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Column 12/2005, May 05 2005 (No. 186)
German version
        
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If one sows one-euro-jobs, one can only reap one-euro-shops.
writing on the memorial to the Unknown Unemployed Person

April 4 2005
There is a part of Bremen, which is commonly called 'Bremen North'. The district of Vegesack is the center of this part of town. You have to go by train for twenty-five minutes to get from the central station of Brenem to the little station of Vegesack.
 
There is a nice little harbor near the station. And near the harbor there is a huge shopping centre. A few years ago there was also a huge shipyard in Vegesack, the famous 'Bremer Vulkan'. After the bankrupty of the shipyard several thousand people became unemployed. Many people in vain looked for a new job. The bank of the Weser river from the harbor to the former shipyard area is almost a steep bank. At the top of the steep bank there are a lot of villas. That's why people call this area 'Switzerland of Bremen'.
 
I know a little bit about Vegesack. I worked as a programmer in Vegesack for many years. The engineering office was on the second floor of a building, which is in the pedestrian area. On the ground there is a branch of the savings bank of Bremen. I went up and down the stairs in the building many thousand times.
 
A few days ago I had to go and see medical specialist in Vegesack. After having seen the doctor I took a walk.
 
I know, that the engineering office has moved a long time ago. Even so I visited the building of the savings bank. Beside the door to the staircase there is now a cyclopean eye of a monitoring camera and the keypad of a combination lock. All floors are now occupied by the savings bank. Only on the third floor there is a private flat.
 

 
Beside the door to the staircase there is now a cyclopean eye of a monitoring camera and the keypad of a combination lock.
 
I prepared my camera for taking a photo of the door. I put my bag on a bargain counter of the neighbouring low price shop. While I was exchanging the lens of my camera for a wide-angle lens, I noticed, that a well-dressed lady hurried into the shop. I heart her talking to the cashier: 'You should keep an eye on the people at your bargain counters out there.' Then she came out and said to me: 'Why? Do you pack up?' I asked her: 'What do you mean by that?' She quickly ejaculated: 'Oh, I don't know.'
 
Well, I took the photo of the door. A bank employee passed by. He told me, that the bank has centralized its district offices at this place. On the post boxes beside the door one can see various writings: 'branch 54, branch North, retail banking customers/ business customers and asset management service'.
 

 
Near the harbor of Bremen-Vegesack there is a huge shopping centre.
 
At the main entrance of the bank I found a advertising hoarding with the writing ' Put your money on the right track by .....'
 

 
Every item in the 'One-Euro-Shop' costs one Euro.
 
I entered the low price shop. He is called 'One-Euro-Shop'. Every item in this shop costs one Euro. (see One-Euro-jobs and employment office)
 
There had been a specialty shop for soft goods at this place a long time ago. And later on there had been a bicycle shop. Today the shop is crammed with low price products, which cost one euro each. The employees are young people.
 

 
The shop windows of a former specialist shop were covered with white paper. A yellow poster announced 'For sale'.
 
The next building was a sorry sight. The shop windows were covered with white paper. A yellow poster announced 'For sale'. I got melancholy. There had been a nice shop for high-quality leather goods and other precious wares a few years ago.
 
In my time there was a little department store in the neighbourhood of this shop. This department store went by the name of a group, which has its roots in the USA. This group got famous by its prices policy. The group sold many different wares at the same price. This very neat little department store doesn't exist any more. Instead of it there is a branch of the postal check office, a post office and a branch of chain drugstore.
 

 
Instead of a former very neat little deparment store there is a branch of the postal check office, a post office and a branch of chain drugstore.
 
In the next building in the pedestrian area there was a men's outfitter for a long time. Now on the ground of the house there is the main hall of cooperative bank.
 
In the opposite building there is a (translated word for word) 'cheap store'. On the door of the 'cheap store' sticks a big hand-painted sign with the writing 'Please hand in your handbags at the cash desk. Every theft will be reported.'
 
I entered the store. On the ground there was a range of items, which one finds at remainders shops.The employees were young people. On the basenment there was a kind of furniture store: Some pieces of furniture and garden furniture were in a vast room. In my times there was a very neat little department store on the ground floor and a supermarket on the basement floor.
 
I left the 'cheap store'. I went on walking pedestrian precinct: A number of shops were closed down and their rooms were unoccupied.
(will be continued)


Please also read an article about 'working poor'

Next issue 'The Daily Groove':
Sunday, May 22 2005


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