No, I am not talking about the tragic aspect of, as a potential immigrant, loving a country that has voted for a party that rejects immigration. That, too, is a tragedy, but I want to report on a more mundane new love.
Since weeks, maybe even since I moved here, I wanted to buy a bike. I sold my beloved Bremen bike to Martina in Stockholm before I left, thinking that I could find a new bike in Hamburg. Well, it proved more than difficult. I went through numerous bike stores, spent weekends on flea markets and checked ebay. It was only when my friend Wiebke who seems to be a lucky charm accompanied me to the Schanzen flea market. We had only walked one metre when I caught of her, my new friend. I must admit I fell mostly for her looks, something that should get back at me. But who can resist that color! Wiebke and I walked across the entire market to make sure there was no better one, and there wasn’t. I paid the money they asked for and took her with me. I decided to name her Pernille to honor my new Danish affinity. Pernille did not have a lock so I had to walk into and through the mall with her and buy an expensive lock. As I cycled home and the wind blew through my hair in the autumn sun, I was happy.
Until Pernille started to become very hard to pedal. I checked and found that her wheel was not going straight. Just a small thing, I thought and took her home. The next day I travelled on a crowded metro with Pernille for an hour to Evelina’s place and we tried to fix her – without success. Today I rushed from work to take her to the bike store. They fixed the wheel and said the handlebar was not compatible with the bike and the chain was loose. Then the guy in the store said the cruel, tragic words, “You couldn’t have seen that as an ordinary person at the flea market, but I would not invest another penny into that bike.”
I really like Pernille but this took hard on me. I fear our relationship will be short. So if you are a kind person and have a bike somewhere in your basement that you do not need, let me know. I must be prepared for the day Pernille breaks up with me.