Tuesday, January 22, 2013

C-I-L-L. My Land....Lord

Maybe the smarmy little fuck saw us paying for our sumptuous Greek meal at Asteria with a 50.  We were sitting by the window and I swear I saw him slithering by.  Can’t let your landlord see you spending money.  Because then they will think they can milk you for MORE.  It’s in their nature, just as the parasite in your intestine is only trying to survive in a shitty tunnel.  Poor, smarmy little shitsucker.  He is only doing his caca duty in the Capitalist World:  property owner, parasite, pain in my ass.

The greasy little bastard is everywhere:  in line in REWE at 11pm with his fancy black wool overcoat thrown slapdash over stained blue satin jogging suit—the kind only Eastern Europeans wear.  The man is a Pollock by birth, Berliner by accident, money grubbing parasite by choice.  Who gives these people property, really?  Didn’t earn it; no fucking way.  He slithers through the park, letting his greasy hair grow long while his baby mama grows fat.  He is a breeder, so he gets the dole as well (the government pays for his girlfriend’s flat, they share another flat, and he rents us her flat for double what they pay him, cash under the table).  He throws his head back, smirks and gives me a condescending little ‘hi!’  I nod and silently shoot needles out of my eyes into his empty fucking skull. 

‘Ach!  Mein kopf!’ he would say whenever I asked him to do his legal duty as a landlord and fix the fucking dump.  That or ‘Morgen! Ein hunnert procent! (Tomorrow! 100%!)’ Ask this empty-headed white trash slumlord for anything and you get bullscheisse.  I ended up repairing everything in the flat myself at my own expense—only because listening to his bullscheisse one more time would result in me caving in the aforementioned skull with the nearest blunt object.

These warm feelings of death and destruction weren’t assuaged by his demand for more money.  Yup, one day I brought them the rent--just as I had done for 3 years--and they demanded 600 EUR per month instead of our usual 500.  For a small, one room flat. Tried to raise our rent 20% he did.  He even threw his arm in the air and said ‘600 pro monat oder RAUS (600 per month or GET OUT)!’  Strange how the Polish can imitate the Heil Hitler pose on demand.  Monkey see, monkey do I reckon.  Naturally, as an American, I don’t give in to terrorist demands. Nor do I take kindly to the cattle prod of gentrification.

One day The Weasel was in my flat.  He weaseled past Gabushka at the door—real sneaky like—and I found him fumbling around in my bathroom.  I was eating in the kitchen and really pissed off (because I had to drop my food).  I believe in a previous (Texan) life I shot bastards like him.  For LESS.  My German is scheisse and I don’t give two flying fucks.  So as I’m asking him between chews WTF he is doing in my bathroom, he spouted off some Germo-Polish crap about checking the meter.  I escorted him out of the flat.  Said to him (with a small degree of satisfaction I might add) ‘Morgen.  Ein hunnert procent.’

Then The Cow sent me an eviction email.  Gawd dammit, I miss the old days when printed eviction notices were nailed to the door, Martin Luther-like.  Cow and Weasel are lovers, breeders and my landlords.  I sublet under these stupid farm animals because that’s what We Foreigners have to put up with in Deutschland Uber Alles.  They don’t want us here, it is clear by the shitstorm of paperwork required to do ANYTHING here.  So The Weasel was pissed off when I asked him to leave.  He yells at The Cow (who speaks a few words of English) and she swings her udders over to the pc and bangs her hooves on the keyboard.

Now we are moving out.  It got so bad that they were trying to come into the flat every other day.  I refused every time.  I’m already out; they’re not getting in.  I changed the lock. Then they tried to move up our eviction date from 40 to 30 to 20 days.  Then, for the first time in this here donut muncher’s life:

I lawyered. The fuck.  Up.

You’re looking at a dude who never thought he would say the words ‘my lawyer’ from outside of a jail cell.  Lawyers are for people with money.  Or people in accidents.  The Polish farm animals made it easy.  They started a shouting match via email because they were too cheap to call me.  Stupid fuckers.  Now MY LAWYER (heh) has the transcripts.  24 hours later, MY LAWYER called me to say that I would no longer have any problem with these grubby little white trash fuckers (or German equivalent; maybe weißmüll scheißkopf ?).  He even got us another month in the flat while we look for new digs. Now there are no knocks on my door, no new email threats.  The Cow even wrote ‘please’ when she emailed to ask me to let the heater maintenance man in next Friday.

And I haven’t seen hide nor hair of The Weasel since.

Next episode:  A Rolling Donut Gathers No Moss

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Deep Fried Czech Christmas

All pans filled with bubbling oil and breaded meat; all people filled with booze over a big meal.  In Czechia they like to smažit; or fry the fuck out of everything. Then dump booze down their gullets in wave after wave.  The internal organs are the enemy and they must be punished with alcohol and fried foods. There were only four of us in the small Czech family village house for Xmas dinner but we ate and drank like there was no tomorrow or yesterday, Mayan style.

The small village kitchen was a sweltering vat of oil and steam as anything and everything edible was battered and chucked into a pan of oil. All burners were on 11 and each pan had its own animal: the carp pan, the chicken pan, the pork pan—and my personal favorite—the fried cheese pan (mmmm….cheeeeesse).  If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen, they say, so as soon as I chucked my cheesy contribution into the sizzling pan I went back to the living room to check on the condensation drops on my beer bottle. As we were about to sit down to SmazhFest 2012 and enjoy our deep fried carp, pork, chicken and cheese, Gabushka pointed out an interesting Czech Christmas superstition: nobody could get up from the xmas meal before the last person was finished eating.  If someone did, that person WOULD DIE.  Well, sure, we’re all gonna die eventually if all the fried food and booze doesn’t kill us.  No, it was more ominous than that.  There were no specifics; just the looming scythe of the Grim Reaper standing behind us as we ate.  No wonder the Czechs are so cynical—and dig Bergman films.

A big part of the Czech Christmas décor is the Betlem, or nativity scene.  Many Czech towns large and small hold a treasure trove of hand carved wooden nativity scenes dating back to medieval times.  Some of them even move with little wooden gears. Creepy. The average village house has a miniature nativity scene made of wood, mostly with no moving parts to choke a child or a fried-food-bloated Czech. As we sat at the table chewing the fatty food, Gabushka’s brother noticed the faint smell of burning wood and wondered if the Betlem was too close to the candles.  His mother, who had recently been released from the hospital, complained that she needed a toilet soon.

Everyone looked at each other’s plate: morsels remained and people weren’t yet finished.  I started to smell the scorched wood and The Brother tried to stretch his arm toward the Betlem on the shelf without leaving his seat.  Of course it was just out of reach.  Old Ma shifted in her seat and looked very nervous.  I hoped that she was wearing those adult diapers.  It was becoming abundantly clear that Czech people would crap their pants and burn down the house before fucking with holiday superstitions.

I shoveled my fried food in at a feverish pace and horsed down my beer to save us all.  Gabushka poked at her last two morsels of fried something-or-other and announced that if she had one more bite, SHE would die.  Right on cue, The Brother jumped up and put out the candles near the nativity scene and Old Ma hustled to the can as fast as her little old legs could carry her.

I remained seated, just in case.  Not that I am superstitious.  I was merely immobilized by the warm burn in my belly and the heavy beating of my heart as it feverishly fought an oil wrestling match with the Xmas dinner.  For a moment I thought I felt the icy, boney hand of The Reaper tickling my shoulder and I wished for a salad for the first time in my life.  

photos by Gabriela Sarževska