Entries 22.12.2008 – 09.01.2009, Brighton

Friday, 9.1.09

Right, this country is in a recession, that’s a fact that can’t be altered and the cab-business is traditionally the one that gets hit the hardest. Turnover now in January is only 60% of what is was in June, when I started. Basically I’m fucked, because I had to borrow around 7000 pounds to get the licence and I will leave England as soon as I have the money for the moving, without being able to pay one penny back of that. I have to have some success soon. Someone asked me today how I would do and I’ve answered the question truthfully. Any more questions?

Two hours later. Sorry, for being such a grump. Of course, I will have success.

Thursday, 8.1.09

I receive the following email, my record application is on some-one’s internal system… And as much as I complain about the English from time to time, those guys I really love on whose internal system I am now!!!! I can hear almost hear the bucks start rolling in, after years and years of drudgery!

YOUR AGREEMENT REGARDING RECORD ATTEMPTS‏ From:rmt@guinnessworldrecords.com You may not know this sender.Mark as safe|Mark as unsafe Sent:09 January 2009 00:40:08 To:… 2 attachment(s) ….pdf (53.0 KB), General  …pdf (186.0 KB) AGREEMENT REGARDING RECORD ATTEMPT ATTACHED: CLAIM ID: … MEMBERSHIP ID: … Dear Jochen, We are glad to inform you that your record application has been transferred to our internal system. As a result of this, we are sending to you the Agreement Regarding Record Attempts together with a document called General Information on Record Breaking, which will give you an overview of the process. This form is also available to download at http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/member/arra.pdf. The next step is to complete the Agreement Regarding Record Attempts with your CLAIM ID in the appropriate field, sign it and send it to us by fax: From the UK: 0207 387 5098 or 0207 383 5706 International: +44 207 387 5098 or +44 207 383 5706 Once we have received this, we will begin to assess your application and enter into correspondence with you. We hope to give you an answer within 4 to 6 weeks, but will endeavour to respond as soon as possible. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANYTHING FURTHER AT THIS POINT. Once we have considered your record suggestion, we will contact you with our decision. In case of success, we will send to you the current world record, the guidelines you must follow and details of the evidence you must compile. Thank you for contacting Guinness World Records. Best regards Records Management Team Guinness World Records If you should require further information, do not reply to this email, but please visit our website and login to the member area (www.guinnessworldrecords.com/register/login.aspx). We will only be able to reply to enquiries regarding any of your pending claims if you have sent us the Agreement Regarding Record Attempt by fax or post.

Well, what can I say, the first person in the whole wide world who has ever driven a licenced cab in five different countries, with five different languages a n d has written books about it in the respective languages – I mean, they get endless records like the longest bread or the longest pasta or the longest single chip or the biggest this or the largest that… or the tiniest brain volume ever measured at a representant of today’s human genome – those guys must be really looking forward to me!

Wednesday, 7.1.09

Well, well. Cab-driving, how about that. This world is crazy and one of the jobs that really represent this most surely is that one. Anyway, today a pub-owner, who doesn’t want the pub named, tells me that there was an 18-year old chap in his pub yesterday, who had even asked him for a job and an hour ago he received a phone-call that this chap is no more, he had been driving drunk and gotten killed in an RTA. Moreover, this just after a week later, that he had talked to the police for hours about the murder on Western Road. He had told them that there were these three scum-bags he could think of being suspects, because they were behaving really weird, saying they were going to kill him and feed him to their pigs. (I don’t know I’ve never worked in an English pub, but I guess, this is not the regular kind of chat you’d have with the bar-keeper there, is it?) So, they left and an hour later was the murder, the victim a known trouble-maker, as far as I can recall. I mean, if two parties who favour this kind of talk come together, they won’t really get warm with each other? More likely one of them, at least, gets really cold, isn’t it? (As quick as a lifeless body cools out at winter, namely.)

