Entries Zurich/Fribourg, Switzerland, 2010

All Fribourg pics see Entry “Fribourg pics”. The pics to the descriptions I cannot upload again, too much work. For more Zurich pics in 2010 see gallery below.

Wednesday, 1.12.10 – footies coming home, lads!

Massive brit-promotion in Zurich and I am amidst of it, so it seems!

The conference in the hotel Steigenberger, where I drop of two lads of the TV-team.

Mat, from ITV/Channel 4, “I´m not famous, I´m behind the camera”

Matt joining the pack

The pack hunting for celebs, at the Baur au Lac (where I did many a pick-up.)

Who´s Beckham, Cameron and Prince William anyway? Point your cameras at me, will ye! As I do at you.

I did this post on the English cab-forum! VIP – my most Very Important Passenger! As I have certainly expected there was no particular interest in me asking who the most famous cab-driver in the world would be, not on this forum, nor on the German one. As cabbies throughout the world lack the wish or even the gene for famousness, so it seems. Yet, on the other hand, they seem to really cheer up whenever they get the opportunity to drive someone who is famous. Eyes glistening like children when they see the christmas tree, fully ornamented, they tell each other stories of whom they had on board, lately, and many an important name they tell, it´s not that celebs only let themselves be driven around in limousines or motorcades. So, why not accept the fact, even contribute something to it, I ask myself. On the German forum there is a very largely regarded post “mein prominentester Fahrgast”, which is actually one of the most, if not THE most regarded post on the entire forum and I don´t think that cabbies think too different there from those here. http://www.taxiforum.de/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2273 So, why not have such a post here, as far as I have seen there is none, so far. Alright, who is it then, my most Very Important Passenger? Well, I mentioned it  before here, my own most famous passenger, in three countries now actually, certainly was Mr. Jogi Löw, the national coach of Germany, who lives in the town I was a cab-driver in for the longest time, in Freiburg. Moreover I always enjoy to tell this little anecdote, about how he had asked me, right after I made sure that it was actually him, if I wanted an autograph and I replied with, no, but you´re going to have mine, sir and I handed him over a signed copy of my first taxi-book with the polite request that he might write me a little review if liked. Yet, funny thing, it was the last one I had at hand and I had just spilled my coffee over it, when driving off at a light and so the book was entirely soaked in coffee, though fairly dried by that time. Well, so surely it was that fact why he didn´t like not the book, not the content, because I never heard from him! Moreover, here´s some more, which stays in the field of footie, yet might surely interest you more. Just yesterday I had the pleasure to drive a camera team of ITV/Channel 4 from the place where the FIFA will tomorrow announce the hosts for the 2018/22-games in Zurich to the Steigenberger- and Baur au lac-hotel. Yeah, you would say, but the guys surely said themself (which they did, actually) that they´re behind the camera and not famous for that. Right, yet a the Steigenberger at that time, where I dropped them off, were at a conference the English promotion team David Cameron, David Beckham and Prince William! So, football´s coming home, lads, as I surely wish for, too!

Financial oligarchy strikes back – massive campaigning in Switzerland leads to public No to more fiscal justice!

Thursday, 7.9.10

More Range rovers in Zurich than in the whooooole of Britain one might think.

Lot of brit fares in Zurich and it´s aaaaall about money.

I´m still commuting to Zurich, it looks as if I won´t drive a cab in Fribourg, for there´s the Swiss German connection, where I don´t have a Chance and the Arab connection, where I neither. So chances are very high I will begin in Geneva in Mai next year.

It´s “France” here, in Fribourg, people are much less German than in Zurich, no one bothers to clean the water drain on the roof of the garage.

The old town of Fribourg, in the middle, is build on a very narrow stretch of rock, left uneroded by the river flowing in it´s bed below

This lorry locked me in, in this cul-de-sac for 10 minutes! Had to rush the people to train-station afterwards.

Hybridtaxi with filter, I hope I get this one here regularly. I will try and make Toyoyta sponsor about this car.

All cabs in Lausanne are grey, here at the train station. I´ve spoken to the lady in the last cab about cab business in Lausanne. Same as anywhere in the world, right now.

Wednesday, 11.8.10

I´m doing alright. Nothing new so far, I´m still commuting to Zurich for I haven´t managed to find something in Fribourg so far.

Of course, I´m still stuck with my obsession for Hasenschnecke, what do you expect. My stressful life and my debts and pitiful income doesn´t help here, anyway. I´m planning on writing a new book about her, 1000 pager! (Oh my)

Tuesday, 20.7.10

Same old, same old, paying my arse off, earning shit, learning French, keep forgetting my English, being racially abused for not being Swiss every now and then. Commuting between Fribourg and Zurich, hoping I will be able to work here soon. Nothing new.

Saturday, 3.7.10

Arrived well in Fribourg, where everybody speaks French, except me. (Live there with two other guys from the German part.)

Monday, 28.6.10

I´m amidst packing, the last tour removal will be on the 30th. And then it´s bye,bye Zurich, bon-jour Fribourg! Okay, I will still go to work in Zurich the next month, which will mean 2 1/2 hours on the train each day. Yukk.

So, before the game the lion roared and after a wounded cat meowed, ey? Three lions are not enough, it takes eleven lions to win a soccer championship! But I see “Argentina” as the champ, they are in the southern hemisphere and they played a better first round than Germany. And they have the help of God´s hand, have they not? Well, over a certain length of time, even the dumbest referee decisions level themselves out, just like luck and bad luck. It´s the skills that matter in the end. Why should we allow that much technology in the games anyway? Just a thought.

Thursday, 17.6.10

The Swiss are freaking out about their WC-success against Spain – the fierce Spanish bull has been tied a Swiss cow-bell round his neck!

