Soh, says Recep, now he’s warm. Put your hand, which has a thick ring on it, loosely on the handlebars. Look over with a mixture of curiosity, decency and routine, for as long as only one dares for whom 200 kilometers per hour is pure relaxation. Then he looks down, presses a button, says, as if he were reading the nutritional values from a cereal box: “500 hp.” And pulls through.
The road is clear, it’s Sunday, the only day Recep drives his sports car. The engine purrs very happily. Two, three seconds, I don’t count that exactly. It shouldn’t be obvious that I’ve never driven a 500 hp car. Then he slides over to the right. When I was on my way to him, Recep had written: “Just arrive slowly and safely, please!” Thumbs up. As if he knew what he was talking about, knew that arriving safely is not a matter of course. Now he has both hands on the wheel. “Earlier, when I got my driver’s license, I messed up a lot with Dad’s car,” he says, “but thank God I didn’t have an accident.” Thank God.
Recep drives a sports car. His car plays a special role for him. It’s not just any means of transportation for him. Sitting in a nice car, accelerating, listening to the engine, that’s his world, also a sign that he’s made it, that he belongs. For many Germans, the car was a symbol of prosperity and tastefulness for a very long time – when nobody was discussing the climate crisis, there was no turnaround in traffic and the high-horsepower models were the most popular in the car quartet. The passion for cars is unbroken in Germany, there has never been more on the streets, they have never been bigger or stronger, but especially in the so-called middle classes hardly anyone publicly stands by their big SUV. Recep doesn’t have these problems, his car world is still fine.
Recep and I got to know each other because of his buddy Emre. It’s impossible not to meet Emre when you’re around him. He speaks with a voice that echoes everywhere. Recep was at a Turkish wedding the other day, and he even heard him two tables away when the band started playing and everyone was talking wildly. Recep laughs as he tells this. In any case: This Emre was sitting across from me in the train on a late summer day, the two of us in the six-seater compartment, he was talking on the phone at Emre’s volume. I wanted to work, at some point I gave up and listened.
Emre told unbelievable stories about highly motorized, incredibly expensive cars. He proclaimed the gospel of private transport, spoke of the paradise of the German motorist. Then he hung up, rubbed his stomach and told me about his first business idea as a young factory worker at Opel and how he became a successful businessman. It was about foresight and trusting your own instinct, about how a moped became a car and then two cars and the prospect of freedom and how an immigrant family worked its way up from generation to generation, it was about a group of clever children , it sounded like a story from 1001 Nights.
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