Friday, February 18

In the brown stuff
I'm in Hamburg and it's snowing! I've come over to see the mighty FC St Pauli in action tonight, but things are not looking good for the boys in brown as it seems as if they have forgot to pay some of their taxes.....for the past several years.....and it amounts to several million Euros.

The club could become insolvent and face instant relegation to the very bottom division in Germany (park football!). It's a very uncertain time, so i'm doubly glad to have made it over to see them, as long as the weather doesn't get the match called off. Pauli are not alone as Dortmund also appear to be on the edge of bankruptcy.

My hotel in Hamburg is just off the legendary Reeperbahn and I guess the best way to describe it would be conpact. One unexpected bonus is a TV in the room so I have been catching up with German MTV, a channel we used to have on our Sky Service years ago when we didn't pay any money. Oh the joys of comedy German punk bands like Die Toten Hosen and badly dubbed interviews with the likes of Slash from Guns and Roses.

This morning whilst in bed I watched a couple of the sports channels and can report that if you haven't watched live biathlon (Skiing whilst carrying a rifle and a bit of shooting) and ski jumping with a crazy German screaming over the top, then you really haven't lived.

My hotel room overlooks the Reeperbahn and opposite is an enormous branch of Lidl and a transvestite cabaret bar - handy for a drag queen on a budget.

Last night was strange. I got talking to a big bunch of Goths, a mope of Goths if you will. They told me they were going to the private view opening of a photography exhibition and suggested I tag along. How could I refuse?

When we got there it soon became clear that this was no oridinary photography exhibition, as the gallery was located in the basement of a sex shop! I say shop, it seemed more like a giant luxury boutique. Downstairs there was free Champagne to which I helped myself to three glasses, and even more Goths (where do they all come from?).

The photos were pastiches of old burlesque and pin up photos from the 20s and 30s. I think the photographer might have been quite famous but as my German is limited to what I have learnt from watching war films, I was unable to strike up many conversations...

My friend Dean lived in Hamburg for three months and he has given me the number of an American friend of his called Rusty who lives here and is working as an au pair. Except the only problem is that his name isn't actually Rusty. It might be Conor or Casey or Randy or something similarly American, we're just not sure. I haven't been able to speak to him yet, but I will report back if I ever find out what his name is.

Tonight I might be going to see a Motorhead tribute band after the game. I wonder if their Lemmy has a real giant wart on his face, or if it is a stick on one?