Hiking (escrito en 2014)

Estas últimas 2 semanas he subido el cerro 3 veces. Una vez el Pochoco sola, otra con la Chofa y otra con la Luli (el Manquehue). Estas vacaciones quería subir la mayoría de los días, pero nadie nunca me apañaba, porque como dicen, es una paja jaja. Después de insistir por un mes a todos mis conocidos que subiéramos, me aburrí y decidí ir sola. Por lo único que no subía era porque creía que era muy peligroso hacerlo sola, siempre todos advierten que en el cerro pasan cosas. Pero filo, subí sola y lo pasé increíble, me demoré unas 5 horas en total (muchísimo) y me perdí por lo menos 9 veces. El Pochoco es un cerro muy engañador, está lleno de caminitos que no llegan a ninguna parte más que acantilados, y partes muy empinadas.

Me gusta subir el cerro porque me da mucho tiempo para pensar. Esté o no acompañada, puedo pensar. Si estoy con alguien, pienso en lo que me dicen y en mis curiosidades y en entender sus puntos de vista. Si estoy sola, pienso en los rollos que me paso, de lo que quiero hacer con mi vida, de la gente que enverdad vale la pena pasar tiempo con, de cosas que me importan. De repente pienso en las distintas posibilidades del cerro. Por ejemplo, que el cerro tiene alma y por eso es tan deceiving, o que algunas personas con las que te encuentras son fantasmas, o espíritus que están ahí como a la orden del Pochoco.

 De repente pienso en los peligros. En esa foto estoy sentada en una piedra, en la cual si hago un movimiento mal me caigo y me pego con las piedras y tal vez me mato.  Si voy escuchando música, a veces me motivo mucho. 

Cuando llego al peak me siento seca! Muy deportista y muy relajada, me siento distinta al resto del mundo. Es bacán. La vez que subí sola me sentí demasiado aventurera, era la segunda vez después de 5 años más o menos, que lo subía. No me sabía el camino pero lo hice igual.

Cuando voy con gente es muy choro porque conversamos y comemos. 

La conversa es siempre demasiado entretenida, nunca es incómodo y siempre conosco algo más de las personas con quienes voy.

 Es lo mejor subir cerros, acompañada o no acompañada. Te ayuda a conocerte y a tranquilizarte. Te ayuda a conocer a los demás también. Es precioso además, y si tienes suerte como la Chofa y yo, tal vez veas 3 cóndores juntos al mismo tiempo en la cima.

Liberación Pudorosa

Aprendí la palabra “pudor” cuando muy chica. Es que me daba tanta vergüenza que cualquiera me viera pilucha, hasta mi mamá, mi hermana, mis amigas. Cada vez que me cambiaba les decía a todas que se dieran vuelta, “¡no mires!” “¿No estás mirando verdad?” “¡Te dije que no miraras”!  Y obvio siempre mi tía, mamá o amigas muy sabias me decían “¡Ay qué tiene, si somos todas iguales!” mientras se cambiaban al frente mío.

Una vez fuimos a una playa topless con mi abuela y mi mamá. No tenía bikini así que me convencieron de ir sin parte de arriba como todes. La playa estaba llena de mujeres topless, y a nadie parecía importarle. Pero yo tenía 10 años y, a pesar de tener cuerpo de niña, sentía que todos me iban a mirar. Lo único que quería era ir al agua, pero me daba tanto pudor que me quedé acostada de guata hasta que llegó la hora de irnos.

En mi cabeza todas las de mi curso eran pudorosas, ¿cómo iba a ser normal que no te diera vergüenza? Todas menos 2, las que en los viajes de curso se sacaban todo y andaban felices bailando por la pieza. Yo no podía entender cómo no les daba vergüenza, mostrarse así, completamente desnudas.

Y entre cuestionarme y evitar a toda costa que alguien me viera desnuda, cumplí 19 y me fui a vivir a Berlín.

