Entries Zurich, Switzerland 2009

Tuesday, 29.12.09

For Sale! Collector’s item! Bids please! The opening bid for 2010 is a 100 Swiss-Franc (US-Dollar) or 75 Euro. Next year it will be double. I have spent 25 Francs for this book to look if Colfer has stolen from me (what he should have but didn’t) and now I want at least a 100 for it – with the inscription in hand-writing below, from me, the guy, who stole Colfer’s chances of writing the perfect plot: Poor little rich Eoin… why could I be so stupid, it has now fallen like scales from my eyes, I curse this guy, but have you any idea of how he curses me? Did you ever think why he didn´t use his chance of writing a genius plot, tying all the loose threads together, giving a perfect explanation why both the reason for life is 42 and Arthur is the most important person in the whole ´verse? Ever give it a thought why? Man, cause there was this bloody German who has already done it in 2005 and Colfer was smart enough not to risk a plagiarism trial. See!

Sunday, 27.12.09

Someone has googled me with: “general impression of the English”, which has made me laugh heartily. I just love the English!

Here’ something for the DAC again, just to annoy them:  Will there be a sequel? Man, I’m writing the seventh volume! (“Oh, no, not this weird German again…”) Here’s a rough idea of a plot (yes, Eoin, there’s something like a plot), of course in my clumsy unedited Germanic English, hastily scribbled down in an early morning creative attack between breakfast and work. And you know the best part, I’m just writing it to annoy you! (“Why stop when I’m hating it?”) As all of my millions of fans and readers so well know my version of a sixth volume has ended that Arthur, the most important person in the universe has found the answer to why the meaning of life is 42 and nothing else and, according to what Prak said, if someone knows the answer and the question at the same time, the universe will be destroyed and instantly replaced by something even more incomprehensible! Arthur is now, right after he has destroyed the old universe, roaming about in a new one, which soon turns out to be even weirder and miserable than the old one. Soon too he’s fed up up with this new miserableness and feels homesick to a miserableness he was well accustomed to and that’s just when it makes zing and there’s a voice in his head “Hi, it’s me!” “Hi, erm, back.” And after a slight, slightly puzzled pause. “Erm, who’s “hi, it’s me”?” “As if you don’t know, Arthur, it’s me, you’re old mate Ford.” “Erm…” “Erm… sounds familiar, no reason now to make further investigations, it’s actually you, Arthur, so, in the right brain I am the nagging voice.” “Erm…” “Arthur, it’s me, Ford, you know “they don’t know sarcasm on Betelgeuse” and three pages later here I am, being a bundle of sarcasm ever since.” “Erm…” Arthur felt back in his old well accustomed role pretty quick. So, indeed it was Ford, but how on Earth, which he has destroyed, by the way (and oh, among so many other things, oh, dear) does he make his appearance now inside his brain instead of right before his eyes, talking funny things and waving even more funny things in front of his nose, like babel-fishes, for example (which will then slip into his ear)? He finally managed to verbalise some of the thoughts running through his brain, like, “Oh, well, yeah, erm, Ford, so it’s you” when at the same time he realised it’s not necessary, because Ford answered at the same time, too, even before he had finished verbalising his last thought.  “I’m right inside your brain, Arthur, that is to say, I don’t really exist, actually I’m something you are making up yourself. I’m sort of a biochemical plan b.” “Erm…” “Right, Arthur. You are getting the hang of it, I realise.” “Erm…” More precise. A sort of awakening “erm”. “Yes, Arthur, a biochemical back-up plan implanted in your brain, if something would go wrong.” Yes. Thought Arthur, answering the Ford in his brain simultaneously, having destroyed the entire universe, you might have a point in saying that something had actually gone a bit in the wrong direction indeed. Oh dear, yes. “So, Arthur, when we were hanging around with our furry friends, you know, those with a bit of a knack for brain surgery, you know, the mice, that is, the pan-dimensional ones and we where about to have our ultimate show up in front of Deep Thought, who finally came up with the question to the answer, you know, we thought we couldn’t entirely trust you. I mean, who could trust someone running around the galaxy for years, muttering incoherently, wearing a dilapidated dressing-gown and a bone in the beard? So here I am, Arthur, your way back to your old friends, your way back to the old universe!” Yes, thought Arthur at last and then he realised that Ford was gone, yes, that he was just something his own brain he had reproduced after the image he had internalised of Ford himself, slightly alien, completely snappy and always with a weird turn of situation at the ready. Yes, he thought, then, and, it might work. And then he knew the way back to his old universe by himself, it was all in his brain. Being the most important being in it can sometimes come in handy, in tricky times, indeed.

Thursday, 24.12.09

I wish everybody a merry christmas. Cherish the things you have, love, family, happiness, friends and don’t follow a career that might get you somewhere or not, that’s what uncle Jochen wants to tell you, don’t work your butt off to get world-famous and have no time for anything else.

In order to get world-famous I will combine me going home to Freiburg for Christmas with an event. I will go there with a Zurich cab, will drive along cab-ranks there and distribute flyers to colleagues!

