Munich – A Diary of strange events
March 31, 2010
It’s like flying saucers. If you haven’t seen one – there’s no way to convince you they exist – now that you’ve seen the naked truth. Welcome to the point of no return – yes, it’s true, big is beautiful in Bavaria.
Yes, these are real shop front mannequins – yes they have tummies, thunder tights and are even slightly pear shape.
They might not be perfect, but they’re real. I can accept that, cellulite and all, because that’s how it is – truth is I don’t mind fat or even really ugly women.
Don’t even mind if they have fake tits (infact I quite like them) – but I draw the line on fake and pretentious people – this is real, so there you have it.
My body is a temple. But you know what? Sometimes it can be an amusement park. Yesterday it was a bus terminal. Today it’s a rubbish recycling plant. I have been walking since 5 and it’s high noon. I am hungry and this shit came from a corner shop in a rough neighborhood. I ordered lamb, salad, onion rings in a pita. The lamb taste like ears, nose and tongue – haven’t found the lamb yet; the onion rings are soggy and the pita is definitely an overnighter – besides I am surrounded by a bunch of lowlifes eating the same stuff – Looking around me, I don’t see a single one of them complaining. It’s rough here and it doesn’t pay to stand out like a sore thumb. The best thing to do in a rough and tough neighborhood is go with the flow - so I shove the guy next to me for more space for my bag and water and causally ask the leader of the pack, “where is the best place to bury a dead body around here?” That gets me into the inner circle – I blend right in and chow down this shit with the rest – it’s just fuel.
There are some things about myself I don’t feel the need to explain to anyone. All I know is my feet is killing me; I’ve taken off my shoes and socks to fix it in a high end café; some people across me are giving me highbrow evil looks; but what they think means a big fat nothing to me.
They can only affect me if I allow them into my personal space – so there I was in my hermetically sealed private world. And there they were looking into my world through a porthole – at this point I may not know what my strengths are but I know my weakness is my busted feet – so whether it goes down well with their coffee and pretzels; I really don’t give a shit. It needs fixing.
Coming to think of it, maybe I should give a shit? If I was sitting on the other side and watching myself do this; I would think it’s pretty odd and disgusting as well. But if I start thinking about what other people think. I am never going to get my feet fixed and that would just lead to whole lot of grief.
In life everyone needs a fuck off I don’t care switch – once that switch is thrown anything is possible – you become very aerodynamic – thoughts and actions acquire speed, precision and purpose , there is zero resistance – as for those looking into the porthole at me they’re probably thinking this man has to be either so self-centered or so confident about who he is and where he stands in this world that he sees nothing wrong about going about his business with his own rules – I just wished I didn’t have so much problems convincing myself I fall into the latter category - maybe I am just immature.
Wonder no more why I don’t ever drive in Munich. Here is the mother of all confusions. A tower of Babel of the road world. In broader terms it can serve as an allegory for how people see themselves and others, everyone thinks they are normal only because they are abnormal enough to believe they are normal. But what can you do when an abnormal person tells you are normal when you know you’re abnormal? Confused now?
Trust me, don’t drive in Munich, take a bus, train or better still stick to tennis shoes. Some things in life will always remain mysteries.
An old woman has lost something. I know. It’s easy once you have cultivated this bent of studying people. She’s looking for something. It’s written all over her face. I reckon it must have been a haunting loss. The type where something really important was probably snatched right out of her hands by a thief in the night – No, it can’t be a thing, people aren’t that furtive when it comes to things, not even money – she’s got that distant searching look. In the way people sometimes gaze at distant star. It’s a dazzling light, but the light is from another age, place and time. Maybe the star has long burnt out and cooled to a dark cinder. And all she’s trying to do is catch this dying light before it all streams out leaving nothing but darkness- perhaps a father, mother, brother, sister…lover – he or she is somewhere in the folds of the distant past.
I know. I can sense this old lady’s yearning. I am a searcher and it’s a vampire thing. One searcher instinctively senses the presence of another searcher.
She walks towards me – she speaks pidgin German. I notice she puts the verb in front of her sentences - that’s a give. I try French. I score. We continue to play out pictures in her head . Suddenly as if remembering something she draws out a name – I know exactly what to do – it’s exactly like an online strategy role playing game only this time it’s for real – we buy a ticket to the Jewish Memorial site.
I head directly for the third floor – there’s an archive in one discreet corner. Few people know it even exist; less know there’s a book with just reams and reams of names. Each neatly allotted a span of time and space….arranged neatly like refugees on a shelve that no one ever bothers with.
