But, What to Eat?
The next morning when we woke up, some early risers from the lake beach started gradually arriving. Most of them hitchhiked all the way. Some were lucky while others not so much. The last people to arrive were Andrzej and Nina.
Nina was born of German and Cuban parents and grew up in Berlin and on the road. She was a cute young girl but Andrzej was a big Polish dude with unruly long hair and beards. He looked essentially like a wild caveman, although he was as kind as a hobbit.
They were just hitchhiking back from the lake to Riebau. The traffic was thin as it was the countryside and they were stuck in the middle. They got hungry. Nina was making fire on the roadside while Andrzej went deep into the fields to ‘liberate’ some corns.
A car almost stopped when seeing Nina on the roadside with a fire. Nina waved to the driver, a woman. Nina started running towards it as the car was gradually stopping. Then suddenly Andrzej jumped out of corn fields with some corns under his arms and leaves on his long blond hair, they driver saw him and drove away like a thunder.
So Andrzej scared drivers away again.
No wonder they were the last team to get back.
Usually Agata was the chef. However, since last night we all went to the lake instead of sending somebody to do dumpster diving, we were left with no food. We started rummaging through our own places for any food we could find. They brought back the leftover corns and around our house in Riebau we picked big mushrooms and made big schnitzels out of them.
In the late afternoon, Tatjana arrived. I was genuinely surprised as the gathering was really coming to an end. Days before there were 100 people and gradually only 15 left. I knew Tatjana from the Nomads group. She was originally from Ukraine but lived in Germany for many years already. Unlike most of us, she had a serious job — she was a self-employed photographer and designer. Yes, a hitchhiker with a job!
Everybody welcomed her and gave her hugs.
The next day two other hitchhikers, Ozge and Sven came back. They were here before but then they moved their tents somewhere else. Sven was one of the administrators of the Nomads group. He was a cool German dude from Freiburg. Ozge was a young Turkish girl. She was energetic and always smiling to everybody. They were lovely and jumpy people. Sven liked to jog with shoes totally made of chain mail. They had been hitchhiking together for a long time. When they were in Spain, Sven would go to service stations to gather food (table diving) and Ozge would stand outside to catch a ride. Spain was for sure the most difficult country to hitchhike in Europe.
Ozge saw me for the first time in the ktichen and came up curiously: So, where are you from?
I: Eh…… Kaulitz!
I: I am a hippie from Kaulitz, a village nearby here.
Ozge: Eh…… OK…… and how old are you?
I: Eh…… 82!
Ozge: What? 82?
I: Yes, I am essentially a grandpa.
From then on they called me grandpa and I really felt 82 years old. 🙂
In the afternoon we decided to bike to the former border of East and West Germany, which was only a few kilometers away.
The border was in a small village called Jahrsau. It was totally deserted and taken over by deep forests. There was still the road sign of ‘Jahrsau street’ on a stick. We found some old chairs, metals, bottles and bricks among the grass. This place looked so forgotten by time that for a moment you would forget about its existence.
I wanted to stay around there just to look and maybe dig. You know, you might find interesting objects. That was not possible as the place was not just taken over by forests, also by mosquitoes. The Eastern German soldiers had departed but the legions of mosquitoes were all the more effective. We could not stand in a fixed posture for more than 2 seconds, because otherwise hundreds of mosquitoes would eat you alive. Even when you were running and jumping, the mosquitoes would stick to you like you were meant for each other.
As both Tatjana and I were into photography, we stayed much longer than others. When we wanted to cycle back, it was getting dark and we got lost. After trying different routes and feeding the mosquitoes for one hour, we finally made it back.
Others: Oh Wei, finally you are back! What were you doing?
I: Eh…… we were doing some charity work in the fields.
I: Feeding the poor mosquitoes.
The Epic Dumpster Diving Expedition
It was getting dark and we had been hungry for the most of the day. After feeding the mosquitoes, I felt even hungrier. The food was totally finished. It was necessary to do a big dumpster diving that night. Five of us took our bikes, especially the one with a trailer tied at the back and went on our way.
