Dream of: 15 March 1998 "Kein Arbeit, Kein Geld"

The small room had six beds in it – three on one side, three on the other – arranged so the heads of the beds were against the walls, and the feet of the beds in the middle of the room. I was lying in the bed closest to the door, on my left, while other fellows occupied the other beds. The ceiling was high and the walls made of concrete. A window at the end of the room let in a little light into the otherwise obscure and heavy surroundings.

I tried to remember how I had come to be here. I knew that I was in a small German town and that I had needed a place to stay. Why I had ended up in a dormitory-style room with strangers, I didn't know. Although the others seemed safe enough, I was somewhat apprehensive about being with them. I wondered how long they had been living here. I figured that the worst bed was the one near the door — the one that I had. The beds at the end of the room near the window were undoubtedly the best beds and so the fellows in those beds had probably been here the longest.

The fellows in the three beds on the other side of the room were sitting up and talking. They were so close together, it looked as if they were all in the same bed. They were speaking German and I tried to understand them, but I was having some difficulty. I thought I would be able to improve my German if I lived in this room for a while and began talking German with the others. But I really didn't like living in the same room with someone, especially in such narrow quarters. I thought I needed to get up and go look for my own place. Even if I could only find a tiny little room, it would be better if I could be alone. I could fix up the room the way I wanted it. If it were in bad shape, I could paint it, even if I had to supply the paint myself.


Once I had left the room and was outside on the street, I began wondering if I even wanted to stay in this little German village. It was true that I liked Germany, but I thought I might like Switzerland better. In Switzerland I would be able to speak not only German, but French and Italian as well. I had long ago marked off an area on the map of central Switzerland where the three languages were spoken, and I was sure I would enjoy living there more than in Germany. It was true that I would have more intensive exposure to the German language in Germany, and that it might be difficult to concentrate on three different languages at once. But I was sure that Switzerland was the place for me.

However, before I left this town, I wanted to have a better look at it. I was not even sure where the downtown area was. But I saw a nearby hill which I thought I could climb in order to have an overview of the town. I headed up the winding road leading up the hill, and was soon able to get a somewhat better view of the typical German town. But I thought if I would turn off the and climb up the bare hillside, I would be able to reach the top of the hill and have a better view.

The climb up the hill was difficult, and when I made it to the top, I was worried that I might be trespassing. Right at the top was a large modern adobe-walled house which I inadvertently entered. I was uncertain whether anyone lived in the house, or whether it was a model house set up to show to prospective buyers. But I didn't stay to find out and quickly stepped back outside. From where I now stood I could see a long flight of stairs leading straight down to the town. I could also see a woman walking up the stairs, and I thought that I should probably leave before she arrived at the top where I was.

But before I could leave, two large brown dogs suddenly jumped from behind a wall and ran toward me. Alarmed, I immediately stuck out one of my hands in a submissive gesture to show that I meant no harm. I was afraid that the dogs would attack and mangle my hand – but they only sniffed, and allowed me to slowly back away.

I now saw that the top of the hill seemed somewhat like a resort area, and that I was in a mall-like area with quaint little shops with dark wooden facades. Since it was Sunday, all the shops were closed, and no people were around. Although the place seemed pleasant, I thought I needed to simply find a way out, and I began looking for the exit. I saw a sign on one of the walls which read "Kein Arbeit, Kein Geld." It seemed like a typical German saying, "No Work, No Money," and I thought to myself how true it was. I myself should probably give this phrase some thought.

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