Archive for the 'personal' Category

Did this really happen?

A while ago I realized, that some of my memories feel strange and some I dont even remember ever happening. So I have decided to write those things down, so one day I might remember them again and believe they actually happened. At first their order will be very random, but thats how life is :)

  1. I begged people in Pakistan for money, when I got stranded in the middle of nowhere.
  2. I got caught by 4 police cars climbing the fence of Nuselsky most bridge in Prague, drunk, testing if its really impossible to jump of the bridge for suiciders since they built the fence.
  3. I climbed the telecommunication tower over Banska Bystrica (a.k.a. Red light) couple of times, always with someone else (a hongkong guy, girl scared of heights, friend who had no idea where we are going, 2 other guys, 2 girls who decided to try and sway the tower)
  4. My laptop in Ghana got rusty from the humidity of my room.
  5. At highschool I hid, drunk, at the girls toilet of a bar after a group of guys wanted to pick a fight with me.
  6. People on a train in Pakistan took 4 hours to realize I am not from Pakistan, because I looked like a local.
  7. After return from 2nd Pakistan trip I got a diarhoea so bad I stopped farting.
  8. Once on university I carried a girl on my shoulders across whole town, including long church stairs.
  9. When I could not return from Pakistan in 2010 due to floods, I sent the news piece to my colleague, so when I called my boss, she already knew and wanted me to just stay safe. At that time I was at my friends home enjoying great food.
  10. During the same trip a military plane had to take me to Islamabad. I was waiting in the village with hundreds of locals, first day I got to the airfield, but the plane didnt come, other day I was taken in because “they wanted to take some foreigners”. At that time we went around all government offices we could think of and put our names on lists, or even created lists to be evacuated. One of the created lists was actually the one used.
  11. During the university I wanted to try and see how many days I could go without sleeping, but never realized the plan to try it out.
  12. I had malaria in Ghana. I didnt know, but just felt really tired at friends house, fell asleep on their couch, had a crazy dream how my fingers extended into the floor and become connected to the electrical wiring of the house and I actually felt it. A friend came in, shook my hand in morning and realizing I had fever from the heat of my hand he told “you have malaria, lets go get you some medicine”
  13. In Ghana I had a bicykle that was pink. I bought it to ride to the cinema close to my place, where they played a different movie every night (each day with different theme – indian, USA action, chinese kung-fu). I wanted the guys to sell it for me afterwards, but they delayed for so long, that I didnt get any money.
  14. I took my inflatable little boat and “sailed” down 2 small rivers close to Prague – Botic (across the middle of city, including some underground parts) and Sazava (from Karlstejn castle).
  15. Once I did a 120km walk in 28hours and a 70, 60 and 50km walks in one day.
  16. One of best holidays I had was to walk from Slovak-Polish border to Slovak-Hungarian. It took 6 days. A friend was supposed to go with me to share the time and load, but his knee hurt after climbing up Rysy from Morske Oko lake and had to return. For the next 5 days I went alone and found out I am OK with being alone.
  17. As a kid I had a fake nike cap. A friend liked it very much so I told him its genuine, sold it to him for a good price and then tried to buy such one again. I didnt find it, but noone ever noticed it was missing.
  18. I fell of a mountain bike in full speed without helmet and scratched half of my face. My leg was unhurt, because the Nokia 3310 in my pocket took the hit. The display was cracked, but it worked.
  19. Once while walking down the river Botic in Prague (in fishing boots) I found a shawn-the-sheep vallet with 40 EUR. I gave the vallet to flatmate and kept the money (there was no money inside).
  20. I have been in these underground parts of Prague: Branik WW2 factory, Morina sand mines, Botic and sewer system, Tresnovka airfield shelter.
  21. I twice as a kid fell at least till my knee in freezing water by dropping into a hole in ice.
  22. I dont remember my father or brother ever hitting me. My mom did a couple of times, I always deserved it.
  23. I did bungee jumping – Strbske pleso, zipline – over a river in Slovenia, paragliding – over Donovaly. The first two were nice but very fast (I cant remember them), the last one was nearly without any adrenaline.
  24. During university on last weekend of a holiday I hitchhiked to Hungary, slept one night under a circus truck, at the Buda castle and on an AIESEC conference where I crashed as party delegate.
  25. While living at a friends flat during one university summer, I found a MilkyWay chocolate in a cupboard, I ate it and then bought it again. This repeated some 5 times all over again.
  26. I once talked with a friend for so long in night after drinking a bottle of wine, that my brain has distorted her face and replaced it with faces of other people.
  27. I thought I am fat during basic school and during gym classes we played football in two teams – with and without shirts. I always pushed to be in the shirt-on team. After hearing about anorhexy and puking as a way of cutting weight, I tried it once, couldnt make myself puke and never tried again.
  28. I have not smoked a normal cigarette till some 2010. I never felt like smoking, once at the end of high school I got attracted by the sweet-sweet smell of an unlit cigarette and tried how it tastes by nibling on the tobacco. It was discusting and I never felt like smoking cigs again. I tried marihuana and sheesha and in 2010 I took a cigarette by mistake – I thought its a joint :)
  29. A muslim friend of mine took alcohol by accident. We wanted to make jelly-vodka, but had only bad whiskey and girls forgot to put sugar in it. It was a horrible discusting thing and they thought it funny to let people taste without telling them what is it. They realized he never had alcohol only when he started spitting it out (no surprise there). He was OK with it, because coran says that if you sinned without knowing it, you did not commit a sin.
  30. In Pakistan I was going to sleep very late (and spent first hours of office hours sleeping on the table). During ramzan I sometimes was still awake, when the muslins woke to have the pre-sunrise breakfast. Once the person responsible for making breakfast forgot about it and I tried to make them food, it didnt go too well and they were hungry the whole time.
