Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Still there

The fuckbag builders are still there. One of them started shouting at me from the roof when I was bringing Nip to the Kita this morning. This from the other side of the street. I looked up at him, ignored him. He started shouting at me again when I looked up again. Wanted to know the number of the apartment block he was on. He and his pals have only been there since May. I could barely bring myself to tell him to fuck off.

You'll notice even fewer leaves on the trees now. I'm just surprised they put up with the noise for so long.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A scare at bedtime

It's a bad sign when the nurse is jabbing the needle into your arm muttering “keine Ahnung” under her breath.
If you've no fucking idea what the hell am I doing here?!
But there I was. I could only look up at the ceiling and hope she managed to figure it out sooner rather than later, trying not to think of the needle sliding in.
She kept jabbing away furiously, first in one vein, then another, until finally she got the damn thing in. She drew out the blood. It wasn't reassuring.
This was Friday night. I checked myself into Charité after work because I had severe stabbing pains in my chest. They were fucking painful, even impacting on my work, and no matter what I tried I couldn't get them to go away.
I looked up the internet, all it said was “heart attack” or “get checked out right away.” The pains were still there when I finished my report and told an editor in London. He reckoned I should get checked out too.
Charité was around the corner, on my way home and I figured they'd know if I was having a heart attack or not.
When your wan was jabbing away I wasn't so sure anymore. She stuck a load of sticky pads to my chest, arms and legs and clipped on a load of cables to some machine. It reminded me of poor oul' Nip that time he was in Friedrichshain after his fall.
He was much braver than I was though. I was pretty worried. I wouldn't have been there otherwise, I avoid hospitals and doctors like the plague. I pictured Jenny and Fionn's faces as I left them that afternoon – sort of sad, happy expectant faces – then told myself to cop the fuck on. I was in the hospital now. If there was something wrong with me they'd fix me.
Thankfully the nurse went off after printing some reports, and I was left looking at the wavy lines going across the screen. I didn't feel good.
They wheeled in some oul' wan beside me. She'd come by ambulance and was moaning like she was trampled by an elephant. I'd come by bike and wasn't moaning at all. At least, I don't think I was. I don't think she was trampled by an elephant either. They pooh-poohed her, hooked her up to some liquid and left her groaning in the bed. There was a curtain between us so I couldn't see her but I could hear her. I think she was drunk.
Then Dr. K. Zhang came along, introduced herself, started asking me loads of questions and chalking off the replies on her board. She was very pleasant, listened to my chest and back, and generally made encouraging noises. Then she said they'd have to do more tests, take more blood – in four hours. Bollocks. I was already wrecked and had to get up for work in the morning. She left and I was back staring as the ceiling, listening to the oul' wan moan.
Some fella came in on the other side, sounded heavy, sat down on the bed. Again, a curtain meant I couldn't see him. A nurse came in, started with the questions. Turns out he was diabetic or something and had problems with sugar intake or that. It didn't run in his family apart from his mother who was 70 and his brother who was older than him. He said he'd some problems “down there” but was prescribed a cream containing cortisone which worked for a few days until he stopped using it and “then the itching came back.” Then they started talking about his shite, literally. Apparently there were no problems the previous few days and he'd had regular shites up to then.
Thankfully he was picked up by someone shortly afterward and I was back to looking at the ceiling. The oul' wan had stopped moaning. I presume she was asleep. I kept looking at the ceiling, waiting, waiting.
There was some brief respite the oul' wan got up to go to the toilet. In fairness, she wasn't that old, she just thought she was. She stood up, tried walking out, stopped in front of my bed, swaying, all the while moaning every so often. Then she puked out in the corridor. I could hear her retching. I looked up at the ceiling. Why the fuck am I here?
She came back a while later. I guess some poor sod had to clean up her mess. She went back to bed, moaning.
I kept looking at the ceiling, or checking the phone coverage in case Jenny was trying to ring. There was no point in me ringing, but she might be worried if she noticed I still wasn't home.
They tried getting rid of the oul' wan some time later, told her she was grand. The doctor/nurse fella was getting really pissed off with her, even telling her she was talking “Quatsch” as she kept moaning about one thing or another. I felt like telling her there were people in the hospital with real problems (others, not me) and that she should be thankful. But what kind of shitty life must she have if she wants to be in a hospital? Your man got her out to the corridor, started berating her for moving so slowly. Then she came back and went back to bed. I thought they'd come with armed guards to throw her out but they didn't. Some time after that, she got her bag, swayed a last time for my benefit, and left.
By 4.30 I just wanted to go. The pains were gone, I was knackered, and had to be up in the morning. Finally another nurse came along, took more blood, did more tests, bogged off. I expected I could go home but there was no sign of anyone. Eventually, I went out to reception, found the original incompetent nurse and she said it could take an hour for the second test results. An hour!
When Dr. Zhang finally did come back she said they couldn't find anything, that I should see a cardiologist if there were any more issues. I asked what the problem could have been and she suggested perhaps a nerve or something. She didn't have a clue. She mentioned I had either too much or two little of some hormone that produces iodine, that it wasn't serious but I should get it checked out sometime. Once you start with these doctors they want to keep your business.
Eventually, fucking ages later, I got out, pointed the bike towards bed and left. Of course the fucking pains started again as I was going up Bernauer Straße along the Wall. But nothing like before. Aftershocks I suppose. I looked over toward the Fernsehturm but it didn't blink at me, it was gone, hiding behind mist or cloud. I felt so alone.
Thankfully I got home and the next day it seemed like a bad dream. I was so grateful to be sitting at my desk again, happy to get home again, happy to have trivial meaningless crap to worry about, like will I get a new phone or what kind of camera lens do I need.
More people were killed in Syria meanwhile but no one gives a shit. It's old news, and others – like me – are caught up in their own trivial little lives, lives so trivial we almost always forget to be grateful.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Farewell Facebollox