In Germany, every year there were a couple of occasions when people could throw household garbage on the street and have it taken away by the municipality for free. That night happened to be such a night! The whole city looked like a free second-hand shop. It was midnight and the street was as quiet as a mouse. There was an enormous amount of furniture, clothes, toys, sport equipments, condoms, flower pots, chocolates, mirrors on the sidewalk. Only a few people with cars were rummaging through all this, finding useful stuff.
We were in total ecstasy. I found packages of chocolates in a box. Sven found a tiny women’s jacket and a sexy skirt and put them on immediately. Then he put on a hat and wore high-heeled shoes, all found among the garbage of course. They matched perfectly with his brown beard. 🙂 We found toy guns and started playing with them. Tatjana brought her camera and took numerous photos of us, lying like kings and queens, under the yellow street lamps, on comfortable sofas with our trophies.
I saw a pedestrian crossing and suddenly remembered something. I shouted: ‘Let’s make the Beatles crossing scene!’
With all kinds of weird garbage, toy duck, children’s hats, bicycle tires, glittering paper on us, we made the most hippie Beatles Crossing Road scene ever. Now the Beatles were also dumpster divers.
After playing as much as we wanted, we went for some real dumpster diving. One of the dumpsters had so much food that we could not possibly carry. The employees of it even put boxes of radishes at the entrance of the supermarket so people could take them. Yes, they knew there were dumpster divers and many of them did agree that there was too much waste in the modern food industry. I felt this part of Germany, namely the former Eastern Germany, with Berlin included was the most left-wing region in West Europe. It definitely had something to do with its Communist legacy. When Sven was diving into another dumpster with his sexy skirt and professional dumpster diving tools, two German guys in a nice car came by. We went to check out what they wanted.
They heard about dumpster diving from a friend who did it himself and just came over to have a look. We were excited and told them all the great things about dumpster diving. They were glad and promised to do it more often.
This was Germany, especially this part of Germany, people might look rich but they might be at the same time left-wing and alternative in their hearts.
We found a truck on the street, parked near a supermarket. The back of the truck was open and there were a bed, a fridge, a table and many drinks even cooled by ice, but nobody! Probably somebody forgot to lock the door. We closed the door and continued our diving. No, we were thirsty but we were not thieves.
We were checking every dumpster we could find and talking about what would be the ultimate prize to find in dumpster diving.
Sven: It would be awesome to find a Dirndl in a dumpster!
Dirndl was the traditional Bavarian women’s dress.
Stevie: It would the ultimate prize to find a living baby in a dumpster! and then of course, raise the baby.
The last location we went to was a big bakery. They had a big bin made of metal located at the edge of their parking lot, surrounded by woods and grass. As it was already later than 2 AM, the workers had already started working there. It was said that days ago they discovered some dumpster divers in their parking lot and reported it to the police. Those dumpster divers got into serious trouble. Therefore, we were very cautious. We parked our bikes far away, stealthily sneaked into the yard, hunched and gingerly. Then we devised a meticulous plan: Sven and Ozge would jump into the big tank of dumpster with bags while Tatjana, Stevie and I would hide nearby to watch the workers.
Inside the bakery it was totally lit up and we could see the workers moving around. They were about 25 meters away.
Sven and Ozge jumped into the dumpster and simply started eating and laughing.
Suddenly I saw a worker walking out the house! He was coming this way! I hissed: ‘Quiet! They are coming!’ Then the 3 of us hurried into the trees and grass, getting ready to run as fast as possible.
However, the worker was just getting out to smoke a cigarette, false alarm!
Sven and Ozge still could not stop eating and laughing. It sounded like that they were high on something. 🙂
Ozge: If I continue eating, I will become too fat to get out the dumpster!
Yes, that was a paradox. 🙂
When we finally gathered all we had and headed back, it was already 3 AM.
Yes, we again returned at 3 AM. 🙂
To be continued