Piektais mēnesis Berlīnē [LV]

Beidzot es jūtu atgriežamies iedvesmu. Iedvesmu mākslai, iedvesmu mūzikai, iedvesmu rakstīt, iedvesmu dzīvot. Radīt.

Dzīve patreiz šķiet pārsteidzoši jauka. No rīta pamosties saules pielietā istabā, nopirkt brokastu picas šķēli pie turka pa ceļam uz darbu. Pavadīt samērā produktīvu un interesantu dienu ofisā Sīmensdammā, vakarā uz balkona smēķēt īstu cigareti un redzēt izdziestam Kroicbergas gaismiņas. Vērot Kārli ciešā apņēmībā māsterojam mūsu teju pabeigto setu. Sēdēt ādas dīvānā un sveču gaismā lasīt grāmatu, skicēt melnus, melnus iedomu draugus un dzert sarkanu, sarkanu vīnu no īstas vīna glāzes. Aizmigt īsta gultā. Pēc pēdējiem, visnotaļ skarbajiem pieciem mēnešiem, man, pieraduma pēc, aizvien liekas, ka jāguļ ar vienu aci vaļā.

Īsumā atkārtošu, ko mēs piedzīvojām pēdējā laikā: tātad, nedaudz ilgāk par mēnesi nodzīvojām teltī, visnotaļ interesantā hipiju skvatā Šprē piekrastē, gandrīz bez jebkādiem līdzekļiem. Tad es beidzot atradu ļoti jēdzīgu darbu un tūlīt pēc tam arī diezgan jauku dzīvoklīti pie Aleksandra laukuma. Cilvēkiem nav ne jausmas, cik lielas problēmas var sagādāt dzīvesvietas atrašana Berlīnē. Novembrī mēs pārvācāmies uz necilu istabeli pāris minūšu attālumā no Potsdamer laukuma, kur varējām palikt līdz mēneša beigām. Kā mūsu pastāvīgu dzīvesvietu es biju iecerējusi pieticīgu, bet ciešamu istabu pie dūšīgas kubietes, bet sarunātajā dienā viņa nolēma pazust. Tā bija gaužām muļķīga rīcība no cilvēka, kas dzīvo no Vācijas pabalstiem un nelegāli izīrē istabas. Tomēr man šī pretīgā izgājiena dēļ bija pārāk aizņemtas rokas, lai kaltu atriebības plānu. Gandrīz veselu nedēļu mēs varējām paļauties tikai uz draugu žēlsirdību. Pēc dažām dienām atradu nožēlojamu ūķi dziļā Berlīnes dirsā zem Zēlendorfas. Šī cietuma cellei līdzīgā istaba ar vienvietīgu dzelzs gultu, neizvēdināmu degošas plastmasas smaku un lērumu dažādu sugu kukainīšu likās gluži laba bezpajumtnieku acīm, taču, kad mammas draudzene pēkšņi piedāvāja ievākties dzīvoklī Kroicbergas centrā, es aiz sajūsmas lēkāju. Tā nu mēs ievācāmies brīnišķīgā, milzīgā dzīvoklī ar balkonu, baltām sienām, mākslu, labu skaņas aparatūru un visu, ko vispār varētu vēlēties. Pēc četriem mēnešiem gan nāksies upurēt kādu jaunavu Berlīnes dzīvokļvelnam, bet pagaidām mēs beidzot varam atslābt, pirmo reizi pusgada laikā.

