Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Heading to Montenegro

31.08.10 9.40am

Heading to Montenegro 15 minutes later. An awkward feeling arose this morning. Leave an entry here. Taking the road southward, towards Donje Krusevo border at Montenegro. Hope to arrive at Niksic (Montenegro) or somewhere nearby tonight. Planned to reach Albania tomorrow or 2nd Sep, where I should have a host in Tirana. Then will either travel south with her or heading to Pogradec, Albania. And then go around Ohrid Lake to Ohrid in Macedonia, continue to Bitola, then Skopje.

Monday, August 30, 2010

We are different

29.08.10

Made a new decision today. In fact, made two decisions today. One is too personal to share, the other is - decided to write more in mandarin. So I went to the internet cafe, ask for a computer with Chinese. None. See, fate decided.

Cant help to fall in love with Sarajevo. Arrived a few hours ago, made a turn in the old city, small and nice to cover with foot. Stayed in a private accommodation. Too cold for sleeping out today. It was showering last night. Get the contact from some CS online, the lady loves complaining, with little English, and you cant cook in the house. Still I can fry egg, although nothing else. The reason I asked if I can use the kitchen.

Wasnt pay too much attention to time today. Long waiting time, I felt. Early in the morning, some kilometers out of Mostar. A car stopped.
Sarajevo? I asked.
He said, No.
On the way to Sarajevo? I asked.
He said, No.
Then what the hell he stopped? I thought.
Sex? He asked.
No thanks. I laughed.
He left.

Some time later, a car stopped. The same car.
Money to take bus? He asked.
No thank you. I laughed.
He left.

Some time later, a car stopped. The same car.
Come in. He pointed at the seat beside the driver.
No. No sex, go away. I can hardly laugh now. Had been waiting for too long.
He left.

Some time later, a car stopped. The same car.
Money for sex?
AHHHHHH!!! What the hell.

Finally, another car which is not the same car stopped, it has been more than 2 hours perhaps. 50 km down the road. I crawled in the car. Little English. He said "bom bom, spzzzz". I know what he mean but pretended not. He tried to put his hand over to my shoulder, I shouted before he touched (you can imagine how loud is that if you watched horror movie with me before). He started to talk about Neretva, how it flows from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Croatia.

The road from Mostar to Sarajevo, spectacular. It took again more than 2 hours to get the second ride. The guy works in Deutchland. For this I can be more assured that he wont put his hand over. And he didnt.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is definitely not Europe, for me. It is Ramadan now, good for me to be here though, although most of them dont fast. It reminds me of Pakistan, where we shared food during iftar. In Sarajevo, they light a firecracker for iftar (buka puasa). The winding road up the mountain reminds me on Amman, the old town with copper containers reminds me on Kashgar, the touchy boy reminds me on Iran, the baklava reminds me on Syria, the atmosphere reminds me on Turkey.

Walked on the street, I thought, may be I need some time to adapt and accept the differences between the west and the east. We are different, although all of us are human being.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Buy yourself something good

28.08.10

A friend gave me a small sum of money half year ago.
He said, buy yourself something good.
Oh, may be I will get myself a ticket to South America. I wrote him.
No, I mean get yourself some good food and good accommodation.
Anyway, the money is not enough for a ticket to South America.

Arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina yesterday. His word came to me. Partly because my mother disagree on me sleeping anywhere torturing myself. So I checked in a hostel, first time after 3 months and 27 days in Europe. 10 euro a bed, exceeding my daily budget of 10 dollar a day. To had a break, although finding an empty building in this heavily destroyed town is not that hard. Well. This is the trend, that when I have a date to go home, I spend money.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My psychological barrier

For 5 days, I swam in the Adriatic sea, overcoming my psychological barrier. For you said that able to swim in the sea is one of the most pleasurable thing in life. A soul unrest like me, unable to believe that I cant enjoy what is called the most pleasurable. And so, I found myself floating on the sea, in the end of the summer, at the island called Vis, without having my leg to touch the ground, as fresh as new born, naked on the rock, heavily burned.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I still feel burning

20.08.10

on my face even after the night. Yesterday was a horrible day, a lot of waiting under the sun, and the Croatian custom wasnt that friendly. Have no problem exiting Schengen although I have no Schengen stamp on my passport (The only stamp I have was from England which is not a Schengen on 1st of May). But who cares.

