Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fr├╝hling der Unzufriedenheit

Easter Sunday Katja and I took the regional Bahn two hours north of Hamburg to the city of Flensburg -- directly on the danish border. This delicious foliage (see photo), soaking up the sunshine, was tucked away in a park we discovered in a corner of that city -- a perfect spot for an Easter egg hunt, perhaps.

[Flensburg, the Northernmost city in Germany, is known nationwide, perhaps exclusively, for its beer of the same name. Situated on a bay stretching in from the Baltic Sea, the city spreads out on the hills that rise on either side of that body of water. It is beautiful mostly for its aquatic views and diversity of architecture, including numerous war survivors]

Having spent a gorgeous, chilly day in the sun and fallen asleep digesting a delicious offering of the local catch, it was a bit of a surprise and disappointment to wake up the next morning to this:While unexpected, and too wet and melting for lengthy walking in leather womens shoes, the snow was beautiful, and their source had an insulating effect than left the air warmer than the previous day. We we both content to leave early, reading on the train ride home.

Nevertheless, this unexpected, rapid and jarring shift in weather was not unique to Flensburg, and far from new. Several weeks ago it seems, just after it started getting lighter outside in Hamburg, the temperatures rose a bit for the first time, and the buds showed. And what seemed promptly thereafter, the temperatures plunged and the clouds and snow returned.

It may not have been quite so harsh, but it seemed to me to coincide poetically with the news of the denial of my application for a work permit and the subsequent building anxiety as my dream of studying woodworking in Germany began to crumble; a fear that seemed only to be confirmed by every official I consulted, including a very generous and well-dressed lawyer who donated some of his time to my cause.

The weather has not changed, nor the b├╝rokratic Frust(ration), but the unending generosity and patience of my employers, and their near-inexplicable willingness to fight for their would-be apprentice have raised my spirits and hopes somewhat (even as unpromising back-up plans--insurance against crippling disappointment--are readying silently for the worst)."Corruption and Abuse of Power; there are no reasons to trust politics" ...nor convoluted government machines, for that matter.