Of puzzle pieces and attraction that shouldn´t be

“It´s hightime for the Operation Silent Monkey to take action.”

     “What´s the Operation Silent Monkey?” I asked. “What´s that you keep talking about?”

     “Between us, man, that´s our departure”, answered Bene.

     “But can´t you just stay here? Like as long as we are here? I mean like forever? You know that you already belong to the bunch. No one wants you to go.”

     “Of course not”, said Hana. “I believe dat´s clear, jo?”

     “That´s why we´ve already contrived Operation Grey Hare”, said Peter and grinned as if he was about to put Hannibal´s cigarre between his teeth. “The violent take-over of an upcoming Erasmus reunion.” Continue reading


Strange times, Erasmian late nights

“Welcome to Abercromby Square!” bellowed Peter in perfect Michael Buffer style. “And as usual we have a late-night concert for you. Tonight it will be the wonderful Hana from the beautiful Czech Republic!”

The gang clapped. As the sun went down on the beautiful little park in between the university buildings, right next to my department of Ancient History, we sat on or in front of one of the benches, some bottles of wine with us, the seagulls wheeling overhead, and waited for the music to commence. Continue reading

Murder plans, ricochets and simple solutions

“I hate this fucker!”

Jonathan threw one of the darts as hard as he could, missing the bull´s eye only by a milimetre.

“Fuckgood shot. I could kill him, this little ass.” He threw another one. “Paul, sincerely, I could kill him.”

“Good lord, man, who are you even talking about?”

“Her friggin lecturer. Silke, she keeps raving about him, this punk. Oh, he´s sooo intellectual. He´s sooo interesting. He´s always so welldressed. Bah!”

He hurled his last dart against the wall.

“If I hear about him just one more time, I swear, Paul, just one more time, I won´t be able to control myself.” He smiled while he said it, but it was not clear what exactly that smile meant. Continue reading

Sexy faces, sexyfaces

Alessandro´s kitchen looked exactly like mine, or like Lucia´s, or like Hana´s. Or Malte´s. It bore the same dining table, the same overcrowded shelves, full of tins and cans, and the same oven that every week again would showcase an impressive display of grime and filth to be removed by hard-shrubbing cleaning ladies with loud voices and magic shrubbing devices (Jonathan loved chatting with them in his loud Bavarian English while they were at it, well-prepared as for any given fire drill with a cup of coffee, and flirting with them, laughing his Bavarian cannon shot). On the inside, Agnes Jones was Agnes Jones, wherever you roamed.

It was apparent that the international flock was bigger than I had believed it to be. Little Gracia from Brazil welcomed us by jumping on a chair and yelling for booze. We met Thomek from Poland, a tall handsome volleyball player, and one hell of a guy, who explained for me that Borat´s basic vocabulary was actually Polish. When I heard what he studied I believed Gaddafi´s son to be a student of the same subject, in Liverpool, which Thomek found interesting because that one time he had in fact talked with a Libyan guy, who got pretty angry when asked what life was like when ruled by a dictator. We laughed and wished Thomek a nice funeral.

Continue reading

All them Empires striking back OR: Why Chewbacca never pees

Pepe and I went for an open Question Time on climate change in the Student Guild´s Stanley Theatre, where university representatives and members of the green party talked a lot of sense but, as was often the habit of scholars, palavered and cross-referenced and lapsed into an infinite loop of mind parade never to come to a real conclusion. Only when the organizer of the event, a young lively alternative girl, all smiles and uncomplicated, stepped up to the stage in order to add her five cents, did some life come into this convention. We were supposed to move our own buttocks, to do something ourselves, multiply the message, bring it to the people and start the process by acting ourselves. It did not help complaining about those we despised for their bigotry and their reluctance to change the world for the better in a truly beneficial sense. I had a poster of Bush as the world´s biggest terrorist on my door. A very student-like form of protest of course. I was listening to Springsteen, Guthrie and Public Enemy and tried writing my own protest poetry. This chap had failed to sign the Kyoto charter, so much on the topic, but that was just one of the many evils he set into this world. Encouraging the flow of investment. “History… we don´t know. We´ll all be dead”, he said, and maybe he was right in a horrible, twisted way, just as Mein Kampf might have been on the right track when postulating that life was war, see the Clinton doctrine, and Clinton was who we liked much more, wasn´t he? but as heard yet again in the inaugural lecture of the new professor of ancient history the other day, neo-imperialism reigned the world. “We are an Empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.“ That was cynical post-modernism at its best. I had watched Winterbottom´s disturbing Road to Guantanamo recently. Perspective. One word, one idea might have several definitions, one definition might describe a million things. The world was amorphous. Continue reading

Conductor crushes and clubs from the outside

The five pounds we needed to pay as students for a classical concert were a wonderful offer. It was no wonder we tried to use this chance as often as we could. This time, they played Tchaikovsky and an almost unbearable Henze cello piece for us. We had ourselves some moshing bassists and old blokes banging the timbals, and after a waltzy Strauss evergreen, the principal timpanist, reigning lord of drums and thunder, was officially and with all honours sent into well-deserved retirement after bloody 41 years in the Philharmony to share the rest of his days in calm with his “long-suffering wife”. The auditorium exploded into applause, and I wanted to a) hug the old man and b) take over his instrument. For the glowing final of a brutal apocalyptic Stravinsky, he, for one last time, walloped his friends to the rhythm of the hyperborean conductor making love to his conductor´s stick, and I was just one step away from stage diving. Continue reading

Our first Performance – of naked audiences and shaky knees

So when we were on our way to the Academy Restaurant in the Liverpool Community College at Duke Street, he chatted with the pretty Turk and they laughed and still danced a bit more in the street. There was something about the way she touched his arm. I am not sure he noticed but I was pretty sure Agnes did.

     Ken, with Hana´s help, had organized a posh dinner for us, and the caravan was drooling over the ideas the menu had inspired. Chicken and Bacon gateau with apricot chutney, smoked haddock and bacon rarebit, corned beef pilaf, chicken sauté Bourguignonne, a tian of braised oxtail, lamb with potato Fondant, vegetable primavera, apple tarfait and other things I could not pronounce. Continue reading