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An excursion to the mountains

by Matteo M.F. Sommaruga

To the early and less enduring snow of late autumn, that year followed abundant precipitations that soon covered with a white mantle the mountains around Munich. It could have been the landscape printed on a Christmas card or the atmosphere depicted by Thomas Mann in many of his novels. Perhaps even Hitler would have taken inspiration for a watercolour. It could have for sure promoted the sale of the frame, although soon to be replaced with some work of better quality. I was getting stressed on the workplace, because of the requests I received by the far too many stakeholders I had interaction with. By the tone and the feasibility of the targets, they also reminded me of Hitler, while shouting unintelligible orders to his generals. They also had the tune of a DDR hymn, so deeply impregnated by optimistic propaganda. We will complete the plan within the next five days, employing a team of four people, two of which on vacation and the other two new hires who have not already received their laptops. Of course I had to be stressed, but I had also to consider that I was paid because of my well renown soft skills, i.e. negotiation and stress management. I actually felt quite unprepared with both of them, but that was not what I wrote on my resumée under the direct supervision of my career advisor. On a wednesday night, after having got home at 1 a.m. because of an extenuating meeting with the whole management of my area, I decided to break the piggy bank and take part to a guided tour on the snowshoes. The local section of the DAV, the German Alpine Club, organized many excursions during the week ends. Unfortunately most of trips were often cancelled due to the most disparate reasons. It was so frustrating that I had already abandoned the idea to become a proficient mountaineer. I had however to try. My good friend Cristoph was away for a long mission related to his job and I also had enough to spend most of my time reading on the web edition of the local newspapers alarming reports about the presence of radical Islam in Bavaria. If I had been a young Pioneer in the DDR times, my supervisors would have for sure approved
such a proof of bravery defying the decadent entertainment of the Western countries. Actually, without a good income, I would have ever hardly been available to buy the necessary equipment and the efficiency of the Warsaw Pact would have made the roads to the mountains quite impracticable if not for an highly sophisticated military vehicle. Perhaps available only to the NATO. I did not want to take care of the opinion of high paid professionals, but just to stay away from the town for a short while. I prepared my backpack carefully, not to be stuck in an unknown place without the essential equipment. Relying on technology, it was not necessary to carry a voluminous luggage. The iPad is good enough to contain all the entertainment I need for several years. While selecting the food and handling a pocket of dried fruit, I realised how such a tendency to condense all the necessary resources for survival has started centuries ago. A long road to innovation, should add the commentary of a boring video on the human evolution. I also felt that my thought lack of ingenuousness. Perhaps I was not reading intensively enough and I was looking for new ideas. Like those you easily pick up from the best renowned magazines and, by quoting, you can easily assert to belong to a restricted elite of intellectuals. I also doubted whether I should acquire my information from alternative resources. The only conclusion was to adhere to any plot theory available on the web. I then realized how honest intellectuals should have felt under the DDR. The choice to believe to the carefully manipulated scientific publications of the University of Lipsia or the option to nourish your brain with not verified notions, partially developed by the mind of an uneducated political prisoner. For the following two days, in the comfort of a wooden building, immersed in a white world, I made a truce with my troubles.

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