The Croaking Frog

All it takes is a whole week of sleepless nights and just like that, I wake up on a Saturday morning ready to whine about the world in general. Welcome to a new series of Froggy Social Commentaries (aka rants)!

Yes, I am frustrated that it takes so bloody long to get an appointment for an MRI in Berlin, and no, I am not happy with my orthopedist so I am seeking a second opinion. I can’t go on with this pain anymore. The lift was out of service yesterday morning in the office building, so it meant climbing up five flights of stairs, which is ordinarily a piece of cake, but with a knee with which I can barely walk with, it was sheer torture. A colleague caught up with me 15 minutes later and teased me about needing more exercise, and I had to spill the beans about my knee brace. Damn.

It annoys me that after seven months of COVID-19 precautions people in Berlin still refuse to wear their masks properly in public transportation. Pulling down your mask in the subway to drink your beer is completely unacceptable, and so is just covering your mouth. One good thing about the mandatory masks though is that nobody eats on the subway anymore. Gone are the obnoxious commuters who would bring an entire döner onboard or a whole MacDonalds meal and stink the place up. Take your food out by all means, but for heaven’s sake sit in the park or the bloody pavement for all I care, just not in the subway or the bus. Also, I love Asian food just as much the next person, but it is not welcome in a bus.

Then there is the plethora of non-functioning government services in Berlin. The nations’ capital has a long-standing reputation for being the most mismanaged city in the country, a reputation that is well founded and deserved. Have a new car to register or need a new license plate? You are not allowed to walk in and apply for one at the moment, because of Corona and all, so you have to try online. Need any other official documents from City Hall? Good luck in getting an appointment. My citizenship papers have again gotten caught in the incompetence of the skeletal forces running the bureaucracy. First they rush me to surrender my Filipino citizenship, threatening me with not moving forward with my German one unless I surrender the original first. So I obediently did so, mid August! People, it has been over a month since the hand over of documents and I am still floating in statelessness. I began this entire ordeal in May of 2019 so I am sick and tired of it, and so is my lawyer. We would love nothing more than to put it behind us.

Now let turn to my favourite subject to bash – social media. For once, I am not going to call out all those who are cult followers of the Church of TMI – the fact that some people post far too much personal information online is their problem, not mine. I simply block them, silence their feed or unfollow. Easy. Just don’t come whining to the world when you get approached by a bunch of creepy weirdos or get stalked in the strangest ways. No, today I want to point out a strange trend in social media photography that I have been observing for a while. I am not entirely sure who started it, but if you have seen sudden flood of photographs of girls / women doing a lot of acrobatic shots you have to wonder whether flexibility is being marketed as the new sexy. Nudes are still there, both artistic and vulgar, and everything in-between, but I do object to the type of photography that places the model / dancer / acrobat / gymnast in danger or waltzes with security breaches. Having someone step into a public fountain so that they can dunk their long hair in water and then throw their head back is walking on the edge. Or doing a split between handrails on a subway escalator. Then there are all the ones of dangling from a lamp post in the middle of New York, tip toeing on a bottle in the middle of a busy street. One photographer in particular has rose to spectacular “fame” but I have to question the validity of this trend, putting additional social pressure on a group of followers that is already caught in an evil web. There are a lot of copycats out there, but my point is, once upon a time yoga shots were considered interesting and erotic, far more than plain old vulgar naked-woman-in-bed-with legs-spread-wide-open. Now the tide has turned to dangerous waters, defying flexibility, gravity and the rule of law.

Enough whining for today, I will take my frustration out on my furniture and move it again just to annoy the cats.

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