We finally worked out why Dutch bikes do the backwards pedalling brake thing! My theory is it’s so that you can smoke a spliff in one hand and drink a beer in the other whilst cycling and still maintain full braking abilities. Really smart once you think about it. Risk management.
Hacking the planet continues, as does the Surinamese food and the beers. We seem to always be gravitating towards WORM of an evening. Went for a brilliant cycle through industrial Rotterdam. Atmosphere abounds. Went to a few dive bars. Generally just an excellent time with people I love dearly.
I suspect that the peeps in my co-op that were able to make this trip will come away with a new appreciation for the common bonds that hold us together and also a clearer understanding of the challenges we face.
With generally really sunny weather, we had blissed out after four or five days of being together and sleeping in the hostel. I needed some time alone to think. I wanted to be in motion.
I got in touch with H, my friend and fellow co-op founder who was my next stop in Duisberg and asked if I could arrive a day earlier in Duisberg. H, being one of the nicest people in the world tried to make it work but it really wasn’t practical. So, I decided to message C, who lives in Hamburg and see if there was any chance of a wild last minute trip to see him. He was down! I collected my washing and rushed off to Rotterdam Centraal to get on my way.
The sense of jubilation when getting through the ticket barriers with my Interrail ticket was really something. Everything went smoothly until my train to Duisburg was delayed and I missed my connection. Sometime I wonder whether DB stands for “Don’t Believe the hype” because there seems to be a problem every time I take a big complicated multi-leg journey with them.
I composed a short abstract poem about my experiences:
Oh bloody bollocks, I forgot to download Germany
I’m turning into that trainspotter Tik Tok twink
Train stations in Germany are really weird things. They all seem to have a model train set diorama of the station and surrounding area in them? Honestly I’m here for it. I also kind of love that they have really shitty malls in them. The UK has cottoned on to making station shops really bougie whereas in Duisburg there is a shop selling fake Nike’s and another selling models and tabletop miniatures.
Slightly disorientated, I managed to buy some extremely mediocre noodles with veggie chicken nuggets in them and a totally un-carbonated mate drink. I also possibly got ripped off and bought a EU USB plug for like 20 euros. Need to keep my wits about me.
Luckily for this longest leg of the journey (around 3 hours) I managed to get one of those booths that DB ICE trains seems to have. I could finally spread out all my possessions and setup a little office/dining space/nightclub in my booth and pretend to be on some sort of Soviet train like in my favourite James Bond film and games Goldeneye.
Here are some pictures of trains that I spotted: