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Elke was here

A rehash of the German Subversive Newsletter sent January 31, 2005

Nearly 10 years have passed, so The Subversive Element can speak about it in public.

I do admit:

  • I spent vacations on distant islands. Just like any other tourist.
  • Vacations were for escaping the so-called real world.
  • I used to make fun of literature about quantum consciousness and the like.

But I was penalized for all this.

At first days in the year of 2005 The Element and Somebody embarked on a journey they would never forget. Equipped with lots of popular science magazines on quantum physics and a few ones on so-called alternative physics the travelled to a quite calm, distant, very green, and very wet and foggy island.

[Skipping the boring part about nature and your typical vacation reports.]

There were some eerie forebodings of evil to come:

They were invited by a lonely inhabitant of natural caves at a stormy coast - uttering unintelligible sounds. They declined politely.

An entrance to hell.

The Element was struck by a mysterious illness for one day, right after the island drowned it water as it rained heavily for two days.

Luckily the island did not break in two parts and cause a tsunami as had been proposed by serious scientists.

Streams of muddy water meet the sea.

But the native spirits of that island found the most mischievous way to punish the busy corporate workers. They nearly managed in keeping Element and Somebody prisoners on that green former volcano.

When you see this in movies, you would say this is so improbably it is not even funny:

  • At the island's airport the voice from the speakers says that the plane suffered from a technical defect - more information to come.
  • The plane would not be able to depart today but there are 34 seats left in another plane - two seats left than stranded passengers. Any volunteers?
  • Relief - we were not those two poor souls decided by drawing lots and happily boarded the plane.
  • Finally the plane landed and Element and Somebody went to their car.
    Element: I'll pay for the parking ticket.
    Somebody: Let's check if it starts first
    Element: Ha ha, yes  - very funny!!
    Somebody: [Turns the ignition key]
    [... Silence ...]
    Both: *Panic*
  • So the short story was that the small courtesy light had been on for two weeks and the battery was absolutely empty.
  • Element found the manufacturer's emergency phone number at a sticker in the car. Fortunately it was a company as they discard that type of insurance-like services usually.
  • A helpful human being was answering the phone - he will be here in about half and hour.
  • It is getting cold - it is close to midnight.
  • The helper arrives, and worries that the battery might be too exhausted.
  • OK, it can be recharged and we warned to absolutely never stop for the next 150 kilometers.
  • We drive - to the south. Target: The settlers' home in the Pannonian Plain, via Vienna.
  • And then it starts to snow. Like it hasn't before in that season.
  • We drive slower and slower.
  • We realize we will never make it to z-village so that Element will be able to drive to Vienna again, somewhat recharged.


It should be noted that timing was probably a bit too optimistic. The ideas was to arrive at the airport before midnight, drive home through empty streets without issues, and sleep for a few hours - until The Element had to deliver one of its legendary security workshops. But based on perhaps a vague premonition of what was to come The Element had taken a USB stick with course material along during vacation, it had outsourced the preparation of virtual machines to a service provider, and it had its company badge, a toothbrush and some other things for grooming.

  • So The Element accepted its destiny and said to Somebody: We will never make it, drop me off in Vienna.+
  • Fortunately, at that time the Element's employer offered its overworked staff a so-called recreation room.
  • So The Element sleeps peacefully for about two hours on the couch in the recreation room before it is waked up by the lights and sounds of the snowplow outside and by the cleaning stuff.
  • The workshop went well.

Sleep is overrated.

Personal website of Elke Stangl, Zagersdorf, Austria, c/o punktwissen.
elkement [at] subversiv [dot] at. Contact