Author Archives: Earl

Summertime – alive, not dead in the German Embassy

Its a hot sunny day with over 30°C in London. I have to pick up my new passport and for that reason I combine this need with the joy to walk to the German Embassady, which leads me through some very nice quarters of London from the Natural History Museum in South Kensington to the area at Belgravia/Knightsbridge.

Not a bad hood either. Rock’n hard bro’. And cookin’ hard yo, because the idea to cut the hair to 6mm these hot days and not wearing a base cap, well makes me wearing now some ice-cold yoghurt to cool my slightly burned scalp while writing these words in the evening. Enjoying a gloriously colored sunset, drinking some bitter lemon, additional lime added. Beautiful. Ice would be just too much, too perfect.

But back to the embassy. To pick up the passport up I could go straight to line number 3 without the need to draw a number and to wait long. However, one person in front is sometimes enough. Persistently asking repeatedly questions, which the really friendly embassy assistant has repeatedly to deny to know. It ends that he sits down to other persons complaining that the personnel does not know what they should know. Well, all information about the new german id-card is available in the online information. I know that, I had the same questions. Sometimes it helps to read.

Yet, waiting I really had a fun-time. A nice elder couple had obviously problems with their passports. He was classically old school dressed in a Jacket, Hat. She in an exquisite costume and explained slightly embarrassed but still gentle that she is not dead. Well, I’ d agree, quot erat demonstrandum… And she silently proceeds to say that she is here, and she really needs the passport… I would have felt a bit naughty if I had listened more. So I allowed my attention to be drawn away by the sports channel showing an older press conference of “Kloppo” my favorite trainer of Borussia Dortmund. What a cool, awesome dude. Anyhow, the Indian lady in line 4 next to me distracted me a again when she tried to explain that she has no daughter. But a son. Who is 4 years old and cannot be 1,80 m. Hm… well, they say India is a fast growing nation, but… that fast?

Then it was my turn. I said “Hi, my name is Bjoern v Reumont (in German – strange feeling) and I would like to pick up my new passport”. And the young lady smiled at me and said, “ah, der Herr Doktor (ah… the mister doctor), we were wondering when you pick up your passport – its here for a while since some month”. I had to laugh and said that it was not being late relying on the “academic quarter”(15 to ∞ min, note by the author), but seriously I did not receive the first notification mail.

I walked happily and smiling back to work. So own stories, so funny, absurd moments in that 30 min.
Great. Loriot was probably enjoying that also from above.

And last but not least, all official documents up to date, the next mexico expedition to come. Arriba andale…


At a cold winter night -no bad meets no evil

Hither Green, 02.00 am, a frosty, cold winter night in the year 2013. Nearly full moon. I am on a lonely children’s playground in a park near the railroad tracks. Stress reduction.

“Hey man are you all right?”. “Aehm me?”. I let go the metal bar of the swingset on which I hang and drop on my feet. I turn around and look into a tall black man’s face in a long coat, who comes closer. I open my coat and take two steps back getting a bit suspicious, “Yes, I am fine thanks.” “Ah okay, I just passed and saw you hanging there and was going to see if everything is all right”. “Well, thanks, I just hang there after some pull up sets to stretch the muscles”. “Smooth my friend. Are y’a local?”, he asks. “Well I live here yes, but am from Germany”. “Ah I’d thought so, either  Swedish or German, Gute Abende”. “Oh,  you speak some German?” “Not really, worked there only for a short time, but we’ve many Germans here my friend”. “Yes, recognized that, strange”, I answer,” its like coming to London and speak mostly to foreign people. French, Spanish and so on and with the Germans than english”. “Yeah man its many cultures here”, he grabs inside his coat and pulls out cigarettes and a lighter. “Do you smoke?” “No, sorry – actually never did”. “Clever man”. I have to laugh, “well, not sure, eventually – on that topic”. We both smile. “Work or privat trouble, huah?” Damn he is good I think, “yeah, hm …you know…” Well my friend, your young, troubles come – troubles go, ‘t was nice meeting you. I leave you alone then, sorry for bothering. I was also just going to smoke a cigarette before returning home, my wife does not like me to smoke there. Take care”. Saying that, he shortly rises his hand and walks away.