All posts on all three forums went quite well. This is just the beginning!

Great news, I am moving to Fribourg in 2 weeks, to the French part of Switzerland – a whole new chapter of my endeavour begins, me being in the French speaking world!

Sunday, 6.6.10

Made this post on the English taxi-forum http://taxi-driver.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=14196 “Who is the most famous cab-driver in the world? That´s what I have already asked on the German forum and what I am now asking you, my dear English colleagues. Now, is this request anything substantial, anything worth to be asked for, anyhow? Or is it something way over the top, that does not have anything to do with day-to-day problems that concern and bother us each day? Does someone even has the right to ask such a question in public, when he obviously has a little bit in his mind the idea that he might has to say a word or two about this matter himself? (For this is exactly the point that brought the German forum up against me and I really don´t want this to happen another time. So let this not be about me and the maybe unusual things I have done so far.) So, do you know now someone, who you would think of being very famous? Or, do you even think that there would be a point in having a contest about it or not? That it might cause some positive attention to the trade, moreover, maybe help us change the way we look at ourselves, when we say that even a cab-driver can become world-famous, or not? Or do you think this whole idea is complete bollocks anyway? This is in short what the German forum has thought about it: Predominantly the tone is, there is no such thing as the most famous cabby in the world. Each cabby doing his job is famous in his ways. “We all are the best and don´t need any trophy for that! The only one who doesn´t belong there is you!” Well, well, the one who thinks he deserves the crown won´t find anybody bestowing it to him. “This quest for fame and attention” is not tolerated. “To you the title does not belong, anyway!” One even questions the right for such a post on the forum “what´s it got to do with us?” or another one even calls me without further ado “the most annoying cabby in the world”. The reflection of a down-to-earth trade of many little blue ants with a sign on the roof that says taxi? One knows his place, ambition does not pay, patience does? “Society looks down on us cabbies and therefore this concern is pointless. What means are there that can you get famous in our trade? None.” “We all try to make ends meet with tough underpaid work. we don´t get famous with our job, it only rests a foot-note in the history of celebs, paying their way into fame.” Still, “are we not all little cranks somehow, reaching for more than life holds in stock for us?” is asked, in the end, obviously even the realms of us streetworkers on wheels are not entirely beyond having any dreams and visions, in Germany. Moreover, the “Iron Gustav” is mentioned, a German cabby in the twenties of the last century, who indeed has become world-famous and a point of culmination too, in terms of counter-acting against the trade´s down-turn, then. Finally, there´s definite agreement when it comes to the point for necessity of the trade being more organised! So what do you think? The cab trade… all a bunch of silent sufferers, only world-famous in their own little worlds? Every black cab in London deserves the title, for he´s got the brain of a genius and still works like a slave? Or is it even in and amongst us cabbies that nagging thought. That thought that mere diligence and hard and patient work is not glamorous enough. Is there even in us – a touch of Hollywood?”

Tuesday, 1.6.10

I am registered now with all three taxi-forums, in Germany, England and France! On the french one I have made my introductional post now, which is pretty exciting! Be easy on me, viewers from France (if you read this here) my French is not really that good right now.

My post on the German forum “who is the most famous cab-driver in the world?” went not really the way I had it planned. It’s not just about my vanity, my main reason is to encourage a competition, which can only help giving the trade a more positive image, can’t it!!!! Instead they’re all hanging at my gorge like a whole pack of wolves, snarling.

Monday, 24.5.10

Tomorrow I´m going by train to Geneva and have a look. My French is making progress.

Sunday, 16.5.10

I have now registered with a taxi forum in Germany, 2800 users and one in England, 1800 users. There is none suitable in Switzerland, for language reasons, I assume, same old Swiss problem. On both I made introduction posts, both are not really freaking out about me. Yet, there´d be a lot I could post about in the future, plus, both forums contain an enormous stock of valuable info for me. If I´d only had more time.

So, next is the French forum, ou on parle froggy-speak. There is one with 1600 membres. Members, I mean.

Tuesday, 12.5.10

Now I´m getting a google search click “Joana Prior mental health”. Well, I can assure you the Joana Prior, from Penguin books, I dealt with: all is fine with her. She´s as tough as nails, the b…. So don´t you worry.

Yeah, I know, after neglecting this site for more than a whole year now in favour of my German one I got what I deserved, hardly any visitors anymore. (Whereas the German one is swarming with) All I do is copy the pics from there, paste them here and scribble down a bit about it.

Anyway, I´m doing fine, I made a job application on the phone for the very first time in French (was turned down though, maybe my French is still not awing everybody), I´m now finally in touch with the Swiss media, a radio station comparable with BBC 1 (Swiss size) and everything is on schedule. It will be soon enough the New York Times dealing with me!

In the meantime I make contact with cab forums, my first go at it was with the German one, quite successful as I´d say and now I will see what looks appropriate in the UK.

Saturday, 1.5.10

New edition of “Zicking” contains a copy of the injunction, 10 pages plus a dedication, “for the cutest little bitch in the world!” Also my rabbit baby pics I sent her, in colour.

The morning after – the ash cloud has arrived in Zurich and I was seriously giving it a thought this might be it, but it was just fog, the ash-layer was too thin to be visible.

Sunday, 18.4.10

Cancelled, cancelled, cancelled! While Europe´s cabbies dig for gold, most of them turn up empty-handed, like me. I was supposed to take someone up to Brussels, yet, the passenger was picked up by another cab. 2500 Franks turnover, whoosh, up the chimney.

