Sounds a Little Different

Dearest Rachel –

Things sound a little different in a hotel on the weekends. This isn’t exactly the tourist section of Basel; I’m of the understanding that the Pullman is rather closer to the industrial center of town, while the museums and the shopping district sit on the other side of the river. But everybody needs to get away, and I suppose sometimes that means doing so in a less than convenient place.

Not that anything is particularly inconvenient here; a cursory examination of Google maps shows that the #6 tram line can take one very quickly across the Rhine to places like the Kunstmuseum (or, I note with some amusement, the relatively tiny Cartoonmuseum barely a block east of the famed fine arts gallery). Just a few things to take note of upon attaining my freedom.

Anyway, I say this because for the first time, I’m hearing a few different sounds out in the hall. I suppose it stands to reason that, like any hotel, the Pullman would have a different clientele on the weekends as during the week; business travelers versus vacationers, respectively. I’m hearing the occasional squeal of little children, and, most surprisingly, the odd bark of a dog.

I wonder: would it be at this point that you resolve would weaken and fail? Would your curiosity compel you to break our confinement, open our hotel room door, and strain to see where the noises were coming from? Would you, if you saw him, rush to greet and pet another little dog, after the last two months of being dogless?

My guess is that you would be more sensible than that, but the possibility continues to enter my mind. After the last week of being stuck within these four walls, I could certainly forgive you for wanting to break out, especially to a sound as unexpected and relatively unfamiliar as that. Whether the health department would do likewise is another matter entirely.

After a day in which I had ordered nothing but dinner, I determined that I was not going to do that for a second straight day. I left out a card for a full American breakfast, including nearly every beverage on the card that wasn’t coffee. Granted, I didn’t trust myself to get up any earlier than ten, so I wound up sitting around for nearly three hours waiting for it to show up. When it all did, the girl pushing the room service table (the same one, I believe, that walked in here inadvertently the other day) was amused to see me, alone, accepting two very full trays. Had she more English than she did, she probably would’ve made a crack about ‘you must be very hungry’ as I brought them into the room, and been well within her rights to do so.

And, in plain truth, she wouldn’t be that far wrong.

Although, more accurately, I think I’m just plain thirsty. particularly for a spot of tea; there’s nothing so soothing. I figured out several days ago about the kettle – which, wouldn’t you know it, doesn’t work on the standard plug any more than my computers do. It’s set to run on a UK plug (naturally). Fortunately, the room has one of those, so I’ve been re-using my breakfast tea bags throughout the day every so often.

I’m also fascinated by these teabags with the clip-on hanger. I may pick up a box of them at the Co-op once I’m sprung. Not that the tea’s that much better than home, but perhaps a little bit of Stockholm syndrome.

Strangely enough the kettle doesn’t whistle when it’s done boiling the tea; when the water gets hot enough, it simply switches itself off. I forget if the one of we have at home does likewise; I don’t think Daniel or I have used it since you left. He may have this week, as I advised him to get plenty of hot, soothing beverages down his throat, as he’s been dealing with what I referred to as a cold, and he considers the flu, but which the tests tell me is Covid, vaccines be hanged.

Incidentally, and this probably should come as no surprise to you, he has no desire to get himself tested, if for no other reason then he has no desire to find himself on some governmental watchlist due to having the disease. At some point when I get back, I will probably insist that he do so regardless, at least once he starts feeling healthy. After all, even Jesus, upon healing lepers, would insist that they go show them selves to the priest, and go through all the bureaucratic hassle to verify that they were, in fact, cured. Hopefully by invoking biblical president, I can get him to do this. And if it turns out it we’re both right, and he’s passed through it, and he tests negative, there’s no question about winding up on some health department watchlist. Win-win, I’d say.

Speaking of which, I haven’t heard from the Basel health department about my release paperwork. I’m not sure if I can leave the hotel without that. Louise assures me that they’re open 24/7, but the day is already half over, and there’s been nothing so far. And considering how long it took to get back to me in the first place, it doesn’t necessarily bode well. Still, it’s out of my hands for now, just like the whole situation.

Anyway, I do believe I’m going to boil myself up another cup of tea. You take care of yourself, and keep an eye out for all of us.

Love you.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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