If you haven’t heard, dear worst-reader, #Eurowasteland is experiencing a pretty severe heatwave. Indeed. In all my years living among the Germans as a lost and useless-eating #Americant, I’ve never experienced it this hot for this long. Yesterday I measured 37.5°C (that’s almost a 100°F). That may not sound like much to you but considering the humidity in this area combined with a bit too much green through out the year… Seriously. I’ve been to dry heat areas. I can take 40° plus in India. I can even hang in summer-time Arizona. Northern Europe is different than all that–when climate goes nuts. The worst part about is that it’s been in and out of 30°C–plus or minus–since early July. Oh, how this reminds me of my youth on the eastern shore of Maryland and the grand and luscious Chesapeake Bay (that I miss dearly). July and August and September (and sometimes June and October) were unbearable with heat and humidity back then. But there was always something to fall back on. That’s right, dear worst-reader. We could at least get out of the heat and even sleep in modern air conditioning. Here, though, there ain’t no A/C. Instead, there are concrete walls, wood floors and lots and lots of electric shades. In fact, during the day, for the past few weeks, these shades are down all the time. Not until about 7pm can we open them. As you can see in the pics above, we live in a rather rectangular, three level flat. These pics are of the ground floor. Separating our relatively small but comfortable living room and the kitchen is an open, outdoor atrium with eight glass doors. It’s where we do all our out-door cooking (grilling) and fresh air patio-ing; it’s connected directly to the kitchen (not pictured). It’s kind of a nice layout once you get used to it–except when the sun becomes a barrel full of heat. And so. During mid-morning hours we lower the shades. It’s at that time I begin worst-writing and hoping that the devil-heat doesn’t overwhelm me.
PS I’m fully aware that my use and abuse of air conditioning in my youth is part of my suffering today. For that I am sorry. And although my neighbours are all buying plug-in A/C units, we’ve decided to just keep our shades lowered.
Sites seen while walking Beckett, The Killer Pug. The mushroom is at least 12-14 inches in diameter. When it ejaculated its spores there might have been a slight wind from the South West. There is a metallic greyness, an almost mechanical shade around the base of the fungus. I never before thought I could see a smell, especially one that must, if a taste for it could be acquired, that has a look that smells so hideous. Perhaps I should document how the fungus will end up once it’s completely dried out. For indeed, dear worst-reader, there are hardened, if not fossilised fungi in the forest-park that Beckett and I traverse. And so. Yes. Two things I need to do in life (before it ends). One is to photograph all (ALL!) the churches in Köln and the other, perhaps, is to take majestic pictures of all the fungi inherent to the Germanin Boden (ground). And worst-speaking of Germania. Once I left the forest-park and began the trek home–for my pug has a difficult time right now dealing with the extreme weather situation caused by a world of greed mongers galore and their hate of climate–I finally took a snapshot of one of the houses on Rich-Inheritor Street that I walk by almost daily (on account it’s between where I live and the forest-park). Don’t you know, there are a few of these streets in every major village of Germania. (For those not in the know: there really are no cities in Germania; only villages.) They are the streets where no one earns a thing but their parents and grandparents did. And so. The lap of luxury in almost ancient, if not old #Eurowasteland villas, that all say fcuk-you in caps to people who would like to have a chance at upward mobility, where grand-children of Nazi conspirators and/or corporate fascists bought their way through the game of life. These places (villas) when listed for sale on real-estate sites go for millions of €uros. Yet there is something sinister about them–about them all that is above and beyond their fiat value. I’ve spoken to a few occupiers of these old-money places (villas) as I can’t help but pass their servants who walk the watch dogs. “What’s with the military grade razor wire,” I inquired of a MILF walking a mut hound-dog that has the longest droopy ears I’ve ever seen. Before she could answer I glanced at an open button on her thin blouse, gazing at the lace of the brassiere underneath as it pressed and smooshed her ageing teat. I could see sweat in her sweet place and I think the hound could smell it, too. “So, baby. Is the razor wire because of the neighbour-hate that you Germans have for one another,” I added. For a second I thought she was gonna point two fingers from her breast to my eyes and then to her eyes. But she is not a German servant. Instead her hound growled and she went on a short tirade complaining about Merkel and the immigrant problem that Germans shouldn’t be having at this time. I kept my rude eyes fixated and showed sympathy to her dog. Once she got on about the increase of break-ins in the area I got bored. I then asked her if she wanted to fcuk in the forest-park. “I know of a soft stump you can use to bend over. Will your hound mind or will I just have to push his nose away all the time. Such a thing is very distracting, don’t you know.” But she had moved on down the street, somehow proud of telling an immigrant how she hated immigrants. Nomatter. I’m keeping an eye on that one. I know where she lives. I know that there is no military grade razor wire on one of her accessible ground floor windows.
