Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Rollin' rollin' rollin'...

Carless for a week now, I have survived two days of commuting by bike, train and bus and in contrast to the last time I did this it is working out very well.

Monday morning dawned bright and clear, so I jumped enthusiastically onto my bike and peddled off to the station. Since the last time I was a member of the train commuting fraternity I am now equipped with a smart phone. With the Endomondo app so I am now able to race myself to work every day if i want. It turns out that the station is 3.55 miles from my house, and I cycled it on that first enthusiastic morning in 20 minutes and 50 seconds.

As I mentioned before my office has moved and although it is further away and takes twice as long by car, my commute is actually shorter than the old one. The schedule is this:

06:30 leave the house by bicycle (the Germans call them a "drahtesel" which translates literally to "wire donkey" which I find rather fab)

07:06 - the (double decker) train departs our station with me already reading stuff on my Kindle (another addition to my gadget armoury)

07:50 - I amble from platform 7 to platform 10 in Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof and take my place on the next (double decker) train

08:03 - having descended the steps from the Düsseldorf Airport Station to the bust stop, the 759 to Ratingen Ost moves me swiftly to the bus stop outside my office in a rather quick seven minutes

Coming back has worked well too, although I haven't managed to get the direct train from Düsseldorf to Erkelenz, there is a smaller train (to Venlo - it's international!) which means I have to change at Mönchengladbach*.

And that's about it which is very boring. What am I reading? Another new thing for me is that I've signed up for the Open University**, my next course starts in October. In preparation I'm doing background reading, this time: Economics for Dummies.

The seat covers have been pretty average, so for anyone missing those here's one I had the misfortune to have to look at last week: (the U79 tram from Heinrich-Heine-Alle to Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof)

And yet again I have to say: someone goes home at night and says "hi, Honey, I'm home! and I designed an absolute corker today!"

On the same tram journey it struck me that there are notices all over the inside of the carriages. And they are sometimes rude, sometimes polite and, being Germany, often bossy.

It tells passengers that it is their duty immediately on boarding to secure themselves. Any consequences of ignoring the instruction are self-inflicted.

* Ah, Mönchengladbach. Anyone who was young in the 70s remembers their football team and the joke that goes with them:
Q: Who is the most unpopular man at a Borussia Mönchengladbach match?
A: The one who shouts "Give us a B!"

** I'm studying, for fun, Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Fun or because I want to be Prime Minister. I keep changing my mind about what, exactly, my motivation is.

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