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The passenger

Aurelia D
Berlin, am 27. January 2015

“I am a passenger

And I ride and I ride

I ride through the city’s backside

I see the stars come out of the sky

Yeah, they’re bright in a hollow sky”


You know it looks so good tonight…”

… wrote James Newell Ostemberg Jr, alias Iggy Pop while travelling in the Ubahn, or at least that´s what somebody claims. True or not, Iggy Pop had a very musical productive time in Berlin, when he was sharing a flat with the blonde and charismatic David Robert Jones, alias David Bowie. In his biography it is claimed that the white Duke saved him after a period of confusion, alcohol, drugs and psychiatric hospital. And it looks like he did a good job! It is amazing to see how Berlin had inspired so many artists who created their best works in this city. However, true or not, it is not so difficult to imagine Iggy Pop writing “the passenger” in the Ubahn. Berlin is a big city and unless you work next door or you have the “neighborhood life”, travelling is part of your day. A few days ago, I was making a calculation of how much time I spend travelling among Ubahn, Sbahn, tram, bus  and I realized that it is a quite big segment of the day. How easy is to get lost in your thoughts while looking the metropolitan landscape through the window. And how easy is to meet the weirdest people ever there. Every line has its categories The U1, for instance, is the nightlife Ubahn. Here, every weekend after midnight you will see the people of the night. But not only the U1 is so famous, every line has its own character. During my travels I can mention just few examples of funny human beings who crossed my road: old woman with pink and green hair, the typical homeless trying to sell the newspaper, then the very elegant lady carrying fresh cupcakes, the construction guys with dirty outfits always shouting and drinking beer, a big variety of hipsters, almost never Berliner, but coming to Berlin to fully express themselves, hippies with lots of bags and children walking without shoes. Yes, in Berlin you can really meet every type of person and never be too surprised. At the beginning, the amount of time spent travelling in the Ubahn was pissing me off and I considered it to be a big waste of time. I needed to find something to turn that time into something productive by reading a book, planning my week, making the “to do list” or just listening to music. But now I learnt how to enjoy the trip. Everything happening there could be an input for something creative, indeed the Ubahn´s experience could be annoying for lots of workers, a “must do” for the people who instead would be happy to have a car and a reason of complaint for the active old Berliner going to the market in the morning. Instead for me it is the time to catch every little thing happening and use it to inspire a story. It is not a very social place, everybody prefers rather to be alone and not chatting around, but it is a great place for social experiments! And while looking through the window I wonder which weird, funny and incredible thing will suddenly happen. Here´s why  the Ubahn is the time and place where many stories meet and cross but they never face up to each other.

“Oh, the passenger

He rides and he rides

He sees things from under glass

He looks through his window’s eye

He sees the things he knows are his

He sees the bright and hollow sky

He sees the city asleep at night…”the passenger



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