  31. During the whole year in Ghana, I met only a very few black girls who looked really pretty to me.
  32. I had a really “how did I get here” feeling during university when two beautiful and smart girls wanted to go out with me, but I didnt feel like a relationship after getting out of a long one. One moment I found myself sitting no a couch, with each of them lying on one of my knees and me reading aloud poetry for them. I am not very good in reading poetry and suck at reading aloud.
  33. During middle school I have a couple of times sneaked out of the house, when everybody was asleep and just walked the deserted streets.
  34. I love touching things, feeling the wind and looking at girl´s faces and just enjoying their beauty.
  35. I learned to feel happy by walking the Charles Bridge in Prague and on every one of the “wish a wish” spots thinking about what to wish for…. I found out wishing for being Happy is a simple, easily repeated and realistic wish. Later on I didnt feel like stopping at the places anymore (didnt want to take space from the tourists and visitors) but still wish for it when I walk by.
  36. When I went for a 55km non-stop walk for the first time, it started at night at -10°C. I have decided to finish it at any cost, so I took a tent and sleeping bag. So while everybody else was walking as light as possible, I had enough gear to spend the weekend in freezing woods. After 55km I felt my soles were too stomped so I went home.
  37. One of the best cinema experiences was when I went to see Perfume with my Polish girlfriend, we walked out of the theater, it was night, chilly air, smell of pretzels, I felt like everything has its smell and sound and I can feel them all. I felt happy.
  38. Once in my life I met a person who made me feel like a drained battery being plugged to electricity. I was tired with my life and job and saw her after years, came to her, gave her a hug and felt like crying.
  39. I believe in everything and dont refuse the existence of nearly anything. There are things I hate, but I still try and understand them (and why people do them). Understanding things around me satisfies me, being faced with arrogance and unreasonability makes me frustrated and can cause me to short-circuit and be agressive for a very short period of time.
  40. In my whole life I can remember only once I hit someone (not as the first one), but daydreamed about fighting someone when thinking back about real situations or possible scenarios, where I would have to fight for myself.
  41. My desire to hike and climb moutains was defined/explained by one of my girlfriends. She said she does those things to prove to herself that she can beat her own mental limitations. Not to be fastest, or go highest, but just to be better then her mental image of herself. I had no words, I just agreed its 100% same for me.
  42. I have always been creating things and take pleasure at thinking at them and looking at them, but I mostly gave them away: a picture of “star stairs”, small tree painted on a rock, A3 portrait of my girlfriend, a dreamcatcher, figures made of wire, A3 sized had cut spiral-shaped puzzle. I have also made lots of paper models. I love the feeling of creation.
  43. I get the chills when I see people listening to me saying something smart and interesting and getting my points.
  44. I joined AIESEC thanks to sticking to two schoolmates from highschool who were on a summer camp for newees. I knew noone so I went with them to the office and didnt leave it for next 5 years :)
  45. Going for LC VP HR was my first free decission I remember. My highschool and univesity selection was purely by accident, just like my specialization on uni (I took the one that was simplest and most realistic for me).
  46. I am very uncomfortable at starting discussion with unknown people, I avoid it.
  47. At basic school I started to play the classclown to get the attention and fit in.
  48. I went for the wedding of a friend from Egypt. Cairo was great, desert trip was amazing. She was a girl who completely changed my mind about muslim girls. She was beautiful, with huge smile and the loudest of a 300 people large group.
  49. I learnt to ride bicycle at cca 14y of age. Before I tried once with my father, but I was too focused on the thing itself and kept on crashing. That time I did it on my own and now I love the feeling of flying over the ground and having full control.
  50. In Ghana I was told to fuck-off by a colleague when I ordered him to do something. Such words in that country are unheard of. I didnt know what to do, as he was my only replacement. I pretended it never happened.
  51. In my whole life I remember only these instances of really losing my nerves:
  • at basic school a classmate refused to give me keys (?) from the locker because I was late, I tripped her in fury.
  • at basic school the class bully stole my pen-holder,  with tears in my eyes and utter fury I pushed him to the wall and screamed at him to give it back.
  • in Ghana I tried to save a sick kitten, but it kept on meowing the whole night, I was so clueless about what to do and felt so powerless that I got really angry at the kitten and shouted at it to shut up.
  • on the first Pakistan trek there was a guy who just kept being an anoying piece of shit. I told him I will be happy to never ever meet him again in my life.
  • my ex-girlfriend didnt want to be with me, but didnt tell it to me straight – she basically tried make me go away by being more and more passive and ignorant of my existence. I was lost my nerves and shouted and her to go to hell. At that moment I got her attention and because of that for a moment I felt happy and thought that this is what she wants me to do – be angry at her to show I care. No, she just got scared, because I wasnt myself.
  • in summer of 2013 3 idiotic friends and machos were with me on a trekking holidays. They were annoying with their non-stop complaining since the beginning, but when in a situation where a decision about next day’s plan had to be taken fast, they kept on saying stuff like “couldnt you check in advance” to the discussion leader (who was not sure what to do), I tried to take control of the discussion and push the group to decide for any of the options, but decide on spot. On of the guys called me a “cheeky monkey”, I told him to go fuck himself, where he+2 stoogies got offended for calling him names, repeated myself for all three and left.