Monday, 21.12.09

After driven a lot of arrogant stuck-up, high-nosed, blasée, uppity Brits in Zurich, there was the icing of the cake today. Right, let this sink in, dear English, I won’t come back ever again as a cab-driver to England, except as a celeb cab-driver sucking up the glory. You can underestimate and basically ignore me anywhere on the continent where ever you find me or in Ireland or in Scotland, but never again in snob-country itself. (2011: let me go on acting on impulses, please!)

Sunday, 20.12.09

I have found someone googled me under “Jochen taxifahrer (cab-driver), so, simplify your life, folks, never worry about finding me in the internet again, what’s that half-crazed over ambitious cab-driver called again, Europe’s… what? Just try “stupid cuddly bear” and you’ll find me, page three.

Saturday, 19.12.09

Am really pissed off with the bastards that run the pub downstairs. It´s more like a fecking discotheque!

Thursday, 17.12.09

Had two nice fares today, one to Uetlikon and one to Dietlikon, with nice chatting. Here the lake at around Küsnacht.

New flyers, will distribute some of them among Freiburg cab-drivers in Germany at around Christmas in a special event, driving around in Freiburg in a Zurich cab.

Severin Richiger (plus contrabass) of “Duo Hinterletscht”, musical comedian, has a fellow comedian friend living both in Zurich and Island. (Thanks to global warming he won’t have to paddle around too many icebergs, when canoeing all the way back and forth.)

Saturday, 12.12.09

See cool Caddi-cab.

“Stupid cuddly” bear on the heels of the super-rich and other white-collar-criminals, this here is the terminal for the Learjet folks. Driven two people from a well-known global-player bank here – and how blasée they were!

I’d rather have Mercedes-cabs, the wiper-tips went astray and the left wiper had been toppled outwards at 60 K’s an hour.

The “Roeschtigraben”: Switzerland. A presumed landform, it refers to the asserted difference in mentality between Swiss Germans and the French-speaking Romands, and the latent conflicts between the German-speaking majority and the French minority. Its name originates from the name of the national Swiss-German potato dish, Rösti German pronunciation: [ˈrøːʃti], that originated in the Canton of Bern.[1][2][3] The denomination originated from a wordplay on the rift (or Graben) of the Saane river (in French Sarine) that to some degree separates the language populations in the bilingual Canton of Fribourg, and has become a familiar jokingly expression to all citizens of Switzerland, whenever some differences arise. In French, the corresponding term is barrière de Rös(ch)ti, literally “Rösti fence”. Rideau de rös(ch)ti (“Rösti curtain”) is also seen. In political terms, it is often used to describe the differences in voting behavior between the different parts of Switzerland. In social and foreign policy, the Romands tend to be more friendly to State regulation and supportive of a more active foreign policy (somewhat discarding Switzerland’s neutrality) (influenced by the centralistic political mentality prevailing in France ) In areas related to transportation, the environment, and drugs, the difference is not as marked, but the Romands tend to be somewhat more conservative and technocratic. In recent years, however, the differences in perspectives on foreign and social policy seem to be weakening and the urban areas of German-speaking Switzerland, along with and medium-sized and small towns, are voting in closer tandem with Western Switzerland.

Pick up bunch of Englishmen (no, they’re not drunk, erm, makes you wonder these days…) from FIFA, they do the official FIFA-computergame!

TheMarriot-Hotel had been a white spot for me so far, though it’s very big and important I’ve never picked up nor driven somebody there, nor ever have waited, this is the first time. they squeezed the rank in between a drive-way for the car-park in front… and an emergency-exit for A&E services in the rear. The whole thing is so delicate, they demanded video-monitoring by our taxi-company, get a hold of that!

Tuesday, 8.12.09

The historic building I live in, with historic noisily creaking wooden floors and modern mad-men making modern music all night and also modern mayhem (traffic) day and night.

Today the FCZ plays versus AC Milan, just a stone-throw away from my house.

Sunday, 6.12.09

I have gained a lot of weight again, due to frustration-entailed eating. The wrapped thing is the finest “Mohrenkopf” (negro-head, a non-PC term less and less frequently used for this marshmallow-like sugar-foam thing with a chocolate top, which are with rare extinctions not available in the UK)

Saturday, 5.12.09

Folks, don’t know if this has gotten through to you, this is kind of a historic unprecedented thingy and it’s been done by no one else but your most appreciated Europe’s cab-driving writer, author of the best h2g2 sequel ever written (or else money back, haha, don’t earn anything with it anyway…)! Probably the first time in history (if I’m too enthusiastic let me know, saves me hours of searching the net) a “stalker” has written a 500-pages-manuscript about his three-year-ordeal and sent it to his (most dearly beloved) “victim” (who, erm, certainly also claims this said ordeal, surely not to hide this fact), inviting her to write her point of view, thus connecting these two sides of a story to a completely unique, outstanding book about… well, here’s what I’ve written on my German site, which I have proof she reads: “Schnuff” (really mindbogglingly tender German sweet name), please co-write this book, give it a final happy-end and marry me and we will be out of financial worries for the rest of our lives! The story of two people, chosen by fate for another for all intents and purposes, yet can’t manage to get along at first because of mutual thick headedness and other many slight character defects… the story escalates as if it would be a novel, police, jurisdiction, judge and state attorney and yet he just doesn’t give up, he loves his little precious darling so dearly and he goes along, against all advice, against all odds and writes anything down what has ever happened, over three years, over 500 pages, all honest and openly, sparing himself the least, what he has done wrong, yet what she could have done differently as well and he asking for her forgiveness with it and she is giving him another chance… and they live happily ever after, a modern fairy tale with a happy ending, a beacon of peace, understanding, repentance and forgiveness… million people in the world could read this book, “Schnuff”, touched to tears by it and it would give them a little hold and comfort in these bad times we live in, in which, as it seems, books only become bestsellers if they deal with crime and murder, war and catastrophes. “Schnuff”, I hereby claim to obtain a maximal distance between us of 50 centimeters. Should the observance of this maximal distance fail to be ensured at a time, it then has to be restored at once! Deal?” (2011: no.)

