The Old Whorehouse

I was wandering down the street one afternoon in Basel, when I cam upon this old whorehouse. I stopped, and I stared. In the good Indian fashion, I pretended to be looking at something else. We, when it comes to sex, are probably the most hypocritical nation in the world. We pretend as though it does not exist. Well, at least, this is how we behave in public.

Now this is strange behaviour indeed, considering that there are over one billion of us on this planet. We are the second most populous nation in the world. Now, if it were not for a quirk of history that took place in 1947, which caused the division of India into India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, then we would have been the most populous nation in the world.  Not all of us came to this earth via immaculate conception.

We come from the land of the Kama Sutra. We come from the land of Khajurao. We come from the land of Tantric worship. Yet, we often act as though sex does not exist. Strange.

So, there I was, staring at this whorehouse in Basel. It was right in front of a well known hotel. There was a bus stop in front of the hotel, and there was a kindly old lady waiting there for a bus. For her, the whorehouse was just another fact of life. And me? I was trying to indicate, by a gentle twist of my bum, that she should be embarrassed to catch a bus from that bus stop but, to no avail. Alas and alack! She stood there, and so did I.

After making my disapproval felt through the twitching of my rear end, I turned my attention to the whorehouse. There, the ladies stood in all their naked glory, promising heaven on earth for just a few francs. This is Switzerland, and I was sure that they had all been medically tested.

The timing of the whorehouse was clearly mentioned on the door. Very, very Swiss I thought. If it were not for the sign on the wall, the house looked entirely respectable.

Now, not many will believe me, but here is the honest truth.
I did not enter the inviting door! I shouldered my camera, and continued my walk that sunny June morning in Basel!

Basel – The SBB Banhof

I had an old boss who did not like Basel too much, and he was quite forthright in his views about the town. I was definitely prejudiced against Basel, and after my first trip there, I decided that I did not like Basel at all.

However, my disdain for Basel lasted just that one trip. I’ve been to Basel many times thereafter, and even spent a winter in Basel. And then, Basel grew on me. It grew on me a lot, and I quite grew to like the place. In fact, I like Basel a lot.

One of my favourite places to stay in Basel is the Hilton. The area around it is green, and while it is quiet, it has a life and a charm of it’s own.

The Hilton is also close to the SBB, and I really like the SBB at Basel. It is quite odd to like a train station, but the station is so damn nice!

I like the architecture, the little restaurants around it, the shopping around it – it all fits together perfectly.  I like the Starbucks near the station. It’s one of my favourite places to go, have a coffee, read a book and watch life go by.

And, there is the wonderful Swiss train system. I have never seen a country with such a brilliant network, with convenient connections; well planned, and punctual.

So there it is – my praise of the station and the area in Basel!

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