Tag: uniform

What Not to Wear

Using the trains here is normally a not unpleasant experience. The coaches are reasonable new and still in good shape, the ride is not bumpy, the conducteurs are friendly or at least not openly hostile. The crowd is mixed as always. When I travel to the bookmines in the Monday damndarkmorning (coined by Savannah) for two or three stations the waggon is filled with young people who go to their working place or vocational school (Berufsschule), and from their destination Ochsenfurt (Ger., Eng.) onwards its quiet and relaxed (20 minutes). These youngsters are basically tired from their weekend follies and do not talk too much, most of them look into some papers and try to remember what kind of profession they try to learn. There is the optional silent drinker, but again, the emphasis is on silent.
I spent the holiday (Wednesday, 3rd of October, day of unification, oh yeah … Ger., Eng.) at home and used the train this morning as usual. Less youngsters than usual, but to my utter astonishment groups of young men, with the obligatory occasional young lady among them, poured in wearing a kind of uniform: Blue or red chequered shirts, kind of  short leather trouser ending under the knee, woolish jumper; the young ladies wore skirts from the same pattern as the men’s shirts, with aprons (!); all of them, even the ladies, carried with them at least two bottles of beer, some small groups even a crate of beer (that is 20 bottles á 0,5 liter); and they cracked open their bottles and started more or less heavy drinking.
An especially nasty group settled near me and made me leave when one of the pissheads sprayed himself and a part of the waggon with beer, because he was too dumb or drunk to crack open a Kronkorken (Ger., Eng.). Besides they were blubbering out loudly and stupidly, and from Marktbreit (Ger., Eng.) onwards (30 minutes, first beer finished) it became subterranean, unacceptable and unbearable. I found a silent place at the very end of the train – in company of another angry-looking man (a silent drinker), and we must have been impressive, because until Ansbach (Ger., Eng.) (where I left) nobody came near us. I greeted him on exit, he nodded: Cheers, unknown fellow traveller! Ansbach station saw even more of the Halbaffen boarding the train.
I had no idea where these uniformed idiots were heading to until I spoke about it with the bus driver: All these people go to München (no links to the Hauptstadt der Bewegung!) and visit the Oktoberfest (Ger., Eng.). They don their uniform, swig their booze, and behave like arses, in masses. Acting “Bavarian”, like “Bauern”, on the “Volksfest”.
Sometimes this night all these drunkards  are transported back to their stables, where ever this may be, also via train; thankfully I do not have to use a night train in the coming days – said orgy ends coming Sunday.

I do not care if someone wants to get drunk in the early morning or wants to visit said infernal pandemonium in Munich. But why do these people feel the need to wear a uniform? I seriously do not understand it: Maybe the leather trousers are pee- and vomit-friendly?!
They masquerade themselves as “Bavarians” with a “national costume” (Tracht, Ger., Eng.), invented in the 19th century – as are so many other things, the late great Eric HOBSBAWM (1917-1912) (Ger., Eng.) showed some in  The Invention of tradition (1983) (Ger., Eng.). I know about the power of costume, I act differently when in full regalia (three-piece suit with Schlips, Querbinder or foulard; good shoes – they are so important! The right accessories, men carry few, but they must be well worth it – ah vanitas rises its ugly head …); people acted different towards me when I was wearing the “security”-costume, but I will never again wear such a kind of Clownerie, GOtt sei mir gnädig! It is fun to disguise, and of course the mask gives freedom – but the people I saw today used the mask to act just uncivilized and unworthily.
But who am I to criticize, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Nevertheless, the next time I see one of these cheap ugly chequered shirts I stand up and leave, immediately. 
What the hell is so difficult about getting drunk in style?

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biqs

I am no friends of uniforms. Choosing the clothing I want is not something too essential for me, but a part of my personal liberty I value very much. I could really do a bit more in this departement.
What I can not stand anymore to see and watch is a certain brood of middle-aged men who wear all the same, who voluntarily uniform themselves. Somewhere between their early thirties and late forties, with declining hair-line, they let it grow in their faces and go not bearded – heavens ! – but just unshaven.
Their clothing is simply nondescript, just cloth – vain as they are there may be labels, on the inside.
To balance the stuff growing out of their faces they wear a kind of rat-tail (Ger., Eng.) at the other side of their heads – either the hair is so thin (because of age) that there’s simply not enough left for a real ponytail, or they blubber nonsense about “antizyklische Mode”, cultural references, or – most likely – simply ignore the question, because they have absolutely no answer besides the charming “that’s how to wear it these days”.
The worst is of course the glasses, with the black plastic rim – here an example for those who are too dumb to print it out by themselves.
Of course it’s nonsense to assess or even value a person because of their looks, the Phänotyp says nothing about the inner organisation of a human creature. But the blokes in question (biqs – ?) all the time have to say something to and about all and everything, they are unstoppable blabbing machines. And if they shut up for a moment, they try to smile, but produce only a smug grin.
And this is really repulsive.

 

Sorry

I’m actually too tired, bodily exhausted, to post something. The construction site was terrible. I was moving constantly for 12 hours, stairs up stairs down, looking for strange things I never encountered before – what is a “Sumpfpumpe”? The organisation of this multimillion-Euro-building (it is a new highly sophisticated hospital) is a mess: The delivered new (!) furniture while I was there, four full trucks (that is 56 meters of loading space, it’s a lot) and because there was no storing room they had to put these fresh desks and wahtnot into the levels still under construction! And as everybody told me I was questioning, these things will remain there for some weeks – why not throw it away immedeately? But what the hell – we are taling about areas where inside walls are to be constructed, but the original floor is already there. If these areas will ever be finished the refreshing can start at once. It is a gigantic waste of time, money and work force. Of course the organisation is in public hands.
What i learned or encountered for the first time is the evil magic of the uniform. I actually have no uniform, it is a mock: Blue shirt, blue trousers, a kind of jacket and a pullover, no badges or something. You look at it and it is formal and official in a way. And you get away with nonsense. A electrician really annoyed me, he in a way tried to find out how far he could go. The following day I did not react to him and finally made him produce his ID, looked at it very intense and memorized his name, gave it back with an ugly grin. No explanations. Enough to make him nervous and go away. It is the imminent threat, there could be something to follow. I was talking to the colleague who will work there next week. Jo is very large, fat and loves to play the mean cop. He’s younger than me and knows very well how he looks, how people categorize him. Slowly I understand the men I work with, they have no more illusions about themselves and their situation, and they use what they have as good as possible. He will check the electrician and kick him well – don’t be afraid and do not waste your sympathy, the bloke deserves it. And by the way it helps to better the stance of the men in blue there within this bunch of cutthroats from all Europe.
After three days in the mud I was allowed to sleep, made the normal nightly rounds and on this Saturday the already mentioned “Tag der offenen Tür” “Open house day” at my employer’s main customer took place. I came in, was grabbed by the responsible man in charge and he put me into the middle of nowhere where I served as roadblock. I actually enjoyed the day at the fresh air, sadly no sun today but no rain either, collecting leaves and watching birds. I had interesting conversations with some people who came by, they all knew the site very well having worked there for years or having built it – who came there had to know where to go, so only the insiders showed up. People tell me, not without success I once collected life stories, oral history. I went home, slept a little and then again did the nightly rap. Now I wait to collapse. Who has the nerve to wake me up tomorrow dies a cruel death.