Runājot par Berlīnes naktsdzīvi, jāsaka, ka mani pat vispārdrošākie minējumi nebija ne tuvu patiesībai. Pēdējā laika iespaidīgākais pasākums bija Hospital Productions jubilejas pasākums Berghainā. Tur uzstājās tādi brīnišķīgi mākslinieki kā Ancient Methods, Vatican Shadow un Phase Fatale, kā arī čupa citu labu mūziķu. Pateicoties draudzenei, mēs bijām viesu sarakstā, un tikām iekšā piecu minūšu laikā. Neaprakstāmajā mūzikas, puskailu cilvēku, dūmu, gaismu un tumsas piesātinātajā, erotiskajā virpulī mēs pavadījām gandrīz diennakti un tad, apreibuši un sasmēlušies iedvesmu, ķērāmies pie kaut kā jauna radīšanas. Pirms pāris nedēļām Saulē bija Emptyset un Fis, taču šis pasākums bija pārsteidzoši mierīgs un tukšs. Izpētes vērti ir arī mazie underground pasākumi, kas netiek nekur reklamēti, bet bieži vien ir par velti un pulcē samērā interesantus cilvēkus. Tāds, piemēram, bija The Rocky Horror Picture Show filmas seanss Drugstore. Uz šī slavenā mūzikla izrādi panku skvatam līdzīgā ēkā pulcējās pārsvarā transseksuāļi un kostīmos tērpti nenosakāma dzimuma cilvēki. Tur es satiku vecu hipiju no Francijas, kurš reiz esot spēlējis kaut kādā diezgan pazīstamā desert rock grupā un amerikāņu performanču mākslinieci, kura ļoti uzjautrinājās par filmai sekojošo kultu.

Tā nu es sēžu, vēroju nokrītam pēdējās lapiņas, laiku pa laikam ieklīstu kādā jaukā bārā, iepazīstu jaunus cilvēkus un klausos daudz jaunu mūziku. Nav ne vainas.

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STIGMA or how to (not) get your ass kicked in post-soviet Latvia

Any society has its own way of convincing its next generations that something is good, something is bad and there is something, you cannot even talk about. A taboo. Latvia is not an exception; so much shit is told to you in an immature age over and over again that you actually start to repeat it.

If you look weird, let’s say, have dreadlocks or blue hair, then you are considered to be a provocative and “attention wanting” person. Craving for attention is one of the worst things you can want, because then you probably come from a bad family and will end up being a criminal. If you are gay, then it is also because you need attention and come from a bad family.

Although, there is no such thing as same sex love. They tried to change this thing in schoolbooks, but it only ended in a bigger mess. As it was a huge drudgery and no one really wanted or couldn`t put some effort in this topic, now the law says that Latvian schools are “family and marriage oriented”. Sounds beneficial, except that there is no gay marriage in Latvia. The Economist has done a research of gay rights in Europe`s states.[1] Latvia has an equality rate of 10-19%.

It`s also said to us, that smoking weed is bad, because weed is a drug (in Latvia weed is considered pretty much the same thing as heroin), it kills your brain and you will for sure end up being a junkie. By “saying” I mean that they actually teach this shit at schools. When I was in seventh grade or so, a policeman came to my school to talk about addictions. He said nothing about alcohol, but made a nice drawing on our blackboard: there was a line going up and then down. Way, way down. He said something like this: “So children, someone will offer you weed, for free for the first time. You will smoke it and feel good, but when it passes, you will feel very bad and have a huge hangover. Then you will want to buy more and smoke it all the time.” He was so convincing that for a few years I actually believed him. It is hard to understand, how can something like this be actually real in a modern society, after a lot of scientific and respectable experiments have proved, that alcohol is more dangerous than cannabis. Our MOE results confirm previous drug rankings based on other approaches. Specifically, the results confirm that the risk of cannabis may have been overestimated in the past. At least for the endpoint of mortality, the MOE for THC/cannabis in both individual and population-based assessments would be above safety thresholds (e.g. 100 for data based on animal experiments). In contrast, the risk of alcohol may have been commonly underestimated.[2]

Before a few days I was looking through a recent Latvian TV talk show where a lady asked her husband if he has ever walked around the home naked. He answered yes, and the woman went furious. How can he walk around naked? What if the neighbors will see him through the window? What will they think?! And yes, worrying about what other people will think about you is a little too common. When you answer wrong in class, you have to feel guilty not because you haven’t studied, but because now everyone will know that you are stupid and have no future.

