in the Christmas market.
France - Strasbourg
#petitefrance in #strasbourg with Vincent (France), Facondo (Argentina) and Levi (Martinez). I was #raining , but the #oldcity with #medievalarchitecture and the river embracing the island still looked so beautiful to me. I first thought it’s just canals. But after we went to the history museum and saw a video about the city’s history. The whole city from the upper view looked like a rose, and the outer petals were the river. #notredamecathedral was made with rose rocks (Pie Rose) and had chocolate color overall, and it had magnificent clock inside the hall. On the four corners it said: Assiria Roma Persia Grasia. I could see that the top part of the gothic arch had details of human face, which was pretty unusual. It rained immensely later, and we watched it under the building. It was so fun. We spoke in three languages: English, French and German. #friends #ruedebainfinkwiller Facondo worked in France in a restaurant, and he was now traveling by hitchhiking, or in Spanish "Viajando con a dedo".
We stood under the arch and watched the #rain . It was #tremendous . #february29 #france #strasbourg #notredamestrasbourg #rainsound #watchingrain
#frenchdinner with Vincent and Facondo. We had #turkishsoup #çorba and #frenchbaguette for #entre , #zuccinipie for #maindish (I love the #texture !) and #mushroomsalad and #cheeseboard for #dessert . We drank #hungarianwine #tokajikésőiszüret (#sweetwine ) together. Ah it was really good meal with good people. We had conversation about living in Europe, the tax and welfare system. Before the meal we had tea and local pie. Vincent bought sugared one and salty one for both of us. For lunch we went to nearby restaurant and had couscous. For dessert we had chocolate icecream, tiramisu and yellow pudding with coffee. Wow #frenchmeals are #amazinglygood . They really know how to enjoy the meal. I did #workoutaftermeal #célavie . #strasbourg #france #routedesromains #dinner
Today we have such a lovely weather. There is a bit of wind, but we have blue sky. We are in new city. The rectangular buildings reminds me of Lyon. It’s very modern. There is huge lagoon in between the buildings. Deliveroo man passes with a bike.
We are at European court of Human rights, where we saw a statue that the women are kneeling and their body bounded with rope. I thought one of the food way to make a great statue of intangible concepts like "human right" is to make the one opposite. Like the women statue here. Then you know who you have to work for. I thought that is a very strong message.
Then we went to Arte where I saw the giraffe man.
We are in the library. Inside of it was so modern. Vincent said that the Deutsch part of old city was made with stones to show its power. The stoned buildings looked strong and firm. The French part of old city was built with wood.
I’m looking at MaisonKammetzell. It's a beautiful dark building that stands on the left side of the Cathedral. I can see the zodiacs carved on the building. What an elegant chocolate building, I thought.
We are in Meteor. Tartes Flambees was really good. I love the thin crust.
I enjoy time with Vincent because he takes more picture than I do.
#montagneverte #alsace in #france . #ikissedtheground . #ismelledtheflowers . #finallymarchishere . I’m so glad finally the #winterisover . I know that first by the flowers #blooming , and the #bluesky . I don’t care about my pants getting dirty. I want to kiss the earth and cherish the #march and #spring . #strasbourg
The #firstcherryblossom I saw in this #spring . #strasbourg in front of #egliseorthodoxerusse . I cycled along the stream.
#cherryblossom in front of #russianorthodoxchurch in #strasbourg #france
With Vincent I visited so many places in #strasbourg on a bike. I visited #notredamecathedral #europeancourtofhumanrights #europeanparliament #giraffeman and watched #swan gliding across the #rhineriver . It was #koreanindependenceday . At night we always enjoyed #frenchdish that Vincent made. #thankyou Vincent ! #memories #memorybook #letter #handdrawing #colorpencil #france #couchsurfing
#oldcity of #strasbourg . #frenchbuildings uses a lot of wood. It’s very #romantic and carry #antique touch. I just love walking around here. Talking about old city, for me, Strasbourg has the most beautiful old city. I think it’s because it’s surrounded by water, and the fact that it’s an #island makes it seem more #sacred and #precious . #purpleturtleneck #france
Le camembert de Caractere was too dull for me. The solid cheese tasted similar to my childhood slice cheese. I loved the Le Pave Doux Savaoureux from Bourgogne. It was very creamy and I like it.