I pulled the plug on the failed experiment that was Facebollox. Gone, vorbei, tschüß! I had to give my password again and jump through another hoop to delete the fucking thing permanently. Even then they want 14 days before putting it out of its misery forever, but I've wiped my hands of the whole thing.
I had 205 “friends” in the end. Not bad for something I put no effort into and practically never looked at. I'm sorry, Tam, that our friendship was so brief. It lasted only as long as it took to end my Facebook life, but I hope you realize it wasn't you that pushed me over the edge. I'd already decided long ago I'd had enough.

Here's the (corrected) Facebollox suicide note I left behind a week or so ago:
Dear Facebook friends, Berliners, countrymen, women and children, and any others whose eyes may fall upon these words – not literally of course, that would be most unfortunate – I am writing to tell you I'm pulling the plug on my involvement in this experiment in frivolous futility.
In truth, I was never much involved in it to begin with. I've left that to others, and the sheer futility of their frivolity has put me off contributing my own.
I originally signed up to publicize the blog for some strange reason, a cry for help perhaps, but have since nurtured a 'je ne donne pas un merde' attitude to all things attention-seeking and time-consuming. Time is precious. Attention is nice, but it's not precious.
I've also developed a healthy suspicion of all the “friends” I've managed to gather despite never having met, seen or even heard of most of them. My suspicions are founded on the realization it's easier to make friends on Facebook that enemies in reality. Something ain't quite right there.
I only ever managed to stay logged in for short periods before panic set in and I left hastily in a flurry of curses, angry at myself again for having wasted part of my life reading some unknown friend's description of their new toothbrush, fending off invitations to take part in games involving sodomy and animals, or realizing with dismay that real friends were sending me messages already well past their reply-to date. It's easier to make enemies on Facebook than friends in reality.
That's the thing. I treasure my friends, my real friends, I really do. I like meeting them, talking to them, writing to them, joking with them, finding out how they're doing, but all that shit is so cluttered by the other shit that there's no time for the real shit.
By discarding Facebook friends – deleting them with the push of a button (if it's that easy) – I hope to reclaim real friends, reconnect with real people. If nothing else it'll cut out an unnecessary distraction, allowing a little more time for other unnecessary distractions.
So this here account will be gone, vorbei, in, say, a week. Fuck it, there's no point in dragging it out any further. If I remember to log in again in a week's time I'll delete it then.
I'll still be contactable of course, and would be delighted to welcome as many of you as possible into my other Facebook-less world. I'm on Twitter (https://twitter.com/IrishBerliner), on the blog (http://www.irishberliner.com/) contactable by email (surname first-letter-of-my-first-name @ gmail dot com, all without spaces), and of course by phone (which I ain't gonna give here, I'm not crazy).
As I type a child is crying. Perhaps he doesn't like goodbyes either. More likely he just needs attention. Like we all do.
Slán agus Alles Gute,
Der Irische Berliner.