The guard wonders why I am wearing shades in this empty chamber. I remove them. I give him that, “please fuck off look.” He goes away.
Eventually, I match the name to a printed page in one of the many books.
The old woman suddenly let’s out a quivering murmur. She runs her wrinkled fingers slowly across a name in the page like a touchstone.
Maybe she is bidding him farewell, saying hello or I remember. Or perhaps I am just filling up the blanks with my imagination - repeating a word adroitly again and again leaving behind a feeling of immeasurable emptiness – It’s a list of names of from those who once perished in Dachau (concerntration camp during the Nazi era). I leave quietly leaving the crumpled figure alone in a dark chamber….I don’t know whether what I did was right or wrong.
But I know it’s not a computer game.
We adults think we always know best; we constantly try to raise the bar on kids, especially if we think they are gifted. And the surprising thing about smart kids is usually they manage to jump through those hoops we put up. But the irony is when we do this time and again – without us realizing it, kids soon lose that sense of serendipity that only comes from learning through trial and error – worse they lose that deep spirited sense of accomplishment by figuring stuff all by themselves without adults – when that happens, they lose their innate elasticity that nature bestowed on them; they become hard like us adults and even begin to behave like us. And once they get into that hermetically sealed bubble, it’s almost impossible to get them really excited about anything.
That’s why I think we have to be playful and retain the kid in us even as adults – this idea of using ice cold river water to cool servers that can run as hot as furnaces must have cost a bomb to build – for the moment, they need tons of micro camera’s just to monitor the stability alone! Because most of it runs beneath the floor - I am going to kill the guy who signed off on this experimental project! (why doesn’t anyone tell me anything!).
This new server farm is where virtual raw materials in any game are converted by virtual factories into virtual products such as ray guns, space ships and magnetic booties for all of you to buy using monopoly money. I spend a full day here – the director of the Interspacing Metal Exchange is accompanied by a representative of the Confederation – they give me a tour and I am even given the honor of commissioning this new server farm (what a bunch of dummies to even consider me worthy of such ceremony and pomp). This isn’t off the shelf stuff, every rivet, sprocket, push pin, bearing cover, bracket, cam, mount, collar, pinhole and rail was built from scratch – it’s a prototype server that is cooled by icy cold water from the nearby river – if you didn’t know servers can get really hot and heat is the greatest enemy to any system – as what it does is not only slow down the transmission of data, but its like pancreatic cancer, it sets into motion a host of other problems - so the whole idea is when these servers get over heated, gates would be automatically opened to allow water to pass through these servers instead of using heat sinks ( I am just wondering why not just open the windows or use a fan?) - but these people keep insisting that it gets dusty around here – I am not convinced, but I smile any way – the whole idea is once the water comes out from the otherside its so hot that it’s sold to a nearby cottage brewery that uses it to either heat their premises during winter or to ferment beer (now you know why I never drink beer in Munich). The director of the IME tells us that one day this technology can be upscaled and commoditized and can even be sold commercially as a environmentally green idea - no one is convinced. The only people who are clapping are the Germans. The rest of us are asking ourselves how much did this cost? And why weren’t we told about this?
My only grip is it’s over designed by a factor of 10 (that’s something that I’ve noticed in Germany. If they make something, they design it in under the assumption that it must be able survive at least 10 thermo nuclear attack – everything is over the top!) and it’s just unbelievably costly – but I am going to shaddap and just smile, because the team who put this together loved, cared and nourished this project like a kid who loves to do neat tricks with their bicycles – so who am I to start mucking up the party.
The EF0001 plant code was developed predominantly by the rubberband brigade – these are an anonymous group who have always shadowed the brotherhood – my sincere thanks goes out to many of them who have worked so hard to make all this happen - as what they accomplished here is something that we can never ever do even if we had ten life times – so I am not going to be spoiler – for me when I see so much attention to detail dedicated to gaming it’s just poetry in motion – it just means that I am obselete and that’s incredibly edifying – as I am so dispensable that I may already be so useless and redundant, that I should consider doing something else with the rest of my useless life - my gut feel tells me that’s something they never ever teach you in Harvard Business school - that IMHO should be the way to lead – drive yourself to the point when you become so useless and irrelevant; only then can you really be certain everyone else has been empower, enabled and knows the goal so well that even if you should not go to office one day, one month, one year or for one century - no one gives two hoots – the system will still hums without a glitch – that should be the litmus test of every leader – to render himself useless!