Alright, my new car is actually an old one. So, when I pull the door-handle it comes off, together with the cables for the window-roll-down thingy. Okay, so I can’t roll up the front windows anymore, I can live with that for the moment. Later on, a mishap happens, a milk-drink bottle turns out to be not really shut tight, it messes up the seat. This so happens in Roedean and I am just about to turn and head home, when I see there’s a “job-soon”. Being the day as dead as it is, you better chance on a fare to the station you can take along, even with a wet seat. Right, station it is. I pull up at the house, passenger boards my cab, I turn the engine on and do so while I can watch the two front windows roll down. Crikey! I try to roll them up again but the damn switch is dead, I can only roll up the left one, with an extra switch. My passenger is kind-spirited and says well, what if you turn the heat on full blast (as in, “then I can at least physically survive the trip to the station”, being as arctic as it is). We do so and I drive him to the station, with a wet front-seat and a un-closable driver-seat window to balance this out again. Alright, complete mess at the station anyway, dead day as well, of course, I head home – realising now, if I can’t shut the window, it will stay open! Meaning, the cab will be parked all night with an open window. Which turns right back to the fact, that the whole thing only happened in the first place for there’s a mess with the central locking, on behalf of that someone tried to open the lock forcefully to break in! Which would be now a whole lot easier, wouldn’t it? So, imagine this burglar could look into the future, all he would have to do is to come back tonight and get what he was going to get that night back then! This can’t happen, so I try my best to shut the window. I fiddle around with the locking, with the door-lock and with the steering-wheel and then with the ignition – and here we go, as soon as I lock the door from outside, while still sitting on the driver seat, it works! I quickly pull in my hand. Great, the window is now shut! Not so great, the door is now also shut, so I am trapped inside! Well, there are the back doors, aren’t they, I can try to open them from the inside, can’t I? Yeah, in theory, but not in practise. They don’t open. Panic? No, there are still the back door windows and they have good old manual window-lifters. Phew! Climb on to the back seat, roll up the window left-behind manually, reach for the key, open the door from outside, the WINDOW STAYS SHUT! Sigh of relieve! Climb on the front seat again, clean the mess on the left seat, get out of there, shut the door, lock it, the WINDOW STAYS SHUT! Second, deep, sigh of relieve. I have survived another day in the cab alive, what does it matter I did hardly earn any money.

I’m applying at the Guinness Book right now, it’s a lot of work. As I have to keep this on record anyway I might as well do this here: Summary Claim Details You may want to keep a copy of these details for your reference. If any information is incorrect, please use the Previous Button to go back and amend the details. Claim Title: Europe’s cab-driving writer/5 different countries Country: Europe City/Town/Village: Freiburg/Brighton… Date of attempt: Record Details: This is probably a new category. I will be the first person in the world who has ever worked as licenced (!) cab-driver in at least five different European countries (or countries at all) with all different languages (!) a n d has kept blogs/written books about it in the respective language (!) Up to now I have done this already in two different countries, Germany and England, which is probably a world-record in itself already (!), I will go to France shortly. To measure/proof this I can show my licences, the blog I am keeping on my website and the books I have written or will write. I am doing this to become the most famous cab-driver in the world and to promote my books. For more information go to my website in English language http://jochenlembke.spaces.live.com/ Media: As it is an ongoing record-attempt over still one or two years I will try to get as much media attention as possible, but I can’t really invite them, nor do I have a sponsor yet. But I will try this also. To evaluate the attention I have got so far please read the following: Short-bio: Basically a typical writer’s bio, a lot of this and a lot of that. After I’ve finished 13 years of school 1981 with the “Abitur”, I’ve done a lot of unfinished studies, that left me with profound general education and debts, languages, politics, even medicine. After that I did, finished, a vocational training as a masseur. I worked in every field, have done basically anything besides dish-washing and have been basically anything, besides a millionaire. And of course I’m a cab-driver since ’84, yet with long breaks in between. I never seriously thought of becoming a writer, was into photography, some acting, guitar-playing and singing, yet after I’ve began in 2002, with some notations about cab-driving, I became quite obsessed with it. I am not married, have no kids, but will catch up with both, as soon as the girl I love quits refusing to talk to me. So far I’ve written four novels about cab-driving, in German language: „Der Job ist so mies, doch ich brauch den Kies”, 2003. „Jean-Claude Behämmertle jagt den Meerschwein-Mörder”, 2003. „Macht Taxifahren sexy?”, 2004. „Mit dem Taxi durch die Galaxis”, 2004. After that I’ve done a (shortened) second translation of Douglas Adams’ “Hitch Hiker’s guide to the Galaxy”, all five volumes, into German, 2005, which yet isn’t authorized. After that I’ve written a sequel to it, a sixth volume, called “42 is the answer… but what’s the question anyhow?”, in German language, 2005. And translated it myself into English, 2006. Here are now some local media and celeb feedbacks, (translated), to fill you in. Antenne Südbaden: „a multi-talent on four wheels”. SWR4: „describes life of taxi-drivers”. Chilli – das Freiburger Stadtmagazin: „the taxi-driving poet”. Badische Zeitung: „close to the world he’s writing about”. RegioMagazin: „crosses over a planet called Freiburg and gets from a to b beings of the weirdest species”. Radio Dreyeckland: „street-work in Freiburg”. Der Sonntag in Freiburg: „drama behind steering-wheel!” Freiburger Wochenbericht: „Freiburg-views from behind taxi-wind-screen”. Dr. phil. Julia v. Kleist, Lektorin, married to descendent from the line of Heinrich v. Kleist: „rather hair-raising events… just loved it!” Freiburg’s mayor Dr. Dieter Salomon: „taken from real life…!” Former cab-driver and Foreign Minister of Germany Joschka Fischer: „With this pleasurable reading in pocket-format you have done me a great pleasure!”)