Thursday, 3.12.09

Did so! Man, how long had that kept me busy!

Wednesday, 2.12.09

I am ready to send my 500 pages manuscript about us to Hasenschnecke! Keep you posted!

Also, I’m laughing my butt off about this: Iraqi throws shoes at Iraqi shoe-thrower. The old saying goes that “what goes around comes around” and for Iraqi shoe-thrower Muntazer al-Zaidi that has proven to be the case.

Muntazer al-Zaidi ducks under a shoe

Iraqi television journalist Zaidi shot to fame around the world in December 2008 after throwing his shoes at the then US President George W Bush during a Baghdad press conference. The tables were turned on Tuesday when at a press conference in Paris a fellow Iraqi threw his shoes at Zaidi. Zaidi was at the press conference to promote his own campaign for victims of the war in Iraq, when the man threw his shoes. Zaidi managed to duck under the shoe, which hit the wall behind his head. On December 14 last year Zaidi threw his shoes at President Bush to protest against the war in Iraq. As he threw his first shoe he shouted: “This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog.” When he threw the second he yelled: “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.” The journalist was immediately wrestled to the ground and served time in prison, during which time Zaidi claims he was tortured by guards. On Tuesday, Zaidi’s attacker accused him of “working for dictatorship in Iraq” before throwing his shoe. In Arab culture showing some the soles of your shoes is a sign of contempt. After having the shoes thrown at him Zaidi joked: “He stole my technique,” before adding: “When I used this method, it was against the occupation. I did not use it against a compatriot.”

Tuesday, 1.12.09

Great uproar in the world about Switzerland. Yet I have to say, the people have voted and the fears of the small people are to be taken serious. What I am doing only few people in the world would be ready to do too, most of them are stuck in their little world. No criticism, just a fact.

Drive Davide Orru’ who is Italian sommelier, a wine merchant and a humorous person, so buy his wine! Go to http://www.monteschiavo.com/

Saturday, 28.11.09

I have very little time, for I’m working 45 hours a week and must finish my 500-pages-manuscript about Hasenschnecke, which I will email to her when it’s done, in about a week or so. Then I have more time for my English site, but you must understand I use my German site as an open letter to her, all the more since I have proof she indeed does read it.

The World Trade Center in Zurich in the Leutschenbachstrasse is still standing, though in direct vicinity to the air-port, for it’s got only four storeys. But to be on the safe side, better build some minarets in Zurich, ey? (Again)

