i went up to Würzburg a couple of weeks ago, as my friend the Viking has found a job in Bratislava and so i had to reclaim my books etc., all stashed with him after i left Kassel. In full multi-tasking mode i also met Juniper, and decided to introduce her to the Viking at Germany’s greatest pub, Till Eugenspiegel. Since leaving university the Viking has become increasingly unhinged and renegade, so i advised her: “he is not as other men. He cannot be judged, merely contemplated.”

A typical Viking anedote – he left his boring chemist job in Canada, headed back to Würzburg with no aim in mind, and made no effort to get a job until he had almost run out of money; he only then became aware that it is difficult to, e.g. pay rent and buy food without a job or private income. On one of my visits to Würzburg, he told me he had no money left and was waiting for a Western Union transfer from his parents; i had almost no money but, fearing he would take to eating dead dogs and grass, gave him 50 € – he immediately went into a bookstore and spent 20 € on manga comics. i admire this feckless attitude and only wish i could be as unheeding of money. He is as the lily of the fields, albeit a scowling, bearded badass Roman Catholic lily.

Most people, if they attempted to live by The Viking Rules, would quickly become homeless and starve to death, or be beaten to death by people for making offensive remarks in public. The Viking was close to this point when he bumped into a group of Russian chemists on the streets; after 5 minutes’ chat they recognised his inner light and offered him his present job. Truly, the Lord provides. i wish i could be as reckless though in a way i have been – every time i tell people i came to Germany knowing no Kraut, with only about 1000 €, and a job offer with inlingua (with a justifiedly black reputation), they blink amazedly and say: “that was brave”. Not brave so much as desperate, the only alternatives being suicide or a lifetime of minimum wage data entry.

i prefer Würzburg to Munich – it has a small town feel but in a good way, and isn’t overwhelmed with tourists like Munich (though i mainly only see Marienplatz, the tourist centre). It’s also considerably cheaper. On the other hand, there are more beautiful women in Munich, more work, and i get to see chaps in comedy lederhosen, and women in dirndls, quite often, for free. But certainly it was good to get away from the bustle and glittering frenzy of Munich for a day.

A picture Juniper took in Würzburg: