Auf Wiedersehen Sprachkurs!!

On a quick update from before, I have been saved by the delightful Yemi and her spare phone. The newly bought one still won’t charge and shall be returned from whence it came, hopefully along with a reimbursement.

Now for something completely different… My days of sitting in a room, lost out of my head and panicking about letting everyone else around me down, can now be reserved for English spoken seminars! As the German Intensive Language course has finally ended! I entered the country not knowing a word and one month later… now know a few of them. Finally, no more waking up at 6am or struggling to understand what the teacher is saying (Unless they’re speaking in a welsh accent, then it’s allowed), and no more having to spend ridiculous amounts of money on pointless books and CDs.

What’s that? The English Literature reading list?

…oh

But alas! Never mind for tomorrow we be off to Oktoberfest… for once actually celebrating it during October!! In a group 30 mixed nationalities we are striding our way to the station ready to show Munich why foreigners should never be allowed onto German soil.

Here’s to getting

drunk/wasted/pissed/slizzered/crunked/gazeeboed/michaeljackson’d/applesauced/moist!

Hell-ular, Hoe-bile Phones

Let me tell you a little story. Upon arriving in Germany, I was met with the need to buy a German Sim Card for my mobular telephone, as the roaming charges of using an English sim card would be horrendous and completely unthinkable. So, like any well-mannered individual, I compared prices and rates, shocked at the high prices but continuing before settling on a T-Mobile sim card.

But what’s this? My iPhone is still sim locked for another 3 months? Good heavens, I’ll have to buy a new phone, the cheapest T-mobile offered being €40. So I shelled out this cost, like any well-mannered gentleman. However, a weird occurrence took place; after 3 days, I had no credit left despite topping up €15. I went into T-mobile to discuss this and they told me they would send a letter with all my transactions so I can see what is happening. Understandable. This letter never arrived, so 2 weeks later and no further credit, I entered T-mobile again, asking for it to be sent again. This time, however the lady offered to get it through fax. What was faxed instead was a letter for me to sign that I was who I was. Which never arrived. The next day I returned and signed the fax. A week later, I finally receive the letter! What luck! But hang on… I am being charged 30c for every text and 50c per minute for every phone call. Good lord! This is because T-mobile connected me to the wrong operator. I asked, like any mild-mannered human being, if they would reimburse me for their mistake. They would not.

So off to Vodafone, with their deal of unlimited internet and texting and 9c for calls, which I was not aware of previously. But goodness, my T-mobile phone is simlocked as well, and will cost €100 to unlock. So the iPhone, and see if I can jailbreak it, afterall, Jailbreaking is completely legal and the only downside is voiding your warranty. But hang on, I have the old iPhone, for which the new technology doesn’t work and has now crashed my iPhone, for which only a complete reset, including losing all nostalgic and sentimental texts, will solve this. So like any mild mannered organism, I decide to buy a completely new, cheap phone for €22.

The battery of which is now refusing to charge up.

Phones of Germany, as one mild-mannered civilian once stated… fuck right off.

Down, down, down. The Ring Of Fire.

Such is the tradition of entering a new land, those who are first to arrive seem to destroy whatever they want. Which is why last night we had an impromptu, messy but altogether awesome bonfire. I fear for the park wardens who climbed up the Philosophenweg mountain to find a field littered with bottles, cans, cardboard boxes and the remnants of someone else having a wonderful time that they had to clean up.

At this time, I hasted to add I was merely an attendee, I had little to nothing to do with the organisation of said event. So… point your blame somewhere else, please? Please? No? Well, ok, fine, I accept your blame, hypothetical reader.

In other news, I have put the novel on hold, creativity has struck on an old project, and hopefully such a public announcement won’t act as a curse but we shall see. The novel will continue to be written, but when all the melodramatic research and panics of writer’s block take hold, I’ll indulge in the short story; “My Messy Friend” a Tom’s Midnight Garden sort of fiction that hopefully I won’t find too confusing.

For now however, I am off to an Irish Pub to watch an English football game. But first, there is a German student downstairs playing Johnny Cash, I need to go so I can shake his hand.

Diagnosis please?