Wednesday, 14.4.10

In two days I will have worked in Zurich now for half a year (times passes). In this whole time I never had any trouble like I had in Brighton, most rowdiest place in the UK, each day. Still I miss it, perhaps the rowdy in me.

In six months I have driven three people from Brighton in Zurich! (Wanted to get the last one to the airport but…. flight canceled.)

I get to know first hand of British company’s who want to move to Switzerland for tax reasons!!!!

Tuesday, 6.4.10

Hope y’all had a happy easter and now it’s back to work, ey? For some at least, I still have a few days off, for it’s always slow during vacation-time. Yet, for me there’s always plenty of work, whenever I find the time. So, I finally came round to translate a text from my fourth book and to post it on DAC (where one of my posts has now crossed the 10000 views bar). Of course I post it here too, in full length. I mean, just so you know, DA himself ordered me to write a sequel! It was like this! (The whole thing is a bit shortened, the left-out bits are marked with —- and never mind the clumsy English, written by a German, being busy polishing up his French.)

“Recently, when a pan-dimensional equivalent knocked at my door! It was the time when I carried around in myself the idea of writing a book about intergalactic cab-drivers, which eventually led to the book “Why Hitch-Hike? By Taxi through the Galaxy!” I’ve just sat down comfortably to another “interview with myself”, which I had invented for no one else wanted to interview me, when… “Mr. Lembke, you again, what happened to the New York Times reporters?“ I told those guys, don’t gobble down the contains of my fridge and there they went. So, I threw them out. No, kidding, all they did was ask dumb questions.“ “Right. Well, here we are, again…“ “Don’t babble, Mr. Lembke, ask questions.“ “Why, I can ask questions the babbling way, can’t I, babble questions, so to speak. Well, alright, let’s get to the point. Why haven’t you been published so far?“ … “Shut up, Mr. Lembke!” My other self has touched a soft spot. “I will get published, right! Just like Douglas Adams. Him no one wanted to publish either, at first, he’s gone gaga, they all thought. It wasn’t until late they found out he’s gone gaga indeed – yet, that’s what people want!“ “Right. So, you think you’re Douglas Adams!“ I coughed, lightly and was about to say: “Oh come on, who is Douglas Adams anyw…“ …when there was a knock at the door. “Come on in”, I exclaimed, in a cheerful, self-content ardour, with a little cheerful, self-content smile, “do come in, whoever you might be, I mean, if it’s not the ghost of Douglas Adams, haha.“ “Well“, my unexpected visitor said, and my smile vanished there, as the one of a TV-spectator sitting in front of his favy sports-show having just realised, right after the consumption of a package of really heftily salted crisps, that there is no beer in the house, “we might have a slight problem there, in that case. For I am, erm, the ghost of Douglas Adams, or, better put, the pan-dimensional equivalent of myself, even if you don’t see that at the fist look.” Of course, I thought to myself, didn’t I just know it. Should ever Douglas Adams or his ghost or who ever show up at my place, he would be, as soon as he opens his mouth, uttering gaga. Anyway, after a few moments of sheer terror, awkward silence and assiduous offering of drinks we introduced ourselves. “Mr. Adams”, I said, “this is Mr. Lembke, he is about to interview me and me, myself, I am Mr. Lembke, his interview partner.“ Adams ghost shook both of our hands and got right to it. “To get right to it, Mr. Lembke…“ “One moment! First explain to me your pandi… pandi… something, sir!” “The pan-dimensional equivalent of myself?” “That’s what I am saying.” “Well, alright, it was like this. I was right there, kicking the bucket, wasn’t I, apologizing at the poor being who was applied for putting the said kicked bucket into the right place again, for the next one to kick it, and floated out of the window in an orderly manner – there, there were Ford Prefect and Zaphod Beeblebrox, my characters, on their way to a really froody intergalactic party. ‘Hey, if it isn’t our author?’, they yelled and, wop, took me along. And, after sufficient parties, after sufficient sex, drugs, rock’n roll and sufficient pan-galactic gargle-blasters, I became a pan-dimensional equivalent of myself. Quite handy, by the way, for I now no longer depend on sitting around in frowsty graves…” “Grave!“ “Hm?“ “You’ve gotta say, sitting around in a frowsty grave, not graves!” “Why, have you ever been dead, sir?” He gave me a frowsty, no sorry, frosty look. And out of sheer despise the pan-dimensional equivalent of Douglas Adams left the sir out from then on. “What do you know then, mate? Right… tired of sitting around in frowsty graves, instead now I can write again, at last, do readings again, at last… well, all with a slight catch, that is.” “A catch?” “Yeah. And that puts you in the picture, mate. It’s like this, namely, that, due to a really regrettable and sad little law of physics, which is completely old-fashioned by the way and hence right on top of the list of old-fashioned laws of physics to be abandoned, somehow I don’t manage to get a foot in the door of this our dimension, don’t ask me why. Most regrettable indeed, for it’s the only dimension I have ever been rich and famous. In the other dimensions not a frigging soul knows about me. Which is no fun, mate, given the fact there is one where you are extremely, erm, popular.” “Ah… and that’s where…” “Exactly, that’s where you fit in, mate. You have been nothing else but a sad scribbler yet…” “Doug!“, I exclaimed, for I thought now is the time for doing so, “you’re mind just goes on a little cruise around the galaxy, whenever you feel like it, but, me! I have experienced a lot of the stuff I have written about myself and I tell you that’s the part of writing, which is really troublesome.” Yet, Doug was not touched in any way by what I was saying. “Now, pay attention!” He said. “If I weren’t a pan-dimensional equivalent I would sue your butt for plagiarism, no doubt about that, for you have stolen so much from me, that it caught my attention in the first place.” “I have stolen no more from you than you did from Monty Python, with whom you had been in touch, first hand, hadn’t you. Between the two of us, Doug, no one is listening, you are nothing but a G-rated second brew of Monty Python!“ It settled on him like a ton of bricks, I got him there. “Listen, Doug“, I carried on, unmoved, meanwhile, “what am I supposed to write about? I’m like the one in Klondike. Him, he wants to stake his claim, yet there are signs all over saying: “Forget it, dude, no gold here any more, it’s all been taken by Douglas Adams. He has pulled every joke there is in the galaxy and came up with anything being just as absurd as the Earth is away from Betelgeuse.” — “Your fourth volume”, I carried on relentlessly, “reads itself as it would have been written by someone locked inside a hotel room for three weeks, only let out for jogging, every once in a while.” “It reads itself like this”, he responded with a sigh, “for it has been written by someone locked inside of a hotel room for three weeks, only let out for jogging every once in a while.” He shrugged in resignation. “At least they let me go out jogging.” “Douglas! Whole passages appeared…“ “Banged out listlessly?“ “By a…“ “Completely unnerved and distraught author?“ “Well, yeah, except some really funny bits, indeed.“ “Those were the bits written after jogging.” He sighed, then began pacing up and down restlessly. “Listen, Lembke, let’s cut the bullshit, the reason I am looking you up now is I want you to write for me. I mean, like I said, I can’t get anything down to paper now, that’s why you’ve got to do it for me. You’ve stolen so much from me I think you could manage even without me, nevertheless, I want to look over your shoulder and get a really good novel up and running. That’s the reason I am here today and why I’m talking to you and I want to ask you…” “You want me to write a book with you?” “Erm, yes.” “For I’m just a cheap rip-off of you, yet, if you watch my back I am capable of really good things?” “Erm, yeah, exactly. Spot-on.” “Well, listen, now I’m telling you something, Doug.“ Moreover, that, what I was telling, no actually screaming at him, I did so, quivering with righteous indignation, “I am not in need of you looking over my shoulder. I am not in need, either, satirising what you have scribbled about, because…!” I gave him a steely look. “I can satirise my own shit, namely!” I took a deep breath, “I will write something of my own”, and sat down sulkily. Yet then, Douglas made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. So we did end up writing the book together. For, what he has promised, was, once we’ve finished the book about the intergalactic cab-drivers, there’ll be another mutual project for us. And he personally will see I will get the rights for it and that it will get published. And that’s why and how I have written this next book, right after the taxi-book (and oh, just a new translation of all the five volumes). The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – volume six! Written by myself and with a little help from the pan-dimensional equivalent of no one else than Douglas Adams himself. (first published in 2004)

