In just under a month, i hope to move to X-burg. i haven’t found a flat yet but it should be possible to get a studio flat for less than 350 Euros a month. That’s a reasonable amount for East Germany, but that the X-burg school gives each teacher less than 120 units a month, so they can pay the lower rate (12 Euros/unit) – this means about 1400 Euros a month at the most, before tax. Consider my medical insurance – 600 Euros a month. i’m also stuck paying for a monthly travel ticket in Ultima Thule, after unwisely signing some kind of Faustian bus pass pact with my school, so even when i’m in X-burg i’ll be shelling out 65 Euros a month for UT trams & buses. i also need to transfer about 200 Euros a month to my English credit card, to keep the bank off my back.

And then there is tax. i just received a lengthy tax form. i’ll have to spend a few hundred Euros asking a German accountant to help me fill it in. i predict that the tax will exceed the 3000 Euros i saved up last year, when i was actually earning enough to live. This will entirely consume the money i will need for a bond, moving costs, etc.

i’m not really sure what to do. i can’t stay in Ultima Thule anymore – for one thing, there’s even less work here than in X-burg (i’m averaging about 1000 Euros/month before tax), for another the stench of doom is overwhelming, so i feel the whole UT school is going to go down in flames at any moment (a feeling shared by others).

i like teaching but it seems common to earn under 1500 Euros a month, before tax, and since i need about 7000 Euros a year just for medical insurance, i don’t have many options. i could go for a shared flat in X-burg, to save money, but that i am so sick of living with a retarded hippy that i am determined to live alone. The 200 Euros a month i currently pay is actually quite expensive since i can’t really use the kitchen – in true retarded hippy fashion he monopolizes all the available space, so the fridge is packed full of his tofu and quorn, and he casually steals anything i dare store outside of my room. i wouldn’t be surprised if he comes into my room to steal, too, since he seems incapable of grasping the idea of property or privacy; though i think he wouldn’t be happy if i sold his (expensive) furniture or hippy dog to buy philosophy books. As always with hippies, the door only swings one way.

i have nightmares (of being hunted, killed, being fired, made homeless) almost every night now, but in my waking hours i feel calm enough. i feel i’ve run out of world, there is nowhere to go. i feel no enthusiasm for X-burg; it is beautiful enough but i can’t imagine living there and their school struck me as weird and somehow just wrong. Everything about it jarred.

However, i couldn’t afford to live anywhere like Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and i don’t know what else to do. i know i can’t stay in Ultima Thule (i can feel a weird, ineluctable pressure forcing me out, as i felt in Manchester in 2009), i have no interest in X-burg, but there is nothing else i can do, nowhere to go. If my taxes use up the 3000 i saved, as they almost certainly will, i won’t be able to afford to move anyway, and then i’ll have to have another serious think about things.

Although the anxiety is clearly bleeding into my dreams (or, rather, nightmares), i have reason for my waking unconcern. It’s true i worry perpetually about money but it is also exceedingly unstable. It would be easier for Fate to grant me riches than, say, a happy relationship – emotions being fairly fluid, but not as fickle as mere money. Today, i had lunch with the rock star teacher from LA, who leaves for China this week – we were talking about money and he said he used to have $1 million till a band member effectively stole most of it; now he only has $200,000, though he earns $40,000/year in royalties. i seem to be the only teacher who likes the rock star – the others despise him as a cartoon American (he uses words like “awesome” a lot). i’ve always liked him, think him decent, and find him interesting, as a 30-year-old who walked away from a lucrative musical career because, as he put it “I fucking hated being in a band”; i’ve known him a year without realising he has more money than even our senior management students (he is  an adrenaline-charged workaholic who works partly in order to work, not for money).

He told me he keeps it quiet because in America rich people feel a need to flaunt their wealth, and he doesn’t feel it’s such a big deal. i confessed that i am impressed by wealth, because i grew up thinking the bank would repossess the family house, and i would go to prison (thanks to my mother’s hysterical rants on the subject, which began when i was about 8). As an adult i’ve nearly been homeless two or three times – being unable to earn enough money for rent, because i have no useful skills. i regard anyone with money with amazement; they have something i lack – they are valued by the world. i don’t feel anything like envy, i merely regard them with astonished wonder.

However, i find it hard to get too worked up about things. Although i am hunting for a cheap but bearable studio flat in X-burg, i find it impossible to believe i will ever go there – i think i will be crushed by a stray meteor first, or the hippy will kill me Charles Manson-style, and make me into a giant spliff, or i will dissolve into a thousand thousand moments, aberrant on the wind, then lost – and all will be as it must.