That was it. I made it sound like I was leaving with a heavy heart, but the long and short of it is that I quit Facebook because it's shite. Others may like it and I'll respect their deluded opinions but as far as I'm concerned it's shite. I'm not the only one. Jean Hannah Edelstein summed it all up beautifully in The Guardian.
I do reserve the right to shamelessly abuse Facebollox at some stage in future if commercial reasons for doing so make themselves apparent. For now, I have neither the wherewithal nor the will to even wonder what those reasons could be. It's time to move onto other things.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Vorsprung geht weiter

Me head's fried already. In at the deep end now. Deutsch C2. You can't get any deeper than that. There are no more courses, so I guess I'll know every German word there is once I finish up. And the articles too. I'll be as fluent as a Thüringer Wurst. Hahahahahahaha!
Wurst, I'll be lucky to survive. It was the first class tonight. Four hours. Four hours in the deep end!
“It is the German who is so uncourteous to his verbs,” Sherlock Holmes once observed. My fellow students did not give a Scheiße for courtesy, each yakking away in German at 1,609.344 kilometers an hour without even thinking of all the verbs they were sending to the ends of sentences.
To be honest, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Perhaps Frau Kriechel is easing us in gently. I understood pretty much everything, took notes, even threw in my own two and a half cent at the end, when we had an interesting all-in discussion on what makes a happy community, turning into what's happiness, what's freedom, are the two even connected, do freedom and material things bring unhappiness and so on. It was great highfalutin stuff more suited to a pub, but then the alcohol might have imbibed the falutinness.
I was sorry when the previous course ended. Poor Frau Klebe was sad too. “Ihr waren eine nette Gruppe,” she said, all choked up with emotion as we bid our Auf Wiedersehens.
Renate, as we all called her, was ridiculously nice, bringing us an little excursions when the weather was good, giving us little prizes when we got things right, and generally doing all she could to coerce this incoercible language into us.
One of the places she brought us was the Dorotheenstädtischer Friedhof, crammed with the dead and famous, some of whose graves are pictured here. It's well worth a visit.
Renate also gave me an appreciation of this under-appreciated language. I give out about the grammar and sentence structure – fucked up – but German has given the world some wonderful words.
Es war kein Ruhmesblatt (It was no leaf of glory), was how Renate described the Polizei's actions – or rather lack of them – during the Rostock racist riots 20 years before. Not to be confused with Kleeblatt which is shamrock.
I also learned zwitschern is what birds do in Germany, brummen is what bees do, and an Augenwischerei is how you describe someone's words when they're talking crap. These are all important things to know when communicating with the birds, bees and locals here.
Thank you, Frau Klebe. Mrs. Glue if we're to translate your name. You see? Some of it did stick.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Teufelsberg update: The devil in the mountain's details

