There is something marvellous about returning home at the end of a long trip…

… just as there is something inherently bittersweet about leaving a place that you ended up calling home.

A real Basilisk running from somewhere. Or running towards something. Or maybe both.

Reporting live, from Schiphol airport. (Note: most of this post was drafted in Basel airport, if you want the correct info).

I actually enjoy travelling, I find it calming to be at the airport ages in advance, sitting down with an overpriced coffee and a book. I just purchased Game of Thrones, beware I will become one of those “I’ve read the book”-snobs. Wait, I already was one of those, just not for GoT.

It’s not the first time I’m leaving a place. I have spent two months in Switzerland, and for the past two weeks people have been asking me if I am happy to be going back to Dundee. And like those other times when I was leaving a home, the answer is: “I don’t know, a bit I guess.” Of course I’m happy be going back. It won’t be 30 degrees in Scotland (seriously, I’m not cut out for warm weather, and I sincerely disliked getting searched at security after carrying my heavy bag around and feeling a bit sweaty). I will be back in my own room, in my own bed, back with my friends.

But then on the other hand, I’ve had a wonderful two months. I’ve made a lot of friends in Basel. And it had started to feel like home.

I have learned a lot, mostly about handling stress and deadlines, about how things work in another lab, how to assertive about what you need and when you need it. I have met the most wonderful people. I have met up with friends that I hadn’t seen for months, or years even. I’ve travelled around, I’ve gotten a tan and seen a lot of sun (I know I live in the “Sunniest city of Scotland” but I think this was the most summer I will see this year). In short it was a superb experience. But suddenly it was already time to go, just when I got the hang of how to conduct my experiments, and just when I started to figure out where all the cool spots in the city were.

Maybe, two months was just too short.

One of the last nights I spent like a local Baslerin. With a beer by the riverside. I didn't swim in the river like everyone else, but I did get my feet wet!
One of the last nights I spent like a local Baslerin. With a beer by the riverside. I didn’t swim in the river like everyone else, but I did get my feet wet!

So I am a bit sad to go. There are things I will miss. But I’m glad to be going back as well, get back to the other aspects of my project, not having to attend meetings over Skype (quite often I just miss half the conversation, if Skype even holds up for the whole time). Have an after work beer in Duke’s. You know, back to the normal things.

Bye Basel. I promise I will be back.

View from the top of the Münster in Basel.
View from the top of the Münster in Basel.
Quasimodo's friends were there too!
Quasimodo’s friends were there too!
Basilisk fountains all over Basel. I will miss these dragon-winged chickens.
Basilisk fountains all over Basel. I will miss these dragon-winged chickens.

*Title slightly adjusted from a Lemony Snicket quote about returning home and tuna fish. The more you know.

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