Well, dear worst-reader. I got five years. It’s been a long time since my expat host country offered me five. For the past ten or twelve years (about half my total stay so far), it’s always been a two year visa. “Two years and let’s see how things go,” some automaton sitting behind an ugly office government desk would say. Indeed. Of course there was a time when I was offered a ten year visa. And then there was the time I was offered citizenship. But I laughed when they offered citizenship. Reason? Because of the unrein (impure) nature of my existence, i.e. born of a half-breed American male serving in the US Navy and a German fräulein, I don’t have the right Blood and Soil (Blut und Boden) combination and therefore am punished (for something I never had control over) by not being allowed to have duel citizenship. Hence I can have citizenship but only if I give up my American citizenship. “Is you stupid,” I said to the automaton working behind the ugly government desk that made the ridiculous offer. “Why the fcuk-you would I want to give up citizenship from the greatest country in the world to have citizenship from some two-bit #Eurowasteland country that is still stuck in the 18th century–even though you guys make great cars?”
Fcuk you, Germany!
Anywho. As far as the ten year visa offer went, they saw that my home country passport was expiring and told me that I’d have to get a new visa anyway if/when my passport expired within their ten year visa period. So whenever they ask I usually just say: make it for two years you cock $ucking mutterficker–and while you’re at it don’t forget how I assimilated in this $hithole country long before #Trump & Co called out all $hithole countries. You’re fcuking welcome, biatch. And then I added a final remark about how they don’t deserve me anyway. If the automaton had a bit of pre-school English then we both giggled and continued looking away from each other. If he (or she) understood me fully, then he (or she) closed up, we remained silent for the rest of the process until he (or she) dished out… my fcuking papers.
But hey! Have no fear, dear worst-reader. The other morning, the stars were aligned. The moon is in the eye of Jupiter and my passport has another ten years till expiration. And so. I have been granted a five year visa.
Fcuk you, Germany!
“Would you like a permanent residence visa,” I was asked.
“Why,” I retorted.
“No. That won’t work either,” the automaton said, correcting himself. Then he added after looking in my passport and pointing it out to me, “But I see you’re passport expires in 2025. There is no time for ten year visa. Basta, ja.”
“Dude, just make it two years. I really don’t give a flying rats-a$$ fcuk.”
“Yes. Ok, then. We’ll make it five,” he said. And we didn’t giggle.
And so was my Monday morning this week. I had pranced up to the hideous bureaucrat facilities behind the train station and waddled my way through a crowd of refugees galore. Although I thought I had prepared myself with all the required paperwork–which amounts to nothing more than proving I have the financial means to not be dependent on The State–along with my US passport, of course, I did forget one thing. A new biometric photo.
So I trekked across the campus behind the D’dorf train station to a pastry shop nearby where I bought a cup of black coffee. I only did this because no one would/could provide me the proper change for a 50,-€ bill. Usually I never carry bills under €100. The biometric photo machine only takes exact change, or 7,-€, and the nearby change-machine doesn’t take bills higher than 20,-€. The line to use one of the two photo machines was long but it looked like it was moving.
Yeah. Bureaucracy and the poor, baby.
Once I got the proper change–and the coffee–I headed back to the refugee facility to see what bureaucracy awaited me next. Of course, I realised I don’t drink cheap coffee so when I passed a security guard in a bright yellow jacket–of which there were many–I asked him if he’d like a cup of coffee and handed him the fresh cup. I told him it was untouched and I only got it to get change. He spoke a broken form of Bulgarian German (or something like that) and thanked me, accepting the coffee as though someone was doing something nice for him. I assure you, dear worst-reader, that someone wasn’t/isn’t me.