What is art… is it OK if I dont understand it?

I had this discussion about what I consider to be art with my friend and came up to this:

1. if it what makes me feel that the author is supreme to me – can draw, paint, sing, sculpture, photograph better than me. In order for me to feel moved by the piece I have to first admire its creator.

2. I have to understand the authors message, the creation of the work must make sense to me – in paintings the meaning sometimes can simply be also the beauty of the product itself. All I have to think is – “Oh, my God, its beautiful. I dont know what it is, but its amazing!”, same goes to music, I dont care about the lyrics if the music is good, gives me emotions, make me pause in awe.

What made me write this? A couple of experiences I had recently:

- I watched an addaptation of King Lear in the Czech National Theater (the No. 1 scene) and it sucked. I have no idea what I was watching, it was so arty that the plot got covered up by piles of “things” that made no sense. I saw a pool, cake, concentration camp uniform, joker, logo of batman, detergent, ukulele, dancing and singing, ketchup instead of blood, whipped cream in glasses, 4 naked guys, a bunch of Andy Warhols and a Pope lying on a pissed mattrace. I guess I was supposed to search for the meenings of the symbols but somehow it didnt make me care to try, some of the 700 people present left during the performance, rest stayed confused till the end.

- 100 days of freedom – a play that included 4 naked guys talking a lot about sex and shitting, what did I expect considering the original text, but watching them using chocolate pudding as shit-replacement while doing a poo-eating-naked-party, that was a slightly too much for me.

- I watched the film Holy Motors and well… felt like its wasted effort, excellent acting, yes, but for what reason? I would compare it to Sucker Punch – very different episodes full of all the potential that the actors (Holy Motors) and CGI (Sucker Punch) can offer, connected with a simple plot… at least in the case of Sucker Punch (which does feel like a set of great selection of music with awesome videoclips).

- Two exhibitions of modern art – one from some kids that travelled to Siberia to paint their feelings and one that included some modern pieces of young art.. of which most didnt talk to me anyhow, because I didnt feel they try to speak, they just mumbled in a foreign language, at best.

The strange thing is that all these have lots and lots of admirers, they were all recommended and talked about in the highlights fashion.

I always considered myself to be a kind of intellectual, but I am thinking – maybe art is for me the same kind of “race” as everything else I like to do – I want to be the best or admire the one who is undoubtelly better.

Maybe I am just a simpleton who wants for everything to make sense and admires only that what he consideres a beautiful creation (mine of someone’s other). This text is lousy, not much to admire, but it at least scratches the surface of the topic.

the story of the cracks in the world, othere reality and invisible people

Let me tell You a story…

Once upon the time… for example also right now, in a place far far away… but also right behind Your doorstep, there was/is the ground and people, lots of them. But there are cracks in the ground, You cant see them, You cant touch them but they are there, because from time to time people slip through them to the other world and become invisible to the rest of us. We know they are t/here, sometimes for fractions of second we see them but then our vision slips back into what we want to see and they dissappear…

It started yesterday with me starting to read this graphic novel Midnight Nation by J. Michael Straczynski (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1582404607/), even though it actually started long time before. But lets first talk about the book – its a story of a man who finds out that apart from the world and people as we know it, there are also other people here… They were like us but then they dissappeared from our reality – were overlooked, ignored and walked past so much that they actually stopped existing for us and became invisible for us… just like we became for them. Now both “breeds” live in the same world but cant see each other. While we go around doing our business of pursuit of happiness and TV, they have to fight for their souls because thats the last thing they have left.

