Through Europe in a day.
I am in Venlo. The moon is almost full, round, huge,bright, radiant. The Venus just next to it above the horizon. It feels like Summer althought we are approaching the end of September. Today was a radically sunny day, it seem like everywhere in Europe, not only in Basel,w her emy journey started this morning.
And here I am. My bag is too heavy, as always. My route is diverted, as always, and I am in a place far away from home or destination, climbing a temporary railway bridge staircase that is almost too steep for being stairs, it should be called a railway bridge ladder... The metal under my feet creacks with every step I make, beneath the metal there is a gorge, a concrete canal that will once be the new road, today it looks like the perfect place to jump into if suicidal because the concrete seemes to still be runny. Building site under my feet, building sites everywhere I look, but I feel extremely lucky, well in place and perfectly happy. I hitchhiked from Basel, heading towards Berlin, today and ended up in Maastrich and then Venlo (The Netherlands) by local train.
What happened? I am not sure. I only know that I made one decision and then the next and there it unfolded, a perfectly unplanable journey and a perfectly suprising day. I have not felt this safe and calm in a while. Only on entering the real world of trains and bankmachines again I became stressed because all of a sudden the speed of time was enhanced again. Is it stress that makes it stressful or does being stressful create stress? I wonder why systems such as timetables, fixed routes, bankmachines that calculate exactly how much, clocks that tick tick tick exactly how many minutes they are told too, are such a pain for human beings. I am convinced our real being doesn‘t actually fit these systems. We run into them left and right and wonder constantly why we get bruised and stressed? My own being has just been released from any systems and the stress they create for a whole day. I went straight into the blue because that is all you can do when you hitchhike and came out of the blue 4 european countries later in order to find myself observing the ratracing system that had been going on without me for almost a day and then being drawn right back into it:
I need to get to Berlin by 6 am tomorrow morning. That is a deadline because somehow my life as it is belongs into the system of ticking time myself. I am flying to Sweden at 8, that is a fixed schedule. I have a meeting at 11 by a yellow villa to drie a car to Stockholm to speak to a class in a school. Impossible to miss. But between me and Berlin are about 700 km German highway or traintrack that I am not on yet. So I could have stressed and ran with my bag from station to station and platform to platform spending money that would have possibly made my journey ecoogically more balanced, but that would have made me extremely stressed as I have seldomly been on time at the chosen destination when using the train (in Germany). I could have done all that. But I didn‘t. My decision was to take it the unusual way and call the one person that is even more spontaneous and crazy than me: My Mother.
I asked her simply: Dont you feel like going on a road trip to Berlin tonight? My Mother lives an hour North of where I am now, also an hour closer to Berlin than the Hotel bar I am sitting in at this very moment writing these words. But my mother is unconventionally fun and I know the feeling she must have right now: a jumping heart, oh, there is so much fun in spontaneity, and so much fun in doing the impossible, with her daughter, whom she doesn‘t often see. The energetic awakeness that comes out of this jolt of joy, that will result in deep tiredness after we have arrived in Berlin (which is the moment in she will go to sleep for a few hours and then drive right back home), the feeling of enthusiastic craziness and of exciting vitality! Yeah, let‘s go. So here I sit, in the middle of nowhere, really, a border town between Germany and Holland, here young spanish boys pass by and ask for Coffee shops, so it is definitely still Holland...where the Dutch trainticket system and the German trainticket system don‘t co-relate, a real boarder town, where no one tells you clearly what is on the other side of the border...because it is different systems that operate in different countries and towns and places...but couldn‘t they at least be compatible? Of course there is always asking the people and then you notice that they are the sweetest bunch ever. Helpful and charming. Dutch people. For sure. And definitely compatible!