Sunday, January 27, 2013

Meeting I.

I arrived at my great-uncle's place still quite tired from yesterdays expedition. My great uncle is now a very old but kind guy with some life experience I could say. We talked about my trip a little, it peculiar to get an old man's input. I would have thought he wouldn't even know where Kamcatka was. Anyway he greeted me with an enormous dinner as it seems to be the tradition in southern Moravia.

When I was getting sleepy because of too much food, old uncle decided we should drink to this occasion. I had some doubts but just didn't have the heart to refuse. By 7PM and because of my very low resistance to alcohol I was nearly drunk. I was supposed to meet I. in a few minutes.

At the moment, I. was my only shot, my ticket to the east. I can't say there won't be others but I didn't want to mess that one up.

I. studies medicine, it's her last year I think. She seems smart. Not the kind of person you could easily manipulate. Not the manipulative kind either. Those things are subjective but it's my quick guess. She did kickboxing and travelled to Syria. Crazy enough to come with me but not suicidal either. Not to mention the obvious benefits of medical studies. Her language skills might be rustier than mine but I must have some advantages musn't I, otherwise she wouldn't want to go with me. Overall, she always was the rational choice even though my intuition was sometimes shifting me towards K.

We met on a square with a replica of a giant dildo. My head was still spinning because of my uncle's slivovica and I was focusing on not letting it show. It would be quite stupid to sabotage this epic trip to the east because of some booze, right?

I recognized I. even though I only saw her on a few summer pictures. I am always dead curious about the people I meet in real life after knowing them on the internet. I don't know what particular stuff there is to expect, maybe I expect them to float or to exist in 2D or something. The encounter of the third kind went fairly smooth. It wasn't akward at all. Maybe meeting people with no goal feels akward but when you have a common project it's very different. We went to some german castle; I thought it was very nice actually. I like being on top of eastern castles, looking down on the effing city powdered in snow. Truly effing romandic if you ask me, especially during the night. I have the same impression on each eastern euroepean castle, not the western ones so much, don't know why, maybe they're too posh or something. It's kind of lame so I tried not to show too much enthousiasm otherwise it would look fake. I hope I didn't look bored because I wasn't.

Then a security guty threw us out. I thought we could climb accross the wall but I was feeling lazy and i didn't want to look immature so soon during the encounter. I mean, I am doomed to look immature at some point, I know that, I just hope she'll realize it somewhere in Armenia or something.

We discussed the important questions, whether or not each of us is hoping to return alive and well (and we both are, amen to us!), how annoying we are, what reactions should we expect of ourselves in various crazy situations. And there is the independence issue.

I need my privacy and my time alone after a while and that's a big issue when you're travelling one glued to the other. One of the few disadvantages of travelling with women is that a lot of them don't have that issue, I mean statistically. Or maybe that's my misunderstanding of female logic.

Everything went well and for the first time I felt this journey would be possible. I mean I really could see us both standing on the side of some mongolian dirt road with thumbs up.

We agreed on a definite maybe. If we depart it'll be in the first half of May and the final decision should be in April. Seems great but such decision lies still very far ahead. Who knows how many times we'll change our minds until then.

Anyhow, it's a wonderful perspective.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Winter test

My morals are down. My latest blog posts converge into philosophical nonsense. I need some fresh air.

Thank god, I left France and it's stressful computer projects. My plane landed in Prague where I was to meet my cousin Zevla. The reason for me being in Czech Republic is to ask for a Czech passport to which I am entitled to because of my double nationality. I also intended to meet I., a girl who I was writing to for some time now about going together to Kamchatka.

Zevla was kind of tired of constantly studying so we decided to pack our stuff and go visit an abandonned military airport around Prague. It was a two day journey and an occasion to test my new sleeping bag in temparatures down to -17°C during the night. And I proudly conclude that I doidn't freeze. I can't say it was confortable but enough to sleep. I guess I could do -20 but easier said than done. The morning was quite terrible. My wet shoes froze and became stone solid. It was like wearning ski boots.

