Who is interested in the fact that a sack of rice collapses in China?
I can remember roughly the last 55 years of history. And in 55 years, you see a lot. I had many crazy ideas and also some good ideas. Above all, I learned that you should not always trust your own impression.
Take, for instance, the childhood memories of always white Christmas and snow piled up high each winter along the paths and streets.
What is true, what is false? What is dominated by the brains, what has simply been forgotten?
My most cherished belonging was my bike. Whenever my bike collapsed, there were angry words. It was particularly bad when something got damaged from the fall, for example the rear-view mirror. After all, the mirror was something I had specifically written on my wish list.
And whenever it collapsed, I knew that it had been due to me not being diligent enough. Just like I always came up with an excuse, according to which something or someone else was at fault.
My most stupid excuse was the wind. That usually got the reply: “yes, the wind, the wind, the heavenly child”. There were sanctions, also for lying. And I got annoyed about not having come up with a more intelligent excuse.
In fact, I never had a bike that collapsed because of the wind.
Last Wednesday, on the Viktualienmarkt, it happened. After having seen the beautiful exhibition “The German Portraits Around 1500” at the Hypo-Kunsthaus, we were hungry, so we went to the Poseidon on the Viktualienmarkt. And while I contentedly ate the delicious fish soup and looked out of the window at the inclement weather, a gust of wind came and threw my bike over.
It was not the light-weight Koga, my touring bike, but my city bike, the heavy Utopia Roadster. The tyres alone weigh almost one kilogram each.
Well, the wind threw my Roadster over just like that. Regardless of the stability of its stand. And there was not even a saddle-bag – where the wind could have been caught – attached to it!
And then I remember how I rode my bike on Friday, December, 16th of last year home through the stormy Munich after a chess night at the Kolumbusplatz in the evening. Almost all the bikes I saw on my way had been thrown over by the wind and were lying on the roads, streets and plazas of the State Capital.
Or the day before yesterday, when I went to Unterhaching and saw that all the grey plastic rubbish containers that come with two small tyres and that were sitting next to the bikes had been thrown over by the wind. They lay around every which way.
Well, I feel almost certain that I never saw anything like it during the last 40 years, neither do I remember something of the sort from childhood days. Although there were a lot more bikes in those days. But then, what is true and what is wrong – when it comes to memories?
Or is it actually under way, the climate catastrophe? And is my memory of all that snow in Augsburg correct?
I do not know.
(Translated by EG)
About the pictures:
On the first picture, you see my Koga in North Africa, when we rode through Tunisia a few years ago. The second picture is a snapshot taken during our last tour in October 2011 from Munich via Rosenheim, Salzburg, Gastein, Tauernschleuse, Tarvisio, Villach, Udine to Grado and then on to Venice.
Currently, my Koga is hibernating. It already dreams of its next tour early in April 2012 from Naples to the Etna on Sicily