Since I usually don’t pay much attention to German bureaucracy, I missed the part in the instructions I was sent that required me to bring a new photo. Hell, check out that list of krapp they want me to bring along. Look at all that stuff! Are the refugees Germany is taking in from #Americant middle-eastern war zones required to bring that much stuff, too? Oh wait. I wonder where all those people struggling on boats in the middle of the Mediterranean are able to get a “Schulbescheinigung” (proof of education) or “Mietvertrag” (rental contract). Oh wait (again). Most of the stuff I’m required to show has to do with money–not with wars of choice that Germany and, of course, #Eurowasteland has profited from over the past twenty (or so) years.
Ok. Based on that last worst-remark about Germany profiting from mid-east wars, let me say this: I stand by it. In fact, the whole of #Eurowasteland has had numerous chances to stand up for the weak and oppressed of this world–that’s right, even by calling-out the US for it’s wars of choice–but it has done NOTHING accept promote a world of consuming to survive hidden behind the hideous filter of its past. The Continent is once again preoccupied with the greed $hitshow of nativism, tribalism and its reawakening of old-time aristocracies reminiscent of pre-WWI. That’s why I have no issue–like so many Germans do–with all the refugees being taken in. In a way, I’m one of them. And please don’t mistake that last sentence for me equating my situation whole heartily with theirs. And so goes the $hitshow of first, second and third world refugees all coming together in a country of automatons and corporatists that, in the event it’s required, couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag.
On the other hand, taking in millions of refugees is the only thing Euro greed-mongers can do in answer to #Americant’s wars-of-choice. This is of course how Europe supports those wars! And no matter how you view it, it is a sad state of affairs, especially in Germany right now. I really feel awful for all those naive refugees that the pseudo-rich Germans are taking in. The facility that processed me as a foreigner the other day was packed to the hilt with people who are clueless to what awaits them–and their children. And let me tell you, it ain’t pretty. Even though they have made it out of extreme poverty, war-zones-galore or the humiliation of dictators, by coming to Europe they will be regulated to a state of 2nd or 3rd class citizenry that they will NEVER be able to overcome. The Germans, and other Europeans, will never accept the influx of these people who, sad to say, look quite different than the average (especially northern) European. For if I’ve learned anything after twenty-plus years of living in a part of the world where collective greed was invented, it’s this: Blut und Boden is all that’s left. Unless, of course, you can get a bank to finance a fancy car or afford regular trips to Mallorca for a get-away. Yeah, that’s what refugees are after. (Sarcasm off.)
As usual, I’m off subject. This was supposed to be a post about worst-writer, aka Tom Stough, acquiring permission to live legally five more years in the old country–that he can’t get out of. And although I should be happy about it (I guess), I am instead furious. And the only thing that comes to my worst-mind right now is… Blut und Boden and how Germans, French, and yes, even the British, are obsessed with it. Btw, anyone out there in worst-writer land remember Blut und Boden? It was used vividly (in English) during the Charlottsville, VA, antics where #Americants tried to promote their greed mongering ignorance only, in the end, to slip and slide down that fun-game of racism #Trump & Co. have made dinner table talk once again. Welcome back to 1968, my beloved #Americant.
I wish all those refugees that I was in the middle of the other day a better life than what they left to get to $hithole Germany. Heck, I even wish them better and more luck than I had. They’re gonna need it.
PS The second part of the title of this worst-post kinda reflects that only thing the Germans really have to offer. But I digress.
The Prora complex is both fascinating and scary. “Kraft durch Freude.” Strength through enjoyment? Something like that. This building was first built at the end of the 1930s and when Germany started to lose the war all work was shut down. It was supposed to be play land and funville for up to 20k national socialists, I guess. Of course, the DDR never did much with it so it stood in waiting along the Baltic coast of Rügen. Waiting for what? Enter the capitalist pigs and their ability to turn something grey, banal and fascinating into something utterly dystopian and wondrous. It is indeed the perfect abode for automatons of success. If you can afford one of the flats in this place, you’ll have an absolutely breathtaking view of the Baltic Sea. When weather allows, you’ll be able to exit your apartment and go for a swim in clear, crystalline waters. Heck, even when weather doesn’t allow you can swim here. I’ve seen dudes swimming in these waters already–and it’s early May. Yeah. Kraft durch Freude.
Riding or being ridden around the island of Rügen, Germany. Other than battling some horrendous winds (thank the Gods I’m on an e-bike), this is a great place to ride a bike, check out scenery, take a boat tour and study German. OYG.
