Thursday, November 23, 2006

Misleadingly close and yet so many worlds apart

Last saturday morning, when I was enjoying my well deserved saturday-morning lie in, my peace was crually disturbed. When I first heard the noise, I thought "Funny! The bakery's flour-truck sounds just like a bunch of drums in a marching band this morning."
I thought nothing further of it and resumed reading. Minutes later, the commotion still hadn't dies down, but was infact increasing and I then realized that what sounded like a bunch of drums in a marching band was not my arch-enemy, the early-morning flour truck, but what really sounded like a bunch of drums in a marching band was, in fact, a bunch of drums in a marching band. I stepped onto my balcony and there I saw them underneath, parading up Sonnenallee towards Hermannplatz:

A bloody Karnevalsumzug! (A Karnevalsumzug, dear non-german readers being the south american carneval's parade's ugly little mutant step brother, hump and all. Imagine a nice parade, take away everything fun and add silly hats and you got the picture...)

I watched them march past, the next band behind the bloody Funkenmariechens playing a sorry little brass version of Ob-La-Di by the Beatles.
In this moment, there was just one piece of information crisscrossing my synapses and blocking every other thought. It went like this:


...apart maybe from that one time when Boris Becker tried to deny that Anna Whatshername's ugly little ginger baby was in fact his. So, yeah, that might have been even more pathetic, maybe. But apart from that...
Anyways...this parade ranges among the two single most pathetic things I have ever seen.

Picture the scene:
There were about, what?, fifty of them...marching four abrest and waving to a crowd ... that wasn't actually there!!!
People in Berlin don't line the streets for jerks in costumes. Especially not in Neukölln and ESPECIALLY not at nine o'clock on an innocent saturday morning. They even had some old guys in silly hats (you know, the sort with peaks and bells) shoutung "Alaaaf" every now and then. The people here would have been, at the most, puzzled by this kind of behaviour. If there HAD actually been any people.

I can literally hear the conversation in my head when they decided to march up Sonnenallee, somewhere in a Vereinszimmer in Köln am Rhein: "Did you know that there is this place in Berlin called "Neukölln"?That sounds like Neu-Köln! I'd say that's just the place for us!"

And again, merciful (or merciless, depends on your point of view) reality took her sledgehammer and showed some rhineian Frohnaturs what a fucking big difference one "l" is able to make.

...sorry for the inflationary use of "in fact"s...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Times change

and that's why the Batmobile now looks like this:

Sad, innit? Well, we all must move with the times and sometimes even superheroes fall. In this case, one of them fell onto the pavement in front of a citizen's house, (let's call this citizen Johnny L.): THUD it went, or probably more like thud, due to our hero's lack in body weight.

It was a tiny wee bat, let's call him Flitzy, or, for the sake of yet another bad pun: Robin.
So there he lay, on the bat-pavement, his bat-wings crumbeled up around his bat-waste, screaming for help in what sounded like this:

One hour later (due to the bat-cave being mighty big and the mobile being parked awfy darn far away, Neukölln one could say):

Gotham City lies enveloped in night but the streets, skyscrapers and weird monumental statues are illuminated by a zillion lights (like every night); the BATMOBILE careens through the streets, taking every turn at breathtaking speed. In the cockpit: Batgirl and Alfred, united in sombre silence, faces only half visible by the blue light of the dashboard as Batgirl shifts into the next gear up, ever accelerating.

Time presses! But where is our winged, pointy eard super hero?
He lies in his bat-cardboardbox, struck down by some evil turn of fate, covered by the warming bat-newspaper, ever so often uttering a cry of bat-despair which sounds like someone scraping the ice from their windshield.

But wither goest thou, Batmobile? It is to the Tierklinik Zelendorf that the friends are heading. Will they make it in time? Flitzy Robin Batman's life hangs on a bat-thread.

They get onto the highway, pressed into their seats by the sheer force of the acceleration. After what seems an eternity they finally get to their safe haven, the Tierklinik. Engine running, they jump out of their seats and run towards the entrance (where they have to wait for about three minutes, as no-one seems to answer the door).

Finally there's a nurse and out of breath, Batgirl and Alfred hand the bat-box over to her. She takes it into her caring hands and with an urgent tone in her voice, she lets them know:

"Ich stell sie erst mal rein und wir kümmern uns dann später drum." Ok!

Will our hero survive the night? Will Gotham ever be the same place again if he witheres? Who will be there for the poor, the helpless, the powerless?

Only the night knows the answer...

Monday, November 06, 2006

My inner cerebral short circuit

It's been ages, so it seems, but Unilife finally has me back. It's half eleven a.m., I already mastered getting up at ungodly times in order to get here at eight c.t., only to talk about l'identite francaise en crise and somehow helpig myself to a ham sandwich along the way which I cannae really remember where I got it from. Anyways, the annual unicum surprise package kept me going for another hour or so and now I'm finally here. I made it, after all this time, I eventually found my way into what is famously known as *tadadadaaaa* the brain bubble, aka Philologische Bibliothek or wha'eva, and I feel quite forlorn, having hardly been able to remember my bloody password for the frickin' computers. (Memo to myself, it's your immatrikulation number, dumbo.) I'm surrouned by industrious students and studentesses, busily writing away on their dissertations, I just know, when all the time I have to focus on this here keyboard, because frankly, it's doing whatever it bloody wants, gentlepeople, and I have to correct typing mistaks all the time.

I know why they call this monstosity the Brain Bubble (capitals indeed!). I feel like I'm sitting inside my own brain, facing the inside of my forehead in the form of this huge in-your-face-orange plastered wall which I cannot look at for more than one second at a time, because it gives me the creeps and my eyes start watering. Also there are wee eye-like windows, through which one can perceive the world beyond in a somewhat milky kind of quality.

I swear I can hear a hoover, but maybe it's just one of those book scanners or some other cunning device they've set up by the truckload in here to make student life so much easier.

I will go now and sink my teeth into Gelfert's "Wie interpretiert man ein Gedicht?", an opus which I desperately hoped nevir tae touch again, but there you go, life has a funny way and somehow I ended up being a teacher and expected to know about these things when all the time I bloody don't!

Why am I telling you this? Because this place gives me the heebie-jeebies, all the more as I know I have to face my demons and somehow get to the next stage, the next floor of the library of my life so to speak. But at times I feel like the elevator's broke and the staircase is on fire.

Saturday, November 04, 2006