So, hm, it's quite hard to write something in these times, because so many people are writing so many things. And lots is happening here but not that much either. Anyways, let's start with the straight-forward good things, as they are easy to tell:
I live in Kiel now, or rather at the outskirts of the city. It is amazing, I must admit, it feels like I am living in a little village, and I do in a way. The little village also happens to be home to my football club, which helps. But I am only fifteen minutes biking from the city center and there are regular busses, so I am actually closer to the city than one would be, if you lived in a big city somewhere that is not directly in the center. So it is perfect, really. Besides that, I don't pay any rent - I pay my rent in working hours. I work five hours a week cleaning the house and caring for the yard. I must say I got a pretty good deal. Anyways it makes a lot more sense than paying rent, then work somewhere else in some stupid job to pay that rent. So, I actually live in a really lovely house with a lovely yard and a lovely couple I share the house with. I couldn't find anything to complain about even if I tried! Well, no, I could find something to complain about, for sure, but no need to do that.
Oh, and the couple I live with, they also own a big sailing boot and a little motor boot. They live mainly for water sports. They try to take me along all the time but it's a little difficult seeing that I have football trainings almost every day, but I'll manage some time. Would be funny if I learned wakeboarding before I learned snowboarding but then at least I finally have a good answer for all the people who say "oh, you are Austrian? You must be good at skiing!"
Well, so next to my little house with yard and boats, in the little village, there is also the football club. The club has other sports too and it is just the local club, so it is very well known in the village around. I play in the women's team (they still have to figure out in which one - there are two) and I train the girls aged under 14. They are really good, they are also rather difficult to handle, but they are very talented and I know we will have a lot of fun this season. Who knows, in ten years from now I may be watching the world cup looking at Germany thinking: I coached that player when she was young…
Now, apart from the things mentioned, I trained with my new floorball team for the first time yesterday. I am not too impressed, but it's a little difficult because there are many new players. Some are really good and I know it will be fun playing with them, and it's just a matter of time before the new players can play well too but the season is about to start and I can't really see the team yet. But then, it was only my first time, I shouldn't judge them so quickly. They are nice, which is probably the most important thing.
University doesn't start until the end of October, which is a little bit tough as I don't have that much to do right now - which is why I get to write blogs instead. Well, I am also doing the odd translation - some paid and some for free. And I also still need to bike around and check out all the lakes and shores - and there are lots to keep me busy.
I also have to say that every single person here is really nice and friendly. Much friendlier than what I am used to. This makes life here even more enjoyable. However, well, I am almost 33, I have a master's degree, it is hard to explain why I don't have a PhD, but it seems extremely difficult to explain, why the hell I don't have a job. Well, I mean, I can explain it, but it seems really hard for people to accept it. Not to understand it, that's a different part, it's the accepting bit that is the problem. Because, apparently everybody feels like they are forced to have jobs, so they don't want to hear that I don't have one and I am still alive and happy. Of course, I lie a lot and play the cards I have, all the time. I say things like: "It's really hard to get a job in Austria" (which is not a lie as such but probably a bad excuse) or "with a second master's degree I hope to get a better job." (which is really not true). Now, of course it depends, I probably won't lie like this at university but when I meet my new team mates, I don't want that the first thing they think about me is that I am a strange kind of revolutionary. I mean, I do want to be that but then you are in that category and they will forget to check whether or not I am actually good at sports when they decide if they want to have me on the team. This is why I lie. And afterwards I feel bad for doing it, but then I don't see how else to do it. I mean, people find out soon enough, that I am strange, I don't think I should shout it in their face the minute we meet. Which is stupid, and it makes me angry. Angry not at those people who just don't get it, but at the system we live in, where the vast majority of people thinks that there is only one way to live and there are no alternatives.
It is not even the part that they don't see an alternative for themselves. Or that they never even think if their might be one. It is the fact that, when they see someone who does not follow the way of life they think is the only possible one, they react annoyed, suspicious or right out angry. And they have no reason whatsoever to do that. I mean, I don't receive any social security money or anything the like. I have never received money when I was unemployed, even though I would have been entitled to it, I never applied for it, because I didn't need it. There are very few people who would actually be entitled to be against my lifestyle: the ones I stayed with for free. I could understand if they told me to get out and get a job. Funnily, they don't. Well, of course, they are my friends and wouldn't be that, if they had a major problem with the way I live my life but really, no one else ever had any disadvantage from how I live my life. To the contrary, I have done so much volunteer work, I guess in one way or another hundreds of people benefited from work I did for free. Because working for free is part of my philosophy. But these people don't seem to understand that work is work, no matter if or how much you get paid for it. Just because I don't have a paid job doesn't mean I am lazy and live on someone else's expenses. Well, actually German tax payers will pay my master's degree - but they don't even realize that. In fact, when I feel strong opposition I mention my former jobs at universities, to make it seem that I am actually a decent person (yet another lie!), and of course all those jobs were paid by tax money but are always highly approved.
It is basically the same situation when you read comments about the crisis in Greece, people saying that "we (the Germans) shouldn't have to pay for the Greek". Or when people think that the world is going to end if homosexuals are allowed to get married and adopt children, or that people living on the street are a public nuisance and should be removed from there. Because, really, you personally are not paying the Greeks any money (much more likely they are paying you, but let's not start with that). Taxes will not be raised because of the Greek crisis (unless we can't solve it and the economy goes where it belongs, then maybe). You personally are not affected in any way if two people you don't know get married or not. And you personally have nothing to do with the homeless person in the street, unless you feel sorry for them but this is your thing and not theirs. And I just can't understand, why then, people refuse to accept that there are other ways of life and that they are not better nor worse than theirs. The only reason I can come up with, why people would react angry is because they would like to not have a job but don't know how to do it or don't dare to leave theirs. And rather than start at home, they are angry at me for having what they would like. But the truth is, everybody has the same choice - and every choice you make has its advantages and disadvantages.
Now, of course, my goal is to change society so that having a paid job is no longer seen as the only way of life possible. I am demonstrating that there are alternatives. I also understand that you will get opposition when you do something that is uncommon. But I don't know how to argue, when there are no arguments. There is simply no reason why the way I live my life should be bad, but people still won't accept it. So I turn to lies. Which is sad. But besides not having a job, I just want to live a normal life. I want to play sports in teams and I want to have fun with friends. I am not a full time revolutionary - only 40 hours per week. Well, maybe one day I will dare to just tell the truth to every person who asks. Maybe…
Next week I am heading to Amsterdam where I will be a volunteer at the Homeless World Cup. I can't wait. I think I don't need to lie to people there. I can just be myself there J