There is a conspiracy in Germany that Bielefeld does not exist. There are even Wikipedia entries about it. So, for any Germans reading this, it may surprise you to know that I have actually been there, eaten food and drank various soft beverages there and in fact was arrested in that veritable Bermuda Triangle of Germany.
First, the conspiracy:
Apparently it started off as a Usenet joke which took on its own life. Made much worse some years later when Google Maps misaligned their satellite hybrid view, so that the street overview was placed on a blank forest area. Apparently the council of Bielefeld even went so far as to create an advertising campain with the slogan “Bielefeld gibt es doch!” (Bielefeld does exist!” and they still recieve calls and emails that doubt the very existence of the City.
There are 3 questions that you need to ask yourself:
Do you know anybody from Bielefeld?
Have you ever been to Bielefeld?
Do you know anyone that has ever been to Bielefeld?
If you answer yes to any of the questions, you are part of the conspiracy…
Based on this, it is my belief that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is based there and not, as people were led to believe, in Kansas.
My personal memories of Bielefeld as a city are somewhat cloudy. I get glimpses of the place in sort of random 4 second snapshots…Almost as if my memory was wiped in an alien abduction/probe kind of way.
That said, I do clearly remember being there with around 5 other guys, at about 8 in the morning on a Sunday. I don’t actually know why though, seeing as there a no shops open on a Sunday. I quite like that, even though I am not religious, you get Sundays as a proper day of rest…unless you work in a Bakery.
Or a restaurant. Or a bar. Or cafe. Of course the Kiosks are open obviously. Other than that nothing is open. Oh, mustn’t forget the people that operate public transport. So other than bakeries, restaurants, cafes, bars, kiosks and public transport…everything is.. wait, swimming pools. And fitness centers. Almost forgot cinemas…oh and the souveneir shops. As you can see, they feel really strongly about making sure that the Germans get their day of rest…you can even get in trouble for washing your car!
Anyway, back to Bielefeld…so myself and 5 others were wandering through Bielefeld playing Def Leppard at a reasonable volume (if we were deaf) when the police arrived and asked us very politely to turn it down arrested us. It might have been OK if we had simply turned it down when they turned up and spoke to them, instead of scattering like cockroaches when you turn the light on. Apparently, the police don’t like getting exercise that early in the morning…especially before they have had their morning doughnuts and coffee.
It took them around 20 minutes to round us up. We were slowed down considerably by not knowing where the hell we were running to..although let’s face it, where we were running from was more important at the time. We, of course, played the dumb English card to try and get away with it…the 2 German lads that were with us did this too, albeit somewhat less convincingly. Unfortunately English is a little more widely spoken than we gave credit for and we were well in the shite. Well…as in the shite as 6 kids can be when facing a noise pollution charge…it’s not like we robbed a bank or anything. I am pretty sure they were just trying to shock us. The problem was that we were cocky little bleeders…at least I was. I may have even tried to tell them we had diplomatic immunity *cough*
Still…we got away with it and our parents were none the wiser.
Actually, speaking of the German lads trying to pretend they were English.. A loooong time ago, I was heading to visit my folks in my battered Morris Marina when I remembered that I needed to get some cash out of the bank. I left work early and headed into Newark to do just this.
I was in holiday mode and not really concentrating too much…so much so that I just followed the traffic into the Market Square. I pulled up outside the bank and nipped inside. I left the keys in the car as it was impossible to start without knowing how. I got to the cashiers desk and was waiting for my money when I heard the distinctive sound of my car trying to start. A quick glance out of the door and I suddenly notice the world. A world in which the Market Square is full of Market traders…on Market day no less. I had followed market traders onto the market square and had parked in just the right position to stop any of them moving their vans around to pack up and leave.
Thinking quickly, I whip off my work ID badge, pickup my money, put on my sunglasses and head outside. It is fair to say that the guy trying to start my car, along with his 10 friends…were not happy. He immediately starts swearing at me to move my “fucking car”. Panicked, I put on my stereotypical German accent and pretend to speak broken English. I am left with the image of my getting into the car, starting it up and then being guided whilst reversing by a load of market traders talking loudly and in very simple English words. Trying to explain where to head and making sure everyone was out of my way… I got my karmic retribution though, a 3 hour journey took 9 hours thanks to an accident on the motorway…
Accents are fun…and can get you out of the odd sticky situation I guess…just try and using them for good