How many is many?

 It depends. This weekend, I made the mistake of heading into the city centre on the first sunny and mild Saturday of the year. Streets, shops, cafes, everything was crowded.

The attractiveness of the city centre is made and maintained by the crowds. However, there seems to be an optimum of crowdedness. No doubt, this optimum is subjective. My optimum was exceeded by no small amount. For the Japanese, the optimum is probably much higher. Or maybe it isn’t, and they just have come to accept that they live with many more people in cities than we do.

So today, I took my racing bike and fled to so-called nature. Unsurprisingly, many people had gotten the same idea. Now, the attractiveness of the small strips of land we dare to call nature here is made and maintained by the absence of crowds. The optimum is determined to a large extent by the level of noise. Luckily, most people still automatically make less noise upon entering ‘nature’.

Some people however love to tour the countryside on their motorbikes, seemingly without silencers. Or they like to park their car to enjoy the view, leaving the engine running to power the airco and the thump-thump dance.

In despair, I looked up at the sky. But I have to agree with Wim de Bie, today even the sky could hardly be called airspace anymore.

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