Saturday, June 21, 2014

Oslo II (or III)

This time I was prepared. I didn’t hand over any more than 88 NOK for a beer. (Still €10.57!!!) It was a “large” beer though it was gone in a couple of gulps. I tried to make it last but to no avail. Admittedly it was delicious but I didn’t get another. I went back to the hotel. Sleep is free in Oslo.
There was free champagne at the “Strawberry Party” I had to go to at Oslo City Hall. That was good. There was free grub too. I stuffed as much of it into me as I could. Typical journalist. But it was good shit! These hobnobs know how to treat themselves. I had to desist from the champagne until I was finished work and by then the novelty had worn off. I had a glass and left. I reckon the only way survival is possible in Oslo is by getting invited to parties or events where drink and food are provided. Otherwise you need to lick the pavements for sustenance.
I hired a bike and cycled around as much as I could. Tove, a native, very kindly gave me loads of tips and brought me to the cemetery to meet all the interesting locals. The most interesting people in any city are invariably dead, occupying graveyards. They’re interesting for the stuff they did before they died of course. Now they just rest on their laurels.
And in this way I met Henrik Ibsen, Johan Sverdrup, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Henrik Wergeland, Christian Krohg and of course Edvard Munch, among many others…
They weren’t very chatty but Tove told me their stories and why their deeds warranted their honor of burial among the rest of Norway’s finest.
I worked the rest of the time, looking at fit people trying to run faster, jump higher, leap further, and fling a spear longer for a greater distance than anyone else ever before. These athletes are mad. They could be sitting in a pub. There was food at the athletics meet so I can’t complain. It kept me alive a little longer.
Oslo would be quite a cool little city if its prices weren’t exorbitant and despite its lack of abandoned or derelict buildings. It’s got plenty of candlelit and cozy little café bars – like Berlin only ten times the price. I don’t know how any of them had any customers. I gazed in at them in wonder with my face pressed against the glass. Then I left. Sleep is free in Oslo.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bielefeld doesn’t exist

Bielefeld was so crap this time that I didn’t take any photos of it. I don’t need to insult anyone’s eyes.
I seem to remember my last time was alright, perhaps even enjoyable, so maybe my hopes were too high this time around – I thought it might be passable. I was sorely disappointed. It’s bloody expensive for a start – €3.90 for döner, €4.40 for a durum döner. I forked out for the latter and it was disgusting. A rabid dog on the verge of starvation wouldn’t have eaten it. I did, so I don’t know what that says about me…
Saturday night in the center and the streets were either empty or taken up by boy racers tearing around, their intelligence inversely proportional to the noise they could make.
Thankfully there are Spätis in Bielefeld. I got beer and went back to the hotel room. Sleep brought relief.
Some people say Bielefeld doesn’t exist. It might be wishful thinking. But if you say it enough times it might be true. Bielefeld doesn’t exist. Bielefeld doesn’t exist…

I did take a pic after all, of the station as I was leaving. The other is from nearby Halle, where I had to go for work.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Wieder Wohnungssuch

Here we go again. I’m back on the Wohnungssuch and I need to find a place by the end of July, or August at the latest.
The girl I’m renting this place from needs it back. She’s coming back from Madrid a year earlier than planned. She’s been very nice about it all and of course I can’t blame her – we both knew what we were getting into when I took the place in the first instance. I was only a guest.
The best option for me would be to get a place with a proper contract, not sublet again, but the prices have been going through the roof. They were already through the roof when I was looking last year. They’re well above the roof now. Berlin’s property speculators have a lot to answer for. It’s a feeding frenzy out there now…So I’ll probably end up subletting again and going through the same rigmarole all over again in a year’s time. It’s a pain in the arse. Of course, I’m presuming I’ll get a place this time around and that I won’t spend the Berlin winter squatting in one of its abandoned buildings. At least there are enough of them.
She told me nearly a month ago but I’ve been so discouraged/busy that I haven’t been able or willing to face up to it. I’ve cast enough glances at the internet to ascertain I won’t find an apartment there.
But fuck it, I’d better start looking. I still dream of that Fernsehturmblick. If you hear of anything let me know.