Tuesday, 6.1.09

Okay, Brighton, I apologise for saying you’re rubbish. It’s just that I’m very, very disappointed. I had such an incredibly hard time in England and everybody who I’ve met more closely was either disgusting from begin or had let me down or disappointed me in some way. I don’t know, maybe it’s me, because I can’t sometimes keep my mouth shut, basically never respect when someone is juuust in a little bit more powerful position right now, have too strong a sense of justice for day-to-day-world, dunno. Anyway, I will leave asap, maybe even before end of March. “Get to France”, that song is from Michael Oldfield, isn’t it? It’s in my head all the time.

I have strong parental instincts and they run empty basically, so I can be endlessly worried about small creatures in distress. Here it is the swan-babies. Due to this icy weather Hove Lagoon is completely frozen solid, even that little space the swans kept open by swimming in it, and now they are no longer protected from the foxes. This night they have all left, probably to a nice space in salt-water, the Marina or the harbour. But they will probably return, for here’s where they get fed.

Above some nice sea-front pics

Monday, 5.1.09

“There is no way to delay that trouble coming every day…” (Frank Zappa, the old troublemaker) Folks, my private car is giving me nothing but trouble. I will dedicate a whole chapter to it in my new book. Brighton, you suck, you have been nothing but a waste of time for me so far! Sucking Brighton´s newspaper has headlines for nothing but murder, manslaughter or deathly mishaps. That paper disgusts me more and more!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 4.01.09

Did quite a special thing today, a short report after each fare on video. Click here to watch it on YouTube! But it’s very, very, improvised and absolutely not perfect! (I’m so distracted because I only have beautiful women in my head, that I didn’t realise I have Windows Movie Maker on my computer and don’t need any rental software!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdyIAFJqVcE

Annoying the English, a Germanic look at this country!!!! (Dear English, kick me out of England, I’m asking for it)

This rusty van was parked there, no one around and the parts were just lying there. Another time I’ve seen a guy changing a whole motor at his van, just parked at a road like this.

Shit! That gull must have felt really relieved afterwards!

What’s this? Backed up into an earth-wall?

This is how you keep your drains on the roofs?

More night-pics

Fire juggler

Saturday, 3.1.09

These things high up in the sky are called air-planes. Some of them fly really low which makes other people go and erect barricades at air-port called thingies, such as Stanstead. (They are probably all just Dutch who don’t want to drown when the polar ice-caps are melting, selfish buggers.)

Brad Newsham has taken me to his friends on Facebook, great, now it’s him, Melissa Plaut and me, us three cab-driving writers being friends on there! I hope all three of us meet sometime in the near future! I’ve written to him: “Hi, Brad, thank you so much for the add! I’ve written the article about you more carefully now and there couldn’t be more differences between us. You’re so down to the earth as I’m this half-crazy German dude with his heads in the clouds always. You write about poor people and the waste in our society, I annoy everybody about my world-famous attitude (if they don’t get the irony in it). Yet, we are both cab-driving writers, so there should be a long and fruitful friendship between us! That’s why I suggest the same things to you as I did to Melissa Plaut, I want to sell your book in my cab, want to translate it into German and… what was it? Oh, yeah, right, come over and drive your cab for a week. (If you don’t charge people you don’t need a licence.) Now, how about that? Yours, Jochen”

Late at night. Come home from a piss-poor Friday night, finished early. Earned more on bad days. But who goes out on a Friday after New Years Eve?

Drive “Glass Doctor” Robert Horrocks, who’s a specialist in windscreen repair. He is limping a bit from a strained ankle, but he can sure fix your windscreen if it has a scratch. Be environmental and don’t chuck the whole window if it can be fixed, call him at 07944 576 340!

Well, well, English girls, how about that. During the day, especially when stressed, the defenses go up when you just try to be a little friendly. At night, when having had just a few drops of alcohol, they can really go wild. I’ve heard something on the radio, like England would be the most promiscuous country in Europe, only followed by Germany, well, makes sense, I guess. So, I have one girl getting in my cab and saying that it smells like coffee, I offer her a sip and you know what, she accepts and drinks from out of my coffee cup! Then I have another girl and we have a nice chat, there she says, before she gets out, “come on, give me a kiss!” So I do, I kiss her on the mouth. And you know what, it feels sooo wonderful, she is really young and pretty and it has been ages since I’ve kissed a girl on the mouth, I’ve had nothing but work in the last years. “I will put this on my blog” I say, a little dazzled. I can still taste her lip-stick 20 minutes later.

