World of Wonders

When one travels around by train – not that I would do much of this, I just “commute” between Franconia, Suebia, and now the bookmines for some time, so at least I can speak with the air of the regional trains’ seasoned user – when one uses trains, one uses a whole lot of infrastructure that is built around the ferrovia too, a word I use here simply because I like it, “eiserner Weg” or “eiserne Straße” in German, “iron road” perhaps ?
Of course there are the station buildings, some in the state of semi ruins, a long way since their start as “Cathedrals of Progress”. Even the most humble building on the countryside was planned and part of a larger attitude of self-representation, and (I may be wrong) I think these buildings were the first standardised houses used throughout the whole of Germany after 1871, and even before the unification of said year at least the Bavarians had developed some standard solutions for train stations and necessary outbuildings. No need to speak of Prussia, they surely had enough experience from building barracks, what else.
In the early times a station was graced by the “Bahnhofsbuffet”, where travelers were served even at ungodly hours, when other civilised taverns, pubs and watering holes were closed. Often these buffets were run by experienced innkeepers who went for quality in their kitchen. But, sadly, these days are gone.
Through the everything (at least in Europe) overthrowing Twentieth century the “Buffet” became the “Bahnhofskneipe” ; if it still exists, it is usually a dimly lit last refuge for beer drinking smokers, who start their daily grind (12 Pils, zwei Päckchen Maulbohro) early, and take their work seriously. It is not advisable to order something to eat in there, regardless if the final product is bought, just heated, and comes in its original wrapping, or “prepared freshly” in the sacred halls of said establishment. If you want to leave on your own legs …
So the hungry traveler better uses something else, and the friendly Bahnmanagement took care of these needs too by renting out the empty spaces to some chains that run supermarkets or snack dingalings. If you enter the hall of Würzburg station there are at least three different food stores plus a Macdonnels competing for your hard earned cash.
They usually offer more or less the same assortement of sandwiches and “baked” goods – they all have the hot air oven in the back where they heat prefabricated doughlings – the German technical expression is in fact “Teigling”.
But now and then someone becomes bored and/or creative with the endless standard products, and creates something new. I saw, and tried, interesting playful cross-breads involving Bretzel, Salami, and very much cheese. Also exist “pizza” variations, usually under a thick layer of cheese ; I usually meet these with suspicion, it is an all too easily tempting way to get rid of various leftovers, similar to the “Gulasch” of older times (or if need be, it was called “Pfefferfleisch”, pepper disinfects (and covers) anything, just boil the cra* through …).
But this week I found something that was really new to me :
The Currywurstpizza.
Everybody knows the poor people’s of Napoli food that conquered the world like organised crime, so there is no need to talk about pizza.
The Currywurst has its own history that starts sometime somewhere in post WWII Germany. As I remember there is a discussion if the creation was firstly served in Berlin or somewhere in the Rhineland / Ruhrgebiet. I do not know, and frankly I do not care. The trick is that one slices a sausage, drowns it in Schaschliksauce, and adds curry powder. Of course there are tons of variations, but this is the basic receipt. I always wonder who was in possession of curry powder in post WWII Germany ?
But as you see, it is a sliced sausage in a sauce, so it is served in a small paper bowl – how can you combine this with pizza ?
You use a really thick piece of dough, splatter the sausage over with something that may resemble the vague idea of sauce, and cover it with – of course You guessed it – cheese. Put it in the hot air oven until the cheese covers everything, voila there it is, 2,50 € please. I tried it, and can assure you that it is worth not one single copper penny.

I returned from the bookmines, simply because there was nothing more to do – waiting for the shelves, they’ll call me next week when the material is delivered. On the upside I found time to sort through the archival materials, and group related papers, so that the authorised person from the active administration can look at the stuff easily. I am sure that 75 % is not “archivwürdig” and can go directly into the shredder, while the rest needs to be archived, but stored at another location in the central building. This is already discussed with the man in charge, and if it all works out I can finish this whole thing next week.
But in the world of Currywurstpizza anything is possible.

The Evil Clown

I think the worst thing that can happen to a true Narziss (Ger., Eng.) is to be laughed out of court.
Yes, I read too much “news” over the last much too hot days, and of course I hint at the G20 Summit in Osaka (Ger., Eng.) that is about to start, or already beginning, time zones confuse me, sorry. I think there is a real chance for a very uncomfortable confrontation between some of the gathered personnel. Basically it could be described as “American Leader” versus the rest, of the (more or less) civilsed world. Hopefully sooner than later, it will be unavoidable to speak clear words to the imbecile, on a level even he can understand.
And it is possible that the German chancellor will play a role in this contingent scenario. She is in her last term, and I think she became more outspoken over the last weeks or months, at least a bit. She always avoided open confrontations as much as possible, but she can draw a line too. And perhaps she decides that it is the time to do this.
The result would very likely be another major, and impotent, tantrum or melt down, twitter blaring, yelling, even more ludicrousness, if that is even possible.
But I can not help myself, I can not suppress the feeling that the freak show actually called “American foreign policy” is not the really important “event” on stage. I think what happens within the American society is in the long view more important, and more frightening.
As I once said here before, this “administration” under the “leader” is a symptom, a poisonous & ugly mushroom that grows out of a (not so subterranean, but very visible, & very active) mycelium (Ger., Eng.) called Republican party & friends : They made this obscenity possible, they stick to it – and, of course, they could (still) get rid of it. They could toss this whole gang out. And in some years this thing will be “history” anyway – but until then they grab what is in reach, and reverse any progressive politics this black man had introduced.
The actual decision of the Supreme Court about the praxis of “gerrymandering” is a major victory. I believe, later historians will have no difficulty to describe this as the official starting point of the US’s road into a one party system. This practice is deeply undemocratic & subverts the (already not realised) idea of “one man, one vote”. It delivers to those in power now the perfect tool to stay in power for time coming – one does not necessary need to ad the next census, but it helps.
The Republicans have absolutely no scruples to use this tool(s), as representatives openly admitted through the hearing at the court. They can’t see nothing wrong in it.
Of course, this is a pure inner-US development, who am I to judge ? I do not “judge”, I look at this and have to ask myself how such a development is possible, and where it can lead to. And I see that the last remaining “super power” on earth is run by an openly corrupt administration stuffed with incompetent people, with a moral and intellectual blank at the helm. And this outfit is given the tools to stay in power as long as they find someone who can use a calculator and a detailed geographical map.
This is pretty mind-boggling, isn’t it ?!
I do not reproach or blame the people who actually voted for “the leader” for whatever reasons, mostly, I guess, out of discontent, out of a feeling of being abandoned, unheard & ignored. Or simply because the opponent’s attitude was a tad too arrogant. But those guys who bankrolled this candidate (like the brothers Koch), those who enabled this deeply flawed individual’s progress despite being in a position to understand the consequences of their “dealing” (apparatchiks like this “Mitch” figure), they are to blame : They are responsible for all what will come out of this political cartoon, this never ending, lousy soap opera.
But may this be as it will, let’s hope that they do not keel over laughing at that funny man from Washington over there in Japan. Not openly, at least.