Saint-Marcellin from Le Pauphine, the one in the black case, is lovely. It's creamy and so good. I love the smell too.
I met Misrav. We went to the museum, and a beer, and had a dinner with Tartes Flambees and later we had 2nd beer of the day. We stood under the arch in the rain waiting for the wine cellar museum to open at 13:30. Our shoes were soaked with rain. He smoked a cigarette, a normal one. Not the one rolling. He said there is a common thing with Amelie and Parasite. They both tell the message, that don’t take the life too seriously. Well, that’s not the message I thought about.
He watched many Korean films.
We went to the Hospices Strasbourg, a wine cellar museum built in 1395. The people in Alsace came to hospital and didn’t have money to give doctors. So they gave a bottle of wine to doctors instead. And the hospital didn’t have place to keep the wine, so they made a cellar underneath the hospital. And in old times they would drink wine rather than water. Because water was so dirty then.
Some surprising facts;
There was oldest white wine in the world, made in 1472. It was drank only three times. The drank it when the cellar survived the terrible fire in 1716.
There was a anatomy room. When people were executed in public and the family didn’t claim the body, then the body was secretly carried to this room.
Misrav pointed at the top roof.
“Look at the top floor. The windows are broken. I wonder if they are still used these days.”
I also looked at the top part of the building but I only focused on the style of the roof. I never cared about the windows. He was right. Some windows showed that the house is not used. Mislav said the European politicians are letting the refugees in, to make their position strong. That was a very interesting view.
I’m watching the rain from the bus now. When I meet a person on a rainy day, I remember them, like it or not.
Now I’m leaving Strasbourg. I love this city. Whether it’s raining, sunny whatever. I spent 4 days here experienced all those weathers. I left my water bottle at my host’s house, but it’s ok. It happens. Maybe it’s time for me to use a new water bottle.
We are in the border and the two policemen took our passports to the office. It’s taking more time than usual. He checked the bag of a Arabian men sitting at the 2o'clock direction from me.
I think all of this got more serious after coronavirus. Maridel is waiting for me at the station. Ah... they are still checking the passport. The police came back after 15 minutes, but it feels I waited double the time.
The police said “Take all the bag and come with me”, and he went down with two guys from Arabic country and a woman with hijab. I thought maybe they will be concerned about me, because of coronavirus. I heard now 81 countries doesn’t allow Koreans to enter. But I entered Germany on December 16th 2019.
The two guys came back at 22:50 and the Muslim women came back at 23:10. It took 45 minutes for the identity checking.
Switzerland - Basel
I’m staying at Maridel’s house in #basel . We met in Osaka when we were both #couchsurfingguests . It was so amazing to meet her again in #switzerland . She invited me for #fasnacht , but it was canceled on Friday. Today she prepared lovely #breakfast with #apple #swisscheese and #bigroundbread I brought from France. Georg prepared #coffee freshly from coffee machine. We also had #fasnachtsweets for dessert. Then she walked me to her university. For lunch she bought #fasnacht #chestnutcake which I really enjoyed. For dinner, she invited me to Gorgonzola pasta and a cup of red wine. We walked across the bridge, and came back home with a basket of vegetables.
I’m in Basel. Maridel told me a lot about the Fasnacht. She told me they throw confetti in different colors. They will pile up to your knees. She said only 100 years ago, when there was flu it was canceled. The group consists of about 30 people and each group has different color of costume.
The city is on the top of the hill. And there are water fountains that you can drink from.
I noticed that the exchange rate is pretty same between euros and Swiss franc now. And now I’m in a bookstore.
I’m waiting for her in front of the building. The building where she works is olive color.
I just walked around the city, and I think it’s very neat. But it’s missing the chaos. People here are very reserved, and calm. I miss Berlin. I miss kebab places.
The color of buildings are bright pastel tones, and the cold color green windows nail the impression. Looks like I’m the only person wearing Fasnacht here.
The church bell rings.
When I enter the shop they say “Grüezi!”
