Articles, Germany

A postcard of modern Germany

Pablo is dead. Who is Pablo, you may ask? I had no idea either, but the main street downtown suddenly appeared full of flowers and written notes and candles and teddy bears. “R.I.P. Pablo”, said a graffiti in the shape of a heart. I started to think he was a victim of terrorism.

Turns out, he was a migrant from Gambia who sold marijuana. Perhaps for that reason, he was very popular among the young people who roamed downtown at night. It seems a couple of Algerians tried to rob him of his well-earned money. He ran away, and as he crossed the street, he was killed by an oncoming garbage truck. He was just 20 years old. He had been in Germany for just 2 years.

(I’m a a bit jealous of Pablo. I doubt anyone here will put flowers or candles when/if I am run over by a garbage truck. I don’t sell marihuana and my popularity is very low.)

A bit further north, in the neighbourhood of Sonnenberg, which means Sunny Mountain, there are other flowers and candles in the sidewalk. Those have been here for a few months already. Those are for Marie. Marie was also only 20 years old. She got drunk and fell from the window. Some thought it could be suicide, but she didn’t leave any note. She was German.

There are quite a few German drunkards and drug addicts in the Sonnenberg area. They usually gather in the parking lot of the local supermarket, even if there is a sign prohibiting drinking and loitering in the premises. They are harmless. They just drink and talk. They are all white. They are poor and unemployed.

The meth addicts, you can spot them by their thinness and weird eyes. There are not many of those, and they are rarely outside. There are no homeless people here, so whoever has drugs, he smokes, sniffs or shoots them at home. But sometimes someone has a bad trip and you can see him walking at night screaming or talking to himself without a phone. Or occasionally a drug addict couple arguing. They are all German too. The migrants are busy working or, like Pablo, selling drugs.

It’s not all bad, I don’t want you to give you a bad idea. Mostly the neighbourhood is pretty quiet. It’s just your regular working class neighbourhood. It’s actually pretty rare for people to die like this, which explains the notes and flowers. People mostly stay at home and the streets are empty. It’s not noisy at all. Except when some drunk screams or a couple fights. But otherwise it’s fine.

About half of the people around are German The immigrants are mainly Turk and Middle-Eastern. There are now many Ukrainians too — there used to be Russians and Poles but now they’ve been completely overran by the Ukrainians — and of course Syrians. Recently, a group of gypsies from Slovakia seem to have arrived too. They seem okay. They don’t steal. (Well, to be completely honest, I’ve heard that some of the children stole a neighbours’ bicycle, but they gave it back.) The same group also opened a small evangelical church. I’m not sure if they are gypsies to be honest. But they don’t look like the other Slovaks I’ve known.

Germany is not what it once was. It is still not too bad either, but let me tell you just one thing: the Deutsche Bahn trains are often late. Years ago, this was unthinkable.

There’s also much more vandalism. One of the brand new digital screens in the train station has been shattered with a rock.

Since the Ukraine war and the Nordstream explosion, things have been going down, down, down in Germany. I am not sure how this new war will affect things, but probably for the worse. Perhaps we can expect some random terrorist attacks, or at least a false flag. Most of those attacks are probably paid by spy agencies or governments to cause terror and chaos, anyway. And some of them are fake, though not all, not all. Sometimes people really die.

But what I’m trying to say is, I guess, that the death of Pablo or poor Marie (she seemed a pretty girl, there’s a picture of her next to a makeshift cross) is as important as whoever died in Gaza or Israel or anywhere else in the news. But no one will know about them.

I miss home. But we Western people no longer have a home.