A Munich, Germany resident is so annoyed with traffic, that he’s now choosing to swim in a river to get to his job.

Benjamin David swims over a mile — 15-25 minutes — each morning in the Isar River, an experience that makes him feel “completely relaxed and refreshing” (via CBC):

“Here along the river on the local highway, traffic has become so congested, but also very aggressive,” he told As It Happens guest host Piya Chattopadhyay.

“I’m not a monk. When I was on my bike, I would yell at cars. When I was on foot, I would yell at cyclists, and so on and so forth. And just a few metres to the side of that is the river, and if you just swim down that, it’s completely relaxed and refreshing.”

While it sounds a bit questionable to spend this much time swimming in a city river (many of them are of course disgusting, as Seinfeld mocks), the Islar River water is apparently fairly clean:

Over the last few years, the Isar River has been the target of a water management plan and restoration plan, so it’s a lot cleaner than you might expect, David said. 

“You kind of really are in a natural, almost wild river in a very urban context, so there’s lots of green and pebbles and what not, kind of pebbly beaches, and that’s where I start,” he said.

“And once you get further into the city … it becomes more like a pool actually, the atmosphere, and there’s beautiful historic buildings to the right and left of the river, and I just drift by those and enjoy the view.”

David takes his belongings — laptop, phone, and work clothes — in a red waterproof floating device, which he joked makes him look like David Hasselhoff in the water:

“I look a little bit like David Hasselhoff,” he said, laughing. “Not I look like David, but me with my — I think you get me.”

Unfortunately, David has to find other ways to return home, as he can’t swim against the river’s current. But he at least cuts the commute hassle in half with his morning swim.


About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

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