Tag Archives: Europe

The Roman, the Greek and the Nazi(s)

How overdue this blog is can easily be defined by the time past between my last publication here (August ’12). But even to a wider extent by the strong urge I have had to write this piece – which dates back many, oh so very many years. It may have first manifested itself inside of me during the school-year 2003/04 that I spent living in Cork, Ireland. Over there, in a overly catholic boys-to-men-school I was first being introduced to the idea of having foreigners tell me what they know – or thought to believe – about Germany and its past. Spoiler alert: it is not a very happy story! Of course not, how could it be?! Well, truth be told: my classmates back then were 15-16 years old and still had a few years of school in front of them. And even I had three more years to go afterwards. But then again, these 3 years – speaking about the history class in particular – were filled with one subject: Ze Zermans.
Okay, now here is, what I remember from all in all 9 years of more or less intense history-learning in various schools:

There once was a German Empire. Then they fought a war, lost it, got blamed. Started a second war, lost it. And rightfully so: got blamed. And then there were two German countries until David Hasselhoff miraculously reunited them, full stop.

Well, this is mind and taking those few weeks in middle school into account, during which the teacher would playfully explain the Romans and the Greeks (and we are talking a few weeks only!) I have absolutely no idea about any other country or historic events. For all I know, Germany could be only 150 years old and the riverbanks from where I am currently typing these words got drawn here like in SimCity. If it was not for the English classes in which we scratched on the surface of history of all major English speaking (and the U.S.) me knowledge would be even more limited.
What is bothering me immensely is my lack of wisdom regarding my own national identity and how this may be perceived elsewhere. I was being “honored” by Estonian nationalists back in 2010 with them telling me that I should be proud of “the” past. Shocking for a person like me, being brought up in a school system that for 9 consecutive years indoctrinated my mind about Germans and Germany being the source of all evil.  That persons’ believe put aside, I wish I could, in that very moment, have been able to explain my knowledge more thoroughly – but nah. I was merely given the tools to accept all blaming and beating for something in the past.
But in today’s day and age, I strongly develop the urge to educate myself about the history of others, coz I want to understand the bigger picture. And maybe, just maybe, it will help me to understand why the German-centric view in school is as it is. For I am still afraid to raise my voice about the international beating I sometimes had to endure abroad. Don’t get me wrong, what happened was the ultimate hate crime – yet the school system still teaches us that it was my personal fault. Mine…?!


I won’t take the high road, but I’ll take the low – and I’ll be in Zagreb on Wednesday

For me and my true love, shall one day meet again!
I am off to Zagreb, Croatia in a few days. Purpose of this adventure, again, is my Uni, who kindly asks me to write a Bachelor-Thesis. Me, for I really really want to learn Croatian and explore the country and culture to its fullest found a superb placement, called “Expat Adria”, for whom I will conduct a communication needs assessment. I shall be looking forward to it. And, of course, I am very much looking forward to exploring a culture that means the world to me. I have this decent camera of mine that takes pictures (you don’t say!) and thus I expect the most of you here again, for images and stories! Stay tuned!

zbogom! 🙂


The old man and the window

Living in a street covered in red lights in a medium-sized Dutch city offers room for interesting observations of human behaviour.

I stare out of my window in the 1st floor. My window is huge and beautiful, but that is not the point. The point is that I am looking out of the window, knowing that only a few meters from my window I find windows covered in darkish red lights, the color provided by neon tubes. Each evening after work, I spend some minutes at my huge and beautiful window, staring at the traffic of people passing by, slowly, insecure, looking for people like me staring at them, hoping to not catch eye contact. One day, I watched a man (I reckon in his late 50’s) passing by my window more than 10 times within 1 hour, his facial expression showed loneliness at its core…

The “elderly” are being substitutes by young blokes once the dawn sets in, either making sure the prostitutes are not being harassed or, even more often I came to understand, trying to sell hard drugs. It never gets dark at night, it never gets silent at night. I don’t know who intimidates me more; those who actively seek the red lights or those who try to make a living with the lights. But nonetheless, old men, loitering down my street, longing for cold lights with cold eyes; this street is interesting for observations of human kind. provided that you have huge and beautiful windows…