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German Man Swims To Work To Beat Traffic

He commutes over two miles a day by river.

On their 1994 eponymous album, Weezer has a tongue-and-cheek song, “Surf Wax America,” about a man who avoids traffic by surfing to work. “You take your car to work / I’ll take my board / And when you’re out of fuel / I’m still afloat” sings Rivers Cuomo. But a man in Germany, Benjamin David, has taken that sentiment to heart. Every day during the summer, he swims the river Isar to get to the office.

While stuck in traffic, David realized the congested thoroughfare he drives to work runs alongside the river. So he decided to beat traffic by swimming over a mile and a quarter up the river instead of dealing with the frustration. “When I’m swimming, I’m indeed quicker and more relaxed,” he told the BBC. David usually swims to work every day in the summer and sometimes in the winter when water temperatures allow.


Every day, he checks the water level, temperature, and current to be sure he doesn’t encounter any dangerous conditions and to see whether he should wear shorts or a wetsuit. To arrive at his job dry and ready for work, David has a waterproof sack that floats like a buoy and carries a change of clothes and his laptop computer.

According to David, Isar was once used as a shipping route from Rome to Vienna, and people would travel it on rafts. “No one uses the Isar anymore as a means of transportation, so now I’m there by myself to jump in. I will not be surprised if, in the next few years, the Isar will become a logical way to commute to work in the morning.” Let’s hope, for David’s sake, his idea doesn’t become too popular or he could wind up stuck in “traffic” again.

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