©Jochen Lembke, “mit dem Taxi durch die Galaxis”

Tuesday, 30.3.10

Huge article about obnoxious cabbies in Zurich! Are they the worst in the world? Well, I hear complaints about cabbies all over the globe. I write about one of the most infamous trades there is!

Laughed my behind off, when I listened to BBC on the Internet, about Diego Maradonna got bitten by his dog… “Well, was ist the hound of god?”

Whoever posts me comments, dear millions of fans, will get answers! I mean I am not a snobbish and blasée celebrity yet, I am just a snobbish and blasée wannabeceleb yet, right? So, read this below: Nice exit there, Deutschlander. I commend you for your extreme douchebaggery. Where I come from, that is an admirable trait. You have my full suport with your shitty fanfic. If you want to be published, though, you either need a pass from the current holders of the copyright–the DNA estatesmen (his wife(who is not likely to give such things at this point, now that Colfer has them)) or at this point Eoin Colfer (who is not likely to give such things, period)–or you can do what Stephanie Meyer did. Make like a Mormon and rip some shit off. All you do is change some character names, add some crazy shit (like a vampire fetus breaking someone’s back) for readers that don’t realize what you’re at, and otherwise write a continuation of the story. The difference is that, whereas Stephanie Meyer is a crazy Mormon necrophiliac and based her series off of Anne Rice’s Interview series, a shitty series to begin with, hopefully, assuming you are a decent author, you are basing your story off of a fantastic series, so your published fanfic should be just fine. What’s more, you don’t necessarily have to make an English translation in this case, since it would not be a continuation of the series per say, but instead a story “based off” of the originals. Good luck, good countryman!

Thanks, dude. Yeah, you know, … offered me lukewarmish to be still in it, but I thought I need this exit with a bang for my bad guy image. And that´s the point. I thought about your suggestion myself, but, you see, I don´t think there´ll be enough interest, whereas if I just keep on being a stubborn pain in the ass (which is easy, for it´s just basically being me ) it gets me more attention than just a lame and tame version. I.e., if you check out my posts on DAC, you´ll see me mentioning even writing on a seventh volume, actually, yet no one cares. But if you look on my public letter to Ed Victor – that got me everybody´s attention, because people just love a good and dirty fight, this hasn´t changed a bit since the days of the Romans. Yeah, I know, this is a rather cynic approach, but in the end maybe people still haven´t read my version, though I´m known all over the world for being the stubborn German arsehole that just didn´t give up. Yet, who knows, my version is still better than Colfer´s. Jochen

Yeah, the only problem with that is a matter of making money, aside from which, you are still talking in petty strides to your fame. You need a good gimmick. Any sort of weird sexual fetish tends to work. Aside from that, a snazzy cover for a book and some shameless, broad self-promotion, and you might actually have a shot at using this to break into authordom.

The weird sexual fetish is the girl I´m stalkin now for three years and about which I´ve written a 500 pages book, with the title “Zicking” (“Bitching”), making it like she would be the one who is wrong, why, she could have just saved the whole stalking thing if she would´ve just not said no to me, the bitch. Snazzy cover – I´ll find one, and, about the shameless broad self-promotion – dude, just another expression for my website, right? (Evil grin) What can hold me back on my way to fame?