I know now shutting my big fat mouth is the best decision I ever made when I visited the new server farm in Munich. (that’s not easy as I happen to be the grumbling type)
I just wished sometimes the kid in the man had a bit of accounting knowledge from time to time. I am just wondering; who the fuck is going to pay for all this! Singaporedaddy is punching numbers into a casio calculator, it’s smoking! He looks worried as he checks them off on a spread sheet.
The mechanism for the gating is complicated - this is the heart that allows water to flow to cool the heatsinks of the server – these gates are designed with two variable actuators that can vary the flow of water like paddles to keep the temperature constant to a factor of plus and minus 0.5% – after that we all argue over the patents, rights and how to divide the spoils / a shouting match ensues, insults are traded a fight breaks out, an idiot shout out, its just a glorified water pump, all hell breaks loose and someone threatens to call the police – I light a cigarette, sit down and watch this all go by - soon we hear sirens - so we all decide to get into the car for a drink and some chow - this is how politics is conducted with us and the guilds - another day, same shit.
…here she is, all mine….finally, all mineeeeeeeeeeeeee, trying her best to give me all she has. The company is great. Yet 20 minutes into the meal; you’re still stuggling to get to beyond the crust of the pork knuckle. It’s hard as armor plating. As far as the eye can see everyone seems to be tucking in. To the north of the table, our German host even offers a toast, to the east more of the same from a representative from the Confederation. Yet I am still struggling. After 40 minutes, I pengshan (give up), cannot means cannot.
However, the sweets were great. One thing about eating in Munich is go local -that’s to say, try to avoid the tourist crowd at all cost and if possible eat where the locals eat – a good rule of thumb is to seek out places and locations tucked away from the main boulevard, if you want the real stuff. Finding authentic Bavarian cuisine has it benefits – firstly, it staves off cancer of the wallet and the results can only be described as incredibly satifying and rewarding.
N.B MESSAGE BY MISSY DOTTY: DO BOOKMARK THIS SITE, IF SOME OF YOU CLAIM, YOU ARE MISSING OUT, BOOKMARK IT, THAT WAY WHEN WE DECIDE TO TAKE OFF SOMEWHERE ELSE, AT LEAST YOU CAN FOLLOW US ON THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD TO CONT READING SOME OF OUR STUFF . BOOKMARK, IT AS WHEN THEY TAKE OFF, AS THEY DO, AT LEAST, YOU WILL HAVE A LINK, DO IT NOW!– ANOTHER GOOD REASON TO BOOKMARK THIS SITE IS THIS HAS HAPPENED RECENTLY – http://singaporedaily.net/2010/01/11/daily-sg-11-jan-2010/#comment-7611 , THE BP HAS BARRED ALL FUTURE ESSAYS TO BE POSTED BY THE SINGAPORE DAILY. I DID ASK BABY DARKNESS ABOUT THIS AND THIS IS WHAT HE HAD TO SAY, ” There are two ways to read, one is you let someone spoon feed you like a baby. The second is you choose what and how you want to eat. Remember, if your body is a temple. Your mind has to be the altar piece; it’s the linchpin that makes possible the grand idea of La Convivencia with you and your community, spirit, mind and perhaps 7 million other things- without this one thing, the power to choose, you are simply a cactus on a window sill!
So understand this little rich girl, there is reading and there is reading, there is a world of difference, if you dont even bother to argue with the belief, you are what you eat. Then you would have absolutely no problem understanding – why, you are most definitely without a shadow of doubt what you read and dont read.
You can certainly categorize what I write, but you have no right to judge ……that was what Singaporedaily did - a broad line has to be drawn, otherwise, dont be surprise, if someone decides its card blanche to give you and me the mushroom treatment, “feed you shit and keep you in the dark.” So this has nothing to do with Anime 3 and her rubberband brigade. I value her readership and support, but this is a bigger sphere we are dealing with here – so this is where I will draw the line…it will hurt…like that other fake site, Temasek review that kept faking doss attacks; but how could they let the real wolf out without first planting the idea in peoples mind, “if it can happen to me, it will also happen to you,” Think about it – they cried wolf – we helped, but this time, I am not going to stick my neck out for no one…its everyman for himself….I dont even care, if the whole house catches fire…call it tough love, but if you aren’t a hard man, then you shouldn’t be in the ring and that’s the only way to deal with people who cry wolf, its all here, the explanation