Stadtbad Neukölln.

Life is extremely stressful right now.

Life is extremely stressful.

I spent last night communicating via email with the customer service of some telecommunications company in the USA. They have been meticulously effectuating  monthly debits to my Bank of America account.

I have not used their phone in months. But in spite of that, I keep getting their pestilential debits.

There is barely any money in my account. I had to borrow fifty euros from my Argentine flatmate a few weeks ago to get some groceries, while I awaited the arrival of some funds from the HQ in the USA.

Things are tight. Things are pretty tight.

And yet in spite of that, these telecoms people are making unfailing deductions from my already gaunt bank account.

Usually I’m calm and polite when communicating with Customer Service representatives.

I have never used exclamation marks. Or umbrage-inspired pervasive capitalization.

That was until last night.



Life is extremely stressful right now.

Berlin is annoying me. This neighbourhood is so quiet. After a year, I had gotten used to the bustle of Nob Hill. The periodic ringing of the cable cars, and the occasional skateboarder power-sliding down California street. Now the quiet of North-Eastern Kreuzberg feels more like deafness than tranquility.

Some of the roads are also not the best for skateboarding. A guy called out to me at Kottbuser Tor, and expressed his displeasure at this same situation. 

“You’re holding your skateboard in your hand all the time because you can’t really ride it here, its so frustrating”

I definitely saw what he was saying.

A number of major roads are pretty good though- smooth enough. Smooth enough.

I am still trying to get used to this place.

I need to go swimming.

I recently learnt that “swimming pool” in German is “Stadtbad”. I learnt that from looking for proximate swimming pools online.

I found one that seems cool. It’s at Neukölln. Stadtbad Neukölln.

I pick up my swimming trunks which I bought from a roadside trader while in university in Nigeria. I fetch the idle swimming goggles I stole from the poolside at a YMCA in San Francisco.

Time to get to the Stadtbad.

I head out the door while I engage in a cognitive struggle with the worries and pains and anxieties of the romantic relationship I am in, with the perplexities of my current situation and uncertainties of my future in the backdrop.

I am skateboarding down Karl-Marx Straße. I think this is where Google Maps says I need to turn left. I walk up to a woman seated on a chair in a space by the road that looks like an open air cafe with patio umbrellas. I explain that I am trying to get to Stadtbad Neukölln. With a smile, she points me in the right direction. I give her my appreciation.



I am at the pool. It’s an interesting place. Very large hall. The turnstiles at the entrance to the pool almost make me feel like I am at a subway station.

Grey concrete walls. Neoclassical architecture. Extremely interesting environment.

My Chinese GoPro clone is at the end of the hall. I think I’ll do some normal swimming before bringing the camera into the pool.

I swim.

Some weird German guy looks like he’s trying to impress me with his butterfly stroke. He swims over and begins to chat me up, with a sheepish grin on his face. Oh yeah he was definitely trying to impress me with his butterfly.

It was impressive though, it was. It looked really powerful and elegant.

I need to learn that stroke. I have been meaning to learn it for a while. I respond very dismissively to the weird German guy.

I keep swimming.

I’ve brought the “GoPro” into the pool. I am taking underwater pictures and making videos. I am enjoying myself.




I am at the bathroom. Taking a shower. Weird German guy materializes from God-knows-where. Tries fondling my nipples.

I get pissed. I get very pissed, and I express that to him.

I don’t know what’s up with these weird homosexual German guys who keep bothering my life.

I do not know what their problem is.



All in all, it was a good day. It was a very good day at Stadtbad Neukölln.




Now Playing: Di’Ja- Awww.

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