Saturday, 21.11.09

“Eoin, honestly…” Public letter to Eoin Colfer! (And a bit of a review, too) “Eoin, honestly… you call this book of bollocks… no, sorry, let’s be precise and fair right from the start, this bible of bollocks, this piece of Colfer-crap, this festering turd of a gut-gangrenous Vogon… an h2g2-sequel? I mean the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Written by the DA? (I mean, a sequel written for grown-ups, of course…) I’m German, Eoin, so I sort of lack the excellency in English language sometimes, so what was it, again, Eoin, it was your first book for grown-ups or was it your first book as a grown-up, as I didn’t get that quite clearly, dumb me. Eoin, I wasn’t prejudiced, when I started reading, I thought well, if the chap has done it well, let’s be a Gentleman about it (as hard as that is for me, I admit, I’m very rarely much of a Gentleman anyway) and there are actually some funny bits… but you know, it just seems you can’t deliver two good jokes in a row, Eoin, every other has got to be lame or childish or completely besides the point or just inappropriately adolescent…you know what, you’ve got to do a thing, every now and then, Eoin, which I will explain to you now. I mean you can always spill your thoughts and write them down, but, unlike the former books you’ve written, for children, you need to read it again, what you have written and take bits out again and then read it another time and another… it’s a thing which is called editing, (yeah, I know one of these awfully complicated grown-ups-talking-words), and it makes the grown-up reader pleased that he doesn’t have to read a lot of fecking bullshit. But you get round to it, Eoin. And then, Eoin, another grown-up thing, awfully important when it comes to writing, is called a plot or a story, this is sort of the main thing actually, you know a lot of the grown-up writers make up their minds about it very thoroughly, some spend many a sleepless night about it, even, (if they are fathers, they can’t always rush to beds of little Eoins can’t sleep over bad boo-boos.) So, here’s what I did, for example, I tied up all the loose ends of all the five volumes, bring the protagonists together, let them have wild, exciting and funny adventures across the galaxy and, in a most dramatic finish, in the forty-second chapter, I then confront Arthur with the truth! Why he is the most important person in the whole universe! Moreover, I give a perfect explanation, why the meaning of life is 42 and nothing else! And what do you do, sir, after endless and rather childish dialogues, with lame jokes, after you dig a bit into xenoerotic and revolting teenagers – all dramatic finish there is in your book, you let a, in a rather silly way, described Thor fight against a, in a rather silly way, described Wowbagger (Eoin, it seems you got a little bit of death-wish thingy going on there, by the way, well, it’s nothing I couldn’t take care of, hehe…) and then, hey, wow, what a surprising turn, Wowbagger isn’t dead, he can go on again on his xenoerotic little endeavour… and wow, hey, Thor isn’t dead, too (oh good, didn’t he hold our sympathies in the end, the grumpy old fuddy-duddy) and hey, really taking the biscuit, in a, hey, really mindbogglingly, froody way, the Vogons are beaten again and isn’t there a bit of nice in every Vogon every now and then these days, (oh, dear, the world isn’t that bad after all, is it), and finally, Arthur, in the end, is where he was at the beginning, a bit disappointed from life, stuck somewhere and always deprived of tea. Where DA just ended up being boring after all his previous genius work and stuck in a plot where he seems to have lost the thread himself, you just take over and make it worse, sir, “when the going gets gaga, Colfer gets going…” The whole book appears to me as if… well, excuse my German directness, but it’s just that little ferret-faced goblin-looking-alike overly-protected children, who were being bullied as such have a tendency to internalise that, they begin to feel as such, even write as someone who feels like a little ferret-faced goblin, who had been bullied and runs to his mama/dreams his way out of it, in his childhood (just as I damn well know my writing is a good deal about my childhood that has denied me my rightful chances, grrmbbl…) and… you know, I wouldn’t care, see, I even would have been the first been around protecting you like a big brother against these bullies, actually. (In a healthy big brother way, “hey, let’s beat the crap out of’em” and not in a “mama is always there for you, no matter what there is (or dummy things you write)”-way.) But just as it so happened, you have stepped on my toes, kind sir, and very much like in a way a bulldozer does on that of a caterpillar. “Do I want to come across as a bad loser”? Well, do I prefer writing my name on autographs more as on taxi-receipts? Let’s put it that way, even if I am the most famous cab-driver of the world (or not, who gives a damn about any cab-driver anyway, is one not stuck in a rain-storm in the middle of no-where, with a few quids to spare and miraculously a cab around). It’s just, you know, it doesn’t get me a bit upset, (or pissed off, as you would place it), it gets me COSMICALLY ANNOYED! I’m a bit a mixture between Agrajag and Wowbagger actually in here! ONCE MORE…. (I flash-signal) HAS AN AUTHOR… WITH LESS GOOD QUALITIES… BEEN PREFERRED… (and after a slight pause, I will add) AAARRRGH!!!! (Well, and you know Wowbagger, tall green alien, with a tendency for mouthing of, nice Adams’ character you used, in a slightly modified sense… oh, like me, by the way… well, let’s call this coincidence, oh, same as the separation of Zaphod’s heads, which I used too, in 2005, but besides that therein lies a slight possibility you might have let yourself, erm, influenced by me, in general, you didn’t. But you should have, Eoin! Because unlike you I know how to write! Yeah, I know, Eoin, you cool cat, you, *chuckle* you seem to be a bit more of a “widow-comforter”, as we Germans say (that’s where you’re true expertise lies, isn’t it so, you ol’ dare-devil, come on, just between the two of us, hah? Come on, I won’t tell no one about it) So, a lot of little details of DA came to your knowledge, which you have displayed ever so splendidly in this book, but you see, I translated the best 60 percent of all the five volumes into my mother-language, so I call that being into the essence of the book, too!) So, sir, to finish… now, it’s not just a big book with a fancy cover with a bird looking like a dragon that does it, like with your former clientèle, we grown-ups are a bit more demanding, when it comes to books and especially to the-one-in-a-million-chance to write a sequel for a deceased author’s mega-cult-seller. Was the whole thing about you getting authorised instead of having an open contest reeking of favouritism all along the way – it now stinks to the High Halls Of Asgard of it! Jochen Lembke”

Friday, 20.11.09

Finished Colfer’s book. To summon it up, it finished me (off). Christ! Zarking Christ! (We’ll see if “zarking” makes it beyond DA-fans). Whaaaat a load of festering Vogon-droppings! I can’t … (foul language) believe such a … (extremely foul language) is actually taking place on this planet. This book is probably the worst out-of-favouritism-generated book in the whole known universe and most likely in huge chunks of the unknown also! But so much for now, wait until I have time, then you will see me exploding about it!