I’m not sure the owner of Teufelsberg would approve if he knew exactly what was going on there. But he’s got bigger fish to fry and so he’s entrusted its care to a third party which, he says, has a “freie Hand” to run tours.
The third party is Berlin Sight Out, which advertises its weekend tours, but keeps its “unofficial” weekday tours on the quiet, particularly after all that unwanted attention it received after thousands turned up for a mega party in August.
Hartmut Gruhl, the Cologne-based architect whose company owns Teufelsberg, was surprised when I told him two guys posing as security demanded money for me to go visit the site.
“They’re lying then,” he said.
But perhaps they weren’t.
It turns out that the two goons who threatened me on Wednesday work for Berlin Sight Out. They just lacked the wherewithal to tell me at the time.
Shalmon Abraham leases the site from Gruhl on behalf of Berlin Sight Out, and he was even able to describe one of the goons, the less-threatening one, who happened to be a friend of his, Ahmed.
“He’s very sweet. He’s certainly no squatter!” he laughed.
I asked him if there was anyone living on the site. He categorically denied it.
“There are only temporary places,” he said. “The squatters moved out last year.”
Gruhl and his business partner, Hanfried Schütte, bought Teufelsberg as an investment for 5.2 million Deutschmark in 1996. But their plans to build apartments, restaurants, a five-star hotel and spy-museum have stalled since for one reason or another.
He appears to have washed his hands of the whole thing while its long-term future remains uncertain.
“I can’t tell you anything about the security or tours at Teufelsberg. That’s all in the hands of a Berliner. He looks after security and has a free hand to do what he wants with tours and that,” he said, before giving me Abraham’s details.
Yet Gruhl was surprised when I told him security guys were demanding money to go look at the ruins.
“That can’t be happening, they’re gone now,” he said, referring to eMGe, the previous security company.
I guess the only reason there’s security at all, seeing as the place is thrashed to shit, is for insurance purposes, to prevent Gruhl and Schütte from liability if anyone was killed or maimed there.
Berlin Sight Out venture makes sure no one wanders around. Visitors have to be accompanied by a guide, or – to put it another way – they have to pay.
I’m not sure if Gruhl and Schütte are liable if the security guys killed or maimed someone.
“We take care of security,” Abraham said. “We can’t have people simply running around. It could lead to problems.”
He pointed out that tours are “much safer” and that “it’s illegal to come through the fence.”
It’s fucking hard too, making it more likely people will cough up the €15 to take part in one of the two-hour tours at weekends.
“During the week we make sure it’s closed,” Abraham said.
Artists are allowed onsite, however, as are people who pay €7 for a “kurze Führung” if at least ten people show up at the gate. The short tours are one hour long, with less information than a proper tour.
Abraham didn’t want them publicized, however. “We don’t advertise them.”
I guess this is why his friend had been demanding money, despite the fact I wasn’t accompanied by nine others and despite not mentioning any tour. The word he used, in fact, was “Eintritt” (admission), which leads me to believe I wasn’t being offered a tour.
Abraham dismissed the notion that any security guards could possibly be pocketing any money for themselves. “Definitely not!”
He said there used to be signs informing visitors of the tours “but these were destroyed. We’ll have to make a new sign so people are more aware.”
I’m not the first to run into problems but Abraham didn’t apologize for his employees who – if we’re being pedantic – assaulted me.
“Security people by their nature are quite often aggressive,” he laughed. “This happens every day ... sometimes it escalates.”
He was much friendlier than his employees, however, evidently keen to avoid further scrutiny after thousands showed up for the party on Aug. 4, when he “underestimated the power of the internet.”
“I’d never seen such a long queue before,” he said, admitting and it led to “a bit of stress” from the authorities.
But he’s within his rights to charge money for bringing visitors around Teufelsberg. The fortified and oft-repaired fence discourages people from conducting their own unaccompanied, impromptu tours. The security too, of course.
The situation might not change for some time, with Teufelsberg’s future still uncertain.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” Gruhl said. “Herr Schütte is involved in negotiations with the senate and the district.”
This is Berlin so I think it’s safe to say all boils down to money - for everyone involved.

So there you have it folks. I’m not sure it’s a satisfactory outcome, but we know a bit more than we did before. I’m sure there’ll be more updates to come.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Teufelsberg update: Beware the devils on Devil's Mountain!

I'd been getting a lot of bad stories of people being threatened, bullied and – in short – exploited at Teufelsberg so I've decided to get to the bottom of what's going on. I went there today.
I circled the perimeter edge looking for a convenient hole in the fence but didn't find any so simply hopped the front gate. Fuck it, I wasn't hiding from anyone. I wanted to see what was going on.
I walked up the main entrance, saw a car ahead, heard voices, kept going. As I rounded the corner and made to go past them a guy came over straight away. Demanded money. Why? Because it's private property and you can't simply walk around.
I asked who he was. He said it wasn't important.
I insisted. He said he was working for the security company. Wouldn't tell me the name of the security company.
I asked for ID, some proof of who he was. He refused.
I said I didn't believe him, he could be anybody, and that I was going on ahead to take pictures. I told him the site belonged to an investor group based in Cologne and it was up to them to decide who could go and who not.
He continued on about the security company. I again asked for proof.
“You can look it up on the internet,” he said. He still wouldn't tell me the company name.
I again asked for proof, something to fucking look at.
“I don't need to show you anything.”
You do if you want money from me buddy.
I showed him my press ID, told him I was going ahead to take pictures and I wasn't giving him money.
He laughed at the press ID.
“That's no good to you here.”
Then I started taking photos of him. He seemed surprised at first, then he laughed, stuck his tongue out, raised his fingers at the camera.
I went to move past him and he started shoving me as the aggression levels were rising. I went to walk on. He went in front of me, started pushing me back.
I warned him to be careful not to overstep his bounds.
He kept shoving me back. I held my ground.
Then another guy came around the corner, from the direction of the main domes, with two or three tourists in tow. He charged over straight away, shouting. He pushed me back, put his face in my face. He was scowling, his face contorted with rage.
He was much bigger. A thug. A thuggish thug, as opposed to the mere goon I'd already been talking to.
I had pretty much the same conversation, wanted to see some proof of who they were. I said the site belonged to the Cologne investment group and that they were the ones to decide who should go in etc.
“I live here,” the thug said.
He had a clipboard in his hand and I asked to see it. It was filled in with the names and addresses of people, but I couldn't see any mention of any security group, Cologne investment group or tour agency.
He threatened to call the police.
“Call the police,” I replied. The police would have been welcome at that stage.
He said the owner of the investment group was off doing a tour and that I could talk to him when he came back – but that I'd have to wait at the gate for him. He named a name. It didn't sound like the name the head of a Cologne investment group would have.
I took a picture of him. I think the fact I had pictures of them put them off hitting me. That, and the tourists, who were still standing by awkwardly. I guess they would have been witnesses.
But I knew at this stage I couldn't get past without risking some serious violence. This guy was just itching for me to make the first move so he could retaliate. I'm not crazy. I knew I was pushing my luck.
I agreed to go back down to the gate to talk to “the owner.”
He asked me to delete the photos. I refused.
As we were walking back to the gate, he made a wanking sign and said, “You can take your pictures and do this with them.”
A thug, and clearly a wanker too.
As I was leaving, some couple I had already met outside looking for a way in arrived at the gate.
“How much is it in?” the guy asked me.
“I don't know. I didn't bother asking,” I told him.
The thug forgot about me. He had customers.