Sounds like a weird piece of sci-fi to You? Did the same to me until I came to the epilogue, where he explained that the inspiration and motivation came from what he has seen happening – how normal people start living on the street and are overlooked and avoided by the normal folk like they dont exist and so after a while these people also give up trying to be one of us and get lost in the other reality – they slip the cracks. Just think when was the last time You actually admitted they are human? Normal people You say “hello”, “please” or “good day”? When did You last time ask any of them for an advice about the direction? When was the last time You actually even as much as looked at them?

I had the head full of these thoughts when I went to the shop tonight, it was past 22:00 when I exited and noticed an elderly woman with crutches and a stack of plastic bags next to her feet eating a piece of bread right outside of the mall… First my body went into auto mode – head down, gaze on feet, walk past. But than it cracked me – its maybe 7°C, night, if I could at least get her something hot to drink. I went back to the mall looking for a vending machine, none was found and was actually somewhere inside hoping she will be gone when I exit again, so that I dont have to go through the embarrasing/awkward/? task of getting in contact with an invisible… She was there (like she had where to go…) so I went to her and asked the most simple and straight question: “are you hungry?”. Her answer was simple and true “yes”, accompanied with a look of surprise and a hint of fear of something unknown as one of the bywalkers admiting her existence. I shared some of the stuff I just bought in the shop – she was very thankful for the milk, apple and some meat, but what made her most happy was that I sat to her and did just chat with her. I have been with her for maybe an hour, talking little about her past and mine, life in general and hints of her current life. And let me tell You this – it was like talking to a mom/grandmother of any of Your friends – a normal person You dont know personally but is fine to talk to and at the age of 65 whose age is showing but still she is not giving up the life. She was so normal that without the visual I could be sitting next ot any auntie in a shop or bus (not that I am too good in that – I feel strange in such a discussion, I think it might be that older people think and talk in slower speed. I am bad at going with people who are slower tham me, in any meaning of the word – its more natural for me to run on my own and than wait rather than slow down to their pace).

I made the next step, on Wednesday there is bank holiday here in Czech Republic, and as I dont have any program I accepted/suggested to meet in the morning with her and let her show me the part of city she lives/d in, one of the parts that is slightly forgotten and still has the feel of a hundreds year old town – in good and bad. I will see how it goes, worst case I will buy her a hot tea…

It was an experiment and it worked. I will do it more often. Because its only when You see these people and accept their existence, let them know that You still consider them human, will they also consider human themselves and maybe find a way back out of the other world, back among us – “living”, in good and bad. Because think what You want, even those who using alcohol or drugs have left even this “second” world for the world of pure dissattachment would still accept to become part of the “normal” folk, its just that they gave up looking for ways out…

Please find an invisible human being and bring him/her back to this world where s/he had parents, home and life before s/he slipped the crack, at least for few moments. You might not save his/her life, make them “active citizens” again or stop being dependent on help… but You will make them feel human for a moment again – some people will be happy to be invited to Your birthday party, even if they cant attend… and who knows maybe they will make it.

Right now, I want a path to walk

I got out of my room to go to the PC+Internet to write this, what irony…

Right now I wish deeply to be somewhere out in the nature, away from people, and take pleasure in getting physically tired with a simple goal – walk in a direction the whole day, go to sleep, and after awakening continue in the same direction.

When the body beats the brain, when sharpness of mind can not help the fact that its your feet tht have to carry you on and on, when you feel away from people and in the middle of real world, that is the kind of beauty that you will always remember.

After being to dozen countries, those 6 days when I just walked are much harder to believe than me standing at the foot of Nanga Parbat, me hopping of a train in a small town in the middle of a desert or me sitting under palm trees on a beach in Africa. 

This feeling makes me play with the decision to end this internship in June 2009 (making it only 9 months long) or maybe stay longer or go somewhere else, so that I arrive to Slovakia before summer 2009 or 2010 and than spend another at least a month just walking and walking… Maybe its time to go East to West, and maybe not stop on the border…

Its sad that I cant walk or cycle in Africa, its too hot….

I am going to Ghana soon :)

I got finally matched!

I am going to Ghana soon, to work for one year in Capital Group – an HR agency in Accra, the capital, to work on this TN.

I still dont know when I am leaving, only one thing is for sure – soon. The company would like me to come in less than a month… Lets see if I can manage.

Looks like I should speed up with my “Slovakia travel” plans :D

first impressions…

So here am I, after a year in Pakistan I am back home in Slovakia, in the valley of Turiec (name of the river that passes it), in the towns of Vrutky (my hometown) and Martin (town where I was born)…

What were my first impressions?

Continue reading ‘first impressions…’