A sunny day

Recently I visited a trade fair in the morning and called it a day by noon.

So there I sat in the pedestrian zone of a German city, blue sky, hot sunlight, light fresh wind, and enjoyed a Döner Kebap in pita - the Turkish-German style of this fastfood.
There was a loud bang in the street nearby and everyone curiously looked that way. I explained to a women next to me who was there with her child that most likely a tire had blown up and finished my Döner Kebap. Then I went to an "Italian" pizzeria and ordered an ice cone - walnut ice. I was served by a friendly girl in a Hijab - the first such piece of cloth that I saw in months. Typically, I only see elderly women from the retirement home in my home's street wearing cloth on their heads, and of course nuns on 'Nun TV', a.k.a. ARD.

So I wandered through the sunny pedestrian zone, enjoying the weather and ice, but my thoughts were clouded by my experience earlier that day:
A guard had inspected by bag at the entrance of the trade fair. He joked about my 1.5 litres of cola that I carried (bag and cola didn't quite fit to my attire), and we talked a bit. He was being paid the minimum wage, and all his training for this "security" job was half an hour of instructions a few days earlier, mostly about showing the place to go for work.
This was security theatre, nothing but security theatre. If someone had wanted to blow anything up in there he or she could have rented a tiny booth and used the exhibitors entrance where there was no security theatre whatsoever. You could easily smuggle in a 200 kg bomb that way. Or hide a bomb in a 2 litre cola bottle - you cannot see through cola, after all.

So I sat down again in the pedestrian zone and mused about the golden decade - the 90's. No Cold War any more, no post-9/11 craze yet, no major economic crisis yet ... the Japan scare in the German industry and the small post-reunification boom recession of 1993 were distant, weak memories. Granted, TV quality went downhill fast in Germany during the 90's. Stupid soap operas, "talk shows" and so on.

Still, I got the feeling that one day maybe 20 years later I'll be asked how my generation allowed it all to go down the drain after the golden 90's. I hope to come up with an answer in time.

On the other hand, sunny days are still sunny days.



  1. Those were the days. Don't forget the sound of Scooter. The End of the World began in 2001.

  2. I have to agree with you that the 90s were the golden age. I was still a kid at the time, but I remember the easy, carefree lifestyle. That all went down the toilet after 911, though. Turbaned boogie men sent the most powerful nation in the world into a panic, with the full complicity of government and media. The american population was infantilised and coerced into giving away their libertys and wealth for imaginary safety.

    "We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone."

  3. "On Violence" has a number of posts on the theme of the world getting progressively safer. One example of this is security theatre: it would not be permitted to be so shoddy if the threats were more common, more real. Compare/contrast to Russian security measures in the Caucasus or Israeli security measures, where the service entrance is also guarded. Some random trade fair, while a totally valid target (striking on themes of globalisation, mass public event, immediate publicity almost guaranteed) in terms of terrorism, hasn't been hit recently unlike aircraft or airports, where the entrances are more rigorously screened: not to say that they're *adequately* screened.

  4. Were the 90's really all that golden? People have a tendency to paint the past in brighter tones because memories are always a bit more hazier the further they are.

    The sky has been falling since the dawn of time.

  5. A sunny heart: Zoo parks, Farms, Museums, Floral Parks, Aquariums and Gardens

    Forget TV induced ignorance and propaganda, except Arte documentaries.
    I personally go to the zoo to talk to animals. Everybody takes me for a foul, but they are all secretly doing the same, especially when they catch one of those lambs.
    I’ll share with you what some animals and insects told me ;) :
    - Nephila senegalensis = multipurpose silk, type 7 body armour?
    - Phyllomedusa bicolour = medicine
    - Litoria caerulea = Australian green tree frog = medicine
    - Golden poison frog (Phyllobates terribilis) = medicine
    Snakes and reptiles have beautiful eyes.
    Everybody loves the red Panda, especially children.

    Well, in those places you will meet happy, natural people craving for knowledge.

  6. Well in Sarajevo things have improved since the golden age.

  7. Hell, the 90's WAS the Golden Age despite eurodance which was terrible then and even worse now. Me being in my early twenties at the time _may_ blur my judgment a tiniest bit, but I honestly do think that the overall feeling at the time was of ongoing improvement and brighter future while now it's of impending apocalyptic gloom.

    Things were bad in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, but nothing next to Syrian civil war whether we compare these conflicts in casualty figures, displaced people or foreign power meddling.

    Although former USSR was in bad condition it was ridding itself from imperialistic undemocratic rulers and moving into right direction.

    Hundreds of millions of people have since been lifted out of poverty but this positive development started in the 1990's.

    Borders were lowered by globalization, free trade and Europen integration, all trends that are pretty much reversed now.

    Even climate change was identified as a future problem and plans to combat it were promptly put together in Rio and later Kyoto. Nowadays climate change is a present problem that nobody's doing jackshit about.

    Even internet was cool in the beginning.