Thursday, 19.11.09

“And another thing”, Colfer’s book at a glance: Although he used a number of figures I did too, the story unfolds in a complete other direction, it appears rather confused and fantasy-wise, a lot has to do with nordish gods, for example… So, he obviously has not taken the chance to pick up all the loose threads and tie them to a satisfying whole as I claim I did. I’m now at page 100 from 330, my worst expectations have come true so far, where Adams ended up being boring, having no plot and clue what he is writing about actually, Colfer just takes over! Gruesome! Although the book seems to be nicely done language-wise, here in a sharp contrast, obviously, to my, unedited, English version, he definitely missed the really great opportunity to write a really great h2g2-version (worthy the unique chance which has been given to him). Which puts me in the picture again, ’cause I did.

You know what, I’m quite annoyed with quarrels between Swiss and Germans, if you look at it from a larger scale, you should take both of them and bang their heads together for reason. Christ, look at the problems this world has! Maybe Gaddafi, as dumb a shit-head he is, is right when it comes to Switzerland, just unite the three parts with the respective motherland and done with it…

Sunday, 15.11.09

Drive nice German girl to this club, she lives in Switzerland for two years now and wants to leave asap.

Thursday, 12.11.09

Lowered myself to order Colfer’s book today. It’ll be there next Wednesday. Arrgh!

Behind my cab: sunrise tower in Zurich, where the base-jumper had a rough landing two days ago and is fighting for his life in the hospital (He died two days later. See below for a successful jump of his in Basel, 2006)

Finally, bought a sat-nav, which makes my life easier indeed

Wednesday, 11.11.09

Had yesterday off. Drove today UK-business-lady from Reading, who was into expensive lighting and trying to look for wealthy customers. Told her I write a little something about the ride, (which saved my day by the way.). Loved to fine-tune back to that southern English accent!

The anti-minaret-poster has become world-famous, just as an extra to a whole long list of more or less embarrassing things or at least unhappy coincidences about Switzerland lately. This poster is a very good answer to that, it takes all the negative force of it and just swings it in a different direction – saying no to the export of Swiss-made war-material.

Sunday, 8.11.09

Three chaps yesterday from England, they had been on the assembly-line of Toyota, in England. “Be easy on the brakes”, the one in the back said, “it was me who did them!”

Another chap from London who had been to two different Zurich banks on order of his company and didn’t let me take a picture of him, said he prefers to keep a low profile, aha!

Saturday, 7.11.09

If I’d only had time, it eats my heart out Colfer’s book is launched and I don’t have any time for my email-campaign. Anyway, looking for reviews I chanced upon this article on a site and posted a comment. (Sort of enjoyed the article, definitely. Down with Colfer) I am incredibly disappointed with this book. I don’t think Eoin Colfer “gets it” one bit. e.g. he uses the “o-matic” term every other sentence for gadgets etc and it’s just not funny – in fact I find it intensely irritating. He references “classic” lines from the original books in places that seem entirely random (no pun intended) and keeps sticking them in as if to say “look everyone, it’s a Hitchhicker’s book! I know about the Hitchhiker´s world honest – just look at how many old quotes I can squeeze in… I did read it before and I have thus proved it by my many, many stupid references. The story is poor. The storytelling is poor. The prose is immature and boring. Absolute rubbish and a massive let down. Please don’t fucking write another one Eoin.

My reply: Well, well, well… I just chanced upon this site looking for reviews, but I might as well drop a comment here, too. You see, it’s funny for me to see it happen to Colfer now, for I had to take a lot a flak (well, serves me right, being German) for having dared to write a sequel in 2005. (I then didn’t even get a polite “no, thank you, sir, you see, this book is a bonanza and we plan to get every single grain of gold out of it we can and it’s just too risky with you being unknown and German, kind sir”, by the way.) Yet, anyway, how do you write a sequel to another author’s book, without referring to the original from time to time, what I did, too? On the other hand, to just “o-matic” anything wouldn’t do any good. I think you need to get the right balance there.  Oh, I can’t wait to read the book, too, by the way, but you see, just to make sure he didn’t make the mistake of stealing from me.”

Saturday, 7.11.09

*****Hotel Baur au Lac. Soon the clerk will wave me to come over, where after he will quite sternly demand me to pull over correctly and open the door for the VIP-passengers, which I will take to the airport.

Nice view at the alps again.

Tuesday, 3.11.09

Started polishing up my French. Well, might come in handy sooner than I thought. (I mean, I’m just not that much overwhelmed with Zurich yet…)

Now, finally, the truth about English women is revealed: Are women under too much pressure? We investigate whether there is too much pressure on the modern day woman to be successful and happy.

English women – as I experienced them!