Wednesday, 24.3.10

Swiss perfection is annoying, dear English, stay that chaotic lot you are and it is alright. I miss you.

The CERN experiments in Geneva will blow up the… (…the world, the author wanted to add, before the world has actually blown up, so you are reading this from…? (Anyway, ever seen the movie Quiet Earth?)

Saturday, 20.3.10

Bad news about Geneva. It turns out French Switzerland is much more French oriented than German Switzerland is German. They seem to be French with a Swiss passport. To get the licence there is exactly the same like in France, you can only do the licence once a year, the final exam is on may, 11th, just like it is in France. Errm… say, Brighton, are you prepared to roll out the red carpet for me?

Zurich lives on money, has got money and likes to show money off. Yet, 60 billion German black money has already been withdrawn…

Roesti, the famous Swiss dish, which gives the border between German Switzerland and French Switzerland a nick-name, “Roeschtigraben”.

The restaurant downstairs is getting whine delivered for a techno-party coming up. Why don’t they sacrifice a virgin for me old troll living upstairs to keep me calm? That’d be a nice move.

Sunday, 14.3.10

The fucking nazis kicked me out of their forum! Don’t know why I have to think in some weird way of the 50 Wikings who came to England for just a little bit of plundering and rape and all got beheaded and thrown into a mass grave. Hm, anyway, in this analogy… who is who, then? And, why do I have these violent thoughts anyway?

You’ve shown up on the forum, posted in one thread in a manner incredibly insulting to everyone else in the thread and the book forum itself. You’ve done little more than heap abuse and derision on everything around you. I’d rather just not deal with it. And you wanted to leave this “childrens book forum anyway”…

Yeah, have to work on my bad guy image, “stupid cuddly-bear” doesn’t get me enough girls.

Saturday, 13.3.10

So, listen to what stupid cuddly-bear is telling you! You probably have noticed that it’s the easier to insult a person the farther away this person is, didn’t you. I mean, this is certainly no big news, we all know that. People screaming at you from behind their car windows and such and if you have that same person right in front of you, they might not dare raise their voice. Same is with the Internet, on forums for example. Anonymity lowers pretty much any barrier or inhibition. Plus, it’s fun to annoy people, isn’t it? So, maybe I start a new carrier of making people angry at me in the Internet.

Thursday, 11.3.10

Europe’s longest single house is in Geneva! Soon I will pick up people there!

The Germans want our jackpot! Swiss-German rivalry about the 36 million Swiss Francs Jackpot. Sure people living in Germany close by where buying tickets, why shouldn’t they

Tuesday, 9.3.10

Will go to Geneva! I have made a final decision for that now. It will take about three months, I figure, roughly.

I truly blitzed this forum, check it out! http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=44109&sid=bcd749c9554d962737180fbc8855d3ac&start=80 One said that I’m “fucking mad”! So, that means, they love me there, doesn’t it?

Tuesday, 2.3.10

I have posted an ad in French looking for a job in the Romandie, French part of Switzerland. I have done it full blast, my whole project unfurled, this time, instead of just looking for a job. Yet, although they speak French, those people are Swiss, so I don’t know. Reserved bunch, they are. You know, if I don’t get anything… well, we’ll see.

In my constant shameless search for attention I have come across another forum where I made this post. I took the little trouble to register to post a reply. “You, so as others here, might have read my “public letter to Eoin Colfer” on Douglas Adams Continuum too, for it’s also on the first google-page, or perhaps you go there anyway, from time to time, being a fan. Anyway, I completely agree on the first two points, which is negative feelings for Eoin Colfer, you do share them with me, and that he completely ruined his chances bestowed upon him with the authorisation (would very much guess he has read your letter – as all writers are vain and check under their name frequently, well, at least I am and I do – as he has most certainly read, or has given a wet slap about, mine), yet strongly disagree on the topic of sequels done by other artists, whether you call this art in the first place or fan-fic or what have you. And I do this after I have taken a lot of flak (serves me right, being German, point taken) on the DAC about this, who also thinks that a sequel done by any other writer than DA himself is heretics. I say, whoever feels free to write such a thing, shall do it! And if it’s even better than the original, then it is so! But be prepared, it is almost certainly a thankless job!!!! So, to end now, whenever my sixth volume is fully edited (I have translated it myself, into a language very similar to English), feel free to compare it with Colfer’s. (Well, I like the idea, that his book is so bad because he couldn’t use my ideas for a sequel, for I’ve done and sent it in in 2005 already.)” Jochen Lembke, Europe’s cab-driving writer, author of the best h2g2-sixth-volume ever done, “42 is the answer, but what’s the question anyway?”.

Sunday, 28.2.10

Help nice and pretty American girl moving, with six heavy suitcases. She can’t find an appartement in Zurich, like all the rest of the foreigners and is staying with a friend. In case she reads this, if anything goes wrong, you can always stay with me, I can make a little room! (But, you know there wouldn’t have been a gentleman way to put this, so I left it with giving her a flyer.)

Thursday, 25.2.10

Countdown is running, three days and six weeks I am in ze Frenche speakinge worlde!

You guys, if you want me to write more in English, send me emails or comments, for it won´t get much better I´m afraid. I will always blog in English, yet also focus on the respective languages of the countries I am in, currently, which is now German and soon French.

Monday, 22.2.10

Uploaded tons of vids on my youtube channel, most about driving around Zurich with mounted cam.

Tuesday, 16.2.10

Exactly one year ago I drove back from England to Germany in a crammed small red car with my four rabbits in the front!

