Riding Wired Donkeys - Cycling Culture from Berlin to Delhi

Posted by Magali Mander • Saturday, July 24. 2010 • Category: Crossing Cultures
I used to be a passionate cyclist in Berlin – now I cycle in Delhi. People have told me that Delhi used to have separate lanes for cyclists. Back then when South Delhi was still a conglomeration of villages, cars were the more exceptional mode of transportation. Sometime back the space was taken over by cars and planning was taken over by those who thought a modern city needed wide streets for cars rather than lanes for its inhabitants to walk on, or ride on their bikes – often affectionately referred to by Germans as their “Drahtesel” (a ‘donkey made out of wire’ in German language).

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Ecosystem of the Train

Posted by Kate Strathmann • Thursday, July 1. 2010 • Category: Crossing Cultures
I recently found myself on a cross-country, East to Left coast, train adventure on Amtrak, the national railway company in the United States. We were a group of twenty like-minded artists, journeying to a conference together and intent on spending three days talking, ideating, and drinking whiskey together. Amtrak is the transportation of Amish families who eschew automobiles, elderly couples, and young vagabonds; there’s a curiosity surrounding train travel in the United States. How quaint and old fashioned (!), we think. One of my artist companions fully expected chandeliers and an elegant service in the dining car for dinner and was disappointed when Tony, the waiter, shouted the dessert options to the entire car en-masse between off-key snippets of Elvis tunes. It was a disappointing and high-priced meal, with an atmosphere only notable for its similarity to crass and cheap small-town diners. (I should note that seven of us, gratefully not including myself, fell ill after this meal; apparently a lack of sanitation standards for train food is an international phenomenon).

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