Lindau’s Fifth Season

No, we’re not talking about Carnivale. Although the subject of disguise shouldn’t be neglected here completely.


But, in Lindau, the fifth season refers to the Lindauer Psychotherapiewochen (Lindau’s psychotherapy conference weeks). And: One psycho (that’s what they are called here in Lindau, but not out of lack of respect, but because you can save time and letters) doesn’t make a summer, many psychos though herald spring. They come in April, and that’s not an April’s fool, even though the sun loves to laugh at them.


Wait, this could be misunderstood. I’m going to put it differently: the sun loves to smile down on them. It is fact though, that along with the first trolley bag towing figures wearing natural colours good weather arrives as well.


All the more disconcerting for Lindau’s citizens, who for the first time can leave their winter jackets at home,is that the city is full of people carrying blankets. Are they afraid of a sudden drop in temperature?


In fact, the psychotherapist is quite passionate about capes. Here he displays a tendency to practicality. After all, it is advisable to put something underneath for yoga outside, the ground not being all that warm yet. And also in the evening, sitting by the lake in little groups, passing the day’s seminars in review, one could do with such a blanket. But that’s about it, when it comes to practicality in everyday life.


That is because psychotherapists are deeply relaxed. That’s not their fault, it’s a matter of profession.


This can be observed best when shopping. Before and after seminars, but best during breaks in such events, one should seek a shop which psychos frequent en masse. Long lines form quickly at the check-out.


As a cashier one could manage those quickly, if everyone paid for their bottle of mineral water, their sweets or whatever – it usually isn’t any bulk purchase – with a one euro coin or with a note. But why that easy?


According to my theory that psychotherapists rob their piggy banks before coming to Lindau. This piggy bank money is filled into a special wallet and with this money they pay their extra expenses.


Consequently, at check out, they hear an amount they can pay down to the last farthing. Or at least try to.


Could be manageable if the amount had been mentally calculated beforehand. But, oh well, the head is so full of other things, after all, one is here for further education and training.


So, calmly, cent by cent is fished out of the wallet. One doesn’t have time, but somewhere there has to be another nickel ...


Or not? And where’s that other wallet with the notes now?


The cashiers stare into the middle distance, resigned, nothing more. One doesn’t want to appear to be on a short fuse, although a certain desire for aggression is bottled up inside.


The line itself, having done a Pinocchio’s nose by now, stays relaxed. Gesine discusses with Hedwig if she should buy this pack of Kleenex here, or if she should take on Hedwig’s offer to give her some.




Eventually Gesine reaches the check out. The pack of Kleenex is scarcely registered when she decides to take on Hedwig’s offer. Let’s start again. At least now the change will be enough.


I do not have any statistical data about how many personnel in the service sector are on their last legs after the Psychotherapiewochen, so that they would need therapy themselves. And the far higher dark figure is shrouded in a natural coloured cape of secrecy.


Although, this subtle way of customer acquisition, which the psychotherapists practise here ... – respect!


But whatever Lindau citizens think about them , they just are a part of Lindau. And they are way funnier to observe than for example the Nobel laureates. I will never forget when I rode my bike past a park in the dark and on a meadow a larger group of people, mostly clad in floppy garments, had their hands lifted to the sky and suddenly, as one, cried out loudly. Boy, was I fast! Even without a racing cycle!


Or that man who, at the break of dawn, beat up his shadow in slow motion on a playground... back then I thought Tai Chi was an Asian meal.


Today, I’m no longer surprised when, in April, I hear polyphonic panting and moaning behind high hedges. Today I know they are not feeling frisky, but just attending some outdoor event about the respective topic of the week.


And this is probably how most of Lindau’s citizens feel. One has adjusted to the psychos, one puts up with them, preys on them a little – and without them the city would be empty and boring in April.


Because by now one knows:

They are harmless and do nothing but hold a conference ...


Karin Lang / Translation Birgitt Böck

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Inh.: Christoph Böck

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