Yesterday I had my first visit to the unemployment office after my big shake-up last week. Everything went pretty smoothly but I’m still very much in the preliminary stages of getting any kind of unemployment for the next few weeks.
The guy who helped me might have been a little off, though he seemed quite the melodramatic type. What this is about, however, isn’t a wacky dude. It’s about history. This isn’t the first person who has told me absolutely frightening stories about their lives in Berlin. While it might not have been the best venue for his insight, I’m nevertheless moved any time I hear an everyday person recount their brushes with fate in Berlin. It’s probably got something to do with how apathetic this city can feel at times. More than that, however, is the nearness of events that I’d consider inconceivable. Imagining a divided Berlin is hard enough, let alone one whose opposing sides were so embroiled in conflict and international interest. Thankfully there are people like this who occasionally remind me of just where I live and how fucking strange this city can be.
"Those BOLSHEVIKS pointing their guns at us"
"Well then, Mr. Bauman, have you ever claimed unemployment benefits before?"