It’s been a long cold wet winter, dear worst-rider. No. Seriously. The weather has been so dismal the past few months here in the Germania tribe of #eurowasteland that I’ve barely ridden the R&M. Although I’ve been living in the old country for well over twenty-five years now, this past winter season has been extreme when it comes to all things wet and cold. That in and of itself is worth worst-writing about (or am I already doing that on this worst-blog?) Nomatter. Speaking of weather…
I was in The Homeland recently… Can you believe you can call it that now? But perhaps they shouldn’t stop there. Perhaps they should/could call it Orwell’s Homeland. But I digress.
I was in The Homeland last October for a wonderful visit. Spent some beautiful days in Baltimore. That’s right, dear worst-rider. When the police aren’t shooting people and when the automatons aren’t walking around like Zombies, and when the f’n sun shines like there’s no tomorrow, Baltimore is actually a great little city to hang around for a few days. This particular visit left me with the impression that October weather in Baltimore is the best weather in the world. Add to that the fact that once I stepped foot back in the old country, about two weeks after my Homeland visit, it started to rain and didn’t stop until yesterday. I kid you not!
I’ve experienced wet and cold weather living in this part of #eurowasteland. But in my twenty-five years I can’t remember it being this bad. I’m kinda ashamed I didn’t do more worst-riding for the past few months. But I’ve set my riding weather limits to seven degrees celsius and trees being uprooted due to flooding ground water. Yea, limits. (See pic above.)
On the other hand, I can’t help but think this break from the R&M has done me some good. It’s aloud me to readjust my e-bike senses. That is, getting back on the bike after only sporadic use during the past three or four months has allowed me to re-orient myself with it. Not only that but while it’s been in my basement turning a year old I’ve finally started fiddling with its parts. For example, for the first time I adjusted the air shocks–even though I’m not quit sure how-to do it. I also re-adjusted my thud buster seat going back to the middle rubber mount from the highest (hardest) setting. I also have a new rear tire, although that wasn’t my fiddling. And the Bosch system was updated. So let’s go there first, shall we.
Just after returning to the old country last October–in fact, the day I arrived–I was also scheduled to bring my R&M in for a check-up and frame replacement. As pointed out in this pseudo-review, the dealer delivered my R&M with paint damage on the frame. If I hadn’t insisted on having the damage repaired I’m sure that the dealer–and perhaps R&M???–would have gladly let the damage slide at my cost. I say that because, 1) I had to wait something like eight months for the frame and 2) after the dealer finally replaced it and I picked up the bike, they said/claimed the following:
“You know, we replaced that frame, which would normally have cost around five hundred or so in labour, for nothing.”
My response: Whaaaaaaaaa?
I don’t know about your experience with customer service, dear worst-rider, but such a comment is common-place here in #eurowasteland, especially in certain parts of Germany where people really do believe they $hit roses. But enough of my worst-writing vulgarities and limited intellect as a somewhat disappointed high-end e-bike consumer.
So. During this money grubbing check-up my frame was replaced. They also replaced both rear brake pads, which I questioned (more on that in a sec). I also had them install a new rear tire even though it could have probably gone a few hundred kilometres more–but that was my choice. I was thinking at the time that I’d kill two birds (with one stone) and bought a second tire (see pic above where said tire is neatly folded and waiting). I’m now thinking that was an error on account I’m almost sure I want to go with more street oriented tires in the future. Maybe more on that later. They also updated my Bosch system with the new eMTB riding mode. Let me say this about eMTB:
In fact, I might even ask the dealer (it’ll be a new dealer by then) if I can return my Bosch system back to the old riding modes. With four modes of riding, I really don’t see the reasoning behind eMTB, which seems to only combine the top three levels of riding. In fact, the other day while going up a short but very steep hill using eMTB the motor kicked a bit too hard and caused a wheelie. To prevent a backward flip I had to jump off the pedals. Indeed. Unwanted wheelies during steep ascensions… I’m gettin’ too old for that $hit.
As far as the brake pad replacement goes, there is a problem with the rear brake calliper on my R&M. In my opinion, the frame mounts are not properly aligned for this calliper setup. The brake pad that is on the outside of the disk is always rubbing. I know this because the rear wheel never spins freely. Although there is a way to adjust the position of the calliper on the frame mounts, it can’t be moved enough to one side to prevent the rubbing on one of the pads. Once I get a new dealer, I’ll be addressing this issue. Otherwise I’ll be replacing pads mostly because of this unnecessary rubbing.
