2014-04-23

Back home, back in the mountains

Yesterday I had to go to our neighbouring metropolis to get a 'certificate of residence' or however you might translate this masterpiece of German bureaucracy. A certificate that states what is stated on my ID card anyway? A certificate that states that I am alive and registered where I am registered? Seems legit. In addition to flowing over with meaningfulness it costs 5 EUR. Printing out a piece of paper, signing it and hammering a stamp on top of the signature. One minute of work. 5 EUR. I do not quite understand why administration officials are not paid as well as bankers - 5 EUR / min results in a quite formidable creation of 'value'. At least the young lady in the office was exceptionally nice and good-humoured compared to administration officials I had the pleasure to meet several times before. Not all clich├ęs are true. The trainee sitting beside her, however, shows a facial expression that you would rather expect from someone who did this job for around 75 years and is denied pension because of outstanding friendliness ...

The more interesting part of this journey between the two 1500 inhabitants metropolises, however, was the way there. I thought it would be a good idea to go to this office by bike for exercise. So I excavated my part-time retired bike from our garage, inflated the tires, borrowed a lock, reanimated my old helmet and was good to go. Or rather semi-good: The gear changing worked ... ok, the handlebar needed some getting used to and the breaks worked like solid walls compared to the old bike I am currently using in Lund. So the old computer game racing credo had to hold: If you break, you loose. ;) The quest of the journey was exercise anyway so on I rode, already looking forward to the nice slopes - the two villages lie on two different sides of a hill.

A real Bauernpfad.
The way there was perfectly nice, up, down, up, down, up, down, down, down, ... The way back was the interesting part as physics demands that for a closed integral in a conservative potential the total energy is zero. That means that you have to give all the energy back that you gained, or simpler: It is exhausting to get back up the hill. So I really got some exercise. Struggling with the lowest gear, breakneck pace, to the right the snails rush by, my mp3 player softly tootles Dave Matthews Band. (Where are Machine Head and Trivium when I need them?) Pushing instead of pedaling seems even more exhausting so I continue struggling ... At the top of the hill a police car is waiting for ingenuous drivers who used a forbidden shortcut that is blocked by a gate which is always open. (I guess it is a trap!) I think about smiling innocently and friendly when passing by
but decide that after the recent effort it might rather result in a very suspicious grimace and so I just get home - enough exercise for the rest of the break. ;)

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