Hanibal Lecter – alive in London

If you think of the ‘silence of the lambs’, probably Dr. Hannibal Lecter comes to your mind.

If you think of the ‘silence of the lambs’, probably Dr. Hannibal Lecter comes to your mind. A figure, which is as admirable for his incredible intelligence and sense of culture as it is terrifying for its lack of humanity. For me, however, the silence of the lambs has recently become a quite different meaning.

As this is probably the case with most students, the environment where I study – London – is pretty different to the environment where I was living before I started to study – a very, very rural and small farmer village in the south of Germany. As a matter of fact, the village I was living consisted of about thirty houses, one hundred citizens and one bus-stop. That is it!

On a normal day in London I would go to a museum in the morning – most likely Tate Modern, I just LOVE it – meet up with a friend at Pret A Manger for lunch and have some cocktails at GRAPHIC in Soho (lovely) before going out clubbing with the crowd at night.

Well, very obviously, such an offer of various entertainment programmes cannot be expected from my ‘hometown’. In order to avoid the only possible option for entertaining – counting cows – one would have to travel just a few kilometres. The very next town (about fifty-thousand citizens) at least can offer a few supermarkets, cinemas and even a few bars.
So when we ‘moved students’ come back to our ‘summer-domiciles’, may it be because we live here during summer or because  we visit parents, we know that we will have to reduce our expectations referring  grocery shopping at 1 a.m. or having a train running every five minutes wherever one wants to go.

Still it can come to clashes of different culture. Might it be the shock at a bus stop, where you wait for fifteen minutes before you realize that there is no bus coming before the another hour will have passed, or when you just want to fetch a bottle of wine for dinner and you realize the shop has already been closed for have an hour – by the way a quite sobering experience. Literally!

But it is not only the lack of extended service hours that make a home-coming sometimes very hard. It is in particular the lack of any cultural offer – at least in such a dullsville I am live.  No museums except an old man’s shed where a veteran car is staying, no sandwiches, wraps or couscous-salads, no pubs, no ciders….

Suddenly you realize that you are sitting at your desk, writing a letter to your artist-friend in London, while in the background ‘vide cor meum’ is playing. Io sono in pace…

Dear Clarice,

I have followed with enthusiasm your course of social and artistic rise. My own never bothered me except the inconvenience of being stuck here.

In our discussion down in your apartment it was apparent to me that your paintbrush, especially the yellow one, figures largely in your value system. I think your success in putting an end to the wallpaper’s status of being white pleased you most because you could imagine your watercolour box would be pleased.

By the way I couldn’t help but noticing on facebook that I have had fewer and fewer posts on the last few weeks. Is this coincidence or is it due to my lame internet-connection? If so, goody goody – cause I need to come out of retirement and return to public life.

Clearly this new assignment pays off loads of money for you, rather I suppose you bargained well, but you’ll accept the party-bill, Clarice.

Your job is to entertain me, so I don’t know how badly I should wish to come back. But I am sure we will have a lot of fun!

Ciao ciao, H

After you checked your address book twice and reassured yourself that the artist is called Daniel and you are definitely sure you do have neither another friend called Clarice nor a second name starting with H, you should book your flight back to your ‘study-town’ immediately.

Afterwards you just jump into your car, driving like all hell broke loose to the next public cafè in order to A.) avoid being on your own and B.) get finally a strong, not self-made coffee. Believe me, it feels like re-birth.