Well, I'm here. For all the bloody good it will do. As of an hour
ago, I'm a
German citizen. I have the full set of papers to prove it. Some people
think I should be happy about it, and to them I say: Why? What's to be
Yes, this is the first mail I've sent out since getting here. Mainly
didn't want a load of unadulterated thoughtstreams laced with
cyanide pouring into your mailboxes. But now I'm at work, a systems
administrator, no less. It doesn't mean much, but it does mean that I
back to the gin and razorblades.
Mmm, silky smooth.
* * *
I suppose you're wondering what it's like here, why I didn't send out a
earlier, and what the hell I have been playing at keeping you waiting
next installment that'll make you laugh and make you feel good about
without having to do too much thinking. Shut up. I'm doing this at my
pace, and if someone has a problem with that, they can take it outside
me back a coffee when they go.
Life down here... well, it ain't England. It's too bloody hot is the
problem. You want to know how hot? Try 86F in the shade, and that's at 5
Most of you will think nothing to this, but for those of us brought up
backwater that is the North of England, 71 degrees is more than enough.
a fan, and a sudden storm. Give me wind and rain for a straight week,
temperatures below 50, and I will be happy. But, of course, that ain't
happen. It's going to get evern hotter, even more humid untill we're
Still, in September, the dickheads it's my misfortune to be living with
finally be gone. All of the present students will fuck off back to the
go about their degrees, leraving me in relative peace. At least then
a room of my own with a lock on the door and a phone line, both of which
advantages over what I have now. Now, I have to get online by pouring
into time and java at webcafes. Or I can scam the occasional time online
this at work. But neither is for long, and it's never, ever for long
It's harder than you might think, living with restricted net access like
My ICQ list is shot to hell, since I can't transfer it. I've not spoken
lot of people in a lot of time, and of those I have spoken to, I have
long enough. It's one of the thinga that makes me pine for home, to have
and Skynet in the same room, both buzzing away, data flying between
that isn't to be. All I have now is Lackey over my shoulder, my
my hand, and a faceless generic machine whenever I can. I don't even
workstation here at work.
Am I whining? Maybe. Do I look as if I care? Fuck off.
Munich does have it's good parts. People are all telling me to try the
even though I can't drink so I threaten to stub my cigaretter out in
Indeed, that's what's so wrong with the housemates and the other
I'll get back to that later. I was actually on a positive swing...
oh there's a boon. A pack of twenty, Marlboro brand no less, costs siz
Six fucking marks! In proper money that's two English pounds (to give
idea, in England the same pack would cost about four pounds twenty five
twice the price), and it very roughly translates to three dollars US
Canadian). Food's also cheeaper. I can get a meal from McDonalds for
the English price, but not as cheap as the fags. Housing's about
most stuff works out cheaper than the English equivalent.
However, the flatmates and the guys at work are all drunken bastards.
nights a week minimum they're out on the piss, blasted out of their
removing brain cells by the bucketload. And they want me to be dragged
them, because "It'll be fun, get some beer inside you". To which I reply
off. I prefer lung cancer to killing both my liver and my brain cells".
Obviously not in as many words. But they get the message. It's that I
repeat the message every fucking night that gets me. Fortunately, that's
up now I'm working. Now we're all working. No more unplanned departures,
start at eight and do nine hours then piss off to go online. A couple of
guys at work are okay, and they're the ones from Northern Ireland. I
typical that I get on best wityh the people from Porterdown, no fucking
The most ransacked, violent town in the first world, and I get on with
But I digress. That's what life has been like so far. Or at least, I
life. If it isn't, don't tell me.
* * *
As I walk the streets of the city, cigarette in hand, it amazes me just
of life and how... varied it can be. I use the fast food joint at
the mopst profitable of it's chain in all of Europe, walk down past the
department stores to the Hauptbahnhof, then turn left, going in roughly
direction of Senderlinger Tor. Strange how just three minutes walk and
can change so starkly. The posh-ish hotels close to the Karlsplatz and
better quality of restaurants and fast food jonts that you'll see from
Karlsplatz down to the Glockenspiel vanish in the space of three
They're replaced by the cheapest of hotels, fronting onto streets lined
cheap computer shops with fag machines by the door selling Marlboro
Durex condoms, cheaper bars, and the cheapest strip clubs going. The
from romancing the young man (or couple, though surely only a man would
eyes open on that stretch) like a well mannered lady, all perfect
perfect smile and develish underside if you look hard enough; to
with cheap booze and spreading its legs wide for him, even going as far
offer him a place they can both stay the night for some-
I'm sorry, My metaphor escapes me. But the dichtomy of the city is plain
The cheap Strip, as it were, (and here I intend the double meaning)
the surface the same as the more upmarket area near Munchener-Freheit.
wander down the streets of the latter, barely fifteen minutes on the
from my door, and you'll see families dining on the streets in front of
restaurants and ice-cream parlours, bars and cinemas that will attract
of people that have the money to eat there... A complete dichotomy. And
no idea why that is, ewhy the good and the bad are so close and but
degrees at the wrong corner can throw you so violenntly from one to the
But, I have rambled too much. I finally got in after the hell of
citizenship at two and it's half three already. I have a break at four,
to take it.
* * *
Apologies for the spelling, blame the German keyboard at the Webcafe
(the worst part of German life I have found) that I tried spellchecking
this on only to have it crash, and the Sun keyboard it was composed on.
* * *
Work on the website continues apace, though without a flat-based net
connection, I have no way to get the info from Lackey to the great
* * *
Stewart Wilson, the Digital Raven
Metropolis, 03 July 2001