Get interviewed at Croatian side.
It is the procedure for people from certain states. The officer said.
Certain states? For example?
For example Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq..
Haha, we are categorised in the same group. How proud shall I feel.
And they disturbed my friend (who I havent met yet at that time) by calling her without my consent. That is not so nice.

Was waiting at the petrol station 8km from Zagreb for hours. So near yet so far. Asked around cars with number plate starts from ZG, but all say no. NO. NO.
An Italian couple on the bike told me, it is hard, isnt it?
Yes, it is so hard. Do you think I look dangerous? Thats the reason they dont pick me up?
May be because of the Romanian. Go to the driver and tell them you are not Romanian, you are Malaysian.

Approached one old man and try to talk to him, he seemed to be dont know English. Took out my phrase book and tell him I am going to Zagreb, in Croatian. He say no. I tried to tell him I am not Romanian, I am from Malaysia. He say NO. I teased into the air, what a nice country, wonderful people, beautiful weather, good day.

After he paid, he came out and say, are you going to Zagreb? You can come with me.

Hey you know English! Why you pretend you dont know?!
Because it is not common, I am afraid of you.

So I really look dangerous.

Arrived at Lamza place at 10pm. She is an ex-girlfriend of a Croatian traveler I met in Pakistan. We shared the same dormitory twice, once in Gilgit and once in Karimabad. When he wrote me - you can stay with my ex-girlfriend, I thought is a joke. He is still traveling so still sending some travelers to his ex-girlfriend. A truly amazing lady, you only need 2 seconds to fall in love with her. Initially she is going to leave me her house while she is traveling to Split. But we decided to travel together to this small island off Split, at the coastal area of Croatia, which I cant imagine how many tourists will there be at this time.

She got us a direct ride to Split, so no standing beside the road today. Hooray!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Because I know you are reading

That's the reason I write. You know who I refer to, don't you ;)

Today is 19.08.10.
We had a good game last night. I won. A new game invented by János, the life coach that I stay with, on how to balance between the professional life and the private life. We are helping him to create the complicated rules in life to make the game more logic and realistic. The game is about allocating energies on different canoes. I think it will take him some more time to develop it into a real complex model which simulated life.

They talked most of the time in Hungarian. Once a while someone realised that there is one non-Hungarian speaker here, then he or she will try to explain whatever spoke in English. It ended by brainstorming session, and someone suggested swingers club in private life.

Swingers club? What is swingers club, I asked.
Perhaps you know that, dont you? All man in the room know that, and half the woman dont know. A place for people to change partner and have sex, on the spot. There are rooms in the club which you shall not occupy for long. I heard it for the first time.

Went for a walk today. The Contemporary Art Museum was nice but too little to see. The photographer tries to tell what had capitalism done to the normal people through his lens. Today is a nice day. Good weather, sunny, windy. Send a couple of postcards, you will find one in your postbox if the postman delivers it properly, with Sunbeam from Budapest.

In bookshop, I bought TaoDeChing by LaoTze, a gift for János. I seldom give because I am petty, but this afternoon when I saw the book, I decided to buy him this. I doubt if he already read it, as he studied philosophy. I asked the shopkeeper if this is a well translated version. He told me the author is a well-known Hungarian poet, it is well translated. I paid with a smile on my face, forgeting to ask if the well-known Hungarian poet knows Chinese.

Me myself cant even remember if I have read it, but everyone will remember the first sentence, if the way can be told/taught, this is not a consistent way. That is what I wanted to share with him. We spent a lot of time doing intellectual debate. At least this is how they called that. Why is it intellectual, I asked. Because it is not about weather or politic, they answered. Perhaps this is the reason you said we have intellectual chatting, because they are not weather or politic.

Well.. okie.

That day someone killed a moth, and we started to debate if you should kill a moth and why and stuff like that. For hours. I think I am back to Socrates time. That day we were debating if human being is selfish in nature. I thought Buddha had told us that. We debate from the evening to late night, my wet pants (due to rain) turned dry. But my mind keep playing the moth in the Sloth, or both.

I told you here is just some unorganised pieces landing around, but you are welcomed. Anytime.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Good Luck

17.08.10

The fifth day in Budapest, the city of Gabor Csonka. He is currently in Afghanistan or I will at least have some distorted Hungarian food, in his style. But he at least done something good, by giving me some contacts who cannot host, but found me a good host.