Freezing in a cave, an only too common situation in the future
Our drinks froze, our propane-butane gaz cooker didn't have enough pressure to work properly, we managed to light a fire and maintain it long enough to cook some sausages. After that, it died quickly. I would say it's survivable for one night but a week in -20 would be very difficult. I just hope it won't happen, I cannot say much more.

Some images of abandonned the military complex:

Abandonned thing to put planes in

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What's this trip about?

I have to get to preparations again. I'm getting really sick of my situation, of doing all this computer stuff. All this casual work.

I'm thinking about my life now. Or anybody elses but mine is as good an example as any. No matter what you decide, you always miss things. I was quite a naive, perhaps even completly clueless person until I was 13, until that semester in Vancouver woke me up to reality. Since then I tried to miss as few opportunities as possible. But still, I did miss a lot.

I certainly didn't miss the giant parties at Max's place or at my place for that matter but maybe I should've gone to Mary's too. I'm kind of glad I didn't continue hiking with Greg, he was a crazy bastard, I probably only missed my own death there.

I didn't have the opportunity to connect with Lucy and her friend Thé since we lost contact after a while, I feel there was some interesting stuff there too. Or maybe not that much, not for me at least. When I think about it, maybe I didn't miss that much, maybe I had quite a full life. Or maybe we all missed at life?

I certainly missed my two years of college since I didn't go to university but to the more recognized "preparatory school" where you basically do nothing besides working like crazy for some kind of final competition. But if I didn't go there, maybe I wouldn't have a choice of going on this trip now.

I don't really regret having done practiclally nothing special for my semester in Singapore. The people I knew there signed themselves up for nearly organized trips and a bunch of really lame parties, the memories of which were proudly recorded on facebook. Or maybe I regret not to have met the right people there.

I am not complaining, life is what you do of it and I had my decent share of craziness and I do believe a lot of people settle for less, not that it is a competition or something of the sort. But I want to use this trip to patch my past regrets and quite a lot of future ones too. I would publish a list of experiences I want to do in the following year or so but I'm afraid my potential hitchhiking partners are reading this and I wouldn't want to scare them off too fast. And my parents could be reading that too since they have the site and I didn't have time to design a parent-control filter yet.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sucked into civilisation

I have not been writing for a while and that is beacause I've been incredibly busy.
Incredibly might be such a strong word, but very busy let's say. The reason for this that my parents kind of got in trouble. I don't mean trouble like gangster-related trouble, more like I-can't-meet-my-professional-deadline trouble.
My mother is a website designer. She started to learn how to do stuff with computers 5 years ago when she was approaching 50 and now she sells websites to some research centers or something.
The thing whith computer programming when you're 50 is that you are pretty much out of the picture, the web is evolving too quickly, you don't have the right reflexes long story short: people over 35 years old rarely do webdesign.
So came what should have come eventually, my mother got a pretty good web-developping opportunity to be done in a very short amount of time and it was just too fast for her.
So I offered to help because she basically didn't have a choice. I don't believe that parents should get professionaly involved with their children but I am not enough of a jerk to let my own mother down so I programmed the damn thing. I am actually not a website programmer, my job is to work with robots but I manage a thing or two website-wise.
So that was the why. But this raises a more important point.
The more I stay in civilisation, the more I only talk about leaving, the more civilisation is holding to me.
I always thought, as in revolutionary road, the hardest part would be to face all the people who will tell me not to go. But nothing of that sort came. Everybody I know has been supportive so far. People have been enthousiastically sharing my website and offering suggestions. Even the people who don't like me didn't say too despisable stuff about my project.
So the hardest obstacle are not people discouraging me. It's all the tasks they need me to do before I go. And at some point, I'll just have to say no. Because I am not ending up like the couple in that movie! It would be a shame and even more so now that I've gone public and people are watching.