Mi segunda semana viviendo allá, escuchamos unos gritos y corrimos a la ventana a ver que era. Eran gritos de placer: Una pareja, ambos desnudos, teniendo sexo, a plena luz del sol en su balcón. Habiendo vivido toda mi vida en Chile me sorprendió tanto que nadie sacó el teléfono para sacar fotos, nadie juzgó y nadie criticó, a lo más alguien comentó “que hot”. 

Éramos 6 en mi piso, y todas se cambiaban al frente de todas sin pudor. Una de mis compañeras de piso se daba baños de tina al menos tres veces a la semana, y cuándo lo hacía dejaba la puerta del baño abierta, por si cualquiera necesitaba entrar. Las primeras veces, cuándo entraba y ella estaba ahí, yo hacía el medio show, “AY PERDÓN, no vi nada te juro”, ella siempre se reía y me decía “Colo, ¡no me importa! Amo mi cuerpo y todas tenemos pechugas y poto, ¡de qué te preocupas!” Si yo me daba una tina, en cambio, y alguien entraba, me tapaba con las manos, “don’t look” y ellas se reían. Era la broma del piso, “I saw your boobs Colo”. De repente venían amigas y se metían 3 a la tina al mismo tiempo desnudas, muy normal, cómo si nada a tomar champaña.

En Alemania todos van desnudos al sauna. Al principio yo me metía con ropa interior, entremedio de todos los piluchos. En mi segundo date con un alemán con el que salía, fuimos a un spa. No pude creer que se metió al sauna pilucho, ¡al frente mío! Yo ni loca, ¿cómo me iba a ver en nuestra segunda cita pilucha? Cómo cambian las cosas, ahora cuando me acuerdo me da vergüenza haber sido la única con ropa interior.

En Berlín iba al lago o al parque cada vez que salía el sol. En los lagos siempre había mujeres topless, y gente completamente desnuda, de todos los tamaños y tipos, con pelo y sin pelo.  Todos se veían cómo animales en su hábitat, relajados y felices. Estar desnudo no era tema.

Paulatinamente me empezaron a resonar en la cabeza las palabras de tantas mujeres que mientras se cambiaban me habían dicho “¿Qué importa? Tenemos todas lo mismo”.

La desnudez era tan natural allá, que de a poco me fui dando cuenta de lo tan no natural que mi pudor era. En el piso me empecé a dar baños en la tina con la puerta abierta, y de a poco me empecé a tapar menos y menos, era tan normal ser libre y mi pudor excesivo tan anormal. Empecé a observar mi pudor y me di cuenta de que nacía de mis inseguridades (ej. si no me había depilado pensaba que estaba mal, y si estaba depilada pensaba que no era normal) y un pre-condicionamiento de los primeros humanos que decidieron usar ropa interior que me hacia pensar que estaba mal si mostraba mi cuerpo. Mis amigas del piso se desnudaban con o sin depilarse, a veces sin depilarse en meses. En las fiestas no era raro ver a gente bailando desnuda, tan libres y naturales cómo en el lago. La desnudez es tan normal que todos dejan que el otro sea, y no se objetiva por estar desnudo. La mujer no es una puta por bailar en sostén (o sin) en la fiesta. Viviendo esto dejé de solo pensar que uno es libre de mostrarse cómo quiera, y lo empecé a aplicar. Entendí que cómo estuviera yo estaba bien, y que no está mal mostrar el cuerpo, que el pudor es anormal.

Mi liberación total fue cuando me metí desnuda al sauna por primera vez y empecé a ducharme en el camarín del gimnasio, desnuda con todas las otras mujeres. Dejé de cerrar las cortinas de mi pieza para cambiarme. Esta liberación llegó a su clímax cuando me saqué la polera para bailar con sostén en un club y empecé a ir a los lagos topless cómo una más con todes y la naturaleza. Clave en mi proceso fueron las palabras “todas tenemos lo mismo”.

En Chile, ya no me da vergüenza que las mujeres me vean desnuda, pero no lo llevaría al extremo al que lo llevaba en Berlín, no iría a la playa desnuda, ni me cambiaria con las cortinas abiertas en un departamento en pleno centro de Santiago. No está en la cultura. Y cómo “old habits die hard” (los viejos hábitos tardan en morir) y vuelven residuos cuando uno está dónde estaba en el pasado, cuando me cambio en Chile y hay alguien al lado mío, le digo “no mirí” mientras me saco todo sin importar.  

