EMERGENCY EXIT #2, £2, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 27 pgs.

Mar 23, 2017

Our author, Ben Smith, who normally lives in Leeds, writes about cycling around Europe as a way of beating the blues. Along the ride, Ben thinks about ways to live off the grid because, “Entering the church of work to pay bills—that would be a failure.” I’m not sure if Ben lands on any definite plans for independence, but don’t fault a guy for trying. It brings up some fun asides, like the note about his friend, Greg, who “once lived on a canal boat in London for free. He did hate it, and the boat sank, but that free shelter is possible.” Mostly, Emergency Exit #2 felt like a travelogue. This happens and that happens. He meets some people—some are nice, some are boring. If I were planning to bike Europe, I’d recommend reading Ben’s zine to get a lay of the land, to channel a bit of his exploratory spirit, and to get some practical advice about packing. It’s fun to hear him ruminate on the materials of the journey. He says to pack whatever feels right. Don’t let people pester you into leaving this or that tool—if it gives you piece of mind […] it will literally be a talisman.” –Jim Joyce (B/W & Read, bwread.blogspot.co.uk)