The low self-esteem of the Latvian nation is often explained as the consequences of our not-so-cool history. In my opinion, it is bullshit as well. Beautifully written by Dr. hist. Kaspars Klavins “it is not possible to do it (stop thinking about us – Latvians and them – Europeans) through the stereotypical prism – the reason why Latvians isolate themselves from the historical heritage of the past, announcing themselves as a less-worthy and isolated nation. This is what makes (Latvians) center on only short term goals).[3]

Speaking of short term goals, the indiscriminate government`s spending (like, for example, distribution of state budget during one night) would be a whole new topic. There is no point of trying to change something in Latvian politics right now; it is crowded with ex-soviet grandpas without political education or ambition to move away from Russia`s influence. I attended a short course of Politics and Diplomacy. After a lesson I went to ask something to the professor. He looked me in the eyes and said “The only way it would be possible to change something here now, would be to smash it all and build from the beginning“.

Based on national press analysis (Kantar TNS) of 2017 spring, there are three most read Latvian magazines: two of them are yellow press and the other one is womens` lifestyle magazine. Wonder why. This slut has a cheating husband and not me. Lucky me. This actress got robbed, not me. The reason why this is happening isn`t really a global gratification of seeing someone failing – it is because everyone wants to find a reason to not feel bad about themselves. And, of course, to read something that does not require actual thinking; some gossip is always welcome.

It is not hard to understand, why almost thirty years after Soviet era the empathy level in Latvia and other post-soviet states is the lowest in western world[4]. Being afraid of everything that is new, being afraid of losing control, fighting an old and ugly stigma but not talking about it. Talking about problems in society has a funny feature of not being popular. One philosopher writes an article, about a year later – a historian writes an article. But they are all unpopular and forgotten a week later. Why? Because no one really cares. No one wants to solve these problems. In my personal opinion, the biggest problem in Latvian society is not giving a shit. Not giving a shit about how other person feels, because it is easier to walk away. Not solving serious crimes, but giving fines for drinking a beer at the seaside and putting people in prison for two years, if they have a 1g of weed in their pocket. Not talking about what we can do to change this situation, but quietly suffering and writing angry comments in internet. Not teaching their children to accept themselves and others, but scolding them for trying to find their own path.

By this article I am kindly inviting people to start thinking. Start thinking with your own head. Accept that gay kid. Don`t call the girl with steel boots a junkie. Don`t call the weedsmoker a drug addict. Don`t stay at home during elections. Be kinder and less judgmental. Open your eyes in a new world. Better world.

 

Please keep in mind that this article is based on my personal experience and opinion.

[1] https://www.economist.com/news/britain/21656197-same-sex-couples-are-choosing-marriage-over-civil-partnership-they-do 26.09.2017.

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311234/ 26.09.17

[3] http://www.lvportals.lv/viedokli.php?id=257889 My translation. 26.09.17

[4] http://www.lsm.lv/raksts/zinas/arzemes/petijums-vismazak-iejutigi-cilveki-ir-postpadomju-valstis-ipasi-lietuva.a205658/ 26.09.17

Photo by Elīna Vendija Rībena

(LV) Īsais kurss latviešu lamuvārdos

Par spīti bargajām pūristu (valodas nacistu) nagu šķērītēm un latviešu valodas skolotājām ar pletnēm, kuru kātus daiļo slimīgs uzraksts “latviešu literārā valoda”, lamu vārdi nav nekur pazuduši un arī nepazudīs. Slengs vienmēr ir bijis normāla parādība jebkurā valodā, turklāt tas dzīvo savu dzīvi – vairojas, maina savu nozīmes, attīstās un atvasinās. Gadu gaitā daudzi vārdi ir mainījuši nozīmes. Izteikumi, kas vecmāmiņām liek šausmās saķert galvas, divdesmitgadnieku vidū ir pilnīgi normāli, un, pats galvenais: tie vairs nav rupji. Es, protams, nerunāju par to sākotnējo nozīmi, bet to, kā tie tiek izmantoti mūsdienu latviešu valodā.

 

Pist – šis visnotaļ parocīgais vārds un tā daudzie atvasinājumi, piemēram, papist, iepist, sapist, izpist bieži uzpeld katra kārtīga jaunieša ikdienas valodā. Tas pārsvarā tiek lietots dažādās nozīmēs: apzīmējot seksu – vakar izpisu šito mauku. Tomēr visbiežāk ar šo vārdu tiek apzīmēta darbība uz priekšu: pišam uz veikalu, pišam dzert. Samērā bieži pist var aizstāt visdažādākos darbības vārdus, piemēram: iepist šotu, iepist pa muti, sapist dzīvi.