4 años después de estar viviendo en Berlin, fui a ver a mi melliza a Marruecos con una amiga. Mi amiga y yo fuimos al Hammam, o baño árabe, nos sacamos la ropa cómo si nada para que nos bañaran, cómo las 2 de mi curso que yo no entendía cómo se desnudaban con tanta simpleza. Yo ya había estado cuatro años en Berlín pero mi melliza había estado cuatro en Abu Dhabi, cuándo le contamos del Hammam nos preguntó espantada “¿Se sacaron TODO?” y su amiga de Libia se rio y dijo “Nadie se saca los calzones.“ Y así fue que les empecé a contar esta historia.

Yo en mi climax de liberación pudorosa (notese al stand boarder a la izquierda).

La Avena y mis Fases de Obsesión.

¿Avena? QUÉ FOME! Nunca aprecié la avena de chica, prefería mil veces comer Chocapic, Pillows o Fruit Loops. No la entendía. Para mi solo eran hojitas blancas desabridas. Nunca le presté atención a la avena.

Cuando empezó la moda de usar Pinterest me pasaba noches enteras buscando ideas de todo, entre todo, ideas de desayunos. Esto fue justo a la edad en que me empecé a dar cuenta que si comía Pillows me costaba más moverme, osea que no hacía muy bien. Cuando comía los cereales de siempre antes de subir el cerro, cada paso me pesaba mucho más. Y bueno, con Pinterest me empecé a encontrar con muchos bowls de porridge y smoothies.

Se veían TAN ricos todos los bowls, pero se veían imposibles de hacer. Los pinneaba pero nunca me imaginé que me quedarían así. Así que nunca traté.

Un día estábamos en Vichuquén y tenía hambre, o estaba aburrida, abría el refri pero no encontraba nada, típico. Era febrero, mes de mi cumpleaños, cumplo el 6, igual que Bob Marley. Así que Bob Marley estaba en el aire. Llegó el Mae a la cocina y se empezó a hacer avena.

“Colo, mira así le gustaba la avena a Bob Marley…”

Mezcló avena con leche la metió al microondas y le puso plátano, miel y almendras, cómo si nada. OMG Love at first bite! Fue como una reacción quimíca, la mezcla perfecta. Tan simple y tan rica! Nunca me voy a olvidar de ese sabor (tal vez porque lo como tan seguido ahora que está fresquito en mi memoria), tan cozy, cremoso, suave y llenador. Así, entré en el mundo de la avena. Cuando no sabía que comer en las tardes, me hacía un bowl igual a ese. No variaba mucho la receta, a lo más, si había le echaba higo seco también. De ahí, dejé la avena de lado por mucho tiempo, se me olvidaba que existía.

Mi segundo año en la u, un invierno congelado, como siempre en Alemania, en mi flat en Berlín, la avena apareció nuevamente en mi vida. Era como un lenguaje que si uno no lo habla se olvida, pero siempre queda en la cabeza y una vez que empiezas de nuevo no es difícil. Me obsesioné de nuevo, pero esta vez avancé mi práctica y lo convertí en porridge. Ponía agua y/o leche de arroz y avena en una olla hasta que hervía y le ponía toppings, y miel, obvio. A mi flatmate, el Owen, también le encantaba, así que era un tema en el piso, el Porridge. Lo comía todos los días, hasta que un día de nuevo se me olvidó que existía, lo comía intermitentemente, pero sin mucho interés.

La avena se olvida pero no se supera.

El año pasado me empecé a meter en la nutrición y con todo el deporte que hacía no dejaba de leer lo importante de la proteína. Vi en un post en Instagram a alguien que le echaba huevo al porridge. Un día lo probé y me obsesioné de nuevo, después de dos años de mi segunda fase de obsesión.

Esta vez empecé a hacer unos bowls calidad Pinterest, hacía el mismo proceso del porridge, pero cuando empezaba a hervir, le echaba además un huevo, cúrcuma y canela y encima puros toppings ricos y lindos. Así, mi día no era día si no empezaba con eso.

