old hamburg

It's not just the food that's revolting.

(long story)

Back in my college days, I lived on campus and ate the 20-meals-a-week meal plan at the cafeteria. It was… terrible. Seriously. I know people complain about their college cafeteria all the time, but they still gain their “freshman 15”. I lost mine. The food was disgusting. Sunday spaghetti was made from tomato sauce and Saturday’s cheap hamburgers. One week they didn’t bother ripping up the hamburgers: watery, sauce-tinted, overcooked noodles garnished with dry, leathery, two-day-old hamburger patties. It was still better than the other options. At first, they had a “make your own pizza” line, but removed it because everyone was using it, and “bread isn’t cheap.” I remember seeing a real salad in their “healthy eats” line and getting excited, because it’s hard to screw up salads, only to realize that it was literally floating in oil. The salad on the actual salad bar was not an option; it was changed out every morning, whether it needed it or not. Oh, sorry, I meant the ice in the salad bar. Not the salad, no. A student wrote his initials in the tuna and it remained for a solid week. Sometimes the salad would grow its own salad.

They had a big board set up for student complaints, and they would write responses back. Oddly enough, the board rarely had bad things to say; the manager, may he be haunted by a thousand bedbugs, confessed that he didn’t have time to answer every complaint, but he did read every one, and took the complaints into consideration. And, as far as we could tell, threw away all the ones he didn’t like.

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While we ate, I constantly had to look at little Dhani. I felt like I had little, seventeen-year-old George from the Hamburg times in front of me. He looked unbelievably like his father, even though his face seemed narrower and his hair was darker. Also he didn’t speak the Liverpool accent his father had at that time spoken heavily. Dhani seemed hyper and talked nineteen to the dozen.
George turned to me. ‘I love my little Dhani more than anything… if only he wouldn’t talk so much,’ he whispered.
—  Klaus Voormann on George and Dhani Harrison, translated from Warum spielst du Imagine nicht auf dem weißen Klavier, John?