There’s a story about a family that had a donkey. Whether they ride him, load him or let him walk – world has an opinion on how they should behave instead. Whole world, simply, cannot be pleased.
Sometimes I feel like these people. When I’m too bored with all questions and pieces of advice – I imagine that I am that little donkey and I just disappear in dandelions.
The first time I saw dandelions, it was in the small park in front of the building where my parents grew up and fell in love with each other. There I enjoyed in my childhood. From my window you can see kindergarten and primary school I went to. I remember myself thinking that the world ends exactly on the edge of my field of vision.
Within only border which my mind knew, I had a wonderful time. I did wandered and traveled, but I would return until you say Plazma biscuit. Many times I heard that I should run away as soon as possible, but I didn’t feel that as my truth. This is where I belong. Being at home is great.
It was only toward the end of the faculty when I realized that I don’t have to go, but I want to. I want to, but I’m scared. Every time fear and wish stand one against the other, I know it’s time for action. My garden won’t be fenced with fear!
I wonder what’s over that fence of fear. Even more, I want to know the kind of person I am on the other side. So, I dared to have a sneak peek… Well, maybe a little more than that. I decided to go to Hamburg and live 1,500 kilometers away from the home and all that is familiar to me.
This city is the second largest port in Europe and the second largest city in Germany. He’s like a bold sailor who has seen the world, and kept this young girl for six months on a palm of his hand, as if she was everything in the world.
I sat there, behind and cup of hot coffee and watched the dock, where pieces of the world are coming to his feet on Elbe river. I fell in love ships. I fell in love, permanently and irrevocably, with that freedom and the feeling you get when you start everything from scratch. Hamburg is great!
I realized that there is no situation that you can’t handle, if you have to do so. I smashed my fears. I shattered my prejudices.
I got to know great people and absorbed their culture and way of thinking. I got a chance to know myself. I learned unrealistically lot, professionally and privately. I walked the world. World is great.
Then I went back home. Salary is, indeed, lower, but I get hugged each day by my most important people. I missed this so much! This first, and then delicious local food; “my” circle around the block; familiar faces that you meet late on the street and ramble on with them about the meaning of life…
Belgrade has always reminded me of the cool guy. The one that is as good as a little boy, but he’s acting cocky. He’s charming and will escort you home after a long conversation about books, records and comics. He’ll hold the door of some old pub for you, where they have best gigs in the world. He will wrap his jacket around you and take you to burek in the morning, when you stay out till dawn.
Belgrade doesn’t know how to take care of itself, how to praise itself, nor how to envy the other, bigger, better and more beautiful cities. He knows all that happened to him, but won’t bother you with that. It’s enough that he smiles and you’ll fall on your ass and forget all his troubles. Belgrade is great.
Then I get a good job. The first catch – I should move to Herceg Novi for a while. They ask if this would be a problem. Not at all. My Andjela, the girl from Novi, the girl who made this blog, sent me the same week pdf titled: “Instructions on how to enjoy our small town.” Well, I am welcome here!
How do I find my way in a small, seaside town? Every evening I walk by the sea. I meditate on the beach. After work I enjoy in sunbathing. One of my best friends lives on the other side of the bay. Office I’m working in – overlooks the Adriatic. Herceg Novi is great!
It’s not like that only in these three cities… In the last couple of years at least 30 of them have enrolled on my list, from Stockholm to Ankara. Slowly, I start to believe that all this joy has nothing to do with the location. Could it be that luck secretly got into my suitcase?
Noup, I checked it. The suitcase is empty and ready for the next action. I’m looking at it thoughtfully, and I realise that everything is not that rosy.
Quarrels and disagreements with loved ones can be more difficult than you imagine – when they must be carried out via Skype.
Opening and closing accounts, complications about transactions, registration of residence, work permits and all the paperwork became a kind of phobia for me.
I’ve traveled recently almost 17h hours, by bus, to the conference which lasted 2 days.
Last thing, but not less problematic: this morning I’ve finally opened a jar of ajvar – after a week of trying.
I don’ regret it. I know I will be traveling and moving again and I wouldn’t change one thing on my journey so far.
While I’m packing and unpacking, myriad of tips and questions are coming to my address. I don’t know how they do it, but they always find me! Here is a list of those that repeat and that got my attention:
- „Good for you, just try to stay in Germany. That is one stable country. That is the economy! Everything here is only sorrow and misery. “
- „The best place for you is when you’re at home, among your people… There you’ll always be just a foreigner.“
- „Why do not you enroll in university there?“
- „Don’t you miss home? Parents?“
- „What does your boyfriend says about the fact you’re on the road again? You know, I don’t believe in this long-distance relationships.“
- „All people are so cold here.“
- „You’ve changed. You’re colder, too … and somehow reserved.“
But I don’t feel that bad being here…
- „It’s probably just your defense mechanism. You convince yourself that you’re all right, but in fact – you’re not.“
- „And how long are you in Belgrade?“ Well, for an indefinite period, I suppose… “Aham … And how do you like it here now?” It’s great. “That’s the answer I did not expect.”
- „What are you going in such a small town, there’s nothing?“
- „You’ll get so bored, especially when season is done.“
- „The seaside in winter is so depressing – just rain.“
Just to make it clear, these questions are not coming from some passers-by. They came, and are still coming, from people that are closest to me, who love me the most in this world and are ready to do literally anything if I need it.
I understand that it is out of love and best intentions. Strenght and patience of these people is remarkable – they know how to understand me and love me even „over the wire“ and I’m grateful to them more than words can say.
Perhaps the greatest cause for that list of questions and tips is the fact that in this period of life – I really often look as if I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.
And when it gets hard for me, because I don’t have that idea and noone gets where the hell I’m headed to with that donkey of mine – I remind myself that, having twenty and something, I don’t really have to know that.
I know that in all these adventures and the process of adapting I was…well, a mess. In the chaos of change and moving and traveling, some not so nice parts of me came out. I get confused and lost in the whirlwind, and ended up not doing always well for myself and for others.
But, my dear people, I can’t clean my room other way – let alone myself. First I pull out everything. I move things, combine them, separate those that I need to get rid off. In the middle of this process, my mother is dangerously close to a nervous breakdown and all of us in the house think that it would be better if I didn’t even begin to „clean“.
That’s how I „arrange things“. I know that sometimes it provokes questions and suspicious glances, and that it doesn’t look like I am holding a straight line. Perhaps there’s no line or direction, but I’m holding to myself. I have a feeling that I’m on the right track. Noone was hurt by unsettled room or and unsettled thoughts… Chaos is great!
In the end, one of my favorite questions – what will you do in Herceg Novi when the rain starts?
I’ll chase the rainbow, that’s what I’m going to do.