All work herein is copyright (c) Stewart Wilson 2001.

Enemy Territory

Being an occasional rambling article from the mind of Stewart Wilson


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 might
think I should be happy about it, and to them I say: Why? What's to be happy

Yes, this is the first mail I've sent out since getting here. Mainly because I
didn't want a load of unadulterated thoughtstreams laced with homesickness and
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 can get
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 mail
earlier, and what the hell I have been playing at keeping you waiting for your
next installment that'll make you laugh and make you feel good about yourselves
without having to do too much thinking. Shut up. I'm doing this at my own
pace, and if someone has a problem with that, they can take it outside and bring
me back a coffee when they go.

Life down here... well, it ain't England. It's too bloody hot is the main
problem. You want to know how hot? Try 86F in the shade, and that's at 5 pm.
Most of you will think nothing to this, but for those of us brought up in the
backwater that is the North of England, 71 degrees is more than enough. I need
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 going to
happen. It's going to get evern hotter, even more humid untill we're into

Still, in September, the dickheads it's my misfortune to be living with might
finally be gone. All of the present students will fuck off back to the uni to
go about their degrees, leraving me in relative peace. At least then I'll have
a room of my own with a lock on the door and a phone line, both of which are
advantages over what I have now. Now, I have to get online by pouring money
into time and java at webcafes. Or I can scam the occasional time online like
this at work. But neither is for long, and it's never, ever for long enough.
It's harder than you might think, living with restricted net access like this.
My ICQ list is shot to hell, since I can't transfer it. I've not spoken to a
lot of people in a lot of time, and of those I have spoken to, I have never had
long enough. It's one of the thinga that makes me pine for home, to have Lackey
and Skynet in the same room, both buzzing away, data flying between them. But
that isn't to be. All I have now is Lackey over my shoulder, my dictaphone in
my hand, and a faceless generic machine whenever I can. I don't even have a
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 beer,
even though I can't drink so I threaten to stub my cigaretter out in their eyes.
Indeed, that's what's so wrong with the housemates and the other students, but
I'll get back to that later. I was actually on a positive swing... Cigarettes,
oh there's a boon. A pack of twenty, Marlboro brand no less, costs siz marks.
Six fucking marks! In proper money that's two English pounds (to give you an
idea, in England the same pack would cost about four pounds twenty five - over
twice the price), and it very roughly translates to three dollars US ($4,000,000
Canadian). Food's also cheeaper. I can get a meal from McDonalds for less than
the English price, but not as cheap as the fags. Housing's about average,. but
most stuff works out cheaper than the English equivalent.

However, the flatmates and the guys at work are all drunken bastards. Three
nights a week minimum they're out on the piss, blasted out of their eyeballs,
removing brain cells by the bucketload. And they want me to be dragged with
them, because "It'll be fun, get some beer inside you". To which I reply "Fuck
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 have to
repeat the message every fucking night that gets me. Fortunately, that's cleared
up now I'm working. Now we're all working. No more unplanned departures, just
start at eight and do nine hours then piss off to go online. A couple of the
guys at work are okay, and they're the ones from Northern Ireland. I find it
typical that I get on best wityh the people from Porterdown, no fucking less.
The most ransacked, violent town in the first world, and I get on with them.

But I digress. That's what life has been like so far. Or at least, I hope it's
life. If it isn't, don't tell me.

* * *
As I walk the streets of the city, cigarette in hand, it amazes me just how full
of life and how... varied it can be. I use the fast food joint at Karlsplatz,
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 the
direction of Senderlinger Tor. Strange how just three minutes walk and the city
can change so starkly. The posh-ish hotels close to the Karlsplatz and the
better quality of restaurants and fast food jonts that you'll see from
Karlsplatz down to the Glockenspiel vanish in the space of three minutes.

They're replaced by the cheapest of hotels, fronting onto streets lined with
cheap computer shops with fag machines by the door selling Marlboro 100's and
Durex condoms, cheaper bars, and the cheapest strip clubs going. The city goes
from romancing the young man (or couple, though surely only a man would have his
eyes open on that stretch) like a well mannered lady, all perfect clothes and
perfect smile and develish underside if you look hard enough; to showering him
with cheap booze and spreading its legs wide for him, even going as far as to
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 to see.

The cheap Strip, as it were, (and here I intend the double meaning) offers on
the surface the same as the more upmarket area near Munchener-Freheit. But
wander down the streets of the latter, barely fifteen minutes on the underground
from my door, and you'll see families dining on the streets in front of pizza
restaurants and ice-cream parlours, bars and cinemas that will attract the kind
of people that have the money to eat there... A complete dichotomy. And I have
no idea why that is, ewhy the good and the bad are so close and but ninety
degrees at the wrong corner can throw you so violenntly from one to the other.

But, I have rambled too much. I finally got in after the hell of applying for
citizenship at two and it's half three already. I have a break at four, I intend
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 outdoors.

* * *

Stewart Wilson, the Digital Raven
Metropolis, 03 July 2001