Things which make the dark days bearable

  • A busker in the subway playing the violin so absorbed, he almost forgets to stop and collect the money. His wonderful and emotional music almost brought tears to my eyes and a huge smile, not just from me, but also on the faces of the other commuters
  • Two young dark-skinned girls tell an elderly white guy smoking in the subway: “Show some respect!”, and an elderly woman thanks them for it. The smoker hides in a corner and kills his cigarette. Nice to see “Berliner Schnautze” (Berlin Big Mouth) is a tradition still going strong :).
  • Alexanderplatz: Woman in her 60s carrying part of her Xmas shopping in a paper bag. The bag splits and her things fall out, luckily on a bench. An elderly guy sitting on that bench asks if he can help, but she’s already pulling out a fabric bag from her handbag, murmuring “stupid paper bags”. The guy agrees, but tells her to see it positively: at least the stuff didn’t drop when she was walking the wet streets. She nods and says: well, still it is better than plastic bags.
  • Too many shoes in the free shop. So I take some with me and display them on my window ledge. Many of them are gone the next day. When I go to work, I see a guy taking a pic of the row of summer high heels.
  • Almost all of them are gone when I come back from work. Strangely enough, the winter boots are still there. I put them on the corner of the main street, in the hope someone wants them. Unfortunately, 3 days later, still no one took them. When I start my shift in the free shop, a well-dressed guy comes in with a bag. And he takes out those boots, yes those same boots, which were gathering dust in our shop for several years, and which I put on the streets. Some things are really hard to get rid off…
  • Free shop. We still have too many frikkin’ shoes. But they are needed too. We put some outside, and a guy comes by, shows me his leaking shoes, which he had stuffed with toilet paper, since he had no socks either. I quickly invite him in, and he not only finds shoes in his size, but also the socks, and quite a few other things to keep him warm on the street….

Blurp: This Boots Were Made for Walking…

Some 20 years ago, I walked past a “girlie boutique” (yes, the one’s I never frequent) which had a sale. In the window, a pair of heavy boots was for sale for only 5 guilden (2,50 euros). I bought them.


And wore them, and wore them. I think everyone knows me on these boots.

After 20 years of hiking up and down jagged mountains, carrying me through snow and heavy rain showers, after 20 years of wild dancing on parties, months of heavy work on the ship, and 20 years of muddy festivals… After at least 3 times new soles…

They have holes in the leather itself… They’re goners…


And I want them back. Or the same ones.



Now, I never really discovered a “brand” on them. Only a serial number (yes, seriously), and “hilace” as the type. Only after examining them this weekend, I found two small letters “A&A”. Which is probably the brand.


And the only thing the internet gave me is a small shoe manufacturer which makes fetish shoes.

Don’t tell me the best hiking boots I ever had were actually a pair of fetish boots…

P.S. Of course some people will be curious about the manufacturer. It’s indeed a very small, very specialist, british company called A&A Shoes Ltd.


Blurp: Another level for my guardian angel

Boing. My guardian angel just gained enough experience points to level up again.

By utter coincidence and complete stupidity I managed to get in the middle of the action (again), watch riot cops charge into an otherwise very peaceful antifascist demonstration (again), wonder if I should do something heroic, see the streetlights reflect in helmet and clubs, decide against the heroic thing, and just shake my old head while the “riot” (which consisted of two small smoke-bombs thrown on the pavement from the demo, and lots of pushing and clubbing from the cops) went back & forth for my eyes.

And am completely unaffected by it. Physically (hence the xp for the guardian angel) as well as mentally. Only worried about the kids in the demo, or the people who were hit.

I just get very, very tired of this, it is so unnecessary. But I guess if they had let the demo walk peacefully to the end point, the tabloids would lack headliners tomorrow, and certain conservative politicians can’t scream for more police to control our neighborhood.

*sighs deeply again and congratulates guardian angel on another level*

Blurp – An even darker view

I always hear I’m a pessimist. But today one of my colleagues managed to top even my blackest views.

During a meeting, we were worrying about the impact of the US elections on global environmental policy, considering the candidates for positions of power (for example, the EPA).

All of a sudden, one my colleagues loosely remarks “ah well, extrapolating the current trend, we might have to deal with the AfD leading the Environmental Ministry in a year time”.

I literally spit out my coffee…

(for people not living in germany: the AfD is the leading xenophobic party here, and shares the tendency towards conspiracy theories as well as a firm disbelief in anything having to do with (natural) science. They won considerably lately. Though still marginal compared to the trend in other countries)

Blurp – The Door to Summer (re-reprise)

Industrial gig & party in Overtime. Lemmy special at the Paranoid Club.
Sounds like a great combination.. Prolly is.

And I’m sitting here wearing my Garfieldfeet-house-shoes, the cat is sleeping on the pillow next to my monitor, having a hot cup of coffee, & mumbling “I’ve already BEEN outside today”, remembering warm summer nights riding on my bike through a lively neighborhood going back & forth to a party and ending up at a park with a klezmeh band playing…
where is that teleport device when you need it?

ok.. the cat just asked to go outside. I open the window. Cat complains.
There’s another frikkin layer of snow….
No way I’m gonna ride my bike anywhere.
*puts Garfield-houseshoes back on & makes another capuccino*

Blurp – The Door to Summer (Reprise)

seriously.. whoever invented the phenomena “winter” should be pushed off this planet.

Went outside for quick shopping. Had to take a warm shower to recover.

*desperately looking for the door to summer*

Blurp – Going Over The Years

Meet up with friends, go to party, see live acts, party more, go sleep.
Wake up with the smell of smoke in your hair, a slight tinnitus & the afterflashes of a scrobo, find consensus on where & when to meet with friends from far & near, hardly have time to shower & eat.
Off to more live acts, more party till early morning hours…
How come NYE & New Year’s day start to feel like Maschinenfest?

Blurp – Trainwrecking

Dear “Life”,
by now, my reputation for causing huge technical problems with public transport is so bad, my friends and family actually try to avoid taking a train if they know I’m traveling.
But really.. letting a ship wreck a train bridge between two countries in such a way, it prolly won’t be rebuild until 2020 just to make sure I barely make it back home?? Yougottabekidding….

Blurp – Hands Down the Drain (reprise)

How come when some alternative project asks for help with their heating or water system, I always end up repairing the sewage system??

Yes, I KNOW I posted this before. I fell for it so many times now.. And I really planned to stay clear from the sewage this time. *dangit*

Just utterly btw, there’s is no such thing as a drunk-punk-proof system to keep a poor lonely radiator in the men’s toilet from falling down after there’s almost no wall left to hang it from. I advised putting some bricks under it & pray the pipes hold.. thank goodness they were copper and not steel.

Blurp – The Door to Summer

Just like the old tomcat in Heinlein’s book
I’m desperately looking for the door to Summer…

*sighs* & remembers the sound of crickets when hiking up a mountain with 37 degrees celsius, the smell of hot steel enjoying breakfast & a good cop of coffee in the sun on deck of my favorite ship, the relief of a breeze standing near burning asphalt when hitchhiking or just the feeling of the air on a warm summer night in the local park…