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  mobility (no)normality
busses, bicycles and better people

13/07/2003, matthias breitenbach, berlin
  moving through a city in different ways.

hi lagos,

your strike is over! you have electicity again? and you can go at the streets again?
and the petrol is 30% more expensive, instead of 50%?
is this true?
i mean, how you can drive a car in lagos?
it must be really expensive.
what was your expectation from the streik???

we had a discussion if bicycle-driver are the better people. i don´t think so.
are you driving bicycle in lagos? i read the article about your busses and it seems that you stay a long time of the day in this busses.

i use the subway and other ways of mass transports.
in hamburg the way from my home to the theatre takes me 30 minutes with the subway, including the way by foot. here in berlin it takes me 50 minutes from the flat to rehearsing-space. every day 1 hour and 40 minutes!
what can i do during that time? i can´t read in the subway. so i watch other people or talk with miriam about something, mostly about the rehearsals or daily things, what food we have to buy or something like that. sometimes i take a little computer-game to kill the time.
"killing the time" - do you call it like that?
in berlin they have this "double-busses" like in london. a bus with a second floor, and the floor above is very popular by tourists or visitors of the city, because you´re high above the street and get a nice view at the streets and a kind of overlook. and you´re away from the "dirt" of the streets.
i don´t like to go by bus, i sometimes got sick, that´s because of my stomach.
in hamburg we have although ferries which got used by tourists a lot, specially at the weekend. i like to take the ferry too. but just to take a small holiday-time in my daytime. i don´t need this ferries to come to a place, because in hamburg the city is just on one side of the river elbe. at the other side there is the mostly the harbour.
and you can take the ferry down to nice places. my most favourite place is a cafe and a snack-bar at a ponton. the cafe, it´s a kind of chic (called "angel") is above the snack-bar (called "lucifer"), which is not cheap, but straight. sometimes i take the ferry for 30 minutes to come to that snack-bar and sit directly at the water, watching huge ships passing by and eat my "currywurst". you can find all kind of people there. old ladies eating ice-cream, parents and their children, freaks and young people and over all that, the favourite music of the snack-bar-man.
last time i sat there, we listened to some reggae-music. it was a nice group of people enjoying themselves, the music, the fresh air, the blue blue sky and the view, the seagulls and what the hell else.
i think to use a ferry makes me a better person.

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comments [2]


walking in foreign cities - 13/07/2003, matthias breitenbach, berlin

hi harry,
what a pitty, i couldn´t open your link.
the time i walked really a lot was, when i visited NY. in 2 weeks i walked so much, like i never did before, except in mexico-city. these two mega-cities i tried to understand by walking, i think it is a very good way. of course, allthoug i took busses and subways but mostly to reach a far part of the city and to walk there. so, walking is in a foreign place a very good medium to got concrete pictures and feelings about a city. and strange things can happen.
when i arrived NY at that hour (!) i met at the street a musician i met 3 weeks earlier at the „theater am turm“ in frankfurt. right at the street. i wanted to walk in cafe, and a few meters to my left i saw, with his back to me, a tall guy with long blond hair. he had a little girl with him. i said, „john?“. the man turned around and it was this guy with his daughter. we were laughing and this was a very nice welcome for me for my first time in NY, and in the US.
days later, i was sitting in a mexican diner to have my breakfast (btw i love mexican breakfast) and i looked out of the window and suddenly i saw on the other side of the 4way avenue a friend (although a musician) from hamburg walking down the street. i jumped up, ran out of the diner and yelled over the whole traffic „carsten“.
that was really great, we had breakfast together and this meeting by accident is the reason because my voice is on a CD by zeena parkins. he said, she want to have on her recording voices whispering a kind of betrayers-language („rotwelsch“ - i don´t know if i´ve written it correctly). so, at the next day, in the morning, we walked down houston street and drunk wodka to oil our voices ;-) we were in a very small studio, but it was a lot of fun.
zeena and carsten broke up a year later. i´m still a little sad about that.
zeenas site

Pedestrian Pleasures - 13/07/2003, harry kollatz, richmond

Matthias and Lagosians and Mutationists:

Matthias, your use of the ferry actually sounds fairly idyllic to me. To get the sea spray and the tart taste of salt in your nose sounds invigorating. A group of strangers on a vessel--even for a short journey--is always interesting.
Me, I try to walk most everywhere that I am able; to the office, theater, grocery store. I am the owner of a recently purchased Schwinn Ranger that is combination of mountain and city bike but my helmet is buried somehwere in the basement and must be unearthed.
I wrote an essay called "Pedestrian Pleasures" extolling the beauty of walking and how it has become a form of meditation for me. I've become extremely annoyed by automobiles in my old age and see them as manifestations of conservative inability to latch onto progress.
Pedestrian Pleasures


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