So, later on there’s a couple boarding my cab. She gets in first, doesn’t say a word, her boy-friend deals with that person that steers the car that gets her to where she wants, that human annex of the machine. He’s friendly, but it’s a kind of “happy-New-Year-driver”-friendliness. We drive, then they make me do an illegal turn and then they kiss, in the back. Reminds me of something. “Hey, I just got kissed by a girl”, I say. “It was really nice.” I don’t know, I just say things like that sometimes. I’ve been a cab-driver for so long now, every passenger who gets in my cab is like someone I know for decades, I tell people everything and most of the times, they return the favour. Yet, she reacts really, really badly. “There’s a thing called privacy”, she says coldly. “I don’t want to hear about it. I think this is really poor of you.” Yeah, right, lady, I was only telling you about that kiss and you were performing it right in front of my eyes in the rear mirror, that privacy kind of a slobbering act, lady. “You’ve got to keep things like that for yourself.” Yeah, right, lady, speak your mind, I will do mine. “Oh no, I will tell it to the world!” I say. This is not only a mourning blog! It’s not just bad things happening to me! And I give my business-card card to the man, who’s just getting out. “Fuck you!” he says. And throws the card onto the back seat. “You were being rude to me!” And he says, he thinks I’m jealous. Here I am, proud of being kissed by that really nice girl and he’s making it like I’m jealous. I tell you what, I’m not jealous. There’s loads of girl you can pick up at each corner if you have a little money, who are really pretty on the outside but ugly from within. And I tell you, your girl is such a person, I wouldn’t want her for a single night, I tell you that, I really don’t. I never had any money in all my life because other things were always more important to me and I never wanted girls like that and I don’t envy you her. But this is a cab-driver, an underprivileged being and of course he’s jealous for he never has the chance to get such fabulous ladies as you have, mate, right? On the meter is £5.80. He throws a fiver at me. “Here’s your money”, he says. They walk away. I turn and roll down a window. “It’ll be on my blog too, how you short-changed me!” I have the name and address of those people and for five minutes I seriously consider to name, blame and shame them, I feel a sense of power. Yet, power must not corrupt. And I know in the end people will say that I should have kept my mouth shut when they kissed and had to look away. But you know what, I don’t have that endless patience or perfect control over myself like some colleagues obviously have. Or – I don’t swallow that much more anymore, pick one.


Christmas at the pier

There’s my purse in the foreground I bought 1985 and kept it ever since. Years later I lost at in Zurich and got it back, minus 300 Franks that were in it, of course.

Christmas at the Marina

Friday, 2.1.09

Prepare for more abuse as I’m due for the night-shift tonight. I will work the next months Wednesday, noon till midnight, Friday night and Sunday, noon till midnight.

Thinking about a new flyer: “I’m a celebrity, get me out of here!” And then a pic of me in the cab (which is worse than any jungle prison possibly can be). Text maybe like this: “Hey, there are two ways to achieve my goal as Europe’s cab-driving writer, which will make me world-famous, so that I can pay back my enormous debts and win the heart of the girl I love (that right now rather see me dead in a ditch than in her arms). I can do killer-shifts in England, France, Italy and Spain and write about the stress, the tediousness and the abuse that rains down on me – or I can sort of more get the licence and drive around a little, yet spending most of the day in cafés and pubs, surrounded by the people who will feed me with the material for writing (and then pay for my drinks), just because I’m so famous and popular. (And leave the tedious bit to other drivers, for I’ve had enough of it already.) What do think I will prefer? So, read my blog and make it known to the right people, which will help my books getting published!” Whaddya think, obnoxious enough?

Thursday, 1.1.09

5.30 in the morning. Come home from a New Years Eve in the cab. Bushed, knackered, abused. Witnessed some minor atrocities. Got girls hitting on me. Four of them figuratively and one of them literally. Drunk bitch. You don’t hit back on girls even if they hit first. This she well knows.

10.00 o’clock. Can’t frigging sleep.

“All is quiet on New Years Day.” Well, to put is this way, is definitely a nice feeling, when it’s New Years Eve and you are a cabbie with no social life at all, and it’s 10.00 o’clock and then it makes click (or doesn’t even make click, it just switches silently) and there you go! Tariff 6! And everything is maaaagically doubled. Starting fee 4.80, mileage fee 40 instead of 20, at day. To go to London Central would cost you then instead of a 130 now 260, for instance. So, have you noticed, yesterday, at 10, the big smile on all cabbies faces? But it won’t last, I tell you, it’ll soon change into that tight-lipped sort of smile, that grim sort of thing.

I mean, it didn’t started bad, I had two fares in a row, where English people actually spoke German with me, and a bit more than the usual, mein Herr and Achtung crap, they were really fluent. Then, at around midnight those four girls who were yelling in my ears in such loudness I would have definitely silenced up everything male. “You wanna go with us to that club…”, yell, yell, scream, hahaha. (You know what, the worth-almost-nothing-prestige of a cabbie suddenly shines up on this day, when we are the KINGS.) They just wanted to make sure they got a cab waiting for them on New Years Eve, I joke to them about. NoNo, further screaming. So, I give to all four of them business cards, which makes, female psyche, the one next to me in the front say “Oh, no, if it’s for them as well I don’t want it.” (Always this rivalry between women, isn’t it.)

