GOING UNDERGROUND


TODAY FREDDY IS IN COLOGNE WITH CAMEL


BACKSIDE 180 NOSEGRIND, UNDERGROUND
PHOTO: ARLO IBISCH
I wanted to skate in Cologne the next day but those plans fell through as it proceeded to rain cats and dogs. Yet, the day was certainly not wasted as the storm, despite leaving the city drenched, was twist of fate that led to a wonderful encounter. To save time, we skated in the underground metro stations and thereby woke up Camel, a homeless Frenchman napping in a dry spot.

His prowess in German matched mine in French, which meant we could not understand each other at all. Nevertheless, we used what we had in common to communicate, namely our hands and feet, and got on well enough to shoot the breeze about Cologne and the world. Because he repeated “carnival, carnivale, Frederique!” over and over again, I was left with the impression that he was only there for the year-long celebration of Mardi-Gras. As we were about to go, Camel stopped us for a moment to write us a note on his sign. The English version:

“I love the song of the bird, not because of the song, but because of the silence that follows it”

Our departure left Camel happy that he could continue sleeping in peace. As he lay back down, he left us with another musing on philosophy for us to take with us on our way.

CONTINUE