Ahora que volví a Chile no podía dejar el pan con palta. Mi día no podía empezar sin un pan con palta. Con eso, dejé la avena de lado, en el olvido de nuevo. Para lo único que la comía era cuando quería algo dulce y sano: mezclaba avena, plátano molido y huevo y lo metía al microondas y boom, hot cake, esquisito pero fome, no era lo mismo que mi querido porridge, pero el porridge no me interesaba.

Ahora, es invierno y entre que las paltas no son tan ricas en esta época y son caras, y que es invierno volví al porridge, pero al original, el de Bob Marley (según el Mae), pero calentado en olla y con toppings extra como chia, mantequilla de maní, frutillas y pera. Volví a obsesionarme. El original, reloaded. Cada fase de obsesión me ha traído ideas para llegar a la perfección del porridge.

No hay nada cómo un porridge calentito con olor a miel en una mañana con temporal cómo los que había cuando era chica.

Tips

  • Para hacer porridge: Avena con agua o leche vegetal en una olla hasta que hierva
  • Toppings: frutas, frutos secos, mantequilla de maní o almendras, higos desidratados, chia, linaza
  • Miel
  • Yoghurt

Berghain Virginity

When I started getting into the techno and clubbing scene, the infamous club, Berghain became my ultimate goal. Not that I knew what it actually meant, but everyone talked about it. If you had been inside, you had something. Only around 3% of the people who try, actually get in, like NYUAD’s acceptance rate. I thought I was ready but thank God the bouncers didn’t the first two times I tried.

Don’t use your phone, don’t smile, wear black, and look like you don’t care. That’s the typical advice anyone will give you when trying to enter Berghain. There are even online simulations and an Instagram filter to see whether you’d be rejected or not (I think it always rejects you).

And that’s exactly what we did the first time we tried with Gena and Åsa in a freezing, dark November Sunday night in our first year of Berlin. We waited for 3 hours, frozen – in my mind I had frostbite, – unable to talk because of the norms, giving too many fucks.

Heute leider nicht (Unfortunately not today)

The second time, I tried it with 4 other friends after a long rave. The bouncers just showed us the exit.

I decided I’d never try again unless someone who always went took me. I started hating on it and the bouncers. So stupid, so pretentious. Why would anyone have to dress in black and not smile to get in? I thought everything was fake and superficial. Why wouldn’t they let ME in? I was over Berghain. It didn’t deserve me.

1.5 years later, Michelle, a wild Chilean Lebanese friend of my friend Åsa visited her in Berlin. We had a beautiful day in Treptower Park swimming in the water fountain with kids like kids, eating arepas, and talking, talking, talking.

At night we went to Süss war Gestern, which used to be truly süss (sweet) but the year before. That day and the last times I went, it sucked, perhaps it was that I got older, and more pretentiously Berliner, and there it felt like it was all teenagers and tourists. We stayed for a bit and then told Michelle, “Whatever! let’s go to Berghain so that you get the experience of being rejected.”

We jumped on the tram, joking around, planning our entrance. We’d get there, go directly to the bouncer and ask to get in. In the tram there was a guy sitting by himself. We told him we were on our way to Berghain and asked if him too, jokingly. He said he was also going, and I didn’t believe it till he got off the tram, took the S-bahn to Ostbahnhof, and walked with us to the line. It all felt like a game, like everything in Berlin.

We got there and the line was huge, at least 3 hours. For sure we were not going to wait. It was obvious we weren’t getting in, as we broke all the rules. We dressed like this,

were loud, laughing, sometimes EVEN smiling. Although we didn’t have the guts to go directly to the bouncers, we did cut the line shamelessly, apologizing to the ones behind, making it clear we weren’t getting in and we just wanted to make a joke. As we came closer to the bouncers, all I could think of was the melted, cheesy, pizza I’d get immediately after being rejected. Michelle was falling asleep. A group of 3 guys cut behind us, and told us they were 40, Berliners, and they were trying Berghain for the first time. I thought obviously none of us would make it, if they hadn’t in 40 years…

We got to the front.

