Leipzig is the administrative center of the area and an economic, communications and cultural center. Leipzig has 530, 000 inhabitants and lies in the fertile Leipzig Lowlands at the confluent of the White Elster and the Pleisse. The industry of Leipzig includes mechanical engineering, construction, electronics, fur trading, and has a world wide reputation due to its old established trade fairs. It is also the home of fashion as well as fur traders and tobacco manufacturers.
The handrails were scabbed with grime.
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Big black rubber hoses were connected to manifolds on the main-deck with sludgy puddles of black oil underneath. The smell of oil pervaded everything. Everywhere was cluttered; stores were being swung aboard by a small derrick, forming piles of boxes and crates and drums.
Machinery in bits littered the place, worked on by grubby men in greasy overalls. More men stood around in groups; everyone looked filthy. Everywhere I looked there were ropes and nets and rails and ladders and gangways and alleyways, joining and crossing and connecting; a journey across the decks seemed perilous in itself.
The third officer chivvied me and Starling along to the island of accommodation at the centre of the ship – the midships’ as he called it. A predatory-looking man in his midthirties with dark receding hair and eyebrows that grew together, leant hunched on the midships rails and watched us as we approached, staggering with our big suitcases. He wore battledress uniform, three gold stripes on his epaulettes.