To Rathaus civil servants in Siegen Germany

I doubted several times for writing it to the public, but today I could not hold it back anymore. Upon receiving a letter from Rathaus (city hall) Siegen, I know that I need to change my student residential status to job seeker status. Normally in Germany, student could get a 18 months jobseeker status. However, my passport is valid for about 16 months for now. So I called the Rathaus civil servant who signed the letter to me, here, pay attention, my question was only this — “do I need to renew my passport in order to get 18 months job seeker status, since my passport expires in 16 months?” In other words, I wanted to know whether issuing the job seeker status is in compaliance with the valid dates of passport, or say, whether it is necessary to renew my passport. 

Instead of answering directly “yes, it is according to your passport valid dates, so if you want 18 months, please renew your passport”, she said “If you don’t find a job in 16 months, I don’t think you could find a job in another two more months!”

Shame on me, I repeatedly said I understood what she meant, meaning, from her humiliating answer, I understood that it is according to my passport valid date. How simple could an answer be? And how low could I position myself in this situation? No one wants to have a word with them. But I wonder why should she stand on the moral high ground and judging people, making unnecessary judgements towards a situation that no one could literally tell? Who gave her the power? People?

I know it’s civil servants’ daily fun. When we complain about tea sipping, newspaper reading civil servants in China, in the Kafkasque castle sitting the same people, waiting to tell you how worthless and pathetic you are to be in a place that ranks high in all index world wide. 

This is not the first time, neither the last time I will come across this. In Rathaus, foreigners keep heads low, sucking on whatever they could give. Certainly, she doesn’t believe on the two months miracle.

But is it possible to ask these civil servants to open a tiny bit their mind? Not me, or any students, or any refugees deserve this. My wish to have a more improved situation is always there, alas, it’s not coming yet. It is disappointed to hear these words from civil servants, or civil serpents.

Perhaps, I’m writing it out of anger, out of revenge. It’s normal emotions echoing the “two month miracle” issue. Still, does it make her feel better for judging me not finding a job? I assume it does, otherwise, what kind of sick job disease is this. 

Proud of myself being polite from beginning to the end in the phone call. God bless the hollow statement “all people are created equal”. 

Slaughterhouse/Charnel house

4981Bought this book three years ago, much later than I heard this book (Slaughterhouse 5). I’ve read Vonnegut’s other books in translation, much earlier, but what only remains is “his attitude”, which later on I understood that it’s his black humour. I agree with the interpretation this time, not against.

My trip to Dresden was 6 years ago, and I don’t remember a single thing about it. Only when I tried to pick up the little delicate owl carving in an egg shell, the old shopkeeper told me not to touch it, because it was expensive. Alright, it was in an egg shell, tough call. I bought it. Displayed on the wine shelf in China, I bet nobody remembers or cares where this owl comes from.

After reading the book, I re-watched the video I took 6 years ago in Dresden. Windy and it was in front a busy river. I had no idea which river, and also no interest. The only thing I knew was the city was re-built after the destruction in WWII. Good work.

But Vonnegut told us, it was painful. Through the mind of Billy Pilgrim (what a wonderful name!), we saw those bloody faces and treasures on the corpses of dead people, doesn’t matter enemy or else. Recently heard a TED talk show, the therapist told us, the most efficient way of curing PTSD and constantly seeing a bloody face is to paint on a mask. We all wear mask after all.

Vonnegut also made time traveling not bizarre at all. It’s so normal under the dome of WAR. Sometimes, the humour does not make you laugh but clog your throat.

I didn’t know bombing Dresden was a bigger disaster than atomic bomb. Well, it’s wrong to say which one is bigger via statistic comparison. We all lose.

The book is a masterpiece. Worth reading.

And, yes, Susan Sontag told us, the world is a charnel house.

 

Fetching the Lost Inspiration (1)

Ramon stopped in front of a suntanned, appealing adolescent, naked under his shorts, who was selling masks of the faces of Balzac, Berlioz, Hugo, Dumas. –Milan Kundera The Festival of Insignificance  p.5

A cup of Sage tea on the right, it’s my Lost & Found. Midnight inspiration was interrupted by a regular celebration of life from upstairs regardless neighbours, I should feel alive, shouldn’t I ? Realising half of the 2016 has been already left behind, forcing myself to restart with writing on the almost longest day in the year would work. At least, it shows the significance of this fetching of insignificance.

Thoughts started on this Sunday before a trip to Hilchenbach. Living right next to the core of the city often spoils me. The privilege tastes surely better when I complain about the one minute walking distance to the “central park” in the city. No. No. Actually, I do appreciate the advantage.

Climbing uphill after Saturday dinner had been an unexpected adventure, seeing many German gentlemen in green woolen-coat uniforms coming down hill carrying horns in various forms. They were coming from the park where they began a two days competition of playing horns. The next day, a tribute visit has to be paid.

Sunday morning

Typical German gentlemen gathered in the early morning wearing green woolen-coat uniform again. They wear wool hats with feathers on the fringe. Feathers from mallard or some kind of beautiful birds. Trophies in the past? Wait, there are more showing the pride-metal badges on their ties and collars. In the park, it’s certainly a hunting fair. Owls and eagles are present on the tree stump. Arrogantly, they position themselves as the best hunting buddies in competition to a bunch of dogs near them.

Look at our best hunting buddies

Shortly recorded two clips of the competition before I completely sank into my own thoughts.

Jagdhörner Jagdhorn-Wettbewerb 1 @Siegen Germany

Jagdhörner Jagdhorn-Wettbewerb 2 Siegen Deutschland

We are ruled by quotations. — Susan Sontag

However, right now, I couldn’t fetch any quotations in my mind from any great masters of minds, of human intelligence, of creativity that match this celebration/competition, instead, I see faces. There are old faces overlapping on the new and fresh faces, like the masks from Balzac, Hugo, and Baudelaire. That’s how they used to see life. It’s an observation, scrutinisation, but also, more importantly, they engaged in the insignificance of celebration. And their legacies have been passed on unidentifiable faces, lives, human beings. The collection of insignificance became the significance of the Life, the Tradition. It’s the calling of the wild as well as the connecting to the still mysterious nature from the dark ages. Witches in the stone-made prisons are looking through bars, and their glances never could be burned.