More sunshine today so more impulse to be outside. A bike ride on Tempelhofer Feld again. Riding past the expanse of grass designated for summer barbecues, I spot a trio of steel fences arranged in a triangle, each with a laminated sign. On investigation I see it’s not the Grill-Verbot expected but just a message to say all Spielplätze (playgrounds) on the Tempelhofer Feld are closed. Isn’t it all a playground I muse, as I cycle past joggers, skateboarders, those with kites or windsurfers. Further on, I note more “corona trees” as I’ve named them, saplings planted over the past few weeks of which there now seem dozens. This hopefully bodes well for the preservation of the site as open land without further development, something tenuously acquiesced to after a referendum.
Nearing what was the main airport building, I see that the accommodation for refugees adjacent is now semi-dismantled. There had been talk of re-using it as such, but the infrastructure was taken away not long after the rehousing of the last residents some months ago. Rows of identical tempo-homes, set on concrete, behind a wire fence they’ve never looked homely though were marginally better than the arrangements inside the hangar.
Riding one of the paths criss-crossing between runways, I pass a lone guy standing amidst grass speaking loudly on his phone as people seem to do in the open, “I tried to talk to him like a normal person. But he’s not. He’s not a normal person.”
I speculate if office politics continues albeit remotely or if he’s talking about his employer who won’t agree to Kurzarbeitsgeld or his employee who is expecting it or his landlord or his flatmate or his boyfriend? The possibilities are as endless as the acres around me. I wonder if he needed to get out as far away as possible to be able to say these things, maybe he has to share cramped space with he-who-is-not-normal.
There is red and white barrier tape running the length of the runways. Not to do with Corona for once. These areas are always cordoned off in spring into summer for the skylarks, April to July being their breeding season. They’re already trilling away. The tape is the same as that used to block off skate-parks and sandpits. Then it occurs to me as I see more piles of metal fencing. The grass sections for humans may be about to be fenced off. The birds will get to play but the kids won’t. As long as they leave us the runways, I think.