The 100 / #47: Gabi Helfert

#47 Gabi Helfert Web Manager Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Gabi's images

    • This is Sashi, our 8-yr old tomcat. I was too close to get him in focus. But I love him. -- Gabi
    • My spouse Joey behind her MacBook. When we're on the computer at home we usually sit opposite from each other at our family desk. This is how I see her a lot. -- Gabi
    • The corridor in front of our apartment. -- Gabi
    • Our apartment building in downtown Rotterdam. All the lines are gorgeous when the sun is shining - they throw incredible shadows. -- Gabi
    • This is Haringvliet. We live next to it. An old harbor in Rotterdam's center, where in former centuries fisherboats used to anchor and sell their catch. Nowadays it's mostly houseboats and tour boats which are mooring here. -- Gabi
    • The crazy Splashtours bus. It's an amphibian sightseeing tour of Rotterdam. Quite an experience when the bus rolls into the river. -- Gabi
    • I love industrial thingies with nooks and crannies and hinges and grit. -- Gabi
    • A withered layer of enamel on the drawbridge switchbox. -- Gabi
    • One of the many drawbridges in Rotterdam. This one bridges the passage between the river Maas and the Boerengat, another one of the old harbors. -- Gabi
    • Weed growing between the cobblestones on the Maasboulevard along the river. -- Gabi
    • People living in these houses have an unobstructed view on the river, and are facing the south, so their apartments must be very bright inside. -- Gabi
    • Typical pavement patterns in the Netherlands. Many of our roads and sidewalks are tiled. This is very sustainable, since all of the material can be reused after construction works. -- Gabi
    • 873 -- Gabi
    • Under the bridge. -- Gabi
    • A big puddle -- Gabi
    • The pillars of the Willemsbrug, one of three bridges spanning the river Maas in Rotterdam. -- Gabi
    • Biker, bench, and stickers on a trashcan. Very typical scene along the river. -- Gabi
    • An empty row of bike stands. A rare sight. Most bike stands are very much occupied here. -- Gabi
    • De eerlijke brommer (the honest scooter) is a campaign to get scooters off the bike lanes. When they stand in front of you at the intersection, you breathe their exhaust fumes. Many scooters ride very fast, much faster than bikes, and display very risky behavior on the bike path. These stickers show a scooter rider inhaling his own exhaust fumes. -- Gabi
    • Many Dutch bikes are beautifully decorated. -- Gabi
    • De Witte Huis (The White House) is one of the few historical buildings in downtown Rotterdam that survived the Rotterdam Blitz in May 1940 - a 15-minute bombing of the downtown area by Nazi forces to make the Dutch surrender, killing 1,000 people and resulting in fires which waged for weeks to come, rendering 85,000 people homeless. Rotterdam's downtown area today is very modern, since it was almost completely bulldozed during and after the war to quickly create new habitat. -- Gabi
    • A rusty glass container. -- Gabi
    • This is on the pavement in front of one of the houseboats. I wonder if the boat owners planted it? -- Gabi
    • 1980s housing in our neighborhood. -- Gabi
    • That would be me - an arm's-length self-portrait -- Gabi
    • I like this portrait of me - my spouse Joey took it in our kitchen. I didn't figure out how to turn off the flash on the camera; once it was on it just kept going off at every picture. -- Gabi
    • This was taken from the bike. Oops. -- Gabi
    • Also taken from the bike, on my daily commute. I love this little park by the river. It's pretty in every season. -- Gabi
    • Our tomcat Cody. He's 18 and suffering from hyperthyroidism, which makes him very skinny. We tried to treat it, but he kept throwing up the pills, and when we gave him ear cream, his ears got infected. His body just rejects the medication. Now we feed him high-calorie food which keeps him alive. He's still very active for his age. -- Gabi
    • On the train to Germany. -- Gabi
    • I was so excited about this! At Venlo train station, where we had to change trains, I found vegan wraps in the station kiosk, and they were really yummy. Normally it's really hard as a vegan to get food when traveling in the Netherlands. If you're lucky, you can pick up a piece of fruit somewhere, but most food on the go contains meat, eggs, fish, or dairy. Unfortunately I had forgotten about the flash, again. -- Gabi
    • My adorable nephew Jonah! -- Gabi
    • My spouse Joey and my brother Guido during a bike ride we took together. -- Gabi
    • I love long shadows. And my new vegan sneakers. -- Gabi
    • An art piece in front of a German police station. It is reflective and changes color at different angles. -- Gabi
    • Autumn is so pretty. -- Gabi
    • And more autumnal gorgeousness! I love color. -- Gabi

About Gabi

Tell us a little about yourself:
Queer German woman, married to an American woman, living together in the Netherlands, and commuting by bicycle. Fat vegan treehugger, feminist, and animal rights activist. Very progressive atheist. Lifelong learner. Too many academic degrees in too different fields to stay focused. Currently working in web management and as a photographic artist.

What one thing are you most proud of in your years?
Going vegan a year ago, not exploiting animals anymore. That beats my PhD by far, because it’s much more useful: For my body, for the animals, for the environment, and against world hunger.

What one thing do you hope to achieve before you reach 100 years old?
Future achievements: After I’m retired I want to give away 95% of my (already comparatively sparse) belongings and live in a sustainable mobile home or boat that generates its own fuel.

What one thing have you seen in your life time which you feel has changed the world the most significantly?
What changed the world most significantly? The Internet. It has accelerated the pace of practically everything, and it has also created numerous opportunities for people to participate and express themselves. It’s the biggest instrument of democratization ever.

What one piece of advice would you give to your ten year old self?
Piece of advice to me at 10 years old: Don’t try to be who you are not – you’re just right the way you are.

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