Yes, I’m back ! To be precise, I am back since Tuesday evening. I spent some days in Suebia, climbing on
hills mountains, waiting, having an interview, and finally travelling back by train. In the evening I collected my car from the colleague who thankfully had stepped in for me on Monday & Tuesday, and Wednesday morning saw me driving again.
Sadly I had to hand my vehicle in on Wednesday morning because it is needed at another station, and on an interim basis I was given a German product – a real bad deal !
The thing is cramped, and quickly was nicknamed “Blechdose” / tin can by the boys. Some things are simply done without second thought (e.g. the hand brake lever is nearly unreachable when someone sits next to me !), while other stuff is over-engineered : It took me nearly twenty minutes to get my head around the basic settings of the ultra modern, fully electronic air con that was slowly freezing my head off. In the Ford you have three knobs to turn, and that’s it.
A real letdown is the absolutely insufficient adaptability of the interior. There is only one single seat, and I can put it in one place or remove it – cool. It is not possible to install this heavy thing somewhere else. Two-seater-banks can be put in, in three positions only – this is simply not enough, lacks necessary flexibility.
Thankfully this unprofessional tool is a) only rented, and b) only temporarily in use – I am promised my vehicle back next Tuesday.
After this short update about the actual Stand der Dinge here, I must ask you, venerated readers, for help.
As you may have learned over the years – if you had thankfully the patience to read this drivel for so long – I am interested in deceptions, impostors etc. For years I try to remember the name of someone about whom I read when I was still in school – maybe in the late seventies or early eighties. The man whose name I forgot is an impostor who tricked British journalists into paying him money for stories. He must have had his heyday in the sixties and seventies, his scam only worked in the days of the Cold War.
If I remember it correctly he would typically phone some journalist from a Swiss phone booth that stands next to the Soviet embassy, tell a shocking story, and set the trap up. He would creat an air of conspiracy, have the journalist travel, meetings would fail, finally he’d cash in.
He did this not for “fun” or to transport some whatever political / artsy / trallala message, he did this for the benefit of his portemonnaie only, and it worked.
He formed a certain reputation over the years, and older British journalists had an expression for this, or for him, but I do not know the expression, and I forgot his name. As I remember he looked absolutely unremarkable, bowler hat, moustache, colours from I-don’t-know.
Does this ring a bell ? Can one of my venerated readers help me with this ?