Sven was there,

zu dritt? we nodded.

I was about to start walking to the exit, pizza in mind…. Until unexpectedly, he showed us the way in with his hands,

Bitte…

Adrenaline rush. We were entering the techno palace, turned left into security. It felt like when you are at the airport getting checked, butterflies in your stomach, excited of the trip ahead.

Hell. Darkness. Industrialness. Our hearts pounding from an adrenaline rush running through all our bodies. Once inside, it all made sense. The rejections, the attitudes in line, who gets in who doesn’t. Calling Berghain “Church”. Inside you realize how well curated the people who get in are. It’s like the people who are there should be there. I felt high just from the way we’d gotten in. Nothing like getting in by own “merits”.

Berghain has the best sound system in the world.

Everyone is free to do whatever they want at Berghain.

As I walked up the stairs to the Berghain floor I remembered these words. The music got louder after each step, and my body started moving without me even trying. The sound. The people. Como se mueven, como se visten. The yelling. The energy. And when we reached the floor, it felt like all time stopped but everyone was still moving. I understood what the real party was. 

My enigma had always been, how the hell do you get in? This time, as a girl I met in the garden put it, “everyone is always asking how to get in, but the real question is HOW DO YOU GET OUT!?” Took me 20 hours… No wonder the entry stamp they gave me said “Don’t forget to go home”.

The next weekend I went again, actually dressed in Berghain typical attire.  A guy in the bathroom told me, hey you, I couldn’t believe you made it in last weekend with those pants, and now you know how to dress for Berghain!

**Disclaimer, I went in 4 more times, and the last times I didn’t love it. Also, the bouncers reject a lot of people who should get in, so they are not as wise as I thought they were when they let me in. The music is not always great. This is what Berlin does to you, it gets you used to only the highest standards.

Turning Silence Into Words

Every summer in Chile the highway gets clogged with cars of all types and sizes. Endless traffic jams cause you to take up to three additional hours to get to your final destination. For the most part, this is due to all the people going on holidays to the beach, lake, country side or just outside the city. Everyone wants to get outside the burning city on the weekends, so there is more traffic. However, another big part of why there is more traffic is that people drive through places that they aren’t supposed to, because they think their time is more valuable than others’.

To explain this, imagine a highway with two lanes in each direction. After the two lanes are the typical barriers that highways have, and to separate the barriers from the lanes there is “la berma”, a berm. La berma is not to be used by cars, and there are huge traffic signs all over saying “No use la berma – Do not use the berm,” but cars do fit through it, so of course some people just try and get away with it. Instead of waiting in the jam like all other cars, some decide to drive through la berma, as far as they can, and when they can’t go any further, they get back inside the jam, only to make the traffic worse. I would certainly understand people using it in case of emergency, ambulances for instance, or someone who needs to get to their destination as soon as possible as a matter of life or death. However, the majority of the people who go through la berma are just like everyone else, not in any real hurry. They, just like everyone else, want to get to their destination, to their place of comfort, as soon as possible, but they have no consideration, so they try to go faster, by making everyone else worse off. It’s frustrating when you are stuck in the same place for hours, and you see hundreds of cars passing by your side illegally, not caring, only to make everything even slower.

All my life I saw this in anger, more than because it was unfair, because it reflected a selfish mentality that very often is the stereotype of Chileans. I’ve heard many times that Chileans are characterized by trying to get the most by giving in the least, always trying to win out of situations, even when there is nothing to win, or when it’s at others’ expense. For example, if you buy something and the cashier gives you more change than what they owed you, the stereotype says that a Chilean will keep it. Of course, this is a stereotype, and by no means characterizes all Chileans, but it has a lot to say. Those people who go through the berm, while all others just wait as they are supposed to, are just like a person keeping the extra change: selfish, dishonest, and vain.