Since Friday I’ve been “ill”. A term so broad it can cover anything, not as bad as “sick” but somehow worse than “under the weather”… Though I have to question what being above the weather would pertain. This has caused me to miss classes as I have just been unable to pull myself out of bed, which is the excuse I’m sticking with. It feels like a 24 hour sugar low. Normally I function regardless of illness but this one, I’ve found quite incapacitating. (Just as that word is to pronounce)

Every morning I wake up in pain, each joint hurts and my eyes sting, I feel extremely weak. However, if I lie in bed for a while, this fades. What replaces it is a short time of nausea. I come very close to throwing up each morning. This, erm… “morning sickness” then goes of its own accord and I am absolutely fine. For a few hours. For about 4 hours or so of the day, I have energy, I can do all the normal stuff a 21 year old can do. However, as the evening comes on, I become incredibly drained and tired. Not sleepy, just… heavy, I feel like I’ve aged about 60 years. I go to bed, but am unable to sleep (though this is natural insomnia for me) I then finally do drop off and wake up ready to start this all again.

I think I’m pregnant.

 

Germany is not good for me.

Opening your wallet in the morning after a night out is always a harrowing experience, especially when your memory kindly reminds you two hours later that to add to the empty space that had been a set of notes, you had also taken out numerous cash from an ATM. Which is why waking up on Sunday and realising that somehow I had gotten through…

4 Pints of Beer, 1 Pint of CherryBeer, 1 Glass of Wine, 2 Pints of Strongbow, 1 Bottle of Wine, and half a bottle of Jagermeister

all for under €15, makes you realise that this country is not going to do your health any favours. I can’t, surely, expect to be mature and control myself, can I? Money was the moral voice telling you not to buy any more drinks at the end of the night. I suppose this makes up for everything else being so ridiculously pricey. But good lord.

In other news, I am well and firmly grounded in writer’s block. I’ve become so consumed in research and history that now I can’t see the words for all the facts. Writing a fictional story set during a recent period of history feels too close to home and no sentence I construct can even begin to realise the magnitude of what happened. I write, and then read it back, and then promptly curse ever wanting to be a writer. With plays, I feel comfortable; I enjoy dialogue and feel like I’m actually getting somewhere. But with prose, I become bogged down with the weight of sentence after sentence, trying to create the world, engage the reader and be respectful to the time period from which I’m sourcing. Worst of all is that I find myself looking for distractions because then at least I can pretend that what’s in my head will sound good when on paper, but I’m trying to get over that.

Be right back, there’s a fly in my room and it needs to be killed.

On this day….

2009: I was sat in my room in London, the car had been packed the previous night. My room was missing essential items, my laptop, desk lamp, little tidbits here and there were absent, even my teddy bear/dog Barker had left! All because they were stuffed into the car, ready to travel down south to Surrey University. It was moving in day. After getting into the car, shouting “WAIT!”, leaping out the car, running to the toilet, leaping back into the car, we charged down to what would be my new home, filled with expectations and butterflies.

2010: I was sat in my room in Surrey, having remained in Guildford for most of the summer. My housemates and I were sat with a beer (each, not sharing you fools) listening to the Student radio, GU2’s broadcast about the moving in weekend. We took ourselves outside, realising how much had changed, and toasting a cheer to having met on this day one year previously. This action caused beer to “accidentally” rain down like a fountain. Throwing on a new T-shirt, I headed onto campus, meeting up with some MADSoc friends, we observed the Surrey Angels helping newbies moving, ourselves offering to carry one or two suitcases before going for a drink in the Student’s Union as a reward for all our hard work.

2011: I am sat in my room in Heidelberg, writing this whilst staring out at the mountains before me. Distance is just another game to play with, and right now the only distance I need to worry about is travelling into town to celebrate the Heidelberger Hebst a massive festival that takes over the entire city, consider it the posh man’s Oktoberfest. Lots of beers and sausages later and my home away from home away from home will seem a lot more blurry.

To those back home, it’s the start of a new year. Show those Fresher’s what Surrey can do and just what they have to live up to.

Toasted Philosophies.

Ok, got your brain caps on? Right, I want you to imagine your kitchen. Yes, that’s the one, in all its cooking glory, with hopefully a sink, and maybe a floor if you’re lucky. Now, take that wonderful creation of household convenience and relocate it into the street next to yours. From now on, that is where you will have to go in order to cook anything, ever. You will have to leave your house, and walk down the street to enter your kitchen.

That is what the accommodation in Bonhoefferstrasse tells us to do. The kitchen for all Erasmus students is located elsewhere on the campus. We’ve now made it into a social event; “Cooking dinner at 7, yeah?” and go together, but the convenience is indeed gone. It is for this reason I have bought a toaster!! A kettle and microwave are on the soon-to-be-scavenged list, as soon as I can find cheap enough ones.

That’s about the most exciting thing to have happened to me.

We also, however, made a trip to the famed Philosopher’s Walk. A trip that essentially involved hiking up a mountain. In the blazing sun. Still, was awesome, and I felt very enlightened, I must say. I also got to forget which country I was in, and practise my Japanese when asking for directions to possibly the ONLY Japanese couple in all of Heidelberg. The fact they applauded me for saying that we didn’t know where we were going was a tad disconcerting.

