If there's one thing that's always guaranteed to snap me out of a foul mood (foul weather can put me in a foul mood), it's taking Grady for his noon walk as the sun begins to break out and seeing lots of cute little Swiss kids walking home from school for lunch. There's a whole different sense of independence among little kids here (as compared with the US) and I love it. It reminds me of the old days when I used to walk to my neighborhood elementary school and nobody worried about my safety. Here, in Basel, and I suspect throughout Switzerland, even the kindergartners walk themselves to school. When we first moved here I was a bit astonished to see such little kids coming home by themselves every day at noon, but it makes sense considering how safe it is. The thing I like most about the young school kids is that they all wear these orange reflector vests over their jackets-- kind of like something you would wear to go running at night, or something construction workers would wear while working on the highway. Lunch time in the neighborhood is one of the charming things I will always remember about Basel.