Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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573 words

Clerks is one of my favourite films. And just as you could run your whole life on Tocotronic lyrics, you could possibly do it on quotes from that film as well. Unfortunately this week is one for one of the scenes where Dante says It’s a bunch of savages in this town.

About 11 minutes 45 seconds into Clerks, the first scene with that text in the film

Yup, Göttingen isn’t just one of the more boring places on earth, it’s also strangely rough around where we live… which is half way between an old-aged home and some huge insurance offices. Since we moved here, to a place which is less than a kilometre from the city centre and a few hundred metres from the city hall, one of my flatmates has been beaten up with his phone being stolen at the occasion, and two of us had their bikes stolen from within the fence in front of our house.

The problem with that bike parking area is that there’s no good way to lock your bike to anything there. So ever since the first bike was stolen, I started parking mine outside the fence instead where you can chain it to the fence… which worked rather well so far, until this weekend. When I wanted to ride to my office at the beginning of the week, the bike wouldn’t move. I first thought that had to do with the temperatures and it just needed some easing up.

But a moment later it was clear that the problem was worse. Much worse. Some jerks must have considered it particularly funny to kick the shit out of my bike at some time during the weekend. Despite my bike being one of those really heavy and stable Dutch ones, they had managed to kick both of the wheels so badly that the felloes were significantly bent and a number of spokes were broken. To an extent that the wheels would hardly rotate anymore.

My bent front wheel

While this is hard to see in the picture when the wheel isn’t turning, things were quite badly bent. So I was off to the bike shop, being quite scared by the prospect of having to get this fixed. Not only does the bike need slightly non-standard steel (not aluminium) felloes to replace the old ones, it also has a drum break in front and an internal-gear hub in the back – both of which I appreciate as much as they’d be expensive to replace. So I couldn’t just get two new wheels, but the people at the bike shop have to remove the broken felloes and spokes and reassemble everything with new felloes and spokes. And their first estimate for fixing this was around €150 for the materials and the labour. Usually they’re quite good at matching those prices and they seem reasonable considering the new parts and labour involved.

But it’s a completely unreasonable price to pay for the vandalism of some passer-by. Not that I had a choice…

And as a bonus, currently having my bike at the bike store meant I had to borrow my flatmate’s for going to the cinema to see Syriana tonight. A bike that’s just a little too high for me, with handbrakes only, one of which barely worked, on uneven cycle lanes covered with snow and ice. This was so stressful to ride that I didn’t even get the opportunity to discover that the transmission is stuck to a single gear. Exactly the thing I needed to relax…

March 2, 2006, 1:56

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