Easy crowd.

 

Just found this.

This isn’t the original layout, so the flow is lost a bit, but a silly poem anyway. The original draft was about sitting on the toilet.

It’s a narrative poem, which is centred around looking from a differing perspective. You read it down the first time, and then read each line again, but going upwards, to see the other perspective of the story.

Down and Up Again

make a move

it’s time to

forget that idea

and just

stay where you are

they’re upstairs

waiting for you

it’s like they’re

judging

timing

whilst you sit there

too afraid to say anything

only one person

atop the stairwell to

heaven

you’ve been to hell and

back yet it’s like

they didn’t kiss you

they only waited

again

like all the times over

petty disputes

you fear those

awkward silences

let them become

too much

stop trying

self pity

give up

——-

Music, music everywhere and not a note to sing.

So the past few days have been rather music focused. Friday night saw an impromptu trip to see Friska Viljor perform life at a local gig. Joining fellow Surrey boy, Chris and the charming Germanic Ilena. Swedish band, sang in English. The following day, The Bonhoeffer crew found ourselves in Mannheim, attending a free music festival at the Schloss (Castle, lols), including some pretty operatic, yet awesome, covers of Queen. 

So… is it believed that singing in English is the best chance for international appeal? The only music genre I can think of that’s not dominated by the English language is Opera. And you know, that’s… well, Opera. Is English the most marketable language?

If so, why the hell am I learning German?! I don’t give a crap about Rammstein.

Short Story – No Future

The task: Write a short story in 24 hours based on a mood and setting given to you. It was a little game between me and ol’ Byron. This is the very first draft, no edits allowed. Were I to go further with this, a lot would be changed. But yeah, enjoy it and all it’s overwrittenness =)

No Future

It was the third bottle of champagne, broken skies and bubbled stories brimmed the sides of the glass. There were two more green bottles standing on the wall, emerald lyrics of nurseries long since gone glimmering across the walls. Through their effervescent pools shone the life of the electric stars just beyond the window, the sparks of insomnia that kept the city awake. Stars within stars within stars. It was dirt that created the bubbles, a chemical reaction that occurs even in the cleanest of the clean. Science amongst the poetry. The man clutching the third bottle began to pull, the opportunity for escape filled the bottle, its internal inverse patient. The cork burst, ejaculating foam.

Cheers and cries welcomed the new drug, as glasses and fervent hands caught the streaming fountain, the man waved the bottle above his head, spilling intoxication onto the plush flooring. Drowning in the frothing foam, with eyes shining stronger than the champagne stars, marks our present protagonist. Immersed but untouched, the fresh faced one washes his youth away with dollar upon dollar of the finest french fields have to offer. His innocent internals would take seconds to process the poison entering their system, for the next few minutes this boy was safe, for the next few minutes, this boy would be the hero to the party.

As the floor thrums and the walls heave, the corner shows a past not forgotten but unwanted. His lager heavy, dutch import and bitter to the taste of the innocents, the past stares at the present, bathing in fruits of another’s labour. Reflected in the bubbles rolling down the protagonist’s tongue were the mirrors of the past, a time when things were different. When things were, to those who lived it, undeniably better. A time when the present was the future.

Celebrating the camera’s final shutter, the people danced. The limbo of production surrounding them, as what they created was sent off to the darkened offices, reams of film coating the floor and empty energy drinks marking the chosen editor’s path through the picture. Tonight, the agenda was to party, to forget lines and throw the characters into a drunken haze of drink and dance, the upcoming star at the centre of it all, shining brightest under the coats of champagne bathing his sculpted features, whilst the has-been watches from the corner, the bitter tongue lapping the single pint.

There was a gap in the playlist, and the past began to move forward. As the next track began, the introduction setting the rhythm for the party, the past stepped to the beat. But pulled from under the stream of champagne, the present fell away from sight. Stopping in his tracks, the past watched as the assistant director hauled the present towards the bar. Dancing blurs of momentum filled his world as the past stepped back into the party. There was a tug on his arm and the past turned to see the award nominated costume designer, her eyes wide, glistening, she tugged again on his arm. She pulled him into the party, into the dancing circle which made every effort to consume him.