Bļeģ – viens no iecienītākajiem un biežāk izmantotajiem slenga vārdiem, kādu lieto gan mazie, gan lielie. Bļeģ, protams, ir aizpeldējis ļoti tālu no savas oriģinālās nozīmes krievu valodā un ir kļuvis par pārsteidzoši daudzpusīgu un labskanīgu vārdu, kas var paust visdažādākās emocijas: sarūgtinājumu, vilšanos, pārsteigumu, dusmas, bailes vai teju jebko citu. Varētu teikt, ka tas tiek izmantots kā izsauksmes vārds vai vienkārši kā komats vai izsaukuma zīme. Ja bļeģ tomēr neliekas jums patīkams un ērts, tad nākamreiz, izdzirdot bļeģ no kaimiņa, pusaudža vai kāda politiķa, automātiski pārtulkojiet šo frāzi uz ak, manu dieniņ vai drit vai kociņ.

Lohspavisam pierasts vārds, ar kuru paust negatīvu viedokli par vīriešu kārtas pārstāvi. Par lohu var saukt savu bijušo vai, piemēram, čalīti, kurš ir neglīts no vaiga, turklāt izskatās pēc pamuļķa, bet cenšas tev pievērst uzmanību. Draudzeni, kura tev nospēra mīļāko lūpukrāsu, tu par lohu vis nesauksi. Te būtu vietā vārds lose, kas sieviešu dzimtē atbilst vārdam lohs.

Cepī –  pārsteidzošā kārtā esmu novērojusi, ka daudzviet šis ļoti ierastais slenga vārds tiek skaidrots kā “sadusmot” vai “kaitināt”, taču nē: ja tavs čoms (jā, jā, šis vārds patiesi joprojām tiek izmantots!) saka: man riktīgi cepī šitais bīts, tad labāk dziesmu nepārslēdz, jo cepīt nozīmē patikt.

Faking – diez vai mūsdienu sabiedrībā ir iespējams nodzīvot kaut dienu, nedzirdot vai nelietojot šo vārdu. Faking nebūt nav rupjš. To izmanto visi un visur, to noliegt, sakot, ka “manā ģimenē tādus vārdus nelieto” vai “es tādus vārdus mutē neņemu”, ir tikpat naivi kā apgalvot, ka SC ir cēla partija. Faking ir gluži vienkāršs nelokāms īpašības vārds, kas rosina pievērst uzmanību aiz tā sekojošajam, bieži vien to iekrāsojot negatīvi. Piemēram: nostrādāju četras faking stundas; negribu redzēt to faking lohu.

Bičīt –  samērā bieži izmantots vārds, kas apzīmē to, kā latviskais sinonīms būtu dirst, dirsties, piekasīties, piepisties. Ko tu man bičī virsū? Šitā vecene tā bičījās tam čalim! Jā, ar sākotnējo lietvārdu bitch, no kura šis vārds atvasinājies, te nav gandrīz nekāda sakara.

Ahujeķ/ahujenna/zaibis/zajebal/nahuj/pohuj – šie no lielās Krievijas aizgūtie vārdiņi ir populāri ne tikai kārtīgu Kagora kapātāju vidū, bet arī visnotaļ kulturēlu jauniešu aprindās. Ahujeķ, kā arī ahujenna tiek izmantoti kā izsauksmes vārdi pozitīva vai negatīva pārsteiguma paušanai. Pārsvarā tomēr pozitīva. Piemēram: Šitais tak ir ahujenna! Vēl pozitīvāks ir vārds zajebis, kas gandrīz vienmēr pauž priecīgas izjūtas. Piemēram: Šitā filma ir zaibis! Laiks šodien zaibis! Turpretim zajebal nozīmē bēdīgu saviļņojumu un apnikumu. Zajebal man šitā mauka! Zajebal tas darbs! Nahuj  visbiežāk tiek lietots kā kāpēc sinonīms. Nahuj man šitas ir jādara? Nahuj tu stulbs esi? Varētu domāt, ka pohuj ir nahuj brālis, tomēr tas visbiežāk norāda uz kādas lietas vai darbības nesvarīgumu. Piemēram: pohuj to Jāni. Man pohuj, ejam dzert.