Then, right next, the very right next pick-up, another girl, who just hangs in the back, sobbing. But not this “oh, comfort me please kind of sob”, more this “the very next person that crosses me, will have it bad” sort of sob. So, I tell her, about the life of a cabbie, you get four crazed up screaming girls and right next to that picture of misery and that’s what I write about. “Will I be in your books one day?” she asks next. (Oh yes, definitely, I reply.) Now she starts this “cabbie who wants to make some extra money sort of thing”, for her mother has told me on the phone to deliver her to Brunswick Road and there is Brunswick Square, Terrace, Street, Place and Road all neatly tucked away, kind of next to each other, and in the night, when anything is just sort of black and blurred (with the occasional car coming dangerously close to you in between), I can’t always deliver a 100 %, I admit. So, we have to go back a tiny bit, while she lets this paranoia escalate a bit further, talking to her mother on the phone “he doesn’t have a clue” and was just at “we are completely lost”, exactly when we were making the turn into Brunswick Road. On the meter is £18.60, because of the little detour I charge only £16.00. Her mother, the over-protective type (“I’m so glad you’re home, honey”) is happy to give me the money, when this spoiled little brat starts trying to deal blows in my direction! “Stop that”, her mother says, but she doesn’t listen. Little spoiled girl, “you can’t always get what you want, but you might find out one day, you can find what you need”. (Was just listening to a dad yesterday telling his 3-year old sun “there’s a lot of difference in what you want and what you really need, son.” (And sure there’s an age when you we have to learn about this, haven’t we) So, little 18-year old something girl, daddy would give you a hiding, sometimes, believe me!

Later the next spoiled brats. Five youngsters (you can take us, can’t, ya mate) have just crammed into my cab, when suddenly the cab they have ordered comes and the driver blocks me. These are my passengers! I feel a sense of relief, oh good, I’m getting rid of them. “Yeah, sure, take them”, I say, “hey, y’all have to take the other cab!” “Shit, no, just drive, man”, the black hoodie next to me starts punching me on my arm. The other driver, fast as lightning, good ol cabbie instinct, realises he doesn’t want no load of trouble and leaves, saying, “you can’t pick up here, mate, there’s a camera!” (Which there is, for it was right in front of their office.) Mate, if I get hailed, I pick up. Very simple. I told the guys I’m not the cab they ordered and I’m not responsible for the morale of their customers, especially not on a freezing New Years Eve. Then I go round the corner, when the two girls start screaming and bitching. “We want to get out, let us out!” Sure, thing, mate, here you go, I let them all out, only the black hoodie remains, tells me the girls are lesbians and there is trouble with them. Well, there’s always trouble with girls, that’s about my impression, so far, in this life, and I begin driving him to Lancing. The young man likes to travel in style, so he makes me taking the bypass instead of the shortest route via Old Shoreham Road, when this little black hoodie suddenly realises it’s double-the-fare-day and his 24 quid won’t get him there. He now is a very little black hoodie, far away from punching me on the arm, let’s-go-mate-wise, and starts to play on my heart-strings. So, I end up with £37 on the meter and £24 in my pocket and having driven the little punk to his doorstep, coz all he wants is “to be in his flat now”. And you know what, at the end of the day I’m happy he didn’t just open the door somewhere and started sprinting, maybe even with my purse in his hands or one more stab-victim tomorrow in the papers. For that’s the world of a cabbie. Now, gimmie a smile, he says. Fuck. No.

Later, me and my passenger can witness a drunk guy kissing the kerb and staggering back on his feet again, his mate just laughing. We are just one meter away from them, at the lights, blindingly bright in the night, and I can clearly see the blood shooting fast into his upper and lower eye-lid. He will end up in the A&E as soon as he realises there’s something wrong, but for now he just staggers after his mate, happy New Year. I sometimes feel like a war zone correspondent, I tell my passenger. Dodge the bullets, go home and write about how you survived another day in hell.

Happy New Year, to all of you! We all are “dancing on the volcano” as we Germans say. Living on the edge, dancing with the devil, dodging that old sword of Damocles until it finally hits, life is a risk and it will always end deadly. It’s 4.00 in the morning, the car is not scraped or dent, neither there is blood on the spoiler and no puke in the back, no one really tried to hit me or rob me. I call it a good New Years Eve! Here’s to 2009!

Completely forgot to mention the “lady that dries her knickers with a hair-dryer.” How could I?

Sunday, 28.12.08

I have changed cars, I’m driving now for the guy I’m living with and won’t name here, for he’s a total dick, who doesn’t want to reveal this fact to the world (just kidding). That decision wasn’t easy for me, for there was nothing wrong with the guy I’ve worked for before, but now the car is just right at the front door and he’s a bit more flexible too.

