Given the eventual chain of events, what I obviously should have done was kept on riding. Three middle-aged women on foot would hardly have been able to chase me down on my bike. However, I thought they were merely telling that I couldn’t ride my bike there, and would let me on my way. So I got off and said, oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know (the complete truth, you’ve never seen so many bikes). They thought maybe I wanted to carry it out in Turkish (this was I’m pretty sure a kind of racial slur), but then realised that I was understanding what they were saying more or less (this was my second mistake). They then told me that I could either give my ID card, or I could pay on the spot. She took out a receipt book which I think is meant to give the situation the feel of a friendly transaction. It’s ten euros, she said. I pointed out that i there were no signs about, that i see a thousand people riding their bikes around every day. they pointed out that there were women with young children about, which was true, but i am one of this crazy new generation of cyclists who is able to turn and avoid people whilst riding slowly through crowds. i told them i didn’t have an id card and they said then i could pay now or they would call the police.
people were watching now.
i didn’t catch the details, but i think they then started threatening more fines. my bike isn’t registered. my tyres are old (keep in mind this is a push bike). they could fine me for all of these things. a guy in a suit was standing a metre away, with a purple helmet covering his short blonde hair. he was taking interest as he unlocked his bike from a tree.
this is camaraderie. this is community. a kind of grass-roots fraternity, in which we reach out, unarmed, but in sync with our peers. he said: what are you complaining about, ten euros is cheap! they could be giving you more fines. now i haven’t yet learnt the german for shut your weaselly little traitor mouth go and slide under a truck. if i hadn’t been so shocked i would have pointed out that to him in his suit it is cheap but to me it’s two hours wages. i kept trying to argue instead with the women, hoping that they might show some mercy. they told me that in france i would also be fined. i told them i don’t come from france and i don’t care what would happen there.
i looked into the cyclist’s tiny blue eyes, and as he pointed at me remonstratively, i recognised him. he was the exact same person who pointed at a schoolmate who was being interrogated by the SS.
oh no, i’ve done it again. my ten euro fine has led back to the big thing. persecution complex? maybe, but i don’t care. i’d been turned on by the guy who turned on anybody in favour of the authorities. he wasn’t the person who was intimidated and turned someone in to save his arse. nobody fucking asked him! i get that we’re living in a bourgeoise suburb and anybody for whom ten euros is a big deal is either a liar or a member of another class, but this guy turned on me because he believed uncritically in authority and its omnioscience. the thing that really upsets me is i learnt the word for swine from klaus kinski on stage in my best fiend, and i already knew the word for fascist.
klaus kinski is a logical response to a certain thread in the german psyche.