WEEK 8: 001001 B3RL1N 01001

This was the first week with a real Berlin home and a real Berlin job. Feels weird. Waking up early in the morning, using elevator and buying metro tickets; not buying the cheapest shit food you can find in the store, actually going home at some point of the day. My job is kinda cool, since I can be in a cozy office all day, and I am not exactly making coffee there. The funny thing is that everything about it is Super Secret: we cannot wear our badges outside the office, tell anyone what are we actually doing, so I cannot really slip into the details. We even had to leave our training notebooks in the building. My colleagues are from all around the world: Chile, Brazil, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Columbia and many other places. The cultural diversity between us is really interesting, so we often share stories about our earlier life. This is so exciting for me, I love to collect people stories. I would never have imagined how it is like to live in the neighborhood of the City of God, how it is to snort $3 cocaine and go to an army never knowing when are you coming back. Surprisingly, we have a wonderful team work and a good time. I truly like being in Berlin every day, but I see it completely different as I did two months ago. Like, taking the train over the bridge and realizing that not so long ago I was sleeping under it.

On Saturday we went to some dn`b event at Rosi’s. The DJ’s were cool, nothing outstanding really, but at least it wasn’t the usual mainstream house techno shit and we had a great time. Somehow club life seems so casual and natural in Berlin. When I speak with people who had an opportunity to enjoy the 90ies in London or Berlin, I see that they still have that look in their eyes: memory of rave culture at it`s very beginning.

On Sunday there was this little synthesizer flee market in Kreuzberg, but there was only expensive custom made darlings, that we will have to leave there for some years. We cannot wait to get our fingers on a new song, but with laptop only it is like a slow torture with someone laughing in the background.

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MONTH 2 DAY 35 RISE AND SHINE

This was the happiest week yet. At Wednesday we got ourselves a flat – just for two months, but it is perfect. Ten minutes to Alexander Place, five to the nearest Starbucks, thirteenth floor and amazing view. It is unforgettable to lie down in a real bed after spending 28 nights in a wet tent, going in the shower after countless hair washes in oil stations. The same day I got hired in a huge firm, so we celebrated it with laying on the couch and drinking rum for three days. Today I signed the contract, so I am now officially back office agent at Arvato business support. I almost think that it is too good to be true. Also, Karlis found some weird job, this is his second day already, so I am lying in the couch and thinking what to do with my time this week as I start my job only on Monday.

Sadly, also some bad news arrived – our manager Alex died before a few days. He was not only a good friend and manager, but also the first man ever to see the potential of Molecular Beats. And that means a lot to us. Soon enough we will start putting together our new studio, just as we wanted. If someone, who reads my blog, knows some good place in Berlin with any industrial-techno-something going on, please shoot me a message, because we are now really looking forward visiting new places and make contacts.

 

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WEEK 3 DAY 20: BERLINERS

These days have been mad. Imagine sleeping in a tent for twenty days, washing your hair in oil stations, eating cheapest shit you can find, never knowing when you will be able to sleep in a normal bed and make yourself a hot dinner. Today we made a progress – now we are officially Berliners. To do that you need to go to Burgeramt with a landlord permit. Then they put you in their system and then you are here for real. Of course, the lady behind the desk didn`t understand any English so I had to answer all the questions in my lousy German. Getting an address in Berlin is a big deal: until then you cannot work, cannot make a bank account, cannot really get an apartment, it is like a magical circle. Berlin is nice, really, but when it comes to the papers it is like a little kinky bitch.

Thankfully, a friend of my family helped us out. Today I understood that I have sent more than hundred requests for rooms, flats and apartments. Maybe more. I have had two job interviews, and I really hope that I will get one of them, fingers crossed. This week was fun a as well – a lot of our friends were here. At first Margeris and Annija arrived. Annija told me that a friend of hers will be doing a gig in some family related street festival. Of course, I taught that she is going to play with some geeky country ensemble, but, hell no, it was the amazing MNTHA with her wonderful performance. A few days later Toms and Laine moved to Berlin as well. And, believe me, it is a nice feeling to know at least someone when you move to a city as big as this. So now we are like some sort of a Latvian squad here.