So I am staying in the second level of a double storey house, have my own bedroom, shower room including bath tub, and a small kitchen. The family hosting me has two lovely daughters, 12 and 14. He is an economist philosopher IT-man life-coach (these are supposed to be read separately), she is an English teacher in the university. They gave me my own key.

Unlike couchsurfing, I can come and go at anytime as I wish, I have my own space, they dont need any communication, they dont expect me to cook for them. They gave me Hungarian money to spend in advance, and never ask my leaving date.

It sounds strange to you? It sounds strange to me. I must be so lucky (or clever) to have such a good luck!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fuck!

This Polish guy gave me a ride in Poland. He work for 2 years in Norway and half a year in England. We talked about both countries. And it happened to be both of us love Norway and hate England.

There is only one word that I learned in England. 'Fuck!' he said.

I laughed. Agreed. In Norway, if you heard a Norwegean say fuck (outside Oslo), you can certainly tell that he has lived outside Norway before.

PS: to me, Oslo is not Norway.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Poland

Since I pre-scheduled the post. By the time you see this, I have already left Poland. There are some days with great misery in Poland, for example the day when I visited the Warsaw Uprising Museum (seeing the computer regenerated ruin city of Warsaw after the uprising during WWII) and day when visited the Auschwitz Concentration camp in Oświęcim. It was a place stained with blood, where the genocide happened. I think everyone tour the compound with a lump in the throat, and both of them consumed a lot of emotion energy and made me tired at the end of the day.

So what do you think about Poland? People asked. Always, I answer 'oh Poland is beautiful', a reflective answer without much thought. And most often, people starred at me as if they were skeptical about the answer. To be honest, Poland is a sad land. People are okie but not particularly great. The road is small so moving around takes a long time. Scenery so so, but great beer and sausages. The folk song with wide voice is certainly fantastic. Too bad I cant find my favorite in youtube (I can share you back home though). The only highlight in Poland, for me, is a good friend there, who talked about pointlessness of life. I side the saying, the birds with same feather flocked. We drank beer in the public which is forbiden in Poland, and talk about pointlessness and vanity. Or just to be lazy. But the second time I was in Warsaw, he wasnt at home, so I was pointlessness myself in another friend's house. Haha. How I get so many friends? Well I stayed in Mar Musa (in Syria) for more than a month, so I have accummulated some contacts before moving.

But it is so far a country which people are happy with joining EU, for there are huge fund to develop the country and reconstruct the road, so far a country that did not affect by the crisis and is still growing. Not too expensive, I can still have some junk from time to time. But not a country that I will think of coming back.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Your hair is beautiful

They praised.
I wish someone say 'you heart is beautiful'.

But no one said that.
I rather have a beautiful heart than beautiful hair.
It is a shame.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

We are living in the communist building

and not knowing it! It is such a shame.

The flat in Malaysia or HDB in Singapore are products of the communist, which when we came across these kind of square buildings in Poland or Germany, the local will point and say: see, the communist building.

That day I told the guy that gave me the ride: you know what, we stayed in these kind of building in Malaysia and Singapore. He laughed: the communist influence is so deep that even you dont live through the communist time, you stay in the communist building, and worse, you dont even realise it!

What a shame.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Intuition

I spent hours talking with friends and families back home a few days ago. Half of those I called can recognise my voice, half of them can't (as you can probably guess, it includes my mother!)

Among all, I have this friend from secondary school that I like to call once a while. She is the only one who will ask me to sing her a song during school time. We rarely meet even while I was still back home. We haven't seen each other for long time, I even missed her wedding during end of last year (which I have promised to sing her a song during the ceremony). But everytime I called, she wont miss recognising my voice (no matter where I am).

I love the conversation:

Me: Hello, SF ar?
SF: yuetan hor?
Me: yea! You pregnant?
SF: How did you know that?

Simply amazing. Everything just come in place by itself.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The most beautiful story

that ever happened during my travel. Have I told you that?

It was during a rainy morning in Norway. I stood beside the street with a big sign and a big smile. A car stopped. The guy has the age of my father if my father were still alived. He is a genius of language. He drove me a long way and cook me a fish. So I decided to sing him a German song.



and God know why, tear started to fall down from his face.

'Hey look at the road!' I shouted.
'Then stop singing!' He shouted back.

