Wednesday, May 27, 2009

in - and out of - slovenia

unlike the last time i was in this neck of the woods, i am in and out of zali log and slovenia within a few short days. weird to leave so quickly, but i’m happy that i got to see tine ever so briefly (and to happily do his laundry for him since he’s the busiest man I have ever met) and happy that i was able to meet his really cute girlfriend brigitta.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

this leaving is so different

i was sitting in the train station in kranj, slovenia thinking about how much more travelling was in front of me before i finally would make it to banja luka when i wrote this. here it is, unedited:

this leaving is so different. last time i left, i left the ugliness of the stress of house building, a lawsuit, being stalked, and the deception of a loved one.

but this leaving - this leaving.... i leave a circle of friends and family that stood by me and with me in my need, and whom I cared for in their need.

i missed no one, really, in my first leaving. i couldn’t.

i miss so many in this leaving. those whose presence in my life and love was cemented when i returned. my family. my mom & dad, whom i would love to be with at this very moment. my brothers and their families, who have always been next to me although we have been separated by many miles for many years. my niece heather, who simply just gives a shit about me and always will, and will always do what needs to be done – even if it’s a hassle. allen and kim. and jane. jane, always close in the way weird twins souls like us are close, but who fused together, intertwined completely over the last year or so. jane and our new life we built when i was back in the states. and schmitty. schmitty babaganoush hanuman. what can i say?

this leaving is so different.

so i sit in this train station where nobody speaks english, drinking my “union” beer and i remember that the excitement is in every moment.

so what if the bus that tine said would arrive at 1 didn’t arrive at all. so what if I paid 5 euro for a taxi (down from 7 because the driver’s wife is from banja luka and he’s been to zelenkovac many times) to drive me to the train station because it was 2km away and my packs were so heavy and it was so f'ing hot out that it was actually worth it to me.) the excitement is in the daily adventure and here is my daily adventure. i will arrive in banja luka late, hot and tired, but i will have had an adventure along the way.

Monday, May 25, 2009

on leaving samir and switzerland

when I first arrived in zurich and caught a glimpse of samir through the glass wall separating the baggage claim and waiting areas, i couldn’t stop the huge smile that immediately broke out. well, not that i’d want to stop it, but i’m just saying that if i did, i wouldn’t have been able to. anyway, that smile was immediately matched by samir’s. how i love that face! i rounded the corner, dropped my bag and we shared a huge, huge hug, then immediately fell into conversation as if i were only gone for a day or two.

we are so completely comfortable together, from the casual way we day-tripped together to the ease in which we both fell asleep on our respective couches during our nightly star trek (in german) marathons - it’s as if we’d grown up together. i’m happy to have been able to meet his friends – all very interesting and cool. and particularly honored to have shared an evening of patio dining with his parents. i’ve gotta say though, that i’m still disappointed that i missed meeting samir’s sister that we had planned to visit, and his girlfriend that currently lives out of the country. but there is always next time, and there will be a next time – and a next. there’s no doubt about that.

how is it that i found some of the people i feel the most at ease with the closest to, across the globe from where i spent most of my life?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

switzerland day 3: bern and the borg

why quit when you've got a good thing going? on this, my 3rd day in switzerland, samir and i continued our newly established tradition (which includes getting home around midnight, then watching star trek until we pass out on the sofa) by heading to bern.

bern is the federal capital of switzerland and has a charm all its own (my camera battery died). the center of the city was built in 1191 and einstein lived here when he developed the theory of relativity.
after a day in bern, we visited samir's friends who live there in a flat with an amazing oasis-in-the-midst-of-a-medieval-city of a backyard and then, true to form, finally made it back home around midnight. after samir whipped us up an amazing dinner, we settled back onto our respective sofas for an evening of star trek. tonight, the episode where Q throws the enterprise to the far reaches of the galaxy - and their first encounter with the borg. all made even more exciting by the fact the dialog was all in german.

the zytglogge (clock tower)

the bundeshaus (federal palace)

Friday, May 22, 2009

switzerland day 2: zurich, einsiedeln, luzern, zurich

so to continue the tradition of 12 hour days that samir and i started yesterday upon my arrival, day 2 was a road trip. first stop, the einsiedeln cloister. a swiss holiday and catholic holy day, our arrival was rung in by the bells in the two towers and the start of the "divine service." the word "ornate" does not begin to describe the interior of the cathedral....

just a little roadside stop on the way to luzern

shot from a wooden bridge built in the 1500's (ok, parts burned, replaced, shored up... but still...)

and the bridge

Thursday, May 21, 2009

how to avoid jetlag after arriving in switzerland

immediately after your arrival, climb the tower at the grossmunster cathedral and take in this view of zurich

dangle your feet in the zurich lake whilst taking in the view of the swiss alps

gawk at (but don't eat) one of these babies,

and spend at least 12 hours walking, eating, drinking and generally hanging around with samir and gerome before even considering doing anything else!

Thursday, May 7, 2009