Really, every day something weird happens. Like, a few days back we were sipping our morning coffee at the coast of the Spree, when this unknown guy with a bout starts asking us where the hell is he and then asks us to look after his boat and runs away. Thats it.

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Week 2 Day 8 SURVIVAL IS ALL THAT MATTERS

These days have been truly boring. In fact, I was so bored that I started to clean floors voluntarily. A few days back we had a long chat with one of Teepeeland veterans: fifty-something Scottish man Jimmy, a father of three. Here, after a long search, he has finally found his peace. His little house is the most beautiful in all Teepeeland: it is made from nice, white boards and has a Buddha on the roof. There is also a vegetable garden and a chimney. The interesting thing is that he makes collages and sells them for a big money. I had this idea in my mind for a few days and finally decided to go to art gear store and buy myself some new shit to make something with. It worked better as I taught; my first drawing was sold one minute after I finished it. Karlis is spending his time producing music – at least he got into the school. Our friend Julin, who arrived a few days back, is fishing for an apartment. Yesterday there was a storm: we taught that our tent will get blown away with us inside. Cold as well. As Julin says, survival is all that matters.

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Week 1 Day 4: BETTER OFF TIME

On Sundays, nothing happens in Teepeeland. All you can do with your time is to read a book, learn some German or talk to other guys. I wake up really early every day – it gets very hot in our tent. Karlis doesn`t give a shit tho. So I get up, make myself some coffee and go to the Centre. Then I try to read or do something clever. This is how I met my new best friend from Ghana – an old guy, who spends his mornings in Teepeeland. We sometimes speak to each other several hours. He tells me about life in Ghana, Jamaica, Spain and many other places, his music studio and long-lost love.

When my husband wakes up, we usually eat breakfast at the coast of the Spree, and he is making sick snobbish jokes about rich people and their yachts passing by. Of course, terrible and loud music is also included.

Now we are sitting in Burger King, while Karlis is mastering our song Apathy (video coming soon!) and I am listening to Infected Mushroom. Love it.

In the evening there are jam sessions happening in Teepeeland, but since all of our gear is still in Latvia, we can only listen. Sometimes the jams are good, sometimes they are sad. Anyway, for these occasions some interesting people from other squats come around and roll their badass joints in the size of my hand. Even some dudes from Titanic (gigantic squat in Barcelona) showed up. About 95% of Teepeeland inhabitants are, of course, men. Maybe that is why I get all the good shit for free.

The funniest thing is that some weird fucking tourist groups are coming to Teepeeland, taking photos and looking at us like some Zoo penguins. I wouldn`t be that surprised if National Geographic guys would come in a day or two.

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Week 1 Day 2: A NEW BEGINNING

No keys in your pocket – the feeling is truly weird. Homeless would be the right word, I guess.

After 23 hour ride we are finally in Berlin, this time – to stay. Once again, we are in a hippy commune Teepeeland, located in Kreuzberg. Last summer were here for about two weeks. Teepeeland is for anyone: travelers, junkies, runaway kids and random people. Nothing much has changed since we were last here, even our friend from Latvia, Jānis, is still here. Only now they have three chickens and more teepees.

Berlin always made me feel like I was in a magical land, full of opportunities, interesting people and art. This is the place where Bowie made his best albums, Waters did something as magnificent as “The Wall” not to mention that Berlin still is a paradise for young people who loves music and art. I first came to Berlin at age of nine, me and my mother went to a huge hippy festival, where I met a favorite singer of mine. She said, “Follow your dreams”. It sounded easy, so I always kept this possibility in mind – to leave everything behind and just go. Ten years later I am finally here.

Both me and my husband Karlis (this is our fourth summer together) went back to the drawing board: left our studies, work and home to come to Berlin. We have three bags, almost no money and no idea what will happen after a week or a month. Call it an interesting feeling or a perfect storm, –  I am usually the one that plans every single detail of every step.

I think that we will be here for at least a few weeks. Making contacts, going to concerts and having fun is the best thing you can do in Berlin.tpee