Then I was in a city in that part of the country and I could not speak French and I tried to buy a thing to eat, but it was difficult. But the people were nice and I tried! But for nothing. I did get a sandwich and a cola drink.
Well, this day sort of blends into the last since I did not really sleep, but I got to Basel at about 6.45 am and went to see if the grocery store was open in that train station - I knew it was a good grocery store from the first time I was there. It was not opened yet as it opens normally at 7.30 in the morning. So, I took an earlier train to Lausanne. During the train ride, I got tired of the unwashed mass around me and walked to the back of the train. There were a few rather empty second class cars, then an empty boxcar and then a first class car that was completely empty. I went to the very back and looked out for about ten minutes and took a picture. Then I went back into the first class car and sat down.
Suddenly around a corner came Lake Geneva and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It surprised me - I was not expecting to see it so soon. I had not even thought about the fact that Lausanne is on a lake. I arrived in Lausanne around 10.00 and got some information from the train station tourist office and bought a museum pass. The pass also included transportation all over the city for three days. I took bus number one to Maladiere stop and went to a hotel. The fellow at the desk said that I had to come back at 2.00 to register. So, that completely screwed up my plans because I was planning to spend the afternoon in Geneva, Montreux, and Neuchatel. So, I just hung around Lausanne.
I went to a museum and saw some good photography. Since I have this terror of ordering food or going to a restaurant in these cities, I did not really eat anything except for the bread and chocolate I had brought with me. Afterwards, I walked around out back and got lost in some kind of athletic complex for the Olympic museum. The worst thing about the whole time was that I have this cut on my hand that will not heal and I am miserable because it is a constant source of aggravation even though it does not hurt.
I passed by a Turkish restaurant and stopped to get a sandwich. It was completely terrifying because I forgot that I could not speak the language at all. The people were very friendly, but it was horrible. I was drenched in sweat by the time I got out of there. I went out and sat on the corner and ate my sandwich and was miserable.
I wandered down the hill some more and got in the Metro to go down to the lake. The whole time I was trying to hide my bleeding hand. I went down the lake and it was very nice. It was at this point that I decided I wanted more than anything to be back in Düsseldorf sleeping, so I figured out I had to take the 15.10 train from Lausanne to Basel and then the 18.14 train on to Düsseldorf.
Then I thought about it awhile and decided I was stupid not to want to stay in Switzerland for the rest of the weekend, so I decided to go get back on the bus and go to the hotel and get a room. So, I smoked a cigarette and watched the boats for a while and the people on a spit fishing. Then I walked back to the bus stop. Some beautiful Swiss girl was handing out brochures for something. She gave me one. It was in French. As the bus came around the corner, I decided not to stay and I took the Metro up to the train station from Ouchy and got on the train to Basel two minutes before it took off.
I was so elated and in such good humour when I realised I was on my way back home to sleep in my own bed. I talked to some girl from somewhere named Cedrine who was very nice and reading a bible. She was going to a youth group meeting in some city south of Basel. She gave me her address and said to call when I come back to Biel - that is where she got in the train. She was strange, but nice.
In the Basel train station I bought an orange, some "ice tea", some water, some bandaids, and some cigarettes. I still had three francs left in coin that I would not be able to exchange, so I got some ice cream that was for the same amount. I ate the ice cream on the platform and got in the train which had just come from Brig in the south of Switzerland. I sat next to some nuns who were very good-humored. Maybe they were just dressed up as nuns. Maybe that was the funny part.
The train was very empty. The nuns got out at Freiburg. I changed trains in Mainz and got on another train that had just come from Prague. It was a very depressing train. Very green and yellow. It was in this train that I read the most of a book. I nearly quit reading that book [Beckett's Malloy] because it was so frustrating, but I am glad I continued it. The train finally got crowded in Bonn and I got out in Düsseldorf and went home on the 12.06 number 708 streetcar and got home by 12.20 am. For the 25 hours I had been gone, I spent 20 of them in the train. When I got home I drank the rest of the bottle of wine I had started the night before - a nice Valpolicella. I passed out around 3.00.
I think I will go to Paris next weekend. Or maybe home.