I’m an alien in my own country! Heck, I don’t even know on which side to drive, to begin with. My German is rubbish, it’s a very clumsy language anyway, that rolls off akwardly from the tongue… anyway, I just barely made my journey, after 20 hours of packing, shipping and driving my summer-tyred-car was caught in snow and I barely made it (again, bad style) on the famous Autobahn. Yet, then the snow got less, till it was gone anyway. Then I met one of those stupid and stubborn natives that live in that corner of Germany and who’s at least smart enough to operate a till at a garage – but was too stupid or lazy to earn 10 Euro,b y accepting 20 pound for 10 euro. Sterling, like it was no problem throughout France, he didn’t want to change anyway. Brighton, I own you an apology (that is to some extent, let’s not get carried away.)

Swiss entrepeneur in Russia, complains about his fellow countrymen, when it comes to business, “slow and spoiled”.

Now, what do these three gentlemen have in common?

George Clooney, megastar, he has slept with all the actresses, once the camera was off.

Tom Byron, pornstar, he has slept with all the actresses once the camera was on

Jochen Lembke, stupid cuddly-bear, he slept in all positions imaginable with the girl he is running after now for 3 1/2 years – in his fantasy.

So? Right, it’s the year of birth, all these three gentlemen were born in 1961!

Saturday, 13.2.10

Countdown is ticking, in about two months I will leave Zurich for the French speaking part of Switzerland! After that I will very much reduce the entries in German language for the benefit of me writing in, ahem, French, “savvy”? (At least, trying to.) But I will keep my English blog the way I kept it all the time after I left England – not too much, but still.

I’ve had a very promising date yesterday, but I don’t allow myself getting any hopes up, looking at my bad luck with women for the past years. I’m still a nobody, am I not?

Now, come shopping with me and my mysterious beautiful young Russian passenger, obviously equipped with endless supplies. First: the jeweller Gilbert Albert. Why not buy your honey a little something for Valentines Day? Shop-window, in the female eye, sparkle! Shop-window in the male eye: Damn! Second stop, Chanel! (why, all just cheap rubbish, let’s rather go to: Loro Piana! (Right next to *****hotel Savoy) Veeery  exclusive! There we leave with a little bag and go to the *****hotel Widder! Where we pay a little taxi fare of 100 francs, yet, is this money in Zurich? (Will upload the pics again – for money!)

Saturday, 6.2.10

Pretty and charming young lady is an opera singer from Germany, she was so delighted about this bouquet (no, it’s not from me) that she takes it on the train.

Thursday, 4.2.10

Melissa kicked me out from her Facebook-friend-list. I think she’s really freaking out about her success, not long ago she send all of her friends a marriage invitation and a week later it was cancelled. Poor Melissa, another victim of showbiz.

Melissa before her success and after (pic below)

This what I have sent her, gee, I know I can be quite a mean bastard sometimes, but I have invested so much into this and my depts only skyrocketet so far. “Why, you b…, as long as you had me on your friend list, there was still someone who could knock some sense into you, freaking out about one book, don’t you know that no one gives a damn about male cabbies’ experiences, all they ever care about are female ones, for they are soooooooo exploited and endangered. My ass, they don’t have to carry luggage, they don’t have to know shit, no one expects anything from them anyway then just to look endangered and weak and they have far, far, far less trouble than their male colleagues. I have damn written 10 books and done the licence in three different countries, look where it got me, and there’s a male driver in each damn city who had written a book about which no one ever cared, there are only three female ones I’ve heard of and they all have success. Now, how come, huh? Jochen Lembke, Europe’s friggin cab-driving writer for friggin nothing so far”

Melissa Plaut, Yellow Cab Driver In our book, one of the most knowledgeable New Yorkers would be the New York City yellow cab driver. Therefore, one of our favorite blogs about life in New York has been the taxi blog, New York City Hack, which is steered by Melissa Plaut How did you get your start? When you first learned to drive, did you ever think you’d be engaging in modern day warfare by navigating the streets of NY?

I started driving a cab after losing my crappy corporate office job and using up all my unemployment benefits. The job market was looking bleak, and I didn’t think I would survive another office job, so I took the plunge and went through the process of getting my hack license. This involved many steps, but my favorite part of it was going to taxi school. It was both educational and highly entertaining. The teachers were brilliant and hilarious, and the students were from all over the world, with all different backgrounds. I thought I knew a lot about this city before, but in taxi school, I learned more about New York than I thought was possible. For instance, I didn’t know there are exactly 100 doorways on each major crosstown (east-west) block, or that there are 20 doorways on each vertical (north-south) block, creating one of the most perfect address systems in the world.

There’s an actual algorithm you can use to figure out exactly which block any given house number is on. I memorized the 31 major water crossings within the five boroughs, and I studied as much as I could of the 6400 miles of streets. I also learned how to say the word “tip” in Persian, though I’ve never had an opportunity to use that little piece of knowledge.

The course was heavy on city geography and rules, but there’s really no way to prepare anyone for this job. You just have to do it. I treated the whole thing as one big adventure, because that’s what it was, and still is. I decided to stop worrying about figuring out what I was going to do for the rest of my life, and started focusing on what I wanted to do next. The taxi thing is what I’m doing now, but it’s not forever (I hope). I plan to continue with it until I figure out what the next thing is that’s worth doing. But for now, this is my job and my only source of income, so I’m sort of stuck with it anyway.

Do you think you’re a good driver? And besides drivers from NJ, who are other drivers to steer clear of?

