Impressions from hanover

Expo, what is that?

Also in "Bernd’s standing and ice cream cafe" war am Donnerstag der Teufel los. For the opening of the store, beer was served for a mark, a barbecue was held in front of the door of the former laundry in Hanover’s Friesenstrabe – and in the late evening, Bernd was sitting in his kiosk, finished with the world and truly dog-eyed. But from the bottom of his heart he was still really happy that his newly opened stand-up cafe had got off to such a picture-perfect start.

Now, four days later, the euphoria is already gone. Bernd does what he has been doing for months: he sells cigarettes, beer and gum bars in his kiosk and has a saying for every customer: "Can’t you even write in the newspaper that there will soon be Internet at my place?!" "Sure, no problem, but there’s a discount!" "Do you want to drive me to ruin…"

So everything goes on as usual, only Bernd’s wife, who shared the strenuous kiosk job with him until Thursday, is now bored and waiting for customers just a few meters away behind the stand-up cafe counter: "Not much going on today…".

The situation is similar in downtown Hannover. There would be no trace of the world exhibition and its visitors, if there weren’t police patrolling everywhere, and sometimes a few demonstrators fulfilling their duty to protest. And for this fulfillment of duty, the police occasionally give them a beating.

"Expo, what is that?" – asks ironically a cab driver and tells that the business is as lousy as always in summer. Her colleagues, too, are increasingly annoyed waiting for customers in a long line at the train station, despite the World’s Fair, just like the patrons of Cafe Movenpick at Kropcke are waiting for the most boring waiters in town. And in the evening the same people sit as always in front of the "Grotto". A small pub in Oststadt, where Jurgen Trittin used to be a regular, next to the bar for years an "Expo – No!"-note sticks. And who is now advertising herself with a banner of a Dresden beer brand attached to the beer garden fence: "Man, nature, grotto."

And also the news situation in the Expo 2000 city hardly seems to give anything away: On Saturday, the AP agency reported that the first pickpocket at the world exhibition had been caught. And, intoxicated by this sensation, immediately adds another one on top: "Significantly more than 200.000 people visited the Expo grounds on the first two days of the world exhibition in Hannover." That’s how many were supposed to come every day …

And in the meantime, AP has also noticed that something must be going wrong. On Sunday the agency reports: "Ey, dead pants here, a 16-year-old schoolboy from Dortmund is amazed on Saturday when he looks into the Funsport hall at the Expo. And so he and his friend of the same age set out to find other attractions on the 170-hectare site. ,EXPO 2000 will be a major meeting place for young people from all over the world on their way into the new millennium,’ the organizers of the world exhibition proclaim on the Internet, hoping for ‘up to 50 visitors a day.000 visitors under the age of 18’. But the much sought-after target group is still hesitant, and the numerous offers for young people have hardly been used so far…."

Yes, somehow the world seems to be tired of exhibiting after all, and the people in and around Hannover simply find the colorful spectacle too expensive. Thus in the first three days altogether only 300.000 to the Expo site, and even the official number 150.000 from the opening day is probably badly spared. At least that’s what a journalist of a rough Hanoverian newspaper found out, when he checked the data of the transport companies, the Bundesbahn, etc. and came up with just under 100.000 visitors came. But of course this is not in his newspaper, which is also sold at Bernd’s kiosk.

In the Saturday commentary we read about the opening day of Expo 2000: "Are they all disproved now – the professional critics, the passionate Norgler, the eternal Hanover haters…" Ah, the writer had asked Bernd’s wife how quickly a picture-book start can go bos’ in the pants.