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Today's quote:

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Skype me up, Scotty!

Armin this morning on Skype


I've sometimes wondered how much of my peripatetic life I owe to my early days with the "Fahrenden Gesellen", a sort of German version of Baden-Powell's scouts sans the left-handed handclasp and three-finger salute.

I must've been 11 or 12 when I joined up, after which I spent almost every weekend and every school holiday "auf der Waltz", either with the group or on my own. Being impecunious didn't mean I couldn't travel the world. I hiked and hitchhiked all over Germany and across to England, Holland, and Scandinavia, and deep into Italy, France, and Spain, living off the land and sleeping in the open or in farmers' barns or, less often because they cost money, in youth hostels (another German "invention").

Looking down from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, taking the lift up the Eiffel Tower, dangling my feet into the stinking canals of Venice, hiking across the Brenner Pass into Italy, eating polenta with farmers in the Dolomites, and riding on a donkey down the cobbled lanes of Clovelly --- I'd done it all by the time I was 14 which was just as well as my carefree school days (and holidays) had come to an end as I signed my articles to start my professional career.


Armin (centre) in 1960; yours truly on the right


With all that Sturm and so much Drang in me, emigrating to Australia at the age of 19 seemed a natural progression. Memories of the "Fahrende Gesellen" are still with me today, and never more so as when an old "Fahrender Gesell" skyped me from my old hometown Braunschweig.


Yours truly on the left


Armin did so this morning at 8 a.m. my time, or 11 p.m. his time, and we talked and talked and talked and talked well past his midnight. All good memories, even if they are now worlds apart and a lifetime ago.

"Es lebe der Bund!"   See you again tomorrow, same time, same place.

Googlemap Riverbend


P.S. Want to skype me? My skype name is riverbend2.