You spend a long time while being stuck in the traffic, trying to get to work or take the tram to avoid driving while cursing your life for all the precious time you just wasted by being completely unproductive. It may be relieving to know that you are not alone and the situation is pretty much the same in most parts of the world. While everyone distresses themselves on long and crowded commutes, there are some who try to find a solution to this disturbing problem. Some even build a plane to fly to work, but a man in Munich, Germany relaxes all the way through his commute. Benjamin David swims through the Isar River for two kilometers, all the way to his workplace in Kulturstrand.
Until two years ago, Benjamin was a part of the Münchners who used to spend hours to get to their workplace through those busy roads, but then he thought to go for a healthier and simpler alternative. He was lucky enough to have the Isar River flowing past his apartment in Baldeplatz. Instead of paddling or rafting, Benjamin chose to swim. This river was one of the most popular routes between Rome and Vienna once, but no one has ever used it for decades.
Benjamin is the founder and spokesman of a small culture and commerce think tank. He leaves his apartment every morning, walks across the street, and jumps into the Isar River. The two-kilometer swimming journey to his office in Kulturstrand takes half an hour. Upon reaching his destination, he dries himself off and enjoys a cappuccino at a cafe, while the rest of his colleagues get there after fighting the heavy morning traffic.
‘Swimming to work’ is a huge trend in Basel, Switzerland, where a startup introduced the “Wickelfisch,” a special waterproof bag that fills with air after you roll it and then acts as a buoy. The bag keeps all the belongings dry, including clothes, paperwork, and the laptop. If you get tired of swimming, just float down the river!
In his desire to save time, Benjamin never compromises on his safety. He either wears a pair of shorts or a wet suit, depending on the water temperature. Moreover, he always wears rubber sandals to protect his feet. It is not safe to swim in every kind of weather, so the first thing he does every morning is to check the water level, temperature, and strength of the currents. He jumps in the river only if everything lies in the safe limits. Otherwise, the conventional ways of traveling are always there for him.
It may be common in Switzerland to swim to work, but in Munich, Benjamin David is certainly the only one to pull this kind of a feat. Around 30,000 people move to Munich every year, and the traffic in the city is just bound to get worse with the growing population. This certainly makes it obvious that Benjamin might be getting swimming partners soon.