I don’t have any response to my emails and actually have given up on them, I’m not going to waste any more time on this.

Have joined smooch.com, the free dating site, but they don’t really convince me, seems to be a lot of square girls there who don’t go for a half-crazy German dude. Will actually try another go on Gumtree for a German babe. An import from home, nice!

I don’t think Mellissa will come back to me about my propositions and stuff, she’ll be very busy, for one. And also I’m a boastful German male chauvinistic pig and she’s that modest Jewish feminist lesbian. Erm, so whaddya think are the odds?

It looks as if I’ve solved the problems with the pics. MySpace uploader rules! I’ve uploaded 140 pics in only 10 minutes! Best quality! I then copy and paste them here, it even offers you the choice of two different sizes! Now I’m almost happy. (2011: until they changed the URL´s and I have to upload them again on wordpress. Oh my.)

I will keep my car now after some need for it occurred. There was even a guy coming from London to try and jump-start it, which didn’t work and then there’s this problem with the two chassis numbers which lets everybody think the car is dodgy, but it’s not. So, the poor guy came for nothing.

“Strictly come dating” is back, I’ve launched another go. With an even more cheeky text. Maybe I will do a flyer like “Brighton, make me famous or you’ll never get rid of me again!” I just like things like that. I’ve responded to an ad at Smooch.com where a girl wants a guy who’s quirky. Yeah, baby, take me. I’ve also added a German ad, next to the English one at Gumtree, ’cause “zat vould be verry nice to haf” a German girl to cuddle with. Dear diary, it’s so great I can just put you back in the drawer and nobody is ever able to read all the bollocks I’ve written.

Saturday, 27.12.08

I have problems changing my rhythm. Can’t sleep long. Feel miserable.

The most famous cab-driver in the world? Being world-famous within one year? I don’t know, maybe it was just an attack of Christmas paranoia, because now, frankly, I don’t give a monkeys about that. You heard me right. I’m just “doan ma thang, yo” and where it gets me I don’t frigging care. So, I’ve changed my sub-headline accordingly into “The most famous cab-driver in the world! (Or the world’s most shameless attention-seeker? You know what, sort it out yourself!)”

The counter on this page isn’t even close to being reliable, so I have no idea how many people come visit here. Drive me nuts. Bill, you suck. Big time. Gimmie my money back. All the 150 billions!

I will ask Gem if he can give me lessons in Zen Buddhism, so I’m not so easily upset anymore. If only I’d still have contact with him, the arrogant and self-centred pseudo-buddhist bastard. Will teach myself. Ooooooommmmmmmmm! (Shit, doesn’t work.)

Friday, 26.12.08

Being an English resident now for 15 months I certainly have to watch the Christmas video of Her Royal Majesty the Queen, and I have. She spoke a lot of modesty and serving other people comes before serving your own needs. Well, to me actually, there’s always this discrepancy between those who teach modesty, let it be the Queen, who’s really rich and lives in a a palace, let it be the Pope, let it be the Dalai Lama, and those who actually live modesty, let it be cab-drivers or coolies, who are the poorest of suckers. Well, I’m fed up with modesty and putting other people’s interests before mine, cause usually they say thank you, like “thank you and that’s it”. “Using the Guinness World Records™ or logo gives credibility and prestige to your event as Guinness Worlds Records is trusted as the ultimate authority on human achievement and the world we live in.” Look, are those guys modest? Anyway, the application process there spans at least two months and I can’t apply before the 5th of Jan.

Thursday, 25.12.08, Christmas Day

One year ago I was having my first Christmas Day in the JuKay. Together with my bulldog-landlady and here sweetsweet daughter (“let’s get pissed!”) we were having Christmas Dinner, wearing these funny little paper crowns and you know, pulling on these funny little things, which I didn’t even know about until then, and then this joke comes out? (Hilarious!) While all the while her little-shit-drug-addict-son tried his best to spoil it for us, for he was sooo sick, trying soooo hard to get clean (and one week later he was all smiles again, after the visit of this little weasel in his red BMW, having him supplied with that old white powder.) Now, you can guess, what I’ve been through there! Although I sometimes miss her snarl – and the hours we spent snuggled up on the sofa and watching telly.

