What I Hated the Least Today 99/365: The Borg

Today I was woken up by the synthesised voice of the standard Borg hail. I found it strangely comforting to awake to the reassuring message of a highly developed alien race: We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile. I wasn’t drinking absinth last night, but I did set the friendly Borg greeting as my ringtone.

I’ve been fascinated with the Borg a lot recently. The epiphanic moment happened when I was teaching class and accidentally stepped in the beam of the overhead projector. Immediately I felt like I was being assimilated by the Borg and was having my eye implant mounted. I mentioned this to the students as a humorous distraction, sadly, they had no knowledge even of the existence of Star Trek. I found that deeply saddening. So I decided I should keep more in touch with the popular culture that formed my youth.

As to who had the lack of sense to call me on a Saturday morning at half past nine, it was my landlord. He had no adequate excuse. There was no fire, no earthquake and no Borg vessels anywhere near. He wanted to check what I thought of his summary invoice issued after one year of rent to settle the difference between deposit payments and actual usage of energies and the like. I had my thoughts about the bill, but I deemed them inappropriate to share because I’d hate to offend. I assured the landlord that the invoice had been paid. He wished me a good night. I think it was him who was drinking absinth last night.

27 thoughts on “What I Hated the Least Today 99/365: The Borg

  1. Your landlord is actually Locutus of Borg. You must resist him. Funny too how as I write this, I am watching Star Trek – Into Darkness, again! I love Star trek!

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  2. I’ve never watched Star Trek! 😳

    That’s weird … the landlord calling you up that time! I thought that was a huge apartment complex … they’re usually very ‘anonymous’ — why would he call up you? He probably felt empowered by the spirits and he wanted to talk with you …

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    1. When I first saw some bits of Star Trek on TV, I thought it was ludicrous for adult people to watch it. Then I actually started to watch it and was drawn it. I like the tech part about it the most.

      I live in a block of flats where each unit is owned by a different owner who either lives in the flat or rents it. So I have my very own personal landlord… Not too much fun, though he’s quite helpful when I need something.

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      1. That happens. Like when I started to watch Sopranos — not the normal thing for me to do, but I got hooked.

        That’s an interesting set-up! But someone must own the actual building, right?!

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        1. It’s quite a common set-up here. The building is owned by the collective of the flat owners, who form a committee and decide about things as repairs and the like. I suspect it must be the remnants of the communist regime, this collective ownership of buildings. So your building is owned by some company who makes profit from renting out the flats?

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          1. Yes, our building is owned by a company, who probably makes huge profits.

            That said, condo buildings are probably owned the way you describe it. All the inhabitants are owners. You don’t rent a condo, you own it, and just pay a fee to for the upkeep and so on. I’ve never owned one. You can own a condo, and let it out to somebody else, but I think that somebody has to be approved by the committee …

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          2. Hm, I see, it’s a different system. I didn’t realise that you rent your home. Here, rents are so extremely expensive that at some point, people usually go for a mortgage to own their place.

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          3. Reasonable rents?! Oh, that would be so nice! Let me give a model example: my rent for a bedsit is about average and is, including utilities, about 11 000 CZK. The average monthly salary of an university teacher with a PhD is, after tax deductions, about 13 000 CZK. I have no idea how other people survive under these circumstances, but I do hope I’ll find out before I run out of my savings, which I live on currently.

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          4. When I wrote ‘reasonable’, I compared to what I paid back home. This here, is a large two-bedroom-apartment and we pay $895. It would have cost LOTS more in Sweden (depending of course, on how old and location).

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          5. That’s relatively reasonable, but still looks a bit too much to me. It’s a rather essential thing, accommodation, and it would be great if it were affordable.

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          6. I’ve done the money conversion now, and that’s insane!

            I know one thing here; it is not possible to have a low-paying-job, like in a grocery store, be single, and life off your work. I found that startling when I got here! You have to either be with someone, OR have several jobs, I guess. And that’s the same in the US. You can have a full time job, but still not be able to live off your salary. I think that’s so wrong …

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          7. That was exactly my point. It’s a shame that you have a full-time job and still don’t earn enough to afford basic living expenses, like accommodation and food. A second job seems the logical option but when on earth do you do your second job when you spend so much time in your main job? It’s somewhat puzzling. Cohabiting is a necessity for many people so they could split the costs.

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          8. Back home, I could have gotten a job at, for example, McDonald’s and be able to live off that. As a single. I was stunned when I got here … it’s so wrong.

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          9. So many things I took for granted, while I lived there, and so many eye-openers since I moved out. I wish all of them could get out, at least for a year, to work and live elsewhere. Then perhaps they wouldn’t complain as much as they do. It’s unbelievable to hear the whining and griping.

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          10. Yes, talking to people from around the world or even, as you, experiencing a move to a different country helps one realise that everywhere there’s something to be grateful for. Or, as I prefer to say, hate the least. Since I’ve been commuting, for example, I came to appreciate our public transport a lot – while it is usually of poor quality, one can get almost everywhere by using public transport solely. I understand this is not the case in the USA and other countries where owning a car is a necessity.

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