en-de  REFLECTIONS Medium
REFLEKTIONEN Eine Denkschrift über den Wert des Lebens von Kim Teil I Das Leben ist grausam Das Leben ist unberechenbar. So nimm das Leben nicht für selbstverständlich hin. Ein gesundes, hohes Alter ist kein Geburtsrecht. Es ist nicht garantiert. Glaub mir, ich weiß es.
Komm' nun mit mir, wenn du willst. Versetz dich, wenn du kannst, im Geiste zurück ins Jahr 1978. Es war das Zeitalter des Punkrocks. Livemusik war überall, in jeder Kneipe. Punkbands von Übersee kamen zu Besuch, und sie waren so preiswert zu sehen. Gewöhnlich flickte ich meine eigenen Outfits selbst zusammen - das war, worum es beim Punk ging. In Großbritannien war es Musik für eine Jugend, weitgehend ohne Rechte. Sie hatten das Recht zu sprechen, aber niemand schien ihnen zuzuhören. Die "Sex Pistols" forderten die Autorität heraus. Sie provozierten. Und ihr Feuer, obwohl kurzlebig, wird für Jahre leuchten. Sie fegten das Alte weg - Disco, Arena-Bands und 17-Minuten-Songs - und sie führten zusammen mit amerikanischen Bands wie "The Ramones" Songs mit drei Akkorden ein, die kurz waren, schnell und laut. Sie läuteten eine Zeit ein, wo jeder eine Gitarre zur Hand nehmen, ein paar Akkorde lernen und eine Band gründen konnte.
Dann entwickelten sich die Texte. Bands wie "Clash" produzierten schließlich Texte mit Tiefgang. Sie waren entweder gesellschaftlich oder politisch und sprachen uns an. Es war eine tolle Zeit über 20 zu sein.
Dann, um 1980 herum, heirateten viele unserer Freunde. Alle hatten innerhalb eines Jahres Kinder. "Wir wollen junge Eltern sein", war das Mantra. Steve und ich hatten andere Vorstellungen. Wir heirateten jung. Ich war neunzehn und er war 22 . In einem Monat oder so würde sich unser Alter ändern, aber das ist ohne Bedeutung. Wir hatten immer noch Spaß daran, Bands mitzuerleben. Zumindestens neben der Arbeit.
Wir waren jung, voller Leben und arbeiteten hart. Wir sicherten uns ein Wohnungsbaudarlehen und arbeiteten hart, um es zurückzuzahlen. Steve hatte zwei Jobs. Er hatte seine Vollzeitstelle als Beschäftigter im öffentlichen Dienst. Er pflegte Überstunden zu leisten, wann immer es möglich war. Dann gab es seinen zusätzlichen Job als Barangestellter und Bedienung in einem örtlichen Club.
Was mich betrifft, ich arbeitete als Computer-Operatorin für den Gemeinderat. Zu meinem Glück meldete sich einer der Kerle der anderen Schicht ganz oft "krank". Er fühlte sich immer krank, wenn er einer Nachmittagsschicht zugeordnet wurde. Dies war besonders der Fall, wenn er sich ein neues elektronisches "Spielzeug" angeschafft hatte. Ich beklagte mich nicht, als ich mich bereitwillig meldete, um für seine Schicht einzuspringen. Das war zu der Zeit, als die Gewerkschaften in Australien stark und die Überstundenzuschläge hoch waren.
Steve und ich verdienten in zweieinhalb Jahren genug Geld, um die Hypothek auf unser Haus, ein bescheidenes Apartment am Strand mit zwei Schlafzimmern, in dem wir immer noch wohnen, vollständig abzuzahlen. Wir beschlossen, dass es Zeit war zu reisen. Nach einem kurzen zweimonatigen Trip in den Westen der Vereinigten Staaten planten wir, nach Großbritannien und noch weiter zu reisen.
Mit sechs Monaten Sabbatical - die er nach zehn aufeinanderfolgenden Dienstjahren in seiner Funktion erworben hatte - entschieden wir uns, ins Ausland zu reisen. Steve hatte auch vier Wochen Urlaub angesammelt, und er durfte einen langen Urlaub mit halber Bezahlung nehmen. Damit kamen vierzehn Monate bezahlter Urlaub ohne Verlust seiner Stelle zusammen. Zu sagen, dass wir aufgeregt waren, ist eine Untertreibung. Am 24. März 1986 flogen wir über Singapur oder Bangkok nach London.
Australien litt unter glühender Hitze, und so flogen Steve, sein Bruder Tim und ich alle in Shorts, ärmellosen Shirts und Badelatschen (von der Abart von Fußbekleidung, die in Großbritannien als "Flip-Flops" bekannt sind) los. Tim hatte vor, auf eigene Faust weiterzuziehen, aber wenigstens hatten er und ich in weiser Voraussicht wärmere Kleidung in unser Handgepäck gepackt. Die Erinnerung an Steve, stehend auf einer, was damals die oberirdische Plattform von Heathrow war, nur mit Sloppy Joe (wie es in Australien genannt wird und Sweatshirt gemeint ist), Shorts und Badeschlappen, ist so urkomisch, weil ein aufgeregtes kleines Mädchen, komplett in Mantel, Schal und Wollmütze, am Ärmel ihrer Mutter zerrte und fieberhaft und zweifelnd auf diesen seltsam gekleideten Mann zeigte.
