Header

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…

 

Krieg

DSCN1660Dort gibt es kein Gut.
Dort gibt es kein Böse.
Nur ein Grat existiert Dort,
auf ihm liegt beides, ganz in grau.

Dort gehen weder Sieger noch Besiegte hervor.
Es verliert jeder Dort.
Viele ihr Leben.
Die Dort überlebten, wurden doch vernichtet.

Denn Krieg ist dort.

Dort fällt Gerechtigkeit, stirbt Hoffnung,
werden Grundsätze zerfetzt,
Individualität getötet
und Menschlichkeit zerfleischt.

Denn Dort ist Krieg.

DSCN1662Ein Hier gibt es Dort nicht,
oft auch kein Jetzt.
Auf Das Morgen hofft man Dort nicht mehr
oder wagt nicht daran zu denken.

Ein Morgen aber wird es immer geben,
aber nicht für die Dort,
denn Dort sind am Ende alle tot.
Ob sie verstarben oder noch leben.

Denn Krieg ist Dort.

Für Dort gab es nie Einen Grund oder Sinn,
kann es nie nur ein Urteil geben.
Selbstständig wurde sein Lauf und Gang,
durch Hass, Wut und die Seele eines Jeden.

DSCN1680

Am Ende ist es da, Ein Morgen.
Doch Wer lebt Wie im Wo von Morgen ?
Nur eine sichere Erkenntnis wurde Im Dort geboren,
zu viel wird Dort verloren.

Nie Wieder
darf Ein Dort passieren,
dies dürfen Wir nicht dulden,
wir die im Heute existieren.

So müssen wir doch auch ein Urteil fällen
über das Wie und Warum,um nicht an die Wand,
sondern an den Pranger zu stellen.

Um zu verhindern, Heute am selben Ort,
wie Gestern, Im Morgen Ein Neues Dort
Weil Dort war Krieg
und Krieg war Dort.

– BMvR –

Gerade sah ich eine Dokumentation im “Yesterday”-Channel über den zweiten Weltkrieg, nachdem ich hier im War Museum war. London ist lebendige Geschichte, leider gehört Krieg dazu. Wir leben im Frieden in Zentral-Europa seit Ende des zweiten Weltkrieges. Dies ist nicht selbstverständlich. Ein Wochenende in der Gegend um Verdun und Recherche davor und danach zeigte mir den Schrecken und die Perfidität des Krieges. Eines Krieges, in welchem zum ersten Mal in der Geschichte der Menschheit Massenvernichtungswaffen entwickelt und genutzt wurden. Der chemische Krieg. Giftgas. Gedanken, dass dies nie wieder passieren dürfe kamen mir in den Kopf, gepaart mit dem Wissen, dass zwanzig Jahre später der zweite Weltkrieg ausbrach. Wieder ein Krieg der Massenvernichtungswaffen. Der physikalische Krieg, der die Zeit der Atomwaffen einläutet. Lernen wir aus der Geschichte?

Eine Affinität zu Kampf, Waffen und Waffentechnik aber auch Leidenschaft für Geschichte führten dazu mich intensiver mit Kriegsgeschichte zu beschäftigen. Vor allem später auch aus wissenschaftlicher Perspektive. Krieg ist leider eine der wichtigsten Triebkräfte von wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnis und technischer Innovation. Alles kann – nichts muss?

Eine tragische Geschichte offenbart die Tragik der Rolle, die Wissenschaft und Ethik oft spielen. Ein deutscher jüdischer Patriot und Wissenschaftler, forschte an chemischen Insektiziden und entwickelte abgeleitet daraus aktiv im ersten Weltkrieg die ersten Giftgase für das deutsche Militär. Sein Name war Fritz Haber, späterer Nobelpreisträger (1919). Die ersten Tests der „Verblasung“ von Senfgas wurden mit ihm nicht weit von meinem Elternhaus in der Wahner Heide bei Köln durchgeführt. Einem Truppenübungsplatz den ich oft als Exkursionsgebiet besuchte. Seine Frau war eine der wenigen herausragenden, promovierten weiblichen Wissenschaftler um die Jahrhundertwende ins 20. Jahrhundert. In einer Zeit, in der es als Frau noch ungleich schwerer war als heute. Sie hatte ihn gewarnt, dass er auch eine Verantwortung trüge für seine Forschung und die Menschen, die durch seine Arbeit und Erkenntnisse getötet werden. Sie drang nicht zu ihm durch. Schlussendlich beging sie Selbstmord. Vermutlich auch durch den tragischen Tod eines Mitarbeiters Haber’s im Labor beeinflusst, einem gutem Freund. Fritz Haber starb 1934, nachdem er von den beginnenden Repressalien der Nationalsozialisten frustriert nach England auswanderte. Dass wesentliche Giftgase bzw. Wirkgruppen dieser wie zB Phosphodiester – Verbindungen, die er entdeckt und entwickelt hatte – später zur Vergasung von Insassen der Konzentrationslager genutzt wurden, erlebte er nicht mehr.

Wir brauchen mehr starke Frauen in der Wissenschaft wie seine Frau Clara Immerwahr. Frauen scheinen oft ihre zwei Gehirnhälften besser nutzen zu können und eine gewisse Weitsicht oder  bewusste Intuition zu haben, die Männern wohl manchmal (oder doch öfter?) fehlt. Gerade in der Wissenschaft. Patriarchismus = Patriotismus? Nun ja, Oscar Wild wird of zitiert mit: “Patriotismus sei die Tugend der Boshaften (“Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious”). Ein Zitat, dass von ihm nicht belegt ist und vermutlich auf James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) zurückgeht (” Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel = Patriotismus ist die letzte Zuflucht der Halunken”).

Beide Zitate treffen den Punkt jedoch recht genau.blog2
Man(n) trägt Verantwortung ohne Ausrede.

Auch, diese weitsichtig wahrzunehmen.

Nicht nur bis zur Spitze des eigenen Speeres.

 

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.

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…

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.