Greg
Greg's diary
January 1973
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Groogle

This page was entered mainly from memory in April 2017. This is indicated by the text in brown. Dates are in some cases approximate, and may change. There are also some cryptic entries from a pocket diary that I kept, which also includes non-diary-related information.

I have found no less than four diaries for 1973, all of them incomplete. Follow the link for more details.

In the beginning of the month I arrived in Frankfurt for a four-month computer training course.


Monday, 1 January 1973 Münster → Frankfurt
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From the Friebels directly to the train station and caught a train to Frankfurt, arriving round daybreak on a particularly bleak morning. Where to stay? Hotels were expensive. I had been talking to a bloke from Bolivia on the way down, and he was in a similar position, but when I suggested we share a room, I think he got the wrong impression.


Tuesday, 2 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Found my way to Control Data Institut, on floors 4 and 5 of the Control Data building in the Stresemannallee, signed up in a course called PTGM020173. PTGM stands for “Programming Technology German Mornings”, and it proved that there are also evening classes and classes in English. What do I care? I think I'd prefer it in German.

Three girls in the class. Now that it's over with Mecky, that could be important. Sat down at a place next to one of them, only to discover that she is married. The class started off slowly enough: we're learning about IBM/360 and Control Data 3200, both on the same machine: they have an IBM simulator that runs on the 3200.

The big problem was payment. Yes, in England they had a “learn now, pay later” programme, but not in Germany, and when I changed courses I didn't think to ask if the same conditions apply. Wrote a letter about this to Mum and Dad.

Also found a room in the Mörfelder Landstraße, within walking distance of the Institut.

Diary 3, entry for 1 January, clearly intended for today

Frankfurter Verkehrsverein
Zimmer 23 11 08
Auskunft 23 22 18

Entry for 2 January:

Straßenbahn 35 → Streſemannallee
Lapuſe - Bart (dunkel)
Hartling - Brille, Pfeife
Hahn - Blonder Bart

Wednesday, 3 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 3 entry:

Aufgaben nicht vergeſſen!
Wecker        Ausländeramt
Bank          Einwohnermeldeamt
Taſsche

Where do I find a new girlfriend? Bought a copy of the Frankfurter Rundschau and had a look at the contact ads. Found quite a number, and sent off some letters.


Thursday, 4 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 3 entry:

Rasierſchaum      Leſematerial
Garantie-Karte    Filzſtift
Buchſstaben       Bleiſtiftſchärfer
Lebensmittel

Monday, 8 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 2 entry:

Flug ab DUS


Tuesday, 9 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 2 entry:

Flug ab DUS

These two entries come from diary 2 for 1973. I assume that they were some kind of plan that never came to fruition, though it still doesn't make sense.

Wednesday, 10 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 3 entry:

0900 Karten lochen

Thursday, 11 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 3 entry:

0830 Computer

Friday, 12 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Am I in the right course? I'm learning something here, but it's relatively elementary, and they also offer a follow-on course in Systems Analysis. There's one starting at the beginning of next month, and it's only 2 months, so I could save a month and end up with better qualifications. Can I swap? Yes, they think I can make it.

Diary 3 entry:

Teſt: Programme
3 Gauchos   Hochſtr. 54/28 10 72
Schrauben              |  Rechenſchieber
Säge
Bohrer
Karte | SA at CDC

Saturday, 13 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 3 entry:

Monika Marita Schütt
8751 Leiderbach     // 1700
BB 8412             Hauptwache
Kl. Theater am Zoo
Eſchesheimer Landſtr 2

To the Hauptwache to meet Marita Schütt, whom I met as the result of the advertisements in the Frankfurter Rundschau. She comes from Leidersbach in Bavaria, which, as I discovered, reaches almost to Frankfurt.

We had arranged to meet near the escalator going up to Zeil, and it was even easier to find her than I expected: she was reading the letter I had sent her, and I recognised my handwriting from some distance.

She's not pretty. In fact, she may be the “ugliest” person I've ever had a relationship with. The left side of her face is paralysed as the result of an inadequately treated attack of influenza. She suggested that we go off to look for Sachsenhausen, whatever that is—on the other side of the river, anyway, so off there in her car. Passing a stopped tram, she didn't give way to the pedestrians, which scared me as well as the (fortunately uninjured) pedestrians. I suggested that she let me take over the wheel, and explained the road rules. She had apparently been nervous enough to take a tranquiliser, which combined with her lack of experience could have been downright dangerous.

We didn't find Sachsenhausen, so back into town and ended up in an almost empty bar, apparently designed for single men. There were many “waitresses”, and us. Danced a little, and then became intimate. I got my hand down her blouse, but that was about all. She dropped me off home on the way back to Obernburg, and bit my tongue in the process, but wouldn't allow any closer intimacy. Still, we're meeting again in Aschaffenburg next Saturday.


Monday, 15 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 3:

Lapuſe: Warum Scratchpad Kern?
nicht FF, wenn dauernd Wechſel

Holliger 2000 Landestheater

To the Landestheater Frankfurt in the evening to hear Heinz Holliger, probably the world's most prominent oboist. Sat right at the back in the cheap and very uncomfortable seats, but it was worth it.