Amazing. Isnt it? From thousands of songs that I can learn, I chose this particular song, and sang it in this particular moment to this particular man. And he cried. Simply astonishing, in an extremely beautiful way.

I knew we will never forget this.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Miserable World

05.08.10

The first thing that I do in the first morning in Krakow -- watch TV.

It has been long time I havent updated any news, happening in this mighty world. Just happened that Wadim has satelite TV, I was watching Aljazeera again, my favorite news channel during my breakfast, allowed the negative and miserable reality to swallow me.

One of the program was about people in Papua New Guinea, protesting again Exxon Mobile on extracting the oil in their land. I recalled this discussion in Norway. While a lot of people regarding Norway as a successful socialist society, I met this person who participate in the politics before, told me that Norway is definitely a capitalist society, with high control. Everything needs to be control. Capitalism is not a system but is an unstoppable trend, it is not a choice. How to deal with it is through control. Other countries suffer from it, because they dont have good control, but Norway has. I guess I love that country so much, apart from the landscape and people, is the healthy mentality that they have, how they are raised, and how they search solitude in life.

To have a good control over capitalism, it will be a summer dream.

Have trust in human being?

04.08.10

Well just after I said you have to have trust in human being (in my last post), this morning I found that I lost my bag of coins from different countries. It was in my backpack, an easy access compartment, consists of all the coins and cash that left over in each countries, there were some czech, polish, lithuanian, latvian and estonian money. Perhaps this is to teach me, there are a lot of kind soul out there, but never forget that devil exists.

Have lost too many things recently. After my beloved sweater, my cap, my gloves, my head band, now my money. May be I shall buy a new pair of sandals.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The emotional support

03/08/10

Well I think I am just not in the right mood to write.. emotional support is such a strong word to use, seems like I have to write or you will start to take pill?

I am good, I mean, okie. Already back to Warsaw from Oslo. Everything is back to place, will start moving again tomorrow to Krakow.

There are good moments in Norway, there are bad moments too. Most of the times are good. Get invited for 3 times, even more than when I was traveling in the middle east. Worst time waiting for a ride for 5 hours, best time 5 minutes. Norway became one of my favorite country, the people became one of my favorite people (after Filipino and Iranian).

Today I called home, finally deposited money into my skype account. Called so many people, talked until ear sore. Sat for the whole day in front of the computer. Chit chit chat chat.

Wasnt able to share with you the big story, would like to share some small stories.

One day in the library, a girl lend me her phone to call. She asked, who are you calling? I said, a friend of a guy who gave me a ride in Norway, this guy is going to offer me a couch tonight. She said, hitchhike and staying with stranger? You have to be careful. I smiled. She is in her early twenty and she is worried about me. 'You have to have the basic trust in human being,' I said.
(Of course, too bad that most of us, for some reason, lost that ability)
I ended up in the guy's house, he gave me his daughter's bed, dinner, bus tickets to go around the city.

My host who know Tarot helped me in using the card to tell my story. It turned out nice. Walked for hours in the forest near Blystadlia before took the flight, there are many mushrooms. Saw some birds, not the golden eagle. A worm crawled on my shirt. My host then forced me not to hitchhike, instead gave me money to take the bus and the train. It was a hard lesson to learn, taking money wasnt easy at all. But she said what I have to do is, accept and say thank you.

I left my tent in a container outside Hausman Gate #40, including my torn old stinky shoes. If you are interested, feel free to take it. Finally left my Hi-Tech boots behind, you cant believe that, I have worn it for 7 years. It had been sent to shoes maker more than 10 times.

The squats in Oslo have been evicted by police. I have no where to go, thought will be overnight in that container. I went to Blitz which used to be a squat, 'I need a place to stay', I said. A young man came to me, 'we are starting a new squat, you can stay with us!' he said. I ended up having my own very clean room. This young man is in his early 20s, has a dream to travel but he need to find a job to pay his fine first. He was resisted in arrest during one demonstration, fined 6000Kr, later on they found out that he carried a knife during the demonstration(which he is not intended to use), fined another 8000Kr. (1Euro = 7.5Kr) These people in the squat are punk people. They have so many piercing on their face, lips, ears. SO many tattoos all around. The girls cut their hair into half bald, sprayed their hair into different colours. I wonder why they do that.

My Warsaw friend's house has 2 cats and one dog. The siamese cat came in in the morning, stand on my body and say ~meow.

I need to sleep now. Until next time you need the pill, tell me.