Contained within the guard of moving walls, the past found himself the centre of attention. The eyes watched him, the smiles kept themselves in place, sculpted into reality. A hand held his and the glamorous glitter girl of the posters pulled him close. Her breath on his cheek was hot, panicked. Their heartbeats unsynchronised, matching their own dance tunes. Hips melting together, the past felt her hands on his chest, the electricity pulsed between them as she held his attention. Her heartbeat increased as his heated exhale traced her neck, they danced out of time, whispering out of rhyme, she looked into his eyes whilst he looked through her, to the past, standing at the bar, a sway making its way into his pose.

The hand of the assistant director patted the present on the shoulder before making a glance into the dance square that had become of his living room. Human ornaments stood at the walls, engaged in conversation, tipping their glasses to one another. There was a final lingering look at the assistant director eyed the new rising star before parting from the bar, leaving the boy alone. Disengaging his dance from the girl in his arms, held by his breath, the past stepped away. She melted backwards, meshing into the wall of people behind her, a slipstream of synchronicity. Eyes followed and mouths dropped as the past stepped out from the circle of dancers, nothing but an empty space between him and the present.

Breaking apart, the circle fell into disarray, its axis creeping towards the young actor, standing alone, eyes glazed over. The past closed in, until there was contact, until they were within one another’s grasp. The terms and conditions of socialising broke down as the party moved in formation. Seperation was key. It’s a fable of time travel that the past and present must not touch. And as the past took the present’s hand, the continuum ripped apart. Contact had been made. The agenda was known, the party would be reduced to witnesses.

The past began to lead the present to the glass doors. It was time to act, each party goer felt themselves embossed with a new role. There were no rehearsals, no script. Just a life or death performance. Smile upon smile and joke after joke filled the room as every single member did their best to distract the new couple. Tight shirt and sparkling smile, the leading sex symbol approached the past, a drink in his hand and terror in his eyes. Break the contact. A girl, her hair raised to reveal the elegant structure of his shoulders, pressed herself against the present, smiling kindly, every breath pleading him to come with her. At all costs, break the contact. A new song hit the sound waves, a new bottle of champagne unloaded its icy cloak, dropping residue into the carpet. Do not let them go any further. An obstacle course of fake friends and previous promises marked the path to the balcony, but the past continued. Every drink refused, every dance rejected was a failure.

The party was the battlefield and the guests were the front line. Barricading the glass doors, they stopped at nothing. One hysterical girl even threw herself at the conjoined hands, her body fighting to break the connection, but the past would not let go and the present kept looking forward, completely unaware of what the party knew. The innocents know nothing of business, of the sacrifices made and the lengths people go to. The innocents know nothing of pure loss, as regret and terror eats away at the insides, consuming the soul, and as thus, could never relate to every other member of the party as they watched him pass over the threshold onto the balcony, leaving the glamour and lights behind for the brisk cold air and sharp chill of the city’s gasp.

The door slid shut, the grinding of metal on metal before finally snapping shut, encasing the sounds and hopes of those inside. The party became a murmur, a cinema screen of elegance and finance. God’s breath whipped the balcony, the flowers shaking in its wake as the past and present turned to face one another. Inside the host raised the fourth bottle of champagne.

The past smiled kindly at the present, his eyes showing none of it. The present grins meekly, his hero of old standing before him. Champagne bubbles tremble. They overlook the scope below, cars on a mission, lights igniting specifics and skyscrapers breaking the horizon. The bottle shakes vehemently. It was time to look down, over the balcony, the past’s hand on the present’s back. Eyes followed every movement as the cork began to break free. The present turned round to look up into the eyes of the past, his own inspiration, his own goal. The party goers watched every movement behind glass, the glare of their own reflection blurring the story. Past and Present share a moment, their faces inches from one another, eyes locked. The bottle bursts open. There’s a force on the past’s back. Froth obscures sight. Past and Present stare into each others eyes as they draw further and further apart. Contact breaks, as past and present separate, inch by inch, metre by metre.

The present looks up at the balcony above him, growing further and further away. Sound is awash in the city’s scream as he tumbles. Wind whips his body, causing a spiral. Dancing in the wind, the present watches window after window fly past, channel hopping life after life. Unable to find pause, the present fails to notice as the pavement passes right through him. Life leaves his side and his vision fades into cement.

The champagne calms down, as the sliding doors open. Hearts leaping and eyes flying, everyone looks to see the past, standing straight, his greatest performance etched across his face.

“He fell.”

Witnesses they were, silent they would be. The past became the future. No word was spoken, saltless tears were cried. Under the air of the tragedy, the film’s success rocketed. The future of the industry’s promise would be to carry on, where the present could no longer stand. Projected onto screens nationwide, the present would forever be remembered as a part of the past, his performance now history.

There was a fifth bottle of champagne, but no one there to drink it.

Previous Older Entries