This summer it was enough. After a wonderful 10 days, living “the summer of love,” as we called it, relaxing at the lake, surrounded by family, family friends’, good food, and the sun, it was time for my friend and I to go back to Santiago. It was yet another beautiful sunny day, with a deep celest sky, all our energies were charged from those days of bloom. We were driving back to the highway, windows down, passing first through the calming sights of the deserted, dry, peaceful roads that surround the lake. I was submerged in my own thoughts, as I drove with the breeze, next to my good friend. She is one of those friends who you are so close with, that you can just get lost deep in your thoughts in peace while being together. We drove for an hour, each inside our own head, with jams from our childhood playing in the back, until we reached the highway, where the traffic jam began. I thought, “oh well, time for more meditation,” but then, it began.

The egocentric people started passing by, disturbing the peace with inconsideration. The jam would have been okay, as it is only natural for it to happen. What’s not natural is for others to make it worse by trying to make themselves better off. Every year I had just watched them pass by our car which had been sometimes stuck in the same place for hours. This year, however, I decided to, turn my silence into action, in the words of Audre Lorde. As soon as I was stuck in the traffic jam, I moved my small, little white car to the berm, and instead of driving through it, I just stopped it there so that no one could pass through. I waited in the same place as I would in the jam, but in the berm, so all those “winners” could not pass through me without having a hard time.

At first, no one tried to pass us, but after some five minutes, cars just started coming and honking, some cursing at us with their dirtiest words from their open windows. I got a bit nervous and my body started to heat up. We turned the music off, to be more aware of the surroundings. Then it just got worse, an old, red, dirty, unmaintained car passed me doing a crazy maneuver and abruptly stopped in front of mine, so that if I had reacted a second slower, I would have crashed him. We decided to close the windows and turn the air conditioner on, to help the adrenaline rush. After that, he drove through the berm as fast as he could yelling more bad words, as dirty as his car, “maraca re culia, corre tu chatarra conchetumare”. Nervous as I was, I still decided I would not move, because I was stating a point. Plus, I had my friend to support me, I doubt that I’d do that if I was alone.

Another car joined us in the fight for five minutes, it helped me remain confident of what I was doing, some sort of reassurance.  But it was just not worth it for them to do more, so we were left alone in the fight again.

A taxi driver was next, “Mind your own business, live your own life, you’re not the police, pendeja culia” – Chilean curse that means something like “dumbass fucked bitch.” Wow. My friend yelled back to him, calmly and politely, “we are minding our own business, you are making us lose time, and so we are reacting.” He just kept yelling the same, accompanied by insults, as people with no arguments do.

In total I did this for 15 minutes. By the end I had to stop because I realized I would not be able to make a point with these people, it wasn’t really worth it, and most importantly, it was dangerous.

The last thing that happened, was that a 50-year-old woman, with kids in her expensive, grey, monster car after yelling “hija de puta, córrete o te saco la chucha,” a vulgar way to say “son of a bitch, move or I’ll fuck you up,”  threw a yoghurt at my car- or one of her kids did, following her instructions because she was driving,- in rage because I did not let her pass. After this I stopped, and as the strawberry smell of the yoghurt filled my nostril, I started thinking what a great example this mother was for her children.

I realized some people are actually insane and go against all logic; people of all social classes, age, and gender. They will fight for something that goes against others, convinced that they are right. They will fight for their own selfish, unreasonable self. At the end, a minority can always cause a huge impact on the majority.

This experience made me realize that if you are not an authority it is hard, maybe even impossible, to fight against injustice. People are capable of fighting for things that are unjustifiable and are willing to do inexplicable things just to get what they want.  I guess if it had been more than one car trying to fight against the others, it could have been more possible, but everyone seems to know that trying to fight for this does not lead anywhere, so no one really does it. This taught me to better choose my battles, and to not expect people to be reasonable. If something like this is so hard to fight for, I can only imagine what it takes to fight against real injustices like racism. This experience took some of my faith in humanity away because it reflected so many of its bigger scale issues.

Metaphysics y mi condena

Metaphysics. I’d heard this word a few times before, just thrown out there, to the sea of conversation. Thrown out with or without meaning. Thrown out to impress, or just to say something that doesn’t sound so trivial, thrown out even because it goes well with physics, meta physics. It was a word that always popped up in my mind, slowly ricocheting. Randomly. Black letters in a white background, sometimes even on a black galactic background, the letters had a grey border. The word gave enough rounds through my head to lodge itself in it. It’s still there.