Outskirts of London at night. People care. And respect privacy at the same time. He aint been a stabber but a care taker. I am once more surprised of that city – it makes me think, gives me new, unexpected experiences. Great. I close my coat and also return slowly home. In my head starts the song of Slim shady to play (before he came famous as EMINEM). When bad meets evil… I have to laugh loud.

Moving to the Natural History Museum, London

The first experience was that tube and railway are not really suitable to travel with large suitcases. Dare to have more than one. The tube traffic system is not built for handicapped people at all. Be aware, if you travel with large suitcases in London, you might fall into the second class becoming seriously handicapped afterwards. Mentally and physically. As the oldest subway system in Europe London Tube might want to change that. Slowly. Do not rush.
Which is another point. Londoners move and act slow. Very slow. You better adapt as a taller German or you seriously might injure people. There is enough time to get on and out tube and train coaches. Yes, even after they have stopped. Actually that is the normal procedure here, you wait until they completely stand still, count silently until 10, and then you stand up and move to leave the coach. Make sure you mumble at least also ten times ‘sorry’, despite you did not bother anyone while exiting the train.
Oh, yeah. And this slowly-ness is also established phenomenon when supermarket shopping. At the cash desk you watch the goods being scanned and then you pack it into bags. Do not touch the bags before or while scanning procedure! It confuses also the cashier becoming seriously stressed feeling that he might work too slow. Which, from a German perspective, is indeed not only a lucky guess… the speed must not suit the German-extreme that the customer breaks out into tears because there is no way to catch up packing goods with lighting-fast scanning service persons, who shovel merciless the goods towards the customers while probably reading a book doing it. Something in between eventually? Very surprising for many persons in the Capital of the Tea is also that one finally has to pay in the end. And search their purse exactly then. In the end. Recognizing it’s not there, but trying instead to pay the almost 100 BPS with vouchers from the last shoppings. You better have a cup of tea prepared.

Yet, its a great capital. That interestingly slows you down in many aspects. Which is welcome, indeed. Surprisingly I felt being home from the first day. Like I have ever been here in London. Which is interesting, because from a historic perspective of a long family history I walk on one of my ancestor’s trail. But that is another blob, blog, ehm story…

Protec Sardinia – working on a cave diving base

After finishing the last analyses from the PhD as Greenhorn-Postdoc in Bonn I moved nearly three months to Sardinia. And worked at Protec Sardinia as Boat Captain, Dive Guide, Scientific guide, species collecting Scientist and of course was trained to proceed in cave diving. Basically, it was different work. Different responsibilities, namely for other persons security and life while diving or on the boat. Customer orientated thinking. Interesting at all. Thanks Toddy for that chance and trust in the “Boerni”.

I think often of that island, the mediterranean life style. Enjoying life, taking it somehow not so serious. Okay, there is more sun, admitted. Vitamin D based depressions are not that big deal here. Charming is however, the mix between hectic, fast temper and the mainly relaxed easy-going way. Latter does not include driving a car, mama mia. Always time for a coffee or cappucino. Embedded in a stylish, chic modus operandi of life. Partly distant, but not arrogant as typical for Paris, e.g. Great experience. I miss the boys from Protec Sardinia. Oh, of course the girls either. And finally, the sea. The diving and being overwhelmed by the diversity of species in, under and out of the water. Unbelievable scenery in the caves like walking and diving on a different planet.

And in very early mornings the experience that suddenly at a calm, morning-dusty sea it might happen that with a silent sound but intense presence dolphins appear in the waves of the boat and say hello to intercept and follow the boat a while. What a beauty. What a present moment.

I’ll be back, hopefully many times.