Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cold Shoulder

As my plane headed into Berlin's Flughafen Schönefeld late Tuesday night, the pilot announced a temperature of -19°C (or -2°F). "Was?" said I to the flight attendant, "Minus 19 oder minus 9??" It was indeed true; within the city temps bottomed out at -17°C (1°F) for both Tuesday and Wednesday nights. It was fiercely cold, particularly as I was coming from a balmy 10°C in Madrid. As I write, there is still snow on the ground and I have a yen to do some cross-country skiing.

The cold shoulder, unfortunately, has continued, as I've still not been paid for the work I did at the end of last year, plus right now I'm working without even a contract. Honestly, I am contemplating a personal strike next week. The Lively German, being a strong advocate of class struggle, is right in my corner on this one. I was all ready to sign up for the struggle, something that's sorely missing in my life, and was picturing something on the order of Die Fetten Jahre Sind Vorbei (The Edukators), a little charmer that I recently revisited while following the thread of Daniel Brühl's work. Still, it has gradually dawned on me that Klassenkampf, in his mind, seems to involve nothing more strenuous than, well, simply not working. I'd hardly realized I'd nearly qualify as a class-struggle poster-girl for going on 18 months now! But I'm determined, starting Wednesday when my last scheduled contract gig ends, to struggle even harder....

Having been caught out traveling schwarz, yet again, and for the first time, deservedly, not being let off with a warning, I'm staring at a 40-euro fine at a time when cash-flow is, quite frankly, as iced-up as the streets outside my window. Does Klassenkampf extend to taking a stand against paying a transit fine in a capital city with shamefully under-subsidized public transit and far too many vehicles? Hmmmm, I'm still working on this one but suspect that my conscience will win out. The warm welcome I was given Thursday by the Foreigners Office, which unquestioningly extended my visa for another six months, makes me inclined to pay my debt to society. And the Lively German's just now calling me into the kitchen for a piping hot dinner. Warmer weather is in the forecast; we may even see the sun next week.

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