Actually I don’t have anything more to say about the tires on this bike. I love them. So I might just go one more set and then go to street tires. I don’t know. I’m confused about tires.
The front forks have no manual.
The pic above is a screenshot of the CD that was delivered with this bike that is supposed to contain an owner’s manual for my forks. The only problem is, there is no manual. The good news is that my bike was delivered with a cute little air pump specific to these forks. This is helpful because they are springless air forks. If, by accident, you let out all the air–which I did–you’ll need this pump to get going again. Either that or you’ll have to ride home with useless, impotent front forks. (Sounds worst-rider erotic, eh!) And there is one other problem. Because there is no user manual for the forks, how much pressure can I put in them? Since I fiddled around with air forks back in the day when I was a real-man motorcyclist–as opposed to a wuss on an e-bike–I figured I could fill the forks till they don’t move anymore, which I think was around 150psi. Right now I’m running something like a 100psi and they’re still a bit hard. Or is it 10psi? Who the fcuk cares. And you know what they say about hard (forks) and men in their fifties, right? Ok. Enough.
Btw, my better-half’s R&M Mixte is definitely gonna skip the eMTB Bosch update. The main reason is because the update seems to be just another gouging mechanism for dealers. You see, Bosch doesn’t charge for the update. But dealers do. Go figure. Also. The Mixte is mostly used on roads, so it really doesn’t need eMTB.
In the last few days I’ve been able to go on longer rides with my GX, even though off-road is still very very wet–in fact so wet that even my extra wide tires sink a bit much for my taste. We’re planning a new tour up on the Baltic Sea at the end of May, though. We’re looking at about ten days of riding and maybe 1500km along the German north coast not far from Poland. Looking forward to it.
Oh. As far as battery life goes… I’m gonna have to worst-write something about that (again) soon. Reason? During the first 2000km I could go 30km before the first notch on the battery gauge would disappear. Now I can barely go 15km. After questioning a dealer about this he said that as soon as it gets warmer I should have all the power back. I’m skeptical. Even though the Bosch e-bike motor is great and I trust the Germans engineered it well and Hungarians put it together well, the battery–or the batteries–is a different story. Indeed. Batteries are the weak link here. But I digress.
It’s been another busy worst-day, dear worst-reader. It started with early day chores having something to do with goodies for evening grub consumption. The joke is always on me, though. Reason? I’m the one that has to prepare the evening grub. And I’m no good at getting the grub. But at least I can cook it. Nonetheless. Let’s go there, shall we? The pic (above) with the noodles fails to contain the broth of my bi-montthly Japanese soup night. Nomatter. The other pic is of a Mini I checked out and test drove today. Although I’m no advocate for cars in this f’d-up world, I’m not anti-auto. They are quite useful. The thing is, I’ve been living with leased corpo cars for the better part of twenty years. You know what? Corpo cars suck. (But that’s a whole ‘nother post.) I haven’t owned a car since… way back when. But I have been driving lots. And not just driving. I’ve been driven on German f’n Autobahns. And you know what? German Autobahns… suck. You want to know why? They suck because, well, these f’n Germans just started building them. Seriously. They just started building them, like, yesterday. And you know what that means? It means traffic traffic traffic traffic traffic, etc. Of course, leasing corpo cars in Germania is an industry für sich. With that in mind, I’m tired of leasing these damn redundant things so I can get stuck in traffic. And so. Since we want to be able to travel around Europe on e-bike vacations and we’ve long since realised that we can’t do this with trains, we’ve decided to go the route of actually buying/owning an f’n car. Hence we had Japanese soup tonight and I test drove a 2017 Mini Clubman. The trick with this particular vehicle is that it has a AHK (Anhängerkupplung). You know, one of those tow-bars installed. That way we can take our f’n e-bikes with us when we buy one of them/those things that attach to the tow-bar and we can put the bikes on it. And before you consider barking at me (us) for traveling with e-bikes with a car, we would rather do it with the train but that just ain’t possible on account the f’n German trains are a bitch bitch bitch–and the f’n things never run on-time anymore anyway. But I digress.