Thursday, June 30, 2011

My personal crossing guard

When cruising the bike lanes of Hamburg, who you end up behind can be crucial, as any number of annoying traits or simply the slowness of your forerunner can set you on a treacherous attempt to pass them, in which you narrowly miss colliding with pedestrians.

Today, however, I wound up behind my newest role model.

First, she had a review mirrior sticking off her handlebars, something not all too uncommon among Hamburg's bikeriding senior citizens.

Even better, anytime she crossed an intersecting street, onto which cars were waiting to turn, she would hold up her hand in a symbolic effort to halt the vehicles. Or, as I imagined it, as if to say 'Oh no, you don't!' to any drivers who would rob her of her right-of-way.

As humorous as this was, I, having been very nearly hit by turning vehicles on multiple occasions, could easily understand the rationale of her defensive riding.

Sadly, she turned in another direction, and I spent the rest of my commute feeling just a bit less protected.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The weekend's best

Visit from a friend and how much better everything is when done with company. Pakistani bread. Tour guide failures. 'To your left, you will see the Messe, again.' Planten un Bloomen after a long absence. Marzipan-cherry ice cream. The absurdity of the Reeperbahn. Narrated vocational tests and finally discovering my calling as a vineyard worker. Hamburger Hafen and pondering potential life on the high sea. Ewan McGregor on the big screen. 'What? We're not allowed to interact with the art?' The German genius of baking Brötchen with hazlenuts and pumpkin seeds. Sun on the beach. Attempting to justify the game of baseball - 'If you need a 7th inning stretch, then the game should be over by the 5th inning.' Fresh cherries. View from the boat and view from above. Reading in the park while Bob Dylan sings to me a few hundred meters away.

And this (which you may or may not be able to see, but I can):