“ALTE SACHEN”: OVERVIEW, QUESTIONS AND more QUESTIONS, PART ONE *
“Alte Sachen” (Old Bones) was saying Dr. J.R. when I was complaining of pains here and there. I hated his guts to hear that but it was out of the question to drop him. He was too good a physician and I was 10 years younger…
2 September 2022
I am home, that is my Saint Jean d’Acre (Akko for the locals) lair. I don’t feel well. Did I return to hell? Or do I carry hell with me? I am my uppermost tormentor and the world’s chief hell provider! Always prone to exaggeration… Not that I like it but hell is a major life feature. Life has many faces. Lately, it shows me only bad, hostile, and distorted ones. Expletive. The trip home was promising mischief. In Bucharest, at midnight, the driver didn’t come out of the car while I was trying under heavy rain to open the trunk. In normal times I should have shot him down (he was already seated) but I never had a gun…and normal times seem to be fiction. He was also disgustingly fat with a sugar cone-like kind of malformed head. A distinguished draftsman or even Jarry himself used a very much rat-like head shape to top the ungracious meat mass of Pere Ubu.**
At Otopeni airport, the Pegasus Airline check-in didn’t open for a very, very long while. When it finally did their computers went into a total jam. I had to stand in file for eons with my back and legs, of course, loudly protesting. After, instead of mounting a fiery classic Greek stallion, I was served with a deflated harridan with only two loos by plane! Speak with me of European excellence or was it a Greek request eager as they are to spare some cash? With all the money they got from E.U. they should be able to hand in, at least, one toilet more.
Either result of Bid inflation or the Ukrainian war games, the prices at the duty-free store were sky up. So, after turning around with care not to break something, I bought nothing…. Sincerely, I didn’t feel eager to add more weight to my already big and painful hump. It was the only wise decision during the last 48 hours, maybe during my entire life of continuing my trail free of liquor or perfume.
The huge Antalya airport should easily win the first prize for the most dreadful landing space on earth. It is a giant tourist mill grinding continuously millions of travelers with the intent to squeeze some miserable last dollars from their flattened purses or souls, I don’t know. It made me think of some maritime animal everting its huge abdominal cavity to catch and digest prey like certain species of stingray, shark, or starfish illustrated here beyond any doubt, I will say red-handed caught, by the spooky still-lifes and by the not less incriminating video clip
At the airport, I had to climb and descend an uncountable number of steps to reach the vast belly of the beast that was lavishly provided with the worst kind of food alleys of the Burger King brand. While plodding forward, with rapidly accelerating difficulty, my small suitcase was acquiring the mass and weight of a mountain. Progressively distraught, I was desperately looking for a place to get the famous cheese pie “bourekas”, the highest contribution of the controversial Turks to mankind’s mega-poly-pluri-culture. I found none. After having recently seen some photos of the outer shell and some impressive inside vertical views I am no more so sure that Havalimani, that being Antalya’s airport name, is a strong contender for an ugliness airport prize but I don’t have too much envy to retract and between us, it was crack full with a pedestrian, lower-middle-class crowd, Guys and Dolls, … I haven’t met any celebrity if you know what I mean. I like it so much to feel trendy and a fan of English royalty!!!
The plane to Israel was stacked with a bunch of Semitic characters: young Israeli unmarried couples and Israeli Arab families largely provided with children. I remarked that for once the first group was forced by the tightness of the space to keep the soles of their shoes off the seats, a fact that had the quality to calm me down. The second group was behaving normally – offspring and parents were equally noisy and invasive and one of them even tried, vainly, of course, to get hold of my pricy and comfortable seat. I was on my knees, energy depleted and personal pain increasing in intensity. No wonder that I hit Israel cum Akko, so to say, through a fog of stupor in a corpse-like consistency. I felt stiff. Kind of rigor mortis or a similar state.
Three giant dead cockroaches and a fine overlay of city inhomogeneous dust (mostly sand of South Arabian origin flown in by the irritating Khamsin wind) welcomed me. It was high time to get a coffee, well Turkish also, when I realized that I didn’t have any more gas, and immediately after that the air conditioner in my room, only in my room, at a time of planetary pre-terminal roasting, wasn’t working. I wrote this travelogue, some days after the occurrence of the events, with the purpose of exorcism. Maybe by putting into common knowledge a boring, unpleasant experience I might get rid of it. I should stop beating around the bush and come to real-time and to the core of the matter. However, after that I learned from the genial Rovelli’s book, The Order of Time, that time simply doesn’t exist and matter, especially when in a quantic mood, is and isn’t, I do not care anymore to make my story slim… Confusion is ruling the world supreme, especially when I consider my own thoughts and deeds.
My neighbor, the Moroccan thief Haim, my only connection here in this by God-forgotten city, brought another Moroccan thief Iosi, with husky (?) dog eyes, similar to those of the Afghan girl published eons ago by National Geographic, to repair the air conditioner. Why a petty crook doubled of an inept fixer – the air conditioner is still stranded, the money he got gone – got such high-quality peepers is beyond me.
Submerged by dark feelings and deep frustration I began to buy things, mostly food. True till now, I survived the nightmares of the night. Today the pains were real, often tough, and present most of the time while walking, lying, seated, or standing. There was not a privileged position at hand like for other human activities such as…. meditation. Is it possible that my simple-minded efforts to keep the lotus stance during the last week offended again my turbid vertebrae? What can I do? Meditation is my main source of joy and self-respect…I will go back to it in a couple of days…
In between, during the torrid days after arrival, I continued to buy ethnic food, some great quality Moroccan salads, brought by an ethnic gang to the backwater Akko from Nahariya
once a week. Also, I got some superb, sweet, and rich ocher melons with one of them, hard to believe, dressed in a classic Dubuffet pattern, from an Arab vegetable monger who tried to cheat me by punching a higher price. The young generation shifted. I remember the parents being cool and generous when they started but later the family got rich and greedy. Notwithstanding their great physical attributes, the melons were lousy being probably picked before ripe time.
I feel enormously tired especially, funny enough when I lie down. So let’s stand up and do some intense courting of the operator of the new gas company provider. Bingo! I got away with the promise that she was going to send a tinkerer to activate the gas flow before the weekend. The criminal sent by that nice soul, of course, didn’t arrive. Men are lamentable nowadays! Thank God that we have plenty of women to step in the saddle with glee and power for either prime minister or defense charges……In exchange and with a feeling that I made some progress to reintegrate myself into real life I got a new HOT MOBILE sim card. Let’s face it: today the smartphone and not the style makes the home. The smartphone is as mandatory as the underpants or more. On the launch, I cut the umbilical cord that kept me in FREE mobile bondage for more than twenty years. Did the bondage have some value of its own?
*My blog deals with travel and death. At least it is what I want it to be. There are some posts like this one, where I am going nowhere and I am still alive. Alas, it happens more often than I desire. My obsession with appellatives encourages me to christen these reports micro-voyages tales. The tale’s momentum seems to be related to that of the dog’s hunting after its tail. I don’t want to go into the biological interpretations of this apparently crazy behavior. I don’t feel doggish, dogs love people, you, see? So, what else? I think that what determines me is the very small size of the events, their often-hidden quality, and their occurrence more like thoughts than facts…These micro-voyages encourage one to look at himself and to come by or not with himself, without going on strike or having a stroke
**I cautiously inform you that many of the nowadays, cheerful-looking, good-thinking people who are vigorously reforming social norms, polishing the language, and purifying the values’ code are throwing on the wall a stark “Pere Ubu” threatening kind of shadow…Beware, keep in mind, swallow your tongue and move away