Present continuous October 4, 2007Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
Tags: Engelbert, prostitutes
Gosh. Life’s a bit relentless, isn’t it? You go to bed at night thinking, “I am good, aren’t I? Got through another whole day. In Russia I’d probably be given an Order of Someone-or-Other for that.” And then, sure enough, you wake up again the next
afternoon morning and have to do the whole living thing again.
So, to fill in the time… some books wot I have been given.
Quite exciting getting books in the post. Well, terrifying if the postman happens to catch you in, because there’s all that opening-the-front-door and worrying that it will be the police, who’ve finally tracked you down for the crime you haven’t done, or the landlord to say you’re too unspeakable to go on living in his flat, or someone from some Amt or other making sure that you’re living your life correctly. But, luckily, the postman normally can’t be bothered to ring – we live on the second floor – and pretends we were out and leaves the nice note in our correct, standard and labelled-in-keeping-with-the-other-fonts-of-the-house post-box downstairs. “Ooh, a parcel!” I think. And plan to dash straight off until I see in big letters that the parcel is to be picked up at such and such a place – heute jedoch nicht – but not today. Then I pace the streets all night until I finally get exhausted and pitch my tent outside the post-office to be in before all the ne’er-do-wells with too much time on their hands first thing…
I wake sodden and confused, then rustle up a full-English on my camping-gas and have some tepid tea from my flask. Check if I’ve started a tent-city and a democratic revolution and burn the tickets for illegal camping from the Ordnungsamt. Then I change out of my Kevlar into some appropriate day-wear – a nice pair of slacks, my deck shoes and a tweed jacket – and take up my position in the queue. Of course I’m normally beaten to first place by some pensioner (posting letters to the Stasi) (you think they’d do pre-paid) but patiently wait my go with the woman-with-short-blond-hair-and-glasses with heroic forbearance.
But do you know who was in the queue between me and Stasi-woman last time round? Only a young woman, with LONG blond hair and NO glasses – have you ever known such a scandal? – with a huge parcel for, and I’m not joking, the Engelbert-Humperdinck-Schule in Frankfurt. I forced my brain into activity and can only conclude that she had printed out all of Enge’s fan mail to send just in case spirits in Frankfurt were at a low ebb. I know it’d work for me. (OK, I suppose that the school could, possibly, be named after another Enge but I’m choosing to go with the other option.)
I rushed through my transaction with the woman-with-short-blond-hair-and-glasses so that the pensioner behind me wouldn’t have to labour for too much longer under the weight of the parcel he was having dispatched to the Paula-Abdul-Schule in Hoyerswerda. Truth is stranger than fiction.
So the DJ has been up to his old tricks and is sending me books in the post again to try and keep me on the straight and narrow. And he’s so clever, knowing that it’s my only ambition in life to be a Jew (but without the God bits) (or kosher bits, while we’re on the subject) (well, or probably most of the bits, actually) and giving me a book on Yiddish civilisation by a certain Paul Kriwaczek, whose family fled Vienna for London when he was a boy. It’s got Jews. It’s got anecdotes. It’s got Central Europe. I’m in clover.
“You khev got peckidzh?” the Russian asked out of the blue in an e-mail from Putin’s perfect post-communist paradise.
“Bzzzzzzz,” went the postman, who was obviously working on a commission that day. I slipped into my negligee and high-heels just in case he’d need to be encouraged to take the weight off his feet. Up the stairs bounded a lovely, big, blond thing. “I’m having awful trouble with my cistern,” I said, thinking he’d happily help a damsel in distress. But he said it wasn’t in his remit, asked for my signature and went bounding off back down the stairs with, I think I’m not mistaken, a hint of a chuckle.
I got back into my slacks, deck shoes and tweed jacket and made short work of the overdone packaging. The book of Belle de Jour with her name and a big high-heel that frankly wasn’t a patch on the ones I’d put on in my failed attempts at seducing post-boy in glittery pinky-purple on the cover.
“Oh, darling, thank you. You’ve got me the book by that blogging prostitute.”
“Yes, I sink you laik. She prostitute. She Jewish. She blog. She make book.”
Liukchik, will you marry me?