What a nice thing networking with other taxi-activists is, you get to know their style, for example. Here’s a quote from Melissas’s blog: “Another buddy of mine from the garage — who shall not be named to protect his marriage — sends me picture messages practically every day of girls showing him their tits in the back, and sometimes the front, of his cab. What the fuck man? Why didn’t that shit ever happen to ME?” Shit, dude! This is New York style, right? This ain’t no fucking little German rabbit trying not to get the Brighton & Hove Hackney Carriage Office cross, right, fuck, man? So, don’t gimmie no shit, dudes! “There are so many things I love about being a cabbie — primarily the people and the adventure, the unpredictability of each shift, and the endlessly fun game of discovering unusual places in New York — but there are also a few things I could never come to terms with, like traffic and accidents and all the abuse that is so regularly heaped on New York’s cabbies. This is why I stay away when I’m not desperate for cash.” So, now you know, all the abuse that is regularly heaped on us cabbies, why, me, you didn’t believe, did you. So, don’t gimmie any troubles, dudes, or I’ll be very pissed off! I won’t take it anymore! Then, it’s the end with nice, the little rabbit will bite!

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, no one reads this today, because unlike me everybody is happily united with their loved ones, whereas for me today is like any old day, I’m afraid “Success, success, success, what else doesn’t matters!” (the Stones, and boy, would they know what they’re talking about, I’d say so, wouldn’t they) I know, I’m in tatters.

So, I’ve also proposed Melissa to translate her book into German, for there’s absolutely no one in the whole wide world, who’s more qualified for the job than me (and this time damn well no bragging.) Then I’ve looked up how to apply for the Guinness books of records, for I should have done that ages ago, but was so occupied earning money in a completely shit-paid job. Then, those guys from the Wheatsheaf asked me why I don’t apply for the Dragon’s den, (“how many multi-lingual blog-keeping cabbies are there?”) for I need some money to keep my head above water whilst promoting myself and writing to thousands of tired publishers or ever the same tired media guys or simply going to France which would pay off the same – instead of being stuck here, where the only newspaper in town is too busy with depictions of killer-kebabs – and their fatal followings. Right, why don’t I apply for the Dragon’s den, then? Kind Sirs and Ladies, I will do this in the following days, for it’s quite demanding, needs even an video about oneself. (Well, I am an actor, so, time-consuming, but piece of cake.) So, it’s “”Jochen, I’m sorry, but you’re in cloud-cuckoo-land!” And me, “I know, but you know what, I don’t give a shit!”” -soon!

I have written a bulletin to my myspace-friends: I have just made friends with Melissa Plaid on Facebook (you are welcome to add me there by the way, if you are there too), the New York City taxi-bloggeress who made it big, her first book got published at Random House. Well, what can I say, after having written five and translated four, all unpublished, America sneezes and the world has the flue… same for the Big Apple, what’s Brighton compared with good ol’ NYC!

I must admit, it begins to nag me. What is Brighton compared with NYC. Hm, why didn’t I go there in the first place, then, the bloody Brighton-knowledge took me one year!? I’ve driven around loads of American GI’s back in the 80’s anyway… Wait a minute, what was it, ah, Green Card, right, that thingy. Yet, it keeps nagging me and then I remember, ah, I have relatives in the States! Look up quickly immigration rules, shoot, my late aunt’s husband would be my only card to play, apart from loads of cousins second grade, and thaaaat’s not enough. No uncles, nope. I mean I will go there anyway, I always wanted to, and then I probably have to gamble on the, erm, VIP-card. If you do an amazing enough thing, they might take you, I suppose… Will think about this.

Wednesday, 24.12.08

Merry Christmas to everybody! (In Germany, the 24th is the main day)

Whether you believe in its original sense or not, too me it’s the time in the year people come together in love and happiness and although some people regularly fail to live up to these high expectations… then again, you can only try. I myself certainly miss out this year what Christmas is about, “love is worth more than the quest for success”, yet we adults don’t have love raining down on us like when were children, so, sometimes the quest for success brings us then, finally, to a place where it’s nice and cozy and we can enjoy the fruits of our efforts, cuddled up maybe with the loved ones who didn’t want us when we were unsuccessful… Oh, my, enough for Christmas lectures! I don’t drive tonight, so nobody can try to beat me up like two years ago.

By the way, the thing about Germans is they tend to avoid themselves abroad, when they are educated. The primitive ones follow tribal instincts, yet since I regard myself as being the first, I miss contact to Germans here very much.