I’m an excellent driver, if I may say so myself. I’ve gotten quite a few compliments on my driving from passengers, so this is somewhat validating. Aside from Jersey drivers, people in Mercedes’ are terrible. They drive like they own the streets. Also, middle-aged men in their mid-life-crisis-mobiles. They buy zippy little convertibles to make themselves feel young and wild, but they drive like the geriatric set, going two miles per hour and slowing down at green lights. SUVs are usually the wimpiest drivers on the road, slowing down for little bumps and potholes despite the fact that they paid $50k+ for an uber-macho “all-terrain vehicle.” And Dodge Neons, they’re probably the worst. It took me a while to figure out why this particular car was always causing traffic problems. Then I discovered that this is the model used by most rental car companies, so the drivers are almost always from out of town and have never driven in New York before. A hint for non-New Yorkers: There is no right turn on red in this city, so don’t do it. Also, no sightseeing while driving, please. There are more than enough buses for that.

Do you generally chat with your fares? Do people usually like totalk? And is it mostly about the weather?

People talk about all sorts of things. About half of my passengers start a conversation by asking about my life, why I’m driving a cab, and commenting on me being female. I am painfully bored of answering these questions and of talking about myself in this way, so I always try to turn it around and ask about them. Some people are more interesting than others, obviously. My favorite passenger ever was an oddly-mannered late-middle-aged lady who told me she only watched shopping channels on TV. She rattled off all the different shopping networks (QVC, ShopNBC, HSN, etc.) and described the merits and drawbacks of each one. When I asked her how much money she spent on home shopping, she said, “Oh no, I don’t buy anything anymore, I just watch. I used to buy from them. Ten years ago I drained a bank account, and a good bank account, too, but I don’t do that anymore. Now I just watch them.” I guess they warded off loneliness or something. Her husband, after all, was a Bush-voting, NRA-card-carrying Republican.

What do you think are the worst intersections in the city? Do you have any suggestions for the Department of Transportation?

There are way too many to name, but off the top of my head, the intersection of 34th, Broadway, and 6th Ave. All three converge right by Macy’s and there are always a million pedestrians trying to cross when they shouldn’t. The timing of the lights sucks and many drivers don’t realize they’re not allowed to make any turns there. If they try

to turn, everyone gets stuck, or a pedestrian goes down. It’s not pretty.

>Instead of just asking you about “Taxi Driver,” what NYC movies do you think capture the pulse of the city? Or is the TV show Taxi representative enough?

I kinda like the show “Taxi.” Sometimes it’s on very early in the morning when I get home from my shift. It’s supposedly based on a real garage that used to be in the Village, that all the hippies and freaks worked out of in the ’60s and ’70s. But I don’t think it’s representative of what the taxi industry is like now. The same with “Taxi Driver.” I do, however, understand how Travis Bickle could be pushed to shave his head and commit murder after driving a cab for too long. Sometimes the job makes you a little crazy.

Do you have your own car? Or would you rather take the subway?

I have a 1989 Buick. I drive it to and from work. Friends ask me for rides a lot and I usually say no because I can’t stand to drive when I don’t have to. But, like most New Yorkers, I am obsessed with giving directions, and with figuring out the fastest, shortest, smartest way from point A to point B. Force of habit, I guess.

Inside tips

Favorite route to drive:

It’s not necessarily pleasant or fast, but it’s interesting to go all the way down Broadway, from top to bottom, and see how drastically the city changes along the way. As a cab driver, though, I would never do this. I’d just get on the Harlem River Drive or the Henry Hudson Parkway and rip downtown. I guess my favorite routes, when they’re

open, are the Central Park loop drives, which meander through the park from 59th St to 110 St and back. It almost works like a Xanax in terms of stress relief. And the passengers, especially tourists, love it.

Favorite restaurant for a quick, on the job bite to eat:

I rotate through three or four places: Punjabi on Houston and Essex; Joe’s Pizza on Carmine and 6th Ave; Rosario’s Pizza on Stanton and Orchard; and Gray’s Papaya on 8th St and 6th Ave (I recommend the “Recession Special”). Every now and then, I’ll go to Corner Bistro for a late night burger. And if I’m stuck out at JFK, I’ll get something at the coffee shop in the taxi hold lot.

Favorite radio station for traffic updates:

1010 and 880 AM. Although, for some reason, 880 always seems to get staticky right when the traffic report comes on. It’s spooky how often that happens.

Shortest amount of time a New Yorker in midtown Manhattan should budget for taking a cab out to JFK:

That depends on the time of day. If there is zero traffic, 30 minutes will do, but that’s unrealistic because the Van Wyck is always backed up, both ways, day and night. During rush hour, I’d say an hour and 15 minutes, give or take another 15 minutes, just to be safe. There’s a back way through Bushwick and East New York, which usually takes about an hour, but I only use that as a last resort.

When you just need to get away from it all, where is your favorite place in NYC to be alone?

My apartment. I also like the High Line, but I haven’t been up there in a while. I don’t think you can get up there anymore without getting arrested.

Melissa drives a yellow cab. If you take taxi, take a look at her suggestions for tipping; if you drive a car or use your feet, here are her suggestions for driving and being a pedestrian. And read New York City Hack.

Friday, 29.1.10

My boss in his office, most definitely the nicest boss I’ve ever had and very much a fun guy too! (2011: turned into a shit-bag as soon as I quit.)

Drive a medical doctor who’s got his own mag, gives me a copy

“Paradeplatz”, Zurich’s Wall Street, although the stock market is a little further up north. Credit Suisse and UBS, the top banks in Switzerland

Jenny, the prettiest girl I have driven so far in Zurich! Told her so and she gave me her number, keep you posted! Doesn’t she look very Swiss?

