#where are the statues of naked men?
#where are the statues of naked men?
if I was naive,
I’d expect someting to change
I’d expect that (these) Twitter messages
but I’m not.
The shock is not that it took ages to bring Weinstein’s criminal behaviour to court, that the “MeToo”-campaign crows day by day, that even the Swedish Foreign Minister experienced sexual harassment, that a German musician is celebrated even by young women for publishing a book in which he describes on how he cheated on his wife for 50 years (with every woman that he could take), that, if two candidates are quite equal, you can bet that the man will get the higher position
the shock is that we live in the world of the year 2017 and we manage to fly to the moon and back but guess what we can not manage?!
And that it needed some American ass* falling down because of his instincts to evoke a discussion on this around the World.
He was entering the tram like a Spanish bull making its way into the arena. Screamed for his girlfriend “Linda”. On the next station, he asked for his girl “Olga”. One more station and she was called “Steffi”. Several minutes later, and I see him sitting on a stone desk with a bunch of people, his hands holding some unnamed structure/content; definitely without the name “Linda”, “Olga” or “Steffi” but with more illegal content than just kisses and sex. The furious bull has calmed down; turned into an innocent lamb.
Mannheim, September 2017
On the day of the Federal Election in Germany, we’re first in Guimaraes – the “Siege of Portuguese Nation”. While we walk around the old castle, our guide speaks of Portuguese dicatator António de Oliveira Salazar and his plans with the Castelo. Later, she says that many Portuguese want Salazar – despite his politics – back; “just like many Germans want Hitler back”. Nobody comments on this, yet quite a few of my elderly co-travellers shake their heads at this sentence.
Some hours later, we’re at Bom Jésus do Monte, one of the most important religious centres of the country. It’s 17:00 Portuguese, 18:00 German time. The poll stations in Germany close. It rains heavily. At first, that certain number/percentage about the AFD is some whispering smoke in my back when I literally fear for my life in that old tram down the hill from Bom Jésus. Later that day, it becomes reality as I take some aspirin to kill my headache in some dirty hotel room in the university city of Coimbra.
Some days later, in the News Museum in Sintra, I listen to the radio speech that, in 1974, started the end of the Estado Novo and opened Portugal’s way into being a free republic. Meanwhile, in Germany, our free republic has gotten some dirt on its young face.
Once, the was a small Koalabear-Boy who needed to flee his homeland Australia because of fire – there was no eucalyptus left for him to eat. Some years ago, he had ended up drinking with an elderly sailor from Europe and this wise man had told him that there were so many eucalyptus-trees in a small country named Portugal, at the Atlantic, so the small Koala went on a voyage, well hid on a boat, and took all the way to Europe. It took time; he went over Japan and somewhere in Africa, but then finally, he set foot on Portuguese soil – I think, it was in Porto.
His steps were unshaky – in need of food and water, the small Koala had eaten a lot of Portguese sweets (ah, these Pasteis de Nata!!) and drank a lot of Port-Wine. Needlesss to say that he was sick of Portguese Fado – six weeks on the sea and only some heartbraking beat to dance on. In O-Porto, the young Australian searched for any eucalyptus-tree but he came only across some black cats and women in woollen-black-dresses, plus some young Luis-Figo-footballers annoyed him to death (why couldn’t they understand that he was still too much struggling with the time difference to be interested in playing football?!)
So he took all his courage and got on a bus and a tram – and ended up somewhere on the beach, with only some surfers to find hidden in the foggy distance. He returned to the city and the next day, he made another try – to end up in Braga, Coimbra, and in other cities he couldn’t pronounce.
He was so sick of hunger. Everyone he spoke to told him of churches, cathedrals, Kings and Queens, offered him Pasteis, wished him Bom Dia all day long.
Finally, he had enough and went to a small market where he actually found eucalyptus-bonbons but nobody could tell him where they came from. So he wandered and wandered around, got friends with some surfers, and – before he finally got addicted to Portoguese sweets and wine, these friends took him to a day-trip to a National Park in the North of the country. Here small Koala realized that in Portugal, there had been fires as well and a lot of wood had died the previous weeks. Sad, he sat down and just wanted to be left alone. Suddenly, he heard a noise and looked up – to realize that he sat under an eucalyptus-tree – that had been occupied by ten storks – from France (they had fleed their homecountry because they were sick of tourists, taking pictures of them). The Koala-boy and the animals talked and talked when the surfers showed up and asked if small Koala wanted to return to the city with them. He didn’t – but it didn’t take long and he was annoyed by all the woods and the fog around him.
