This statement is too emphatic, and also risky. To my knowledge, until now, on my planet only one thing seems to have come to stay; everything else has been vanishing, gradually or sometimes abruptly. Nor will this one thing be an exception.

A few years ago, before any of the countless transportation crises, to mention just this one, the issue that concerns me, it was decided to import hundreds of thousands of old and heavy bicycles. They even reopened the doors of an already obsolete factory to make these bicycles, to be sold to my homeland (“not a scratch” as some emerging teachers* say).

Because if in Holland everyone was using them, we could do no less. Of course in that country everyone also eats cheese and nibbles chocolate, but they didn’t tell us that. Thus, we saw grandfathers, grandmothers, children perched on the front of the bike with their two parents, one pedaling and the other clinging to the back as best they could, with the smaller children sandwiched between their parents, and also architects, military men, doctors, (some of whom had to get off the bike to climb the hill and then got back on). There was even a character in the higher echelons, now ousted, who, wanting to make himself congenial, used it for a few days to get to work. The seriously ill were taken to the hospital by bicycle, having no other means of transportation.  Not to mention the number of accidents where many cyclists lost their lives since at night, for lack of headlights, they moved like ghosts in the dark, which was made worse by the lack of lights in the city itself, turning many into veritable specters.

Once again we see long lines at the bus stops.  I hope this time there no longer exist, in the rest of the galaxy, bicycle factories closed for obsolete technology waiting to be reopened for business on our planet.   I remember a former youth leader, who today is also ostracized, who said: the bicycle has come to stay.

These artifacts, like many other things on our planet, will become part of the scrap heap of the involution.

Translator’s note:
*Emerging teachers: Cuba has responded to a shortage of teachers with the “emerging teachers” program, which puts high school graduates in the classroom with the expectation that they will “learn on the job.”

Translated by ricote

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