Brötli bar

I just got back from dinner and I'm trying to warm up my frozen fingers. I left work around 7 today and came back to the hotel, bundled up and decided to try to find any store that might still be open to buy some underwear. In my state of delirium on Sunday I didn't even bring enough underwear to make it to the weekend so today I had to go get some more or there would be unpleasant consequences tomorrow.

Most stores close at 7 PM. Since it is nearly impossible to even get out of work by then, let alone get to the stores, I knew I would be lucky to not find myself washing undergarments in the hotel sink tonight.

I found a store called Manor that was open until 8 so I jumped off the tram and went running in and found what I was looking for. Sort of. Let's just say the selection was colorful. So the cashier came over to me and said 'blah blah blah zwei minuten' and I realized she must be saying that they closed in two minutes. No problem. I can shop under pressure. Except...the sizes were in metric!

Think, Michelle, think. What is the conversion between centimeters and inches? 2.2, I think? I did some quick math, looked at the sizes on the fluorescent orange bras and realized I had calculated right in between two sizes that looked about right so I must have gotten it right! I grabbed two bras and two pairs of underpants ran to the cashier and made it out just under the wire.

Then at a much more leisurely pace I set out to find dinner. I didn't even ask myself what I was in the mood for because that's just not how it works anymore. Walking up the street I passed a number of restaurants that looked cute but then I saw one that I had to try. The Brötli bar! I had no idea what they served but I was guessing since Bröt is bread and maybe -li meant little so maybe 'little sandwiches'?

I walked in and it was warm and cozy. No one working there spoke any English but they showed me to the Brötli bar and there were all these little half slices of bread with different toppings, some recognizable (salmon/onion, deli meat/pickles) and others not (orange, squishy looking with a white squirt on top). I settled on one known and two unkown Brötlis, told the waitress drei stuecke, ordered a beer and settled in to sample.

They were quite good. I was joined by someone who was sitting next to me at the bar who was Swiss and quite nice. We chatted about chocolate, cheese, and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, which he was quite passionate about after living in the States for four years. He recommended some things to see and, more importantly, things to eat while in Switzerland. All in all another nice evening.

Posted from Basel


Gretchen said...

I'm glad you found Manor. It's one of my favorite stores in Basel. It even has a nice grocery store in the basement-- at least it's something different than Migros and Coop all the time. They just recently expanded their hours to 8:00 PM most evenings. If you're ever facing another emergency underwear shortage, there's a store I often pass while walking through the train station (called Calida, I think) that is open unusual hours, as are all stores in the train station. Have fun exploring!

rebecca said...

Basel is a beautiful city, looks like your first couple of days are a whirlwind but I'm glad to see you seem to be enjoying it! You did hit on one of the drawbacks, though: shopping and working just don't mix. The big Migros (Dreispits) is also open till 8, and they sell just about everything (think Wall-Mart).

Good luck settling in to work- it's a lot to digest in the first couple of days!

Expat Traveler said...

Manor was one of my favorite stores too! And at times you can find deals there. (down jacket for 65 francs) Calida is a great place to choose underware. After I figured them out, I always bought from there. The stuff they have feels like silk but it is pricey. And yes you can find Calida too in Manor!

Near the manor, you should also find a soup/vietnamese place next to a theater. Sorry I forget the name and exact streets at this hour. But I think Gretchen has eaten there before. Servings are very large but wonderful. Cost is about 22 to 30CHF which is good for Swiss standards.

James said...

I hope you are adjusting well to Europe. I look forward to your new posts...I finished my sixth day of German language class today. It is going well so far, but it is still all confusing right now. I seem to be making it though....It is interesting going out by myself and not really speaking the language yet. Everyday is a new adventure although it is so cold I'd rather just stay in bed until Springtime...