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Monthly Archives: April 2015

English even for emergencies

English even for emergencies

Comment by Martin Pütter English-speaking expats can relax: their calls – in English – to the emergency services will be answered, even if other expats say differently. I recently read the following comment in a Facebook thread: “The Swiss fire brigade only attend if you call them in fluent German. Get a Swiss friend to record an emergency call for you – which you can then play back in the event of a fire.” I was astounded about this comment, made by a native English speaker (name withheld). Could this be true? As I had my doubts, I got in

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Comments Off   |  25/04/2015 Columns, Uncategorized

Art on a free brink

Art on a free brink

By Dan Jones The art agency frontofbicycle, together with Gallery Katapult, is promoting artists that want to break onto the scene with an exhibition. Ernest Hemingway used to fast briefly before attending exhibitions of art – his reason being that an empty stomach equated to clarity of mind and thus a deeper appreciation of the paintings. He was especially fond of the work of emergent artists within the bohemian community of 1920s Paris, and the charitable exhibitions which promoted their work. Perhaps he identified with some of these artists: trying to create their own style against the imposing backcloth of

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Comments Off   |  14/04/2015 Culture, Uncategorized

Digging up a park’s past

Digging up a park’s past

By Jan Hawley, photo: Benedikt Wyss/Archäologische Bodenforschung Basel-Stadt St. Johanns-Park has not always been the pleasant green space it is today. If you have been near the St. Johanns-Park recently, you probably noticed that a section of it has been fenced off. People wearing hardhats and carrying trowels and clipboards have set to work in a restricted area where locals used to go to relax and enjoy a lovely view of the Rhine. The reason behind these works: the park’s past has been brought to light. Originally, from the 14th to mid-19th century the park area, which then lay outside

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Comments Off   |  13/04/2015 Culture, Uncategorized

A culture clash as musical

A culture clash as musical

By Martin Pütter, picture: Florian Beck The Basel Mission celebrates its 200th anniversary with a musical: “The White man’s Grave” allows a small insight into hopes, either fulfilled or dashed, of people from two different continents. Anybody who has ever lived in a foreign country knows that even tiny cultural differences can make life just slightly harder than expected. Add to that factors like religious belief, traditions and a completely different climate, then personal hopes, expectations and defined goals are under severe pressure. Not everybody can handle that. Some of the members of the Basel Mission, that was founded 200

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Comments Off   |  02/04/2015 Culture, Uncategorized

Spring in Basel before the big bloom

Spring in Basel before the big bloom

Text and picture (Sunset at the Ermitage in Arlesheim, on an early March day) by Dan Jones The countryside around Basel has a lot to offer, even when winter is in its final throes. During the first week of March I saw my first honeybee of the New Year. This was the final sign, that day, that the wheels of spring were slowly getting into gear. This solitary and hopeful honey-making forager will not be seeking out the meagre offerings of our earliest flowering trees, like the blackthorn, when spring finally explodes. It will instead be dancing from plant to

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Comments Off   |  01/04/2015 Society