Of course, if it were really a GIGAfactory, it would be approximately the size of the continental united states. In point of fact, it's just a factory. But then, that is the hilarity and absurdity of an enterprise that has mostly won or lost on marketing.
We took the train to Zossen. With the current nine-euro monthly ticket valid on all regional trains, and the bike supplement (an additional 11 euros), this was as hop-on-hop-off easy as could be. From there, we mounted our cycles, and set off through town, and then into the forest.
I remarked to my friend Jan that even though we call it a forest, it's really more of a farm. Look closely and you can tell that the trees are planted in rows, with space enough for a harvester. At some point, this will all be Kallax shelves.
And then suddenly, we're on a highway overpass. It's the A10 – part of the autobahn ring system surrounding Berlin. We something gray and low slung a few clicks down the highway.
We continue on our path, back into the woods, and we begin to see signs of industry. High-voltage, three-phase power cables, snaking along the ground of the forest, surrounded by chainlink. Every 100 meters or so there is an surveillance tower and signage which implies that we're somehow transgressors, but clearly lacks a legal tooth.
Then we emerge again from the forest, through the mouth of a petrol station. Ironic. Of course, heavy industry still relies on countless petrochemicals, countless trucks burning their diesel.
Finally, we roll into the parking lot. This is an american parking lot, even if it's in germany. It's 31c, but in the endless ocean of concrete, it feels five years in the future – baking, choking on ozone, nowhere to hide from the UV. Such a place can only be described as hostile to human life. The signage agrees: "Danger Zone for Pedestrians!"
Any direction that you look, there is rubble and refuse and waste: old tupperware, underground storage tanks with some defect, the plastic wrap from a palette of pre-poured concrete.
The low-slung grey something is a low-slung gray something, even from up close. The art on the sides is some derivative of a derivative of an ayn rand book cover, but like... piped through pytorch.
We asked if we could have a tour. They told us to leave. So we sat across the road, in the shade of the petrol station. We slathered some SPF50 on our necks, and toasted our off brand soylent to an exceedingly bright future.