20 September 2013

Biking as transportation- who knew!

I have been getting more confident on my small green bike lately.  And I have given her a name.  Deena.  Deena and I have gotten tired of only riding around the bike training course in Görlitzer park.  I have started taking her places!  Today, I rode across the canal to the Turkischmarkt.

I wrote about the Turkischmarkt two years ago, when I was first discovering Berlin.  I'll revisit that now.

White canopies dot the canal at Maybachufer.  On a rainy day, there is space enough to move about, from seller to seller, but when the weather is nice the cobblestone pathway resembles the N-Judah at rush hour, people shouldering past each other, always with too much stuff, sometimes someone in a lost state of oblivion, weaving too and fro, indecisive, slow.  You try not to get to irritated by this, because sometimes the person in the state of oblivion is you.
Today is rainy, but you would never know that business was slow from the call of the produce sellers, brown men who speak three languages and know how to be pushy in German.  I stop at the cantaloupe and pineapple.  "Zwei stuck, ein Euro!  Zwei stuck Ananas!  Zwei stuck Melon, ein Euro! Ein Euro! Hallo! Hallo!"  The man bellows relentlessly, a clarion voice over the rest.  I try to ignore him while choosing my fruit.  When I hand him a Euro, the lyrics of his song momentarily change to , "Bitte schon! Bitte schon!" But the melody remains the same, seamlessly picking up it's original refrain.
Then there is the chicken man, whom I positively hate giving my business, but I do because he has a sweet deal on whole birds, 1 small bird for 2,50€ or 3 for 6,95€.  He bags my purchase and takes my money, never making I contact with my.  I hold out my hand to collect my change.  He ignores my hand, instead putting my purchase and my change on the counter, still never looking at me.  No eye contact through out the entire transaction.

I pack my backpack full of carrots, beetroot, apples, tomatoes and carry my cloth bag full of ripe figs back to my bike. Putting the bag on the back, I straddle the seat, putting one foot on the peddle and pushing off with the other.  I bike all the way home.  The center of balance seems different now that I am carrying things.  I lose control of the steering a few times, but I regain it, mostly without stopping.  On Sunday, Robert and I might go biking in Grunewald, something I have wanted to do for two years, if the weather is nice.

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