Part 8 – Satan, Voodoo & Ladybirds


Once more I have risen from the ashes of cyber ignorance into a phoenix of electronically connected knowledge and opportunity.

Or, in less poncy words: I have internet once more.

It’s frankly shocking how difficult it has been without, especially somewhere where everything is new from the language to the transport system to the ever so strange love of salad here… This is of course because in the last few years Google has become our technological overlord. The instantly accessible content of almost the whole spectrum of existence has meant we have come to rely on it. For example, if I typed into Google:

Q: How far is it to Timbuktu?

And Google replied:


I would probably do it, because Google is always right. Always. You think you can challenge the colossus of wisdom that is Google? Think again. There is a good reason that to Google has entered the English lexicon under the linguistic species of a verb. How many times have you said “ go Google that for me” to a friend when that slippery quantum of information escapes the huntsman of your memory?

One thing that amuses me about Germany is it shows the uniformity of humanity. The people may speak a different language but the people are so similar. Waitresses are still impatient of delays in ordering above the nanosecond timescale, news anchors still wear that irksome, smirking facial cloak of “I know the news before you do” and there is still a sizeable cohort of old Babushkas, who think that because they are more likely to be prone to the Grim Reaper’s affections that they can barge past you in any situation.

Conversely, this can also be pleasant sometimes. It’s amazing how an infinitesimally insignificant and inconsequential detail can bring you back to home. On my way into town from my flat in Germany is a honeysuckle plant. The other day I recognised the smell and it brought my mind straight to home and my mum’s one, like a car crash of stimulus and long buried memory. And it felt wonderful.

Time for a couple of photos now.

Above is an image from a bar I ended up at at 3am on Saturday with a random assortment of nationalities from Germany, Croatia and Turkey (basically all countries with a better football team than Scotland). Those objects you can see above the bar are naked Barbie and Ken dolls. I was informed that the reason for this is to show that bar was “gay friendly”. Personally I found the effect to be closer to declaring an allegiance to the dark arts of witchcraft and voodoo rather than acting as a homosexual welcome mat.

This is Tequila The Turtle, so named after Graham, Justice and I’s ceremonial beverage of choice. I’ve decided to take pictures of him in every country I go. If you’ve seen the film Amelie you’ll understand the motivation. Here he is at a BBQ with a couple of friends before the Germany’s first game in der Europamasterschaft (European Championship) which they won 1-0 against Portugal.

This is a picture from a walk I went on with Maike. In the distance you can see France, showing how close to France I am. Strasbourg is in line for a visit soon. Afterwards we went with her friends to the cinema to see Snow White & The Huntsman. Being in German this was something of challenge for me. What made me laugh was how the film was dubbed. German sentences tend to be a lot longer, leading to the dubbing being quite out of sync, meaning the end of sentences where the lips have stopped moving from the English part looking like a partial ventriloquist act. Like in the old martial arts films dubbed into English from Chinese.

I’ve already enunciated the point of small stimuli provoking old memories so here is one more. I remember when I was ickle trying to capture ladybirds in summer, where the amount of ladybirds captured was usually proportional to the quality of the summer. Hence I’ve always associated them with warm summer memories. Seeing this tiny splash of vibrant red provoked the reemergence of these remembrances. Strange, the effect that a tiny insect can have on your day.



2 thoughts on “Part 8 – Satan, Voodoo & Ladybirds

  1. seakist says:

    I LOVE how that lady bug just POPS out of the photo — terrific!

  2. Rachel Ott says:

    Looking forward to following your adventures now that you’re plugged back in. A little unnerving how we seem adrift without the internet, eh?

    Love from Canada.

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