The area was relatively sparsely occupied. In the intermission a girl came up to me and tried to start a conversation. She looked quite passable. What did I do? I was so maladroit and genuinely not interested, and she went away. It took me a while to realise that I had missed out.


Tuesday, 16 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 3:

1015-1035 Volksſchule Roßbach

There's nothing for it. CDI won't help me finance my course, so I'll have to ask Mum and Dad. Wrote them a letter which I'm sure won't please them, but what else can I do?


Wednesday, 17 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 3:

Polizeirevier 9
Schamainkai 37

Friday, 19 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 3:

DEC 8 Münch 40
Wallenſteinplatz 2
Perſonalabteilung
Soft-Spez; Dignoſtic-Prog

Saturday, 20 January 1973 Frankfurt → Aschaffenburg → Frankfurt
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Off to Aschaffenburg by train this morning to meet Marita. Finding the railway station was strange enough: the closest one was the Südbahnhof. While waiting, noticed some strange cars with bright green registration plates and English writing on them. They appear to have something to do with the US occupation troops.

Marita picked me up at the station in Aschaffenburg and took on a walk to some local pub out in the woods. On the way, she burst into tears: I wasn't being friendly enough. So I became friendlier, with the result that she dragged me into some bushes and appeared to want to have sex there and then—not exactly appropriate in view of the weather (temperature round or below 0°) and the fact that she was wearing jeans. So we left it until later.

Got to the pub at end of the trail. Closed for winter. So back again, and off to Frankfurt by car, running out of petrol near the Waldstadion. Finally found a hotel near the Hauptbahnhof, where we were taken to a room which proved to be occupied, as we burst in on the inhabitants. Second time lucky, and we made sure to lock the door from the inside.


Sunday, 21 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 3:

Heilandskirche Bornheim
2000 Konzert

Wednesday, 24 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 3:

Karin Hylim [?]  1,72 kurze, dunkle
Haare, Brille:
Hauptwache '68/1930

Friday, 26 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Karin
Geld
Marita

Saturday, 27 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Marita came to visit today, and we decided that we would spend the night in my room rather than going to a hotel again. Not a good idea: my landlady was clearly very agitated.


Sunday, 28 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Making coffee in the morning, it seems that I was rather silly in not hiding Marita from my landlady, who was incensed. „Meine Wohnung ist kein Hotel!“ (“my flat is not a hotel”), after which she demanded 10 DM for Marita having spent the night. Then she gave me notice.

Sign of the times: on the radio, they announced the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, ending the Viet Nam War.


Monday, 29 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 3:

Yank K Wienerwald

Discussing my lack of accommodation with Bernd [I think that was the name]. He told me that his landlady had a room to let, so off to take a look. Not as nice as the old one, and further away, but cheaper, and Bernd had a car, so the distance wasn't such an issue. Moved in immediately, and the landlady told me I didn't need to pay any rent for this month.


Tuesday, 30 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Diary 3:

YKWW?
Polizei
Lebensmittel
Bank in England

Reply from Dad to my letter, 2½ pages of recriminations, many valid, some not. No commitment to finance me, but they're still looking in to it.

This was the beginning of a long disagreement with my parents. I accused them of leaving me in Germany alone with no finances. In fact, the letter was very sensible. From it I can reconstruct:

All in all, though, re-reading this letter paints a very different picture from my recollection.

Things haven't been quiet for long. My new landlady was curious that I should move rooms so shortly before the end of the month, so she rang up Control Data, got the phone number of my old landlady, discovered why she threw me out, and decided that she wouldn't put up with people as immoral as me. Please go. Immediately. Damn!


Wednesday, 31 January 1973 Frankfurt
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Talking about my accommodation problems at lunch. Lately four of us have been going to a little restaurant on the north side of the Friedensbrücke. One of them, Hans, is a baker from Langen, and he has a house with bedrooms for some of his immigrant workers. Currently there's a room free, and I could have it if I wanted.

Great! Only one problem: how do I get my stuff there? No problem, says Margarete, the only girl there: she has a car, and could take me there. So off to my old room later on, picked up my stuff—landlady had the gall to ask me for money. I pointed out that she had already told me that she had told me I didn't need to pay for this month.

Off to Langen, Margarete being quite friendly—invited me to come and visit her in Pegnitz, where her (family's) address is Hauptstraße 78½, the first time I had ever heard of fractional street numbers). Sounded good, and I agreed.

Unloaded all my stuff, and her intentions became even clearer. Two of the women from the bakery came in to make the (double) bed. Margarete asked them to put sheets on both sides. They asked me, and I said no: doubtless that would make things more expensive, and I didn't have any money as it was. But after they were gone, it became clear that Margarete intended to stay the night anyway. While negotiating, she took off her (steel-rimmed) glasses and showed that there was a screw missing. Could I do something about it with my soldering iron?

I wanted to suggest that that wasn't quite the rod she was really thinking of, but for the hell of it tinned one of the sides of the glasses, not improving them in any way. And in the end I got her to leave.

Why? Margarete does look a little unusual, very short hair and rather provincial, but she is quite nice, and certainly worth following up. But I had promised Marita that I would still be there the coming weekend. The way things were going, that wouldn't have been possible. There's always next week.


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