I had to clear the garbage away to drive through, Zurich isn’t as tidy as it used to, with it’s 40% foreigners (and, oh, the sloppy Germans)

He runs for election. I’ve listened to him on the radio, this dude is so far out, folks, you have no idea!

Thursday, 28.1.10

5049 page views so far and look how little feed-back I got so far, it’s a cry and a shame. So more I enjoyed that of David, below: Farewell from Brighton Hi, I know it’s really late, I just wanted to say farewell from Brighton! sorry to hear you didn’t like it here as much as i’d hoped you would! I watch your videos with a great interest and still do, even if I can’t understand the language lol. Best of luck in the future where ever the roads lead you to I was just wondering if there would be any videos in the English language coming up soon? or even with the description in English as well as German for the English viewers. My answer: Thank you very much for your interest, David, it’s really appreciated, since I get a lot of clicks, but very few feed-back, consumer’s mentality I guess… anyway, do you also follow my blog? (There should be a link on my details.) For it’s always up-to-date and (one is) fully in English language. There, I said just recently, and a number of times, how much I miss Brighton (though I hated it back then) and that I really enjoyed it much more than Zurich, which is kind of boring to me. Anyway, since I have only very little time and am living in a German speaking area, most of the vids will be in German, but, and this goes for my blog too, whenever someone actually shows personal interest in something I will respond, so I will do the descriptions in both languages right away and will work on adding English subtitles for all vids in German language (or in whatever languages they will be in the future)! I hope I see you also on my website and all the best to you, too! Jochen (2011: visited David in autumn 2011 and spent a whole week in his flat!) This goes for anybody, I’m still neglecting this site in favour of my German one, which I use as an open letter to my Hasenschnecke, but I will answer any email or comment and it will surely encourage me to be a bit more diligent here!

Sunday, 24.1.10

Chris Jaeger Brown, with whom I made friends on MySpace. There’s also the following little vid about him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7AF3X2k6rw

Wednesday, 20.1.10

Today, actually this very moment I do this entry, the A380 is landing for the first time at Zurich airport, voted the second best airport in the world (definitely better than “desaster area”, sorry, Heathrow), and although the name “unique” is no longer an official name for it, it has become an inofficial one, (a perfect example for things people don’t like for being forced upon them and as soon the thing is voluntary they love it) and in proud moments like this the Swiss surely love to use this name.

The past days I was really freaking about being neglected concerning h2g2 (sequel and translation), having no success so far at all for 8 years now with my other writing, running after Hasenschnecke for 3 years now still without her speaking to me and dragging myself sick to work for two weeks now.

Friday, 15.1.09

The police pulled me out and fined me 140 Francs for not stopping at a zebra crossing. I will appeal, because the whole thing is ridiculous, beginning with the ridiculous manner zebra crossings are marked in Switzerland, for there is no visible difference from any other crossing, so that drivers in Switzerland are quite confused about it. I mean, I have passed the DVLA test for advanced drivers, haven’t I!

Seen at Berlin, Germany, empty bottles. Those guys don’t look like they’d have answers at hand for urgent problems, do they?

Tuesday, 12.1.10

Here´s my new campaign for getting my sequel edited, I will post it on DAC: Now, would someone pleeeese edit my version? 500 £… whenever I have them, I definitely don´t have them now, working my guts off in a crummy job for shit pay, running around in the snow in sandals, because can´t afford proper shoes, trying to eek out time for being creative whenever possible. Look, here I am, brain size of a planet, and they ask me to open the door for rich passengers and smile for a little tip like a trained monkey, who gets his banana. 99% of my time goes down the drain for a job I could do with my cerebellum (well, bits of brain stem areas and hypothalamus too), for worrying about my debts, doing tremendously hateful household-work and running after a girl for three years now, who gave me nothing but trouble (mind you, some are married this way and do it all their lives) and with the remaining one percent of my time I do genius things like writing and translating blogs and books, (in two languages, whilst working on the third) like a h2g2-sequel, which would stand for all times as the best one ever written, a hundred times better than Colfer´s, if only it would be edited! So, pleeeeese! Do it! Someone! All you need do is a little leap of faith and tell yourself this German surely is a little weird, but he´s got potential and of course, most certainly, he will be rich and famous someday and his h2g2-version well-known all around the globe. (In this order, of course, not the sequel will make me world-famous, for “it´s just fan-fic, not to be taken serious, hahah”, but once I am world-famous my little piece of fan-fic will be, miraculously, too, for this is the pervert world we live in) So if I am an English literature student, who´s looking for a little credit for his CV, I think I would cut down a little on “English student live”, which is to get mindlessly pissed each weekend, and do this! I pay you the money as soon as I have it, right!?

Monday, 11.1.10

Small world, drive Sally from Preston Park, Brighton, today. Cheers, when you read this!

Sunday, 10.1.10

Really, really feel homesick for Brighton, liked it, although it was scary and horrible at times, much better than Zurich. Driven two days ago UK-lady, who was as beautiful as she was stuck up. In case she reads this: you are pretty but stuck up! You hear?

Yeah, I know, if you are looking for someone, it wouldn’t be me, you would probably click below: Zurich Rich People Dating Meet Successful & Attractive People Exclusive Elite Photo Personals.

Monday, 4.1.10

Don´t think I will go the Geneva after I´ve seen an ad that they are looking for somebody at Gstaadt!

Now look at how people google me! Dude, I mean, Sir! Are you real? Hey, tellyouwhat, let´s hop to some pub and get pissed!

04.01.2010 09:41:49 Entries since 9.11.08,… http://www.baidu.com/s?wd=How+has+your +perception+of+western+culture+changed+sin ce+you+started+the+course+of+english+culture

Zurich pics 2010: 



About Jochen Lembke

Europe's cab-driving writer
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