Friday, January 27, 2023
One of my neighbours was in Auschwitz, and decades later I could hear him scream at night. He drank heavily and would often be falling down drunk while trying to climb the stairs to his apartment. I'd been reading Tadeusz Borowski's "This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen" and I'd asked if he knew him. "Polish guy? Yeah I knew him" They both had worked in the section of the camp nicknamed 'Canada' because it was where new arrivals had their belongings taken away before they were killed and what the Nazis didn't take for themselves made the prisoners that worked in Canada relatively wealthy. He was a Ukrainian Catholic and virulently anti-semitic, despite having been in a place where a million Jews were murdered, because "They killed Jesus!" as he said.
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Just had an MRI. Just checking my liver. More unpleasant than I thought. You have to lie still for half an hour in a small chamber in a big machine that makes loud noises. One technician asked me when they were taking me out if I could stay in for 5 more minutes... very funny...I was wondering why the questions about whether I was claustrophobic...
It reminded me of how someone told me it was on a German U-Boat during the war when they were being depth charged by the Royal Navy and had to go deep down to where the boat starts to get crushed by the weight of the water.
They gave me headphones but because they had to be non-magnetic the speakers were outside of the chamber and the sound came in through tubes. No music, just an English accented voice telling me to breath in, out and hold.
One MRI tech had what I thought was a Jamaican accent. He says he gets that a lot, but he was from Nigeria. "Are you Igbo?" "Yes!" and he told me how to say hello in Igbo, "Kedụ", with a dot subscript on the u. (It's also a tonal language, so the musical pitch matters too!)