All shapes and sizes of birthday suit were on display in a Berlin park one lunchtime, but their presence drove me headfirst into a kerb
Parisian naturists in the Bois de Vincennes have complained about voyeurs ruining things for them. Nudists have been allowed to do their thing in the park for two years, but it seems they are being spied upon. I sympathise, but also wonder – in the spirit of an age-old conundrum – if nudists in a forest are actually nudists at all if no one is watching them. If you are hidden away, in your own special area, you kind of invite fascination. How much better if there were nudists everywhere.
In 1992, I cycled from Hamburg to Zagreb, passing through both Germanys (though united by then, they felt very different), the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. I saw many wondrous things along the way, none more so than a small urban park I pedalled past in the middle of Berlin. It was a sunny autumn lunchtime and the park was busy with office workers taking a break. Doing a comedy double-take, I saw that many of these people had removed all their clothes and were sunbathing quite naked. All sizes and shapes of birthday suits were on display.
I managed to hit a kerb, come clattering off the bike and bang my knee without once taking my eyes off them. A few people observed me, with rather more interest than anyone was paying to the nudists. I went and sat on the grass for a bit. Before long, lunch break over, clothes were re-donned and work stations returned to. It struck me as a very sensible way of going about things. Do it all in plain sight, and take the absurd mystery away from the naked form. What purpose does it serve, other than help to idealise the flesh, when it’s the mind we should be attracted by?
Source: The Guardian
Original publication 24 July 2019
Posted on NatCorn 30th July 2019