Young Koala took his small suitcase and walked to Lisboa (the sailor back in Aussie-land had spoken so much of the city) and Young Koala liked it there – even if he wasn’t sure if Porto wasn’t a way much more relaxed (tourists!!).
That was years ago – today, the Koala is older (calls himself a man, not a boy) and works as a graffiti-artist both in Porto and Lisboa; when he isn’t surfing in the cold Atlantic.
He has always an eucalyptus-bonbons-package in his small cork-bag on his back. And sometimes (sshh, not too loud – he doesn’t want to destroy his image of being a very, very cool Expats-Aussie-surfer), the Koala reads poetry of Fernando Pessoa or likes listening to Fado music in a small Alfama-café that is unknown to tourists.
#two weeks in Portugual and one ends up writing about Koala-boys/-men
#Portuguese eucalyptus-bonbons kill every flu
“Escudos” – “Stairs”. The first Portugues name/word/expression for me to learn was “stairs”, not “your eyes are beautiful”, “what is your name” or “hi”. He managed it to let me follow him all the way from the Duoro River and back, through the Cathedral and back and to somewhere else; with back cats following/watching our way until we had to climb up the small stairs to his flat. Porto/Braga
I’ve written myself a vow: You’re allowed to enter my heart/my life/my bed when you’re as unconcentrated as the guy in the “Enjoy your Pretzel”-Café in Braga and still manage to serve Pasteis de Nata as smoky as hell but as delicious as heaven. Braga
Up on the hill, I felt so old, sweating/capturing up for breath among the young students of Coimbra. 600 stairs or less and I see you leaning on the iron fence, smiling up to something, maybe to the Fado that is played in another narrow street around the corner, smiling up to the naked woman’s sculpture, maybe to your girlfriend who I firstly suspected to the be standing nearby when I first discoved your smile/gaze/that perfect photo shoot, or you’re stoned, simply as that. Writing these lines, that smile I captured/stole from you (na, you still smiled when I left) is reflected/shining on mine and the Portoguese rain has long gone. Coimbra
my beauty stays//unlike the weather conditions//unlike the languages spoken around me. Sintra
Sometimes you need to travel to the End of The World to find your World. Porto/Nazaré/Cabo do Roca
Dear Mr. Counter-Tenor, so sorry I’ve forgot your name but just because you didn’t sing of Eternal Love, in the City of Love, in the City of Don Pedro and Donna Ines, in the City of Turteltauben. Alcobaca
No words needed. Lisboa
You’ve stripped me half-naked with all your eyes, took only a second when our way crossed, but no way I’ve would have gone naked to you. Maybe those with still their clothes on would have won the game; those who didn’t look like naked Easter-Sunny-Chocolate-bunnies/aka bodybuilders. Cascais
let’s start a revolution and begin to see beauty in all the small/simple things.
#ludwigshafen – unpeudifferentcetweekend
There are days, like today, when on my way to work, I stand in the tram and suddenly see German flags. Not one, but several. State flagging. On buildings such as the police headquarters or the district court. And then in these moments, I try to remember which day it is today. Ah, 27th of January (remembering the victims of Nationalsocialism), 1st of May (Day of Labour), 17th of June (remembering the Popular uprising in the DDR in 1953) – or 20th of July. 1944. Attempt of killing Hitler. By Stauffenberg and others. Who were killed because of their actions of resistance/Widerstand.
I’ve forgot the flags in the moment I was entering office around 9a.m. The idea of resistance only came back to my mind when – on my way home – an man stood on the tram’s plattform, yelling something the World War Three coming. The infidels would take power over. The way the man spoke, one could believe that he had started sleeping in 1945 and was now waking up. Apparently, the Americans start to take us over (again?). Not sure agains whom we should resist more – those warning of World War Three or those telling us that World War Two has taken the wrong end.
*It is believed that the last worlds of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg – before he was shot dead – were “Long live sacred Germany”/”Lang lebe das heilige Deutschland”.
*The picture shows the entrance to the German Concentration Camp of Dachau. It was openend on March 22nd in 1933 as camp for political prisoners. It was liberated on April 29th in 1945 by US-troops. About 42.000 people died in Dachau during these 12 years. Work did not liberate, regardless of religion, ethical belonging or political belief. (“Arbeit macht frei” – “Work sets you free.”).