A – Z ǀ Without a ticket – Friday


Antidiscrimination In Hamburg they say goodbye, the Duisburg transport company no longer wants to use the term “fare dodging”. The fact that the BVG wanted to “ban” the word in Berlin was denied: there is nothing to banish, it has not been used for years. Nevertheless, it was enough for a summer hit storm. Peter Ramsauer (CSU) too picture: “They all have a bang!” More differentiated critics refer to the etymology: “Svarts”, the Yiddish word for “poverty”. Has nothing to do with skin color.

It could possibly be so simple, were it not for the fact that identity checks in local public transport lead to racial discrimination every day. Wouldn’t black people, and PoC in general, be too often wrongly exposed to the suspicion of “stealing services” (Pepe Danquart). The word can no longer get rid of this overtone, which speaks in favor of discarding it. Christine Käppeler


Budapest At the beginning of the 1990s I traveled to Budapest with M. We wore black “existentialist” turtlenecks and we might like to sit in the leather armchair of a venerable, elegant hotel foyer. Existential, but hardly sophisticated: our youth hostel. And then we were caught driving without a ticket. 4,000 forints should cost the self-imposed adventure. Converted a fortune. The number: epic and cannot be explained rationally with inflation, we do not dream literature students anyway.

But we were also a bit sly, our hope: corrupt ➝ controllers. So when they wanted to take us away, M. quickly hid her money in her back pocket and feverishly put my bills with it. The wallets were almost empty, almost existential. It worked. Katharina Schmitz


Ladies handbag The correctly stamped ticket must be in the side compartment. Or is it in your wallet? The two controllers move purposefully through the car. I’ll be in a moment. “It’s the secret of women’s handbags,” I say, “my ticket is hidden somewhere.” But the squat man (he doesn’t look more like an official) doesn’t smile. “Take it easy,” he replies, as he was taught, and my heart beats to my neck. “We’ll get off at the next stop, so you can keep looking.” I’m in a hurry to do this.

Fortunately, there is a bench on the platform. I pour out my bag on the narrow metal grate: a book, a writing pad, several ballpoint pens, breakfast, headache tablets, lipstick, crumpled handkerchiefs and a few other odds and ends. The man looks down on my confusion and would have the power to record my personal details if the missing paper makes me guilty. But luckily there it is. “Thank you, good onward journey,” he says – and leaves me in my humiliation. Irmtraud Gutschke


Baggage fee A friend and I once accidentally drove in Gdansk – our rucksacks, to be precise. In the summer of 2000, freshly arrived at the train station, we got on the tram. We were immediately checked by gentlemen in plain clothes, and feared nothing because we had bought tickets. But one of the Checkers only pointed to a sign. A pictogram on it said that a ticket must also be purchased for the travel backpacks common to backpackers. At the bus stop we hadn’t even noticed any such information. The inspectors were on the spot strangely quickly. We will probably never know whether we were unlucky or the calculation was made. Tobias Prüwer


Haft A few years ago, during an inspection on the S-Bahn, I took a man without a permanent address on my environmental card: He would have been caught without a ticket for the third time. Then he would have threatened imprisonment. An additional fine is then due for the offense. And those who cannot fork out for it or who do not, as in Sweden, insure against driving without a ticket, end up in jail. Every year around 7,000 people are imprisoned in Germany for driving without a ticket. This prosecution costs millions of euros. After all, the Greens want driving without a ticket to be viewed as a minor offense. Ben Mendelson


Jagdszenen Scenes like the one that I experienced years ago in the Greifswalder Strasse S-Bahn station in Berlin probably no longer exist. A “transport sneak” apparently caught at the ticket control fled down the stairs, stumbled, tore a young woman who was coming towards him to the ground, braced herself on her and ran away. The woman groaned and then lay very still, like a trapped animal. She was afraid to move, her shoulder seemed dislocated. Immediately people gathered. While the women were talking to her soothingly, the men began to curse the “Kontrolettis”, who had stopped themselves in shock. Their hunting fever caused the whole thing in the first place. Help arrived soon, I went on. I didn’t want to watch anymore. I hoped that the young woman would get well again soon. The inspectors have now been given a more civilized image. Magda Geisler