Wir fuhren mit dem British Rail Zug, wie der damals hieß, und dann mit der Untergrundbahn nach Waterloo, um das 'Bed & Breakfast' zu finden, das wir von zu Hause in Australien gebucht hatten. Unser Abenteuer begann gerade.
Ende Teil I
unit 1
REFLECTIONS A memoir on the value of life by Kim Part I Life is cruel.
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Life is unpredictable.
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So never take living for granted.
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A healthy old age is not a birthright.
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It is not guaranteed.
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Believe me, I know.
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Come with me now, if you will.
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Cast you mind back, if you are able, to 1978.
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It was the era of punk rock.
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Live music was everywhere, in every pub.
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Overseas punk bands visited, and they were so cheap to see.
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I used to nobble together my own outfits – that was what punk was all about.
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In Britain it was music for a largely disenfranchised youth.
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They had the right to speak but no-one seemed to listen to them.
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“Sex Pistols” challenged authority.
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They threw the cat amongst the pigeons.
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And their flame, though short-lived, will burn for years.
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Then the lyrics evolved.
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Bands like “Clash” finally produced lyrics with depth.
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They were either social or political and spoke to us.
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It was a great time to be a twenty-something.
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Then, around 1980, many of our friends married.
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They all had children within the year.
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“We want to be young parents”, was the mantra.
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Steve and I, had a different idea.
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We married young.
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I was 19 and he was 22.
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In a month or so our ages would change but that is of no importance.
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We were still having fun seeing bands.
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In between working, that is.
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We were young, full of life and working hard.
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We secured a home loan and worked hard to pay it off.
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Steve worked two jobs.
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He had his full-time position as a public servant.
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He would work overtime whenever it was available.
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Then there was his extra job as bar staff and waiting on tables in a local club.
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As for me, I worked as a computer operator for the local council.
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Lucky for me, one of the chaps on the other shift would call in “sick” quite often.
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He always fell ill when assigned to an afternoon shift.
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This was especially the case when he had acquired a new electronic “toy”.
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I did not complain as I readily put my hand up to fill-in for his shift.
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This was in the days when unions in Australia were strong and penalty rates were high.
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We decided it was time to travel.
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That added up to fourteen months of paid leave, with no loss of his position.
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To say we were excited is an understatement.
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On March 24, 1986 we flew off to London via Singapore or Bangkok.
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Our adventure was about to begin.
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END PART I
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REFLECTIONS
A memoir on the value of life
by Kim
Part I

Life is cruel. Life is unpredictable. So never take living for granted. A healthy old age is not a birthright. It is not guaranteed. Believe me, I know.
Come with me now, if you will. Cast you mind back, if you are able, to 1978. It was the era of punk rock. Live music was everywhere, in every pub. Overseas punk bands visited, and they were so cheap to see. I used to nobble together my own outfits – that was what punk was all about. In Britain it was music for a largely disenfranchised youth. They had the right to speak but no-one seemed to listen to them. “Sex Pistols” challenged authority. They threw the cat amongst the pigeons. And their flame, though short-lived, will burn for years. They brushed away the old – disco, arena bands and 17-minute songs – and they, together with American bands like “The Ramones”, introduced three chord songs that were short, fast and loud. They heralded a time when anyone could pick up a guitar, learn a few chords, and form a band.
Then the lyrics evolved. Bands like “Clash” finally produced lyrics with depth. They were either social or political and spoke to us. It was a great time to be a twenty-something.
Then, around 1980, many of our friends married. They all had children within the year. “We want to be young parents”, was the mantra. Steve and I, had a different idea. We married young. I was 19 and he was 22. In a month or so our ages would change but that is of no importance. We were still having fun seeing bands. In between working, that is.
We were young, full of life and working hard. We secured a home loan and worked hard to pay it off. Steve worked two jobs. He had his full-time position as a public servant. He would work overtime whenever it was available. Then there was his extra job as bar staff and waiting on tables in a local club.
As for me, I worked as a computer operator for the local council. Lucky for me, one of the chaps on the other shift would call in “sick” quite often. He always fell ill when assigned to an afternoon shift. This was especially the case when he had acquired a new electronic “toy”. I did not complain as I readily put my hand up to fill-in for his shift. This was in the days when unions in Australia were strong and penalty rates were high.
Steve and I earned enough money between us in two and a half years to fully pay down the mortgage on our home, a modest beachside two bedroom flat in which we still live. We decided it was time to travel. After a short two-month jaunt to the western United States, we planned to head for Britain and beyond.
With six months of long-service leave – earnt after ten consecutive years of service in his position – we decided to head off overseas. Steve had four weeks of leave also accumulated and he was permitted to take the long-service leave at half-pay. That added up to fourteen months of paid leave, with no loss of his position. To say we were excited is an understatement. On March 24, 1986 we flew off to London via Singapore or Bangkok.
Australia was suffering from sweltering heat so, Steve, his brother Tim and I all took off in shorts, singlets and thongs (of the footwear variety – known as “flip-flops “in the UK). Tim was going to head off on his own but, at least, he and I had the forethought to pack warmer clothing in our carry-on luggage. The memory of Steve standing on, what was then, an above ground platform at Heathrow with only a sloppy joe (as they were called in Australia – think sweatshirt), shorts and thongs, is hilarious as a rugged-up little girl, complete with coat, scarf and wooly cap, tugged at her mother’s sleeve and pointed feverously and quizzically toward this strangely dressed man.
And we caught the British Rail train, as it was then, and then the tube to Waterloo to find the bed and breakfast we had booked from back home in Australia. Our adventure was about to begin.
END PART I