Stress is something that most of us are familiar with, but on National Stress Awareness Day we’re asking if women are under more pressure than men in today’s society. As recent research and tragic events show, high expectations can often get the better of women as they enter the workplace and try to live up to the demands of modern life. The sad truth is that some women are trying to take on too much in their efforts to embody the ideal of perfect career professional, wife, mother, style-icon, health fanatic and domestic goddess. For many, life resembles a hamster wheel – with many of us frantically trying our best but getting nowhere fast; a repetitive cycle that can lead to burnout, stress, depression and even worse. Starting young A recent study shows how for many women the seeds of unhappiness are sown at a young age. Research published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology found that the number of young girls – aged just 15 – experiencing mental health problems is fast increasing; with 43% being emotionally distressed and 27% suffering mental illness, making them the most mentally unwell group of people in the country. Anxiety, panic attacks and depression are all on the rise in this age group – from 19% in 1987 to 32% in 1999 and 44% in 2006. Boys, in comparison, suffer less, with just 21% in 2006 suffering from these stress-related disorders. Though there are obviously many other factors at play, it is worth noting that this marked increase started to appear and lengthen when girls started outperforming boys at GCSE level. Work/stress balance Growing up does not make things any better. A study carried out by Lloyds TSB found that women of all generations are more stressed out than men. The survey of more than 6,000 people across the UK discovered that 63% of women suffer from stress compared to just 51% of men. For working mums, the figures are even higher at 67%. Meanwhile, the journal Occupational Environmental Medicine published a study which found that female executives – due to the pressure of trying to compete with men in a competitive environment – are more likely to develop an alcohol problem than their male counterparts. So not only do women appear to be more stressed than men, they also seem to suffer worse from the effects. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati found that women were more sensitive to the effects of chronic stress, including weight gain, depleted immune system and heart disease. Tragic effects The sad case of Catherine Bailey, the 41-year-old City lawyer and mother of three, showed how difficult it can be to cope with the demands of motherhood and a high-flying job. Bailey, a partner at a leading law firm, was thought to be suffering from post-natal depression when she committed suicide earlier this year. Miss Bailey returned to her high-profile job less than six months after giving birth and had complained of extreme pressure. Weeks later she went missing and was found dead in the Thames. The coroner said: “Miss Bailey was a very capable and professional woman, and a loving mother of three young children who found it hard to meet the demands of motherhood with the high standards she set for herself.” The reasons why Psychologist Dr Felix Economakis (www.heaththerapy.co.uk) believes that the reason women seem to be more susceptible to pressure is because they tend to have greater expectations and higher standards for themselves and others. “What women consider to be ‘acceptable’ behaviour and manners is very different to men,” says Dr Economakis. “Women feel they need to perform a lot more in order to be accepted. “In evolutionary terms, women have evolved more to befriend than to fight; social cohesion and being accepted by others in the group (while the men were out hunting) has always been important to them. “Women care more about what other women in their group think, while men only care if something becomes a problem or threatens their status or place in the hierarchy.” There is also the issue that many women – regardless of how capable they are – have to forge a career in male-dominated environments. Dr Economakis says: “In the modern world we live in, some women feel they need to actually work harder to overcompensate for the predominantly male environment. They have to prove that they are not inferior and this of course puts even more pressure on them. “Men’s brains are also designed to compartmentalise or ‘shut off’ stress, so we can switch off and say it’s ‘nothing to do with us’. Women are more likely to take a caring, empathetic approach and cannot just forget if, say, they feel they have offended someone or done something wrong.” Signs of stress and what to do about it “As we get more stressed,” says Dr Economakis, “the primitive part of the brain (the amygdale, which involves stress and fear), takes over and we start getting tunnel vision, becoming more dogmatic and less creative, while developing a feeling of being overwhelmed. “If you feel like you are too stressed, don’t suffer on your own. Talk to others, because they can provide a reality check or tell you when you are overdoing it. Suffering in silence leads you down a slippery slope. “Take stock of what is actually important to you in life and make time for those things. If you don’t set boundaries between work and recovery time, you are not using your body the way it is designed. A car needs to be serviced every so often to make sure it is working properly, and your body is no different.”

Thursday, 29.10.09

8.00 o clock. Posting live in the cab. Business is slow. Anybody wants a ride with me? Hop on a plane from England and let me know, till six-ish.

14.09 I mentioned the idea of live posting every ride with English-speaking passengers – just got two nice business people from America, and told them I will write this on my blog: a little episode of a NY cab-driveress. A young man told her, well, his life, basically, before he ran away on her without paying. So all she needed to do was call the police and tell them what she has been told – and they busted him right away!

Business is still very slow, so empty your Swiss bank account before you get caught, and spend it on Zurich cabs, why don`t you.

Thursday, 22.10.09

I earn in Zurich at least double what I did in Brighton. But the more important thing I drive so many FUCKING rich people, just because there are so many of them here, someone should be among them who can sponsor me or help me out financially, so that I don’t have to waste my talent anymore with just common cab-driving. Yes, Siree! A better chance for that I would only have in NYC.

Friday, 16.10.09

Started working yesterday! Hectic times, work on doing at least one entry a day in english. 20 % English-speaking fares a day are there anyway. Have been told about my nice British accent. But there are more North Americans here on the scene, so it might suffer!

Tuesday, 13.10.09

Passed it! I now drive or have driven a cab in three different European countries and write about it, which makes me the, by right, (I know damn well, no one knows me or gives a damn about me, still) most famous cab-driver in the world! Anyone out there who thinks he or she deserves the title more, let me know!

Sunday, 11.10.09, two more days

Once more knocks world politics on my door in Zurich!

While Hillary Clinton was present when the Armenia and Turkey signed the treaty in Zurich, I was pestered by tannoy announcements opposite my window, that there are restrictions for trams going into that area, round Zurich Uni. When will there be tannoy announcements about me, I wonder. (High time, man.)

