kindness of strangers


Written by Cathoel Jorss,

An hour ago I made friends with two Israeli dudes selling Vietnamese knives on a drearily dripping, cheerily lighted Berlin market. It is so warming and cozy to wander under damp vinyl awnings and it has been so frustrating trying to chop vegetables with a bread knife all these weeks.

One was called Coia and the other something even more beautiful which I forget. They stood there in their pigtailed dreads and ludicrously cute knotty woollen hats, relaxed with hands in pockets, offering one carrot after another so I could slice and scrape and find out all the properties of the knives laid out like eyeless sharks on the flowered cloth. Thinner, lighter blades go through things easily and are best for small vegetables and watery stuff (like fruit). Denser blades suit heavier applications like meat and potatoes and bone. You can sharpen your blade every six months or so on the underside of a ceramic plate, and Coia demonstrated for me what the sound should be like (a kind of tabla whoomph). A few stalls along the Turkish keycutter had a whompa-slupf, whompa-slupf going from behind his counter somewhere and I stopped to ask is that music? Or is it a machinery.

Turns out it’s a machinery. But it had this sort of repetitive organic quality like two taps dripping at a sink that made me want to record a sample and build something over the top of it. Key music, knife music. Market friendships. Golden lights.



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