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Issue 10/2007, June 15 2007 (No. 238)

        
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THE DAILY GROOVE
ISSUE 010-07:
REVISITED PLACES (19)


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MASTHEAD


 
I went to the suburb of Osterholz-Tenever again on April 24 2007. The first thing I did was to visit Mr. Assadullah again. I asked him wether he knew where his former customers, who had lived in the blocks before the demolition, had moved to. He said that some people had moved to the blocks across the Otto Brenner Avenue, some people had moved to other suburbs, for example to Hemelingen.
 
While we were talking, an about fifty- year-old man entered the shop. He helped himself to a bottle of beer, stuffed it into a pocket and hastily left the shop. I followed him keeping a distance. I went across a green and got to an extended body of water. In a niche of an embankment four men were standing and sitting around a table. They were drinking beer.
 

 
Garden gate of a plot of land where there is a tower block of owner-occupied flats. The writing is 'Private property/ No through road'
 
I went along the bank and got to a bridge. I crossed the bridge and got to the blocks again. I saw the small café of the meeting place for mothers. It was located in kind of winter garden. A woman was busily working behind a bar. Two women, who were obviuosly pensioners, and a middle-aged woman were sitting around a table. They gave me a warm welcome. They talked about neighbourly help, improvement of the balconies and the gardens in front of the blocks. One of the pensioners lived in a block where there are a lot of owner-occupied flats.
 
She told that unauthorized persons could hardly enter the block because there was a closed-circuit TV. She reported that the occupants didn't let in poeple who posed as a postman for example. She said that there was a front doorkey at the next police station and the next fire station and that also the postman and the paper man in charge had such a key.
 
She told me her version of the story of demolished block. She said that the block had been designed to be a kind of shelter for lone mothers and their children. She told that men very soon had turned up after the opening and had had rows and fights. She thought that the housing society had hardly been able to rent those flats to affable persons because of those rows.
 
The woman behind the bar showed me the other rooms of the meeting place. She was obviously very proud of a tailor's shop where two middle-aged women were busily sewing. She told me that one could commission the women to do needlework subject to a moderate payment. I asked them half in Russian, half in German, wether they could also repair teddy bears. They laughed and said 'Yes'. There was also a room where one could have some lunch three times a week. In the kitchen a woman from East Asia was preparing chocolate pudding and vanilla sauce.
 

 
Tower block which will soon be demolished.
 
I left the rooms of the meeting place and went to the block with the house number 48. At the front door I stumbled on a middle-aged man with very long and very neat hair. He told me that the block would soon be demolished. He said that only about six families were still living in the block. I asked him 'Where will you move to?' He gave me an evasive answer ' It's hard to find an affordable flat.'
 
I went to the block with the house number 1 again. The owner of this block is not a public utility housing enterprise, the owner is a private company. Beside the block I stumbled on a pensioner who according to his own statement tried to tidy up the block and the green around the house.
 

 
Winter garden café of the meeting place for mothers
 
He said that the occupants gave him 50 Euros per month for his work. He told me that the wage costs of a caretaker were about 30 Euros per tenant. He said that the occupants hadn't felt up to pay such a fee.
 
In front of the block parked a patrol car. Two enervated policemen were debating with some occupants.I saw that there was burnt newspaper on the floor of the entrance hall. The pensioner opened the front door and I entered the block. It was only afterwards that I saw that there was a unlocked rear entrance. The wall, the doors and the windows were newly painted, but the flooring and the lift were old and shabby. When I left the block I spoke with the occupants, who were in front of the house. I asked them why the policemen had come. A woman had gappy teeth and was sitting on a wheeled frame which made it possible for her to walk quite properly. She told me something about arson.The other occupants were elderly men who were wearing shabby-looking clothes. A middle-aged man was in a wheelchair.
 

 
Blocks which had already been renovated
 
I crossed the Otto Brenner Avenue. Across the avenue there are also a lot of blocks. A lot of them had been renovated. They had been painted with vivid bright colours. I inspected some blocks a little bit closer. There was a reception close to the front door. Those blocks are extended and have several front doors.
 

 
The front doors of the renovated blocks were monitored by a closed-circuit TV.
 
There was only a gatekeeper behind the reception desk of the first front door. The other front doors were monitored by a closed-circuit TV. The control center screens were on the reception desk close to the first front door. While I was staying in the entrance halls I saw the occupants entering and leaving the house. They didn't look sick or unlucky or impoverished.
 
(My wife Christine helped me to translate the text. Thanks.)

Please also read:

Slogans (21)

Revisited places (11/ summary)

Revisited places (18)

Encounters 8

Please also read Charlie Dittmeier's diary reports about hospitals in Cambodia (entry of February 8 2004) and about a childbirth in a hospital (entry of June 12 2005).The links lead to the latest entries of the diary. Please scroll down.

Please also take a look at the information of the international poster organisation Loesje. Loesje has started a project to train young people from all over Europe and Asia in how to organise and coordinate information campaigns about the Millennium Development Goals. These goals are set by the United Nations to fight poverty and to improve living standards world wide.

Comments?
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Next issue 'The Daily Groove'
on Thursday, June 28 2007.

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Please also read Cats Talk (34)

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