I entered the east bloc for the first time tonight, after being right next to it for 14 years.

Continue reading


Mysterious Egg

My favorite love song in the whole world (apart from the skeletons in my closeted heart: Led Zeppelin’s I’m Gonna Crawl and Since I’ve Been Loving You, Garth Brooks’ Shameless, Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence, Jeff Buckley’s Lilac Wine…OK I’ll stop now ok one more Leonard Cohen’s Take this Waltz) has for thousands of year been Tim Buckley’s Song to the Siren.

Now, I’m sure, dear reader, that you can see a pattern here. These are all loser songs.

Continue reading

I have discovered a new recipe!

First things first – decide to forego all traditional methods so as to fast-track dinner.

Toss a frozen clump of Gnocchi into a pan, add some water, put a lid on it, set the hob on High Heat.

The idea is to smoke a fag, return, turn down the heat on the near-boiling water, and let your dinner simmer itself into a tensile mush.

(I mean, it’s potatoes – what could go wrong) Continue reading

Democracy and I

25. May 2014

Today, at the tender age of 40, I finally did something I have never managed to do my entire life, since achieving the age of majority. At 18 I was an Indian citizen but not in the country at 20, when they had the first General Election I was allowed to vote in. At 25, I was in Australia. At 30, I was a German citizen, but too close to the General Election to be registered to vote. At 35 I was in a part of Spain where time moves at its own pace and the challenge of contacting the Auswärtige Amt (the office for German citizens abroad) in that slow sweet current didn’t just seem impossible, it seemed ridiculous. Last year, back in Germany, around September, as the General Election loomed, I was running pillar to post, trying to secure a job and a flat.

Continue reading

Coffee Makers and I

Folks, when you buy a new American-style coffee-maker, and rush to use it, do look to see if there is any tape covering the hole from which the coffee is supposed to drip! Else you’ll be spooning coffee out of that conical thing and coffee grounds everywhere, your coffee-maker, your clothes, the kitchen work-table-thing.

Update: The coffee holding thing is removable.

Continue reading

Cool time-jump stuff

In the year 1995, before there was Google, a woman requested a translation of a German Poem from 1910ish (Weltende by Jakob von Hoddis) into English on a Newsgroup. She didn’t even paste the poem, instead listing several books where one could find the text. In a time when we actually walked to the library, plodded through a lot of cards, went downstairs, got skin-numbing rashes (I always did), and citation-surfed.

Anyway, she got exactly zero replies and the thread died right there.

Nineteen years later, in 2014, as I was trying to Google what the hell expressionist literature is, I stumbled upon her request in a Newsgroups Archive.

Continue reading

Settling Down vs. Settling In

When I hear people say ‘I want to settle down’, what I am hearing is ‘I want to get frumpy and paunchy, and wear my sweats everywhere, and make lame jokes that don’t deserve to be laughed at, and fill my day with mundane routines and busywork because I can let myself go with this other person’.

I never want to settle down.

I want to settle in. Continue reading

A Corridor with a View

Blackest black you ever saw. Black stone on both sides, curving subtly yet hindering the view beyond. To get out of it, you’d have to take a few steps forward. But the oppressing walls on both sides, so close to you, make those steps the most halting and frightened steps you’d take. Take them anyway, as going backwards out of this narrow pass, you’d have to walk back the entire way you came. Might as well go forward, we don’t know what’s around the corner, there’s a small sliver of hope yet, that lifts your feet slightly off the ground, even as you take a rasping breath in and your chest feels heavy and dry. Turn the curve, there’s just more wall. Keep going regardless of your fears which make you unsure if you are still living. How on earth are you still moving? Turn the corner one last time, slightest shift in trajectory, and the skin on your face is flooded in warmth and light, you can see the grass, the sun, the sky, you are out, the darkness is behind you.

{a part of the Jewish Cemetery – somewhere in Berlin, near Potsdamer Platz}

The good burglar theory

Burglars eh.

They burgle. They steal. It’s what they do to survive – it’s their only viable skill. So if you’re close to a burglar, you must accept this is how they are with the world. They don’t know any other way to live or to stay above the why-the-hell-do-I-wake-every-morning line.

This is their MO. They take from others and capitalize upon it. They befriend everybody, but the entire time they are staking out what they can take from them unnoticed, how often, and to what extent. They will also plan their exit well in advance and may make one final heist before disappearing, not caring if this time they are found out, as they don’t ever plan to make an appearance again.

So what on earth is a good burglar? Continue reading

Rant On Bad Product Design and Self-Absorption

Horrible design can do more than ruin your morning, it can ruin your entire day, day after day. It can affect your relationship if your toaster doesn’t allow crumb remnants to be shaken out easily so that there won’t be a fine and annoying spread of crumbs all over the kitchen top which sets your partners’s teeth on edge, causing you both to be irritable and snap at each other, leading to the feud of the century, involving each others’ mothers, ethno-cultural history, and the sad state of each others’ skills as a lover.

Continue reading