Pictures i took today:

and, near my house:

i expect to leave Ultima Thule on or before 1 April. i’m not 100% sure i’ll even be going to X-burg, as i have an increasingly bad feeling about the city and the school, and so have applied for a job with another company, based all over Germany. If i don’t hear anything in a week i’ll hunt a flat in X-burg, as i can’t leave it till the last minute; but i hope to get something better, in a higher-paying school. One piece of good news – i shouldn’t get a tax demand till after i’ve left, so i can use the little money i saved for a bond and moving costs, and deal with the Kaiser in due course. Amusingly, in addition to tax apparently i should be giving 20% of everything i earn to the German pension fund – so, from 1200 Euros a month, subtract: 600 for medical insurance, 60 for transport, 200 for accommodation,  250 for the pension fund, about 150 for food, 200 for interest payments on my British credit card, and THEN tax – how much does that leave…a minus number, i see.

i’ll miss some aspects of UT – mainly the large park about 1 km from my flat. i like Philosophenweg, my quiet street, with its impudent little Hegelweg offshoot. The park is interesting, with a dozen statues of Roman/Greek deities, oddly chosen – Pomona, Flora, Liktor, Caritas, Hades, Vulkan, Pluto and Persephone, among others. The only major gods are of the underworld, the rest being very minor, and usually female. The statue of Hades is a figure of power and knowledge; he holds the horn of plenty, for all wisdom comes from the dead, from the dark (from where else does the sun rise?), from suffering.

X-burg is beautiful but lacks comparable parks. i feel weird in largely urban environments – of all the places i’ve lived, the hardest was Leeds, where greenery is in short supply, and then usually the home not of gods but of junkies and rapists and chavs.

i contemplate the prospect of another Kiel-like ordeal with weary resignation. If i go to X-burg i predict i will fall foul of the Director of Studies, a wizened power woman on speed, a type i have met many a time in office work – they instinctively loathe me. i will probably be fired or just given the worst jobs, teaching Business English to 19-year-old engineering apprentices, etc. i’m not sure i can take any more of this. i feel dangerously close to snapping in half; though, then again, it is surprising how much one can take, when one has no other choice. And it is certainly a mistake to suppose life is essentially enjoyable, or that it is arranged for one’s own convenience.

i should welcome unemployment and destitution and debt, since Kiel was a valuable time, spiritually speaking – forced back on yourself, rejected by the world, you must consider matters without niceties. But in truth i just want a half-way decent job and a flat i don’t have to share with a retarded hippy. However, lacking any worthwhile skills or qualifications (or money), i must make do with what i am given. In spite of everything i am still alive, aged 35, and that seems so improbable as to suggest things might work out, improbably.