There are two types of taxi drivers in Berlin. There are those lurking in wait and those hunting – I was a night hunter.
Upon my arrival from Bosnia, I had all sorts of low-wage jobs. I worked on assembly lines mostly, getting paid by the hour. This is what I did for the first couple of years in Berlin. Then I thought, “What do I do now?” I tried to study, but somehow it didn’t work out, plus I didn’t have the nerves for that kind of thing, however somehow I had the nerve to learn by heart the names and locations of around 9500 streets – there were no gps or gmaps back then. So I got a cab driving license. In the spring of 1994 I started working as a taxi driver, which was a big upgrade. All of a sudden you had a big Mercedes under your ass, you had freedom, and you made your money the way you wanted to make it.
It was one of these episodes that belongs to my Berliner “dirty nightlife”. It was an early evening, and I wanted to get laid. And with a cab you are very mobile. This is the trick. You go everywhere and you know where the places are where you can buy sex, if you are so inclined and feel the urge.
One of the places you could pay women was the neighborhood around Einemstraße, near Nollendorfplatz in the district of Schöneberg. In German it‘s called “the strich” – the street walkers’ zone, where day and night mostly East European sex-workers “walked the line”. Now they are gone. I think even the name of the street was partially changed. But back then I would drive by especially to see this one girl, long-legged, blonde, beautiful. Of course all these girls made themselves look hot. But this one was “special”. There was something about her that struck my fancy, something wild and natural.
I had been observing her for ages. For months I didn’t dare approach her. Whilst she walked looking for her customers, I kept cruising-by whilst chasing mine. And I fantasized about holding her in my arms.