When we last saw Old Bert, he had been in despair after seeing the realities of his apartment at Empire Gardens. Poor man, it was not at all what he had been used to. However, Old Bert was not one to wallow in misery, so after a few unhappy moments he decided to see what he could do to make himself more comfortable. Fortunately Old Bert had brought provisions with which to stock his kitchen, so he got down to making himself a simple meal of bread and jam. He sat down at his table, ate his supper and began to feel a little more cheerful.
Old Bert was feeling more energetic and hopeful, so much so, in fact, that he decided to go out and explore, in the hopes of meeting others in the neighbourhood. At first he went and sat in the lobby of his apartment building, but his only companions were the rats running around the floor, so that was not very satisfactory.
Leaving the building, Old Bert began walking up and down the streets, trying to discover what the area had to offer. Not too far off was a used car dealer, with all sorts of vehicles in the parking lot – a school bus, taxi, trucks and cars. Right next to the dealership was a railroad line. Perhaps these were indications of a lively residential area, Old Bert hoped, despite the fact that he had yet to run into any other avatars.
He continued on and eventually came to a pub. Old Bert was very pleased to hear lively conversation coming from inside the building, so he happily opened the door and walked in. The large room was filled with avatars laughing and chatting with each other. “Finally” Old Bert thought to himself “I have found some neighbours!” But as he entered further into the room, the avatars turned away from him and he heard one mutter “There is a bad smell.” Old Bert, mortified because he thought that comment was meant for him, left the pub feeling completely crushed. He made his way back home and threw himself down on the bed, more unhappy than ever.
With thanks to Boye Jervil for his pictures of Old Bert.