Wednesday, 7.10.09, six more days!

Listening to BBC2 on web radio, feel almost at home, being informed about congestion in and around London. Thanx!

My first speeding ticket, Zurich is infamous for it, there’s definitely more to follow.

Sunday, 4.10.09

Hand over to the US the “Bankgeheimnis” (banking secret?), not Polanski, some say tauntingly, over here. Well, who knows?

Anyway, I don’t think I’ve already mentioned it on my English site, my next step after Zurich will be Geneva!

Sunday, 27.9.09

Do I live now in the secret center of the world, where all the things are happening, or are the Swiss just more German than the Germans. Someone tell me that! 31 years – and they arrest him no 10 K’s away from me!!!!

Roman Polanski arrested in Switzerland over sex with underage girl Roman Polanski, th Oscar-winning director, faces extradition to the US after being arrested in Zurich on a 31-year-old arrest warrant for having sex with an under-age girl. Published: 3:49PM BST 27 Sep 2009 Roman Polanski has been arrested in Switzerland Photo: AP He was in the Swiss City for the Zurich Film Festival and due to receive an award on Sunday. But detectives took the 76-year-old into custody after raiding his hotel. Related Articles Roman Polanski’s sex conviction appeal quashed The Swiss justice ministry said on Sunday that Mr Polanski was being held under a 2005 international alert issued by the US government related to a 1978 arrest warrant. He will not be sent to the US until extradition proceedings were complete, the ministry added. He can contest his detention and any extradition decision in the Swiss courts. Polanski was arrested in the late 1970s and charged with giving drugs and alcohol to a 13-year-old girl and having unlawful sex with her at Jack Nicholson’s Hollywood home. He maintained that the girl was sexually experienced and had consented. Polanski pleaded guilty to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and spent 42 days in prison undergoing psychiatric tests. He fled the country in 1978 before being sentenced. Two months ago Polanski asked a California appeals court to overturn a judge’s refusal to consider his request to throw out a 1977 case in which he pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Judge Peter Espinoza agreed there was misconduct by the judge in the original case, but said Mr Polanski must return to the US to apply for dismissal. The victim at the centre of the case, Samantha Geimer, has previously asked for the charges to be dropped, saying the continued publication of details “causes harm to me, my husband and children”. Polanski, who now lives permanently in Paris, is considered an international fugitive. His Oscar for directing the 2002 The Pianist was collected by Harrison Ford, who had previously starred in his 1988 thriller, Frantic. A statement from the organisers of the film festival stated: “Roman Polanski, one of the greatest film directors of our time, would have received an award for his life’s achievement at the Zurich Film Festival. France’s culture minister says he is “dumbfounded” by the arrest. of the director, who is a french citizen. Frederic Mitterrand said he “strongly regrets that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already experienced so many of them”.

Tuesday, 22.9.09

Presidential couple of Russia in their motorcade whooshed past me when doing taxi-knowledge on Winterthurerstrasse in Zurich, after they have done some luxurious shopping, on their way to the airport, off to NY! Hey, guys, throw some cash at me poor German working immigrant, whilst passing, right! (Why, you’re not the bleeding Tsar anymore, anyway.)

Monday, 21.9.09

22 days. Everything on the money, in Zurich.

Friday, 18.9.09

Brighton, I have to hand it to you, I miss you something fierce.

I don’t know if I can ever warm up to Zurich that much I did to Brighton, although I was slagging it off all the time and to drive a cab in Brighton is really tough work but, dunno, was it all just the sea that let’s me wallow in memories? Gone the days someone got in saying you alright, mate? What would I give to sit at Hove Station rank and listen idly to Ken Bruce on BBC2, what to listening to Jeremy Vine at Rutland Road rank, all these many times I enjoyed my fast food meal and a coffee at the sea-front, forgot the name of the streets already, anyway there was one I loved to pull in and wait, in the area Hove Town, just enjoying the fresh and salty breeze from the sea… Well, I was fed up at the time and I guess it will be just the same in Zurich, at first you are a stranger to that city, it is all exciting, but yet you don’t feel at home and then there’s a time when you are really enjoying it – before it gets shallow again and there are far shores again calling you… Dunno, maybe there’s Gypsy blood in my veins. I’m really thinking about doing this forever, with no end, but that age dictates us…

Sunday, 23.8.09

Right, Zurich. Now, how about that? Zurich has almost all to offer, that London has, except poverty, crime, drugs, pollution, mad traffic, covering seemingly the entire land-mass of Southern England It is, in fact, a miniature world city, among those with the highest life quality, if not in fact the one, global, multi cultural, tolerant, open, with anything a world city can offer, very clean for that, very rich, very efficiently run. It seems very far away now the days I was waiting at the Level rank in Brighton, watching the drug-freaks collapse and twitch… Now, for the average English-speaking reader – Germany, Switzerland and Austria, I sort of compare them with England, Ireland and Scotland. Like England and Scotland, Germany and Austria are more closer to each other, although Austria has formed a vast empire of its own some time ago, unlike Scotland. The countries were intertwined a great deal, for example they were allies in both world-wars, formed the “Grossdeutsches Reich” even in the last one, whereas Switzerland stayed neutral each time. Also, Switzerland is a union between four parts of the country, with four different languages and although German dominates there are fewer links between Germany and Switzerland, which is not even part of the EU, than with the former and Austria. For me, it obviously is a smaller step than going to England, last time, but it is still a step, is still my second foreign country I will be driving a cab in at.