So I didn't get to the bottom of it, but I will. It seems pretty obvious the guys charging people admission are fraudsters. Whether they're squatters, or security charged with looking after the premises but taking advantage of it on the side, or whether they're entitled to rip people off remains to be seen. As soon as I find out what's going on I'll let you know.

The pictures here were taken on a previous visit in 2010, apart from the photos of the security guys. That's the thug on the left, the goon's on the right.

UPDATE: November 17, 2012 - I spoke with Teufelsberg's owner and with the guy he has entrusted with security on the site. Full details are here: http://www.irishberliner.com/2012/11/teufelsberg-update-mountains-devils-in.html 

Another black day to be Irish

I don't know of any other country that shits as much on its citizens' notions of pride as Ireland does. Time and time again.
Today I woke up to the news that a woman was allowed die so her dying baby wouldn't die ahead of time. Now they're both dead, but University Hospital Galway's conscience is clear. It upheld Ireland's good catholic morals, even at the needless expense of life. You can't get much more catholic than that.
Whoever was responsible should be done for murder, manslaughter at the very least, and then slapped repeatedly for stupidity. It won't be any consolation to the husband who lost his wife for no good reason, but maybe a lesson will be learned somewhere along the way.
I felt sick reading the news. It's 2012 for fuck's sake! If you missed it, here it is: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2012/1114/1224326575203.html
Coming after the sex scandals and child abuse, the bishops' cover-ups, the bailout, you name it, it's another ignoble mark of shame for a country that seems to specialize in them.
I'm generally extremely proud to be Irish. On days like this I have no idea why.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Snotshot of madity 9: Lanternfest

This one most definitely falls into the “Snotshot of madity” category. It may be the maddest shotshot yet. Lanternfest! Another of those occasions that has me convinced Germans are crazy and probably beyond any hope of salvation.
It was last Thursday. The Kita was abuzz with excitement. Little people swarmed around at knee-level, all wearing enough for a camping trip to Outer Siberia, while regular-sized people stood by awkwardly, watching over their little monsters, each convinced theirs was the best but prohibited from announcing it by Höflichkeit.
They were all waiting out on the pavement when I arrived on the bike, late. I threw it against a tree, and the best little monster came up and gave me a hug. “Let's go!” (He actually says “let's go” accompanied by jumping up and down, whenever he wants to get going, which is quite often, but he says it in such a cool way that you cannot refuse.)
So this was the Lanternfest that I'd heard all about. Apparently it's German custom to give kids sticks with lights dangling from their ends inside lanterns and then lead them on a procession, singing, through the streets. Warum? Keine Ahnung. But do it they do, and the excitement was palpable as they all waved their sticks about and trampled each other before we set off.
I forgot to mention the weather. It was raining, gloomy, nearly dark, but that didn't deter the Kita wardens from singing loudly as we set off down the road, kids and parents in tow.
Despite all their apparent enthusiasm, the Nip didn't seem too bothered about carrying a stick with a light on it, and he promptly discarded it like an unwanted kitten. Jenny picked it up off the road and she carried it. Then I had to carry him. He really is getting lazy. Though I could empathize. The weather was fucking miserable and we were walking down a road where all there was to see was building sites and rubble.
The sticks were such shite quality they were in danger of giving China a bad name. We had two of them and neither worked. One of them was supposed to play music and all, but in the end I'd to bring it back to the shop and demand my money back on account of its shiteness. Of course it worked when your wan tested it in the shop, but at that stage I had enough and I demanded my hard-earned €6 back regardless.
I've heard proper Germans use real sticks, with real candles and real fire in their lanterns, but it seemed everyone on this procession had the same shite-quality plastic ones, albeit some brighter than others, an unintended reflection on the kids themselves perhaps. I don't know what that says about poor ol' Nip, who had to suffice with two plastic ones that didn't work before borrowing another that was so crap he threw it away.
There was only so much I could take. It was cold, wet and getting dark. It was best to remember it just the way it was. Apparently there were cakes and drinks back at the Kita afterward, but then an occasion crowned by Kaffee und Kuchen is no longer an occasion at all.