Maridel invited her #biologylab in #baseluniversität . I met Portugal lady Joanna, and Malaysian Post doctorate student Hongjung there. Maridel showed me #daphnia and the baby daphnia with a #microscope . I could clearly observe their heart were beating. She said she is helping daphnias to #hatcheggs . They put the daphnia into fridge to mock winter. She also talked about observing parasites too. At 5:30, she fed daphnia with green things. It was really new experience for me. #basel #switzerland Maridel told me Basel had some rich people who traded silk. And as they dyed the silk, they developed pharmaceutical products, which I found really interesting. Some rich family names like Marian, Sarasin are from those time.
#fasnacht2020 , the biggest #carnival in #basel was canceled due to coronavirus. But today, a lot of people in Basel wore the #fasnachtcostume and were walking down the street, or drinking in a bar. My friend Maridel lent me her costume today while she was working. This man in the picture asked me where I’m from. When I said I’m from South Korea, he made it sure that I wasn’t there this year. Same thing happened in a shop I entered. And I could see policeman around the city whole day. The carnival was also canceled in Strasbourg. I could see that coronavirus is a global phenomenon. Many people including Maridel and her band prepared for these 3 days carnival since August. They met 2 hours every week to practice 18 songs. #switzerland
#fasnacht2020 is canceled, but the local children did a #littleparade in #basel #switzerland
Another thing is that I don’t see any Asians here. I’m the only Asian here. Just like she said, it’s not a Touristic city.
Now I’m in a Church listening to beautiful music. I prayed that the God will keep me safe. Keep me healthy.
Maridel showed me her lab. I saw the parasite. Little bug and the Baby Daphine.
I talked to a couple. I told them that I’m from Korea, and they said I should be careful about my country.
With Maridel and Georg, we had good Italian dinner together.
Das ist gut fur Gesundheit
Grüezi mittenand: hi everyone
Merci viel mal : thanks
Shone Tag noch : bye (no ch sound)
Glichfals: you too
Suscht no öppis? : something else? (Suchst du etwas ?)
Last night we walked to the #rathausbasel in #marktplatz where we saw bunch of young men people doing barbecue and drinking beer to celebrate #fasnacht . After that I went to #foodpickup with Maridel. It’s called #birsmattehof . She pays 1200 CHF a year, and she gets local produced fresh vegetables, eggs, yogurt and cheese. According to the address, Maridel found a big cabinet, and she found a basket with her name on it. She added a jar of yogurt and two boxes of egg to it. I helped her carry the orange basket home. That way she was saving the #foodmiles and getting fresh food. I love #realjunkfoodprojectberlin more, because we get to make our own choices of how much food we want to bring, and it’s for free. But it was interesting to take a look at how much farms are connected to young consumers living in the city. Korea needs it too. #switzerland #basel #sustainability
This morning I ran 5 kilometers with Maridel around #rhineriver . I could see the #goldensunrise elbowing its way up through the clouds. Maridel lent me her sneakers to me. We started running at 7am, and came back home at 8am. While I was running then walking, Maridel did. fast and slow intervals 20 times during 20 minutes. Then we came back home, and did stretching for 30 minutes. After taking shower, we ate breakfast with muesli, yogurt, milk and Canadian maple syrup + bread with blueberry jam and butter + cappuccino that Georg made for me + chocolate cookie. I told Maridel that the first thing I do when I get up at 4am is to write down my dream. She told me I can Register Karl Yung’s course in Basel. Interesting, I thought. After that she walked me to the tram station. I gave her a hug. Thank you so much Maridel. With you I ran with your sneakers, walked thorough beautiful Basel alleys, wore #fasnacht costume, enjoyed meals, and had interesting conversation. I really think she is 21st century Leonardo Davinchi. She is PhD biologist, a trombone player in her Fasnacht brass band, and a #marathonrunner . She is fully living her life using all her talents. You’re an inspiration. Our life is a bit #aligned , it was great to see you!
So here I am, back again in Berlin. I love my second home. The lazy sunlight coming from the s Bahn 9 tells me now Spring is here.
In a Bahn I like watching people and outside view. In 2oclock direction there is a cute couple. For 11 stops, I have been watching others. I see how the sky changes, how the view change. I see more and more graffiti. And now I see water and Berlin Dome, the twin castle. I’m at Jannowitz do