The walking culture in Germany
I used to ask myself: Why do people walk? Or better: How do they feel? What do they think when they are on a walk?
There is no such walking culture in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi where I come from, just because there is no pavement that is actually used for walking purpose, but for parking motorbikes. Also they are the most practical transportation not only in Vietnam, but also in many other Asian countries, that people don’t usually walk. Moreover, it is very common that the air in big cities is mostly unsuitable for staying out for too long. Too, is the weather and humidity in tropical regions.
I, therefore, have never really felt my legs.
It is not until I am in the city of the 3 rivers, where there are the most amazing paths along the banks for you to walk on that I can finally answer these questions: I walk because it’s one of the fastest way to get somewhere, and because I can actually count on my own legs. Besides, I don’t walk to think, I walk to give my brain sometimes to wander and I walk to feel nothing but just the moment, and my own legs. I walk because more walking means my walking pace is increasing, while my living pace is decreasing.
I have written other words about the root and the route. To move and to walk is probably the most important thing to distinguish the two.
There was a late autumn evening before the lockdown, when I was walking alone along the Inn, filling my chest with the fresh cool air from the river, when the wind was caressing my hair and the blinking quivering reflections of all the lights from the other bank created the scene of a Walt Disney Cartoon. I was so humble and happily enjoying myself, not noticing the pace of my foot steps until a traffic light stopped me.
In 30 seconds waiting for the light to change color, I realised that I have been “walking” such a long way, literally and figuratively.
On the way, there are flowers and views that I would like to stop and admire. There are also some difficulties that make me want to stop, and quit. There are fellows that would like to share some parts of the walk with me that I really treasure. Most important, there is always an open route ahead and all I need to do is making one step after another.
The lockdown is maybe holding our steps to reach to further points in life. However, we can always just walk in order to feel nothing rather than the moment, and our own legs.