I was sitting in front of the Cologne cathedral, amazed by this architectural masterpiece. Wondering like dozens of passers-by, how this had been made possible at a time when the current building materials and tools were hardly conceivable.
At the foot of the cathedral, was an artist, miming an Egyptian sculpture, perfectly establishing connections with mysteries still surrounding the construction of pyramids. He was covered with silver colored paint and sometimes stood motionless. People who were not familiar with the performance would mistakenly think he was a metal sculpture.
I was disturbed in my reverie and somewhat taken aback by the weird behaviour of a man who seemed to get a special pleasure drinking from a Coca Cola can. He was apparently determined to swallow the beverage to the last drop. The little container was finally emptied and dropped in a trash bin. But the hand that accompanied it to this destination came back with another can. This time, it bore a beer brand. And the man started drinking the precious liquid. The hand was about to discard one can and fetch another when a man came into the scene, dragging a cart. His rather hesitant movements could inform one that he had some difficulties coordinating his actions. He came close to the other man and started searching in the garbage bin. What was going to happen? Were the two men going to peacefully share the territory. The first was still absorbed in savouring his extraordinary beverage. The newcomer, absolutely oblivious of his neighbour’s behaviour, was exploring the dustbin in a hypothetic quest for something that seemingly would change his life. And change it for ever.
A voice with heavy German accent interrupted me. I raised my head to face two strong, cleanly dressed police officers. It was visible that their positions were quite strategic, in preventing any attempt on my part, to escape.
“Sorry?” I said. And they replied, this time in English: “Can we see your passport please?” I handed the required document as well as my residence card to the law enforcement officers, who keenly checked the veracity of the information provided and, I guess, the authenticity of my papers.
This operation took some five minutes after which they gave me my documents.
They went off to carry on with their duty.
I turned my head back to the scene and, to my greatest disappointment, I discovered that the two garbage can protagonists had disappeared.