I'm checking Berlin, thinking about a larger project here. What attracted me, initially, was the relative accessibility, low housing prices, short distance from Kraków for my moving expense... But it's not worth it. I don't see a real alternative to Amsterdam.
Even if I needed to land there with nothing but a few packages containing books and a bag of clothes... That's the end of joking, either I make myself visible with important books, and very soon, or I lose everything.
Everything is a way of speaking. I may lose my status, even if I used to be so sarcastic about it. All what I actually leave behind is a professorial salary of about 1100 euro net, with a perspective of an old age at 60 (fourteen years from now) with the equivalent of 300 or 400 euro a month. With books, museum entrances, Wiener Schnitzels and a couple of new pieces of clothing, I've just spent about 600 euro on this clumsy trip to Berlin (Flixbus and the cheapest hostel all exclusive). Does it mean that, if I stayed in Poland, one day I might see myself out of the financial possibility of visiting Berlin, even for a weekend a year?
Gosh, I think Berlin was my first trip abroad, with a summer colony, in the DDR times. I was about 13 at the time, and I distinctly remember how I spent my pocket money on my first 100% cotton pants (the pants we had in Poland were made of some ugly and terribly unhealthy synthetic stuff). I got them in the big shopping centre on the Alexander Platz. Was it the same one where I've bought a summer dress and a couple of leggings this time? Is it really possible in fourteen years from now I might not afford to come to Berlin? Or is it just a bogey, just an urban legend, just a Gazeta Wyborcza's lie? Just another chapter in history? Just the poverty that had once been so very familiar to me? Would I meet her again at the end?
I don't care to check. I go to Amsterdam. Hopefully beyond the nightmare's range.
Perhaps these are retroactive nightmares, haunting me when I actually am beyond the harm's range. Am I? For this year at least, I contributed to the French retirement system in excellent conditions. And in the Netherlands even the lowest allocation, for those who had worked only for a few years and never had any serious investment plan whatsoever, is 1000 euro. With this, I might at least manage to spend a weekend in Berlin to see the Ishtar Gate before I die. As for cotton pants, I took sufficient stock last time there were sales in Hema. I bought three or four packs and a couple of cotton leggings, and I was asked to pay 4 euro. Keeping my buttock warm, I hope there will always be Hema and the Netherlands, and I only fear the flood.