Apologies for the crap pictures. The light was bad as I mentioned before and the subjects moving. If any better pics become available in which no other kids are identified I'll update accordingly.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

A paper trail too taxing for the Finanzamt

So get this. I recently paid my 2011 taxes – thousands in hard-earned money – and the Finanzamt won't send me a receipt! Not even an oul' scrap of paper to say, “We got yer money, sucker, now fuck off and get back to work.”
No, not a peep out of them. They just take the money and, well, sit.
What gets my goat (in case you were wondering what happened him) is that this is the same Amt that demands forestloads of paperwork – receipts, invoices, contracts, bills, statements and anything with numbers or that might be considered a form – before it rouses itself to consider your existence.
Of course if you didn't pay your taxes, through forgetfulness or otherwise, they'd be on your back like hot snot, firing demands and solicitors' letters through your letterbox faster than a drone on crack in Pakistan.
But I didn't forget, nor did I hesitate, being the (mostly) law-abiding model citizen that I am, and had taken my mountain of paperwork to an accountant back in January. (There was no way in hell I could figure out all that bureaucracy alone. I tried, but it was futile.)
She needed more forms, so I'd to go back to her in February. She needed more forms, so I'd to go back to her in March. She needed more forms, so – no, she had enough in April – so we met again and I scrawled my scrawl and we sent the whole lot off.
Not a thing from the Finanzamt for months. Eventually I wondered if they wanted any taxes at all. (Being officially self-employed, I put money aside every month, and I was keen to know if I'd saved enough, if I'd have anything left over, or if I'd have to fork out more than I'd saved, ushering in the excitement of a life of crime.)
Like I said, there wasn't a peep from them, nothing. So I asked the accountant in September what the story was, she rang the Finanzamt and found they were still working on it.
“Sie hat sich, glaube ich, ein bisschen gewundert, dass Du Dein Geld so dringend los werden möchtest....”
(I think they were a little surprised that you were so desperate to get rid of your money....)
They weren't surprised for long. The bill came a couple of weeks later. I promptly paid it, by bank transfer into their account. Now, it was a sizable sum of money, not colossal, but I didn't transfer it lightly. Still, I was surprised at the lack of endorphins it released.
I was a little anxious in case I sent it to the wrong account, in case I got a number wrong somewhere, in case I had unwittingly made a generous donation to some undeserving soul who'd as likely give it back an Irish businessman.
So I got back in touch with the accountant, who evidently has the patience of a saint, and she told me that the “Finanzamt doesn't send a receipt or acknowledgment when the money arrives.
“In any case, if something didn't work out you'll get a warning from the FA about a month after the due date.”
So that was it. I didn't know if some fucker was living it up in Monaco at my expense, or if I'd have to pay my taxes again.
A fucking receipt! Is that too much to ask for?!
The accountant seemed surprised by my outrageous demands, but she's a good egg, and she took action.
“Right, because you were so worried, we simply rang the Finanzamt and: The money's there. Everything's cool....”
So I was relieved. But I think I'm entitled to ask once again: Is a receipt too much to ask?

Friday, November 02, 2012

Jayz it's gone all fancy!

The blog looks different now as you may have noticed. If you didn't there's something wrong with your browser. Of course there's a chance you aren't reading this at all, that you can no longer read the texts because you're too put out by all this flathúlach carry on and have no idea what to be clicking. If so, I apologize. Not that I need to, for you aren't reading this at all...