Friday, 21.8.09

Am living in Zurich now. Am confused and tired. (Will keep on working on the rich and famous thingy.)

Tuesday, 18.8.09

Passed it, will move tomorrow and live in Zurich from that date on. Scrapped my English car, it wasn’t insured and taxed anymore anyway. Sorry, Brighton, but you had your chance… (but I will come back some when, practice the red carpet thingy in the mean-time)

Wednesday, 5.8.09

“The Meister” is on an erratic course, admittedly, for he’s got so many things on his mind… Did I say I’m perfect? Alright, so I have changed my mind again. This’ll be the campaign, first draught, anyway. I will begin to send these emails now and if there is any feedback here worth mentioning I will add a link to this forum, yet not before! Not to mostly blabla! Anybody who has ever written a sequel for more than just himself is invited to post a link to it here, take it or leave it. Colfer’s Hitch-Hiker’s sequel – a completely unknown German writer insults the British (media) and what he’s really gritting his teeth about, in alphabetical order! August 2009 Dear British (media)! Colfer’s sequel to the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will be launched this autumn with all due ballyhoo. Yet, there have been a lot of fan-written versions before, which were not considered, my humble self has already written one himself, in 2005! Now, we all know that authors write and agents make money and it won’t come much as a surprise when I tell you that I have never at any stage gotten any response from the clique around Ed Victor, the agent of Douglas Adams, Pan McMillan’s or Penguin books. Not in 2005 when I send to them many letters and emails about my manuscript, not in 2009, when I finally realised to my horror that despite all my many efforts I have put into that book and into those letters, now an author was officially ordered to write a sequel. Although I definitely know that it got through and that the officials were well informed, they didn’t bother the slightest bit to at least write me some little “thank you, but we are sorry to tell you…”, they are all too busy making business. I surely have come a long way about that and I know now it was very naive to have any hopes of getting considered, if you don’t have a name, there is a huge fan-base and I dare say they all mostly reject an official sequel (and one that is written by Eoin Colfer in particular, by the way) and they all have been neglected! Each fan has got his own idea about how the story might continue and there are many fan-written versions out there! So, with this email I want to rain on the parade of the Colfer clique around “BigVic” Ed Victor. I say, let there be no official sequel, for there so many fan-written ones! Let Colfer’s be just one of them and no more, why waste good money on something you can have for free! And let there be a fair contest, which one is the best, everybody should upload their free version in the Internet for everybody to read, if they haven’t done so. Mine you can find on my website, among many other things, of course, you may find of interest.

Tuesday, 4.8.09

“The Meister” has turned his back on the DAC, yet the mourning is within limits, as it seems. I have posted there the following letter: Dudes, I don’t know how you did that, twisted my head round 180 degrees!? Now, The Meister went for a walk in the nearby woods, erm, I mean, spent some time in solitude and chastity (only surrounded by a flock of hand-picked favy concubines, yummy!) at a remote corner of the world and, there! He had a vision! What did the DAC do to me, The Meister realised, finally. And the scales fell from my eyes. The DAC is not everybody who has ever read the books of DA, it’s just a small circle of semi-religious hard-core-fans, who will twitch uncontrollably if just one word oh Him is altered in any way, shortened or added on like it would be the bible, the Thora, Aladdin and the 40… no, I mean the words of the prophet Mohammed, heck, you know what I mean. For it endangers the comfort and stability of their small, little world. Crucify the critic! Hang the heretic! Burn the blasphemer! Hey, you freaks, is that all you can come up with? DA is not a saint, dudes, he was just copying someone’s style like we all do, even The Meister himself during his years of finding to himself, hey, if you look close enough you find so many similarities in between DA and Monty Python, someone should bother and do some work on that, shameful, I say! So, of course a sequel will sell millions! Moreover, why shouldn’t it? Just be tolerant, guys, okay! There definitely must’ve been a bunch of hard-core fans around Gone With The Wind too, who opposed a sequel from another author as fanatically as you do now, but there have been millions of readers who happily read it! You know, the only difference is, whereas GWTW has left the readers hanging in the air, the Hitch-Hiker’s has disappointed and bored the readers more and more with the decreasing quality of each sequel. But then again, a very well written sixth volume can very well make up for that. But I doubt Colfer can satisfy more than his own fans… Anyway, DAC, I will launch that campaign much differently now, for I have very much changed my mind about it all. And of course I won’t put links to this forum on it nor will I post the ultimate version on this site, for you don’t deserve it anyway, the way you treated me here. So, get off my back, the lot of you, The Meister will continue his path in solitude, those who are ready to follow him shall follow him, they shall find him on his website, the JLC, yet, he won’t post here anymore. HE, who turns his back on the DAC” (2011: I have written a lot of crap about that, don´t mind that.) 

Zurich pics of 2009 in gallery:

 

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About Jochen Lembke

Europe's cab-driving writer
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