Blink Eight Times

tram stations

At the track in Hauptbahnhof

We’ve made it to the 107 stop in Essen’s Hauptbahnhof. Are you in the right place? Can you read the information board okay? How long until the 107 arrives?

  • If you have less than three minutes, prepare to board. Take a deep breath and briefly shake it all out. Things are about to get going. In a few moments, once you’ve boarded the tram and found a good seat, turn directly to page 5.
  • If you have more than three minutes, I recommend either listening to or thinking of the song “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, until the tram comes. I always listen to it before embarking on an interdimensional journey—it just puts me in a good mood. After that I’m awake and ready to turn the world inside out, to use Freddie’s words. The song has had a special place in my life since 2009, when my friends and I would whirl diagonally through rooms, coordinating our jumps to keep from crashing into one another. We started a different journey back then. I remember it fondly.

Maybe you know the song by heart? Or you could use your technology to look it up? Anyway, I’m going to turn it on now. That way we listen to it at the same time. Or would you rather listen to something else entirely? Okay, that’s fine. But I want to hear it, too, so please quietly sing the song you have in mind. Please board the tram when it arrives, find a good seat, and continue reading on page 5.

If you still have a long wait, I suggest taking a look around. Think about how many decisions went into building this underground rail station. Who decided it might be useful to build subways, in the first place? Who chose these floor tiles? Who installed them? Imagine all the people who have been here before you who used that Selecta vending machine over there. But don’t forget: please get on the tram once it arrives, find a good seat, and continue reading on page 5.