The sky was grey, foreboding. The air rank with the fetid stench of unwashed bodies, cheap lager on their breath. Outside, an unforgiving rain fell, a dull roar behind the glass. And I stood, arms out, being swiped with a metal detector. Apparently you also have to take your belt off.
And so I was at the Heidelberg Magistrate’s Court in a suit and tie, among a sea of people whose idea of dressing up for their child neglect hearing consisted of changing their VB jacket for a Jim Beam one. In case you haven’t been following the story, we’ve been engaged in legal action with our absolute wanker of a neighbour, who claims we should pay the entire cost of replacing our completely defunct fence because of our “excessive vegetation” (being a passionfruit bush that somehow destroyed parts of the fence it wasn’t even touching).
Which, of course, explains what Dad and I were doing this morning, mocking in Russian the various misfits you tend to find in courts such as these (N.B. Russian, even for someone with as elementary ability as I, is possibly the greatest language in which to make rude comments). We waited, and waited, and waited; then more than an hour after our pre-hearing was scheduled, we were called up, only to be informed that I (being neither of the registered plaintiffs, which is to say my parents, as that would be paradoxical) could only come along to the hearing with the consent of the other party, being said wanker neighbour.
Needless to say, he said no. Which explains why I was walking through the streets of Heidelberg this morning, wearing a suit and tie and cursing loudly. What a waste of sitting around in the court waiting area for over an hour! So I went back to Dad’s office, where I parked my car. It was only once I moved it out of his office’s garage and returned the key to his receptionist that I realised it is preferable to be in a private garage rather than on the street when one is intending to get changed in the backseat of one’s motor vehicle (you know, so I wouldn’t have to walk around in a suit all day).
I had double-parked behind a chicken and chip joint and was in the process of attempting to put on jeans in the back of a Camry when (presumably) the shop’s owner emerged from the back, nibbling on what looked like a drumstick. “You al’right there, boy?” he questioned, eyeing me suspiciously. I can’t remember what I said back, but it’s hard to form a coherent response while trying to put your pants on. He went away and I drove off. Thank God.
I got back to uni in time for one of my tutes (in which we discussed phalluses and why Asians were good at maths) and managed to get my psych essay back from the office (and was pleased with my mark!). Jackie and I then pretended to be science students to score free hot dogs. They were phallic.
I also crashed a psych tute, had a meeting with a careers advisor, snacked on almonds during a lecture on personality tests and went to a Syezd meeting; but this post is getting awfully long, so let’s not talk about those. Instead, I’ll finish off by explaining today’s photo, which is a Russian-style carved archway, being Mum’s birthday present from a few years back, but which only got installed in our house today. She tells the story better.