Station: [21] At home with the Kulbe family

Mann mit dem Goldhelm:

Psst! Listen up, everyone! Yes, it’s me. Back here, above the sofa. The Man with the Golden Helmet.

Everyone knows me, everyone loves me. And some probably even think I was really painted by Rembrandt. But never mind, that’s not what this is about.

I’ve somehow ended up in the living room of the Kulbe family in Riesa-Weida. An entire urban area has been built in Weida. With homes mostly intended for the workforce required at the new Pipe Mill Number 3 in Zeithain. 3,495 apartments were built here between 1962 and 1968.

The Kulbes are very proud of their nice new home. They moved to Riesa specially, because of the comfortable living accommodation here. It may be in dense rows of new blocks, but on the other hand, the school, doctors’ surgeries, shops, restaurants, service facilities and public transport are all nearby. They call it “infrastructure” these days.

Papa Kulbe has a job as an engineer at the steel works, the mother has found work with the energy provider, and their little daughter goes to kindergarten just around the corner.

This is the second year the Kulbes have lived here in Weida, and when it turns cold, there’s no need for them to carry coal any more. They simply turn up the heating. Same as when they want to have a bath – the hot water simply comes out of the wall. No heating up, no carrying kettles around. The Kulbes are over the moon!

So they don’t mind that a layer of fine black dust tends to settle on the windowsills from the nearby heating plant. And if it rains when the washing is hanging outside to dry, it often has to be washed again. That’s because the exhaust gases from the smoke stacks at the steel works come down with the rain.

I don’t find that terribly pleasant, but I’m certainly a little jealous of their comfortable home. What I was familiar with in my own time was very different…

Then, in the evenings, when the family sit together on the sofa in front of their new television, and the adults raise a little glass of “Goldene Keule” fruit wine… ooh! At that point, I envy them their nice, warm world. And somehow, I and my fellows by Holbein and Raphael fit in here quite well, don’t you think?