Inspectors Years of expertise in sneaking a public transport service – out of lack of money or annoyance due to the constantly rising prices – have sharpened my view of those boarding. Those who board a subway or tram for work move differently than those who want to get from A to B. Emphasized inconspicuousness in clothing and habitus have a signal effect and if there are bulges under the stone-washed denim jackets, it is not a cool 45, but the electronic cash register. Once I was mercilessly exposed when suddenly two very burly undercut Arabs stood in front of me and showed their BVG ID. Immediately the feeling of guilt and shame amalgamated (Ladies handbag), I handed over my cash without prodding. In the meantime, the BVG has outsourced the control system to external security companies. The new type: bouncers with a clan background. Marc Ottiker


Pepe Danquart The successful director, who is currently following in Pasolini’s footsteps in his new film, has even won an Oscar once. Pepe Danquart received the award in 1994 for Dodger in the Best Short Film category. In the twelve-minute film, he addresses the everyday racism that reveals itself behind this term ( Antidiscrimination). In his film, a young man drives the Berlin tram, where he is racially insulted by an older lady because of the color of his skin. The passengers sitting around watch, no one steps in. When an inspector comes, the person who has been discriminated against sees only one way: self-help. The punch line is not to be revealed here, the film can be seen for free on the Internet. Tobias Prüwer


Tariff zones While I am writing this to you from the back seat of my limousine, someone is probably desperate again because of the local public transport tariff systems. I’ve long since been: platform tickets, border tariff zones, overlapping zones – all of that brought me to my car. Apps that needed WiFi, where there was no WiFi, but where there were seizure-rewarded inspectors. You don’t have to want to travel without a ticket in order to jerk weightlessly into illegality by train, broken machines are enough, including the smell of urine and the smug inspector’s remark: “Know the excuse ‘wa’!” But it wasn’t an excuse, it was the recurring, honest attempt to move in a system with entangled logic. I have to get off now because I’m on time. Jan C. Behmann


Activities Spring 1992. My first “Subotnik” at the Weekly newspaper (WOZ) in Zurich. Again I stumbled upon Susan’s pet dog, which was lying on the steps of what was then the small editorial office on Waffenplatz. Gun place, that name already! It goes without saying for well-fortified Swiss people, my host at the time picked up his gun from under my bed early in the morning. I love Helvetisms in which I can snuggle up like in my German-Alemannic bedspread. On the doors it says bump when we press in this country, Stutz is the money that we lack. And then I got into the hustle and bustle. For all boring activities, it can be read everywhere in Swiss public transport, generous francs are due ( Budapest). Activities? Political 19th century. The controllers were polite to make you cry. Confirmed only with words. They enlightened me, taught me. An armada of educators. No indulgence for activities. I have never drove in Zurich again. Ulrike Baureithel


Traffic turnaround What is all tax money spent on! Why not for free local transport and for free parking spaces at the train stations to leave your car behind? But the much-touted traffic turnaround has so far only been a policy of interests for those who live in the city center and who, as cyclists, often feel disturbed by cars. The drivers are now at the collar. They should pay more for fuel than for buses and trains. Private cars as scapegoats for the climate crisisEven if the yoghurt from Bavaria comes by truck and, according to NABU, a cruise ship emits as much CO₂ per day as almost 84,000 cars and as much sulfur dioxide as a good 376 million. Irmtraud Gutschke


Lines It could have been the beginning of a revolution, but it was just one song text: Rio Reisers Oh man felt like an oil sardine on the bus when he decided to become a militant ticket refuser and infect everyone with it: “And if they have x-million debts up there, get it from the bigwigs who steal from us. You can order your boss, we’re all driving black now. And Meier stays in here, otherwise you will be kicked out! ”That was in 1972. The modern subculture works a little differently: “My dream, the Benz (…) do a lap around the world. And the rest will take care of itself. Just let it go black. “ Of course, this text by rapper Olexesh from 2016 does not mean public transport, but a dark luxury car. Asking the rich to pay, that was it. Rebellion today means: wanting to get rich yourself. Konstantin Nowotny



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