Found out about a blog of a NYC female cab-driver, who has become a big hit. I think people go crazy about the fact she’s female, but that just saves her a lot of trouble she would have being male. “She has suffered neck spasms, kidney pains and eye twitches from driving 12-hour shifts. She has scraped dirt from beneath her fingernails from handling so many dollar bills. / “After each shift I would come home and type,” she says. “I would vent and complain and curse. I would bitch about traffic. I would bitch about cops.” Her friends had gone off to work high-profile jobs they loved. Her parents were embarrassed to tell friends their daughter drove a cab.” newyorkhack.blogspot.com That’s where you find her blog, Melissa Plaut is her name. I checked it out, of course and of course too, sent her an email, right-away: Hi Melissa! Of course there are people reading this blog if there’s an article in the Los Angeles Times! (I wish I’d been so lucky) Hey, I’d really like to congratulate you to this success, with only a little envy, but with much joy, you’ve had what I haven’t so far, really a hit with what you did. But to write a book about cab-driving in a rather small town in Germany or four, like I’ve done and a lot more, is one thing. But New York is another thing, it’s crazy and it makes the world go crazy about it! Melissa, can we stay in touch? I’m going to ask this question any creative and interesting cabby in the world, so don’t take it too personal, but I’d be very happy about it. We all should network! You know, I’ve been in NY before one time and of course I think it’s the dream of any cab-driver to cruise around there, for me definitely, but I have very ambitious plans anyway. (But am slightly burnt-out, too, the job is very stressful anyway and writing about it and trying to merchandise it… you know what I’m talking about!) Okay, I’m off now to try to make friends with you on my Space and Face-book, for I’m there too, of course. Below is what I’ve written to the newspaper, you are of course invited to read it too. Here’s my blog, Melissa, it didn’t really have so many hits, but I haven’t kept if for very long, just four months now… Of course I’ve emailed right away this text, too, as a comment to her article. Hi! I was very happy to come across this article on the net! Right now I’m looking specifically for interesting and creative cab-drivers world-wide, for I’ve decided to call me “the most famous cab-driver of the world” and I don’t want to brag or adorn me with borrowed plumes. Would there ever a be journalist interested in such a thing, like a contest, or to find out who would really deserve this title? For there are many, many cabbies on the road who do quite amazing things. Yet, although I’ve so far just been doing this in two countries now, to drive a cab in five different European countries with different languages and write a blog/book about it? Can anyone top this? I would like to know.

Melissa has taken me to her friends at Facebook. That was quick! Thanks, Melissa, to a long and lasting friendship! It’s 10 pm London time and I’m aaaawfully tired and go to bed now. (What a night driver is that, ha.) What time is it in NY? Erm, the sun… wait, the sun rises in the east, so… hm, so tired, let it lie. Yawn. Good night.

Tuesday, 23.12.08

Is God English? (What kind of dummie question is this, does this take me anywhere?) In what language shall I pray, in German or in English? Anyway, to whom can I complain about that it’s dark at night in this country? Alright, alright, let it lie, juust kidding. Well, well, drive a cab at night, how about that? “I love the night, the element of danger and the ecstasy of life!” (How do you think my English has become this good? There is no such thing as German culture anymore, we all listened to English music since we were little.) But it’s quite scary, all these drunk English, I mean they scare me when they’re sober… no, still kidding, generally, I’m so fed up of “my train leaves at ’20, d’think y’can make, mate?” So, there’s so much more fun at nights, so never mind a few unpleasants. I’ve handled quite a few drunks in my career, I have to say, the thing is, don’t let them intimidate you. And who can intimidate “Europe’s cab-driving writer”? (Maybe a speed camera can, as it happened the first time in all those seven months (you just can’t see the bloody things, when it’s dark, only the flash, then)).

Now, I have to mention, as I told I would, the young lady that “finally alighted”. She had dismounted from a motor-cycle (whilst it still had some speed on it, that is) and therefore couldn’t bend her leg. So, when we arrived at the door with loads of shopping-bags (I thought I get rid of the Tesco-pick-up-point, but there it is, open till late night) she called her brother for help. To help getting the bags out? No, to help getting her out!

Let’s give the photo up-loader one more try! Now, I drove these guys yesterday to Worthing, to the Red Anywhere at the Wheatsheaf in Worthing, Sussex Click at this link to get their site, it’s an amazing venue, which I walked by at least four times a week when I was living in Worthing, for it’s right next to the library, (because my beloved bulldog-landlady didn’t let me use her Internet). The one on the left is supposedly Dan, the owner of it and the other one was nagging me all the time, if I would have some skills at catering. Here I was, bragging all the time about my world-famousness (the most famous cab-driver in the world, of whom as good as no one has ever heard of) and he nagged me with catering! But, they have also gigs in the pub, so if it gets me publicity I would even give catering a go for an evening, if the BBC comes. You know me, I would do aaaaanything that gets me in the papers, I’m the world’s most shameless attention-seeker! And there are quite a few around, as you might have noticed.

So it was with an Olympus camera this pic of that wrack was done, aha!

I’m trying to get a fair price for my private car on Gumtree, but there seem to be only crooks around. I don’t want it scrapped, it probably only need some love to run properly, but is there someone going to give it to it?

Monday, 22.12.08

It looks like I can’t solve the problems with my pics by improvising. I go completely nuts over this new photo up-loader. I can’t even up-load the pics onto the other site, they are linked to each other. So, the pics are mixed up.

First night-shift. Last only four hours. Tired, confused… why didn’t anybody tell me it’s dark at night all the time in this country? How are you supposed to find your way then? Go to sleep now, tell only nonsense.

About Jochen Lembke

Europe's cab-driving writer
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