When I was about to finish High School, I knew it was a word for which I wanted to read books about. It seemed like such a big topic that would answer many of my infinite never-ending questions. Those that come one after the other, and when I’m hearing the answer to one of them, it brings me to a question that leads the discussion to a whole new world, and then Mae, my step-dad, asks, “do you really want to know the answer if you’ll jump to a whole other subject?” (yes, I do). I thought that when I understood the word metaphysics, things would change.

I remember I downloaded a book called Metaphysics, but I never read it of course. I have this condition which makes me collect books, through downloads, through friends, through libraries, but never actually read them, leaving them on my important-to-do-in-my-lifetime pile. I guess this condition started for me in high school, when we had to read Gabriel García Márquez’ Cien años de soledad (CAS). I never finished it. I was doing the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Higher Level (HL) Literature in Spanish AND English, so I had many readings to do for these classes and five others, including HL Economics. Everyone read it everywhere. The hallways were full of bookworms, swallowing every page. All I saw was people reading it. My sister on the kitchen floor, sitting criss-crossed with the book in between her legs. Era mi condena. A lot of people managed. I didn’t. Not with CAS. God-Damned CAS. I got my first zero for a test thanks to CAS. Yes, literally a big fat zero, from Franco, my ancient god of a teacher. I had always been an A+ student, but there it was, my first zero. I hung it on my wall.

Bookshelf in my room

And still, the book was there to be read. It was the book everyone spoke about, even my mom who always says she just read 2 books for school, one of them CAS. How couldn’t I ever finish it? Even she had! The world’s laziest novel reader. And so I graduated from school and I decided to finally finish it. It was my project. It would be my Summer 2016 book.

Summer 2016, I was only able to reach page 250.

I gave it a shot the next summer, but had to start from page one, because I didn’t remember anything, and I need to know E V E R Y T H I N G that’s happening if I want to continue. That adds to my condition: I need to read every word of every page, otherwise I get desperate. That makes me a slow reader, which discourages me from reading. This time I made it to page 300!

In between, it was the book I recommended to everyone, whenever I got the chance to show off my literacy. I moved to Berlin, and the book felt like an encyclopedia of South American society, the ways families work in the continent, and how my own family relates. It brought me back to my home, my roots, our collective roots, and helped me grasp some of the things I always knew were happening but could never put into words. Ursula, one of the main characters, reminded me of Mama, the grandma I adopted for myself. Ursula was old and blind. Still, she managed to know where everything was physically and how every single person of her family looked and was doing. Mama is nearly deaf and sees blurry. She always tells me she’s afraid of dying, because she wants to look after us, her family, she wants to know what we are all up to and see us grow.

CAS helped me grasp some of the things I always knew were happening but could never put into words. Things like the way in which colonization impacted the future of Latin America until today. What Eduardo Galeano talked about in his essay Las venas abiertas de Latinoamérica: how foreigners came and exploited the land and its natives, making the latter visitors in their own country. The names of the characters in the book seem as archetypes for people, highlighting the importance of heritage and history, and that labels can determine destiny. The book plays with reality in ways I didn’t think were possible. For example, the story starts at the beginning of time, when many things still had no name, so to refer to them you could only point at them. Also, when a plague of insomnia came and nobody could manage to sleep. At first it wasn’t a problem, but then people started forgetting everything. One of the characters labeled the furniture around the house so they wouldn’t forget their names, just like when we learn Deutsch and paste words all around our flats. 

The book is entirely fiction, magical realism, but everything is a hidden analogy of our history in South America. In this way, it is a useful fiction, like the models we use in Economics to understand the world. Useful fictions are simplified representations of reality that are not true but become a tool to learn and make sense of our messy world. Again, I stopped reading it, lo dejé, como el cigarro que lo he dejado 4 veces. I gave it one more shot in Winter 2017. Page 350. That was as far as I could manage. I opened it up on this page four times during the next two years, but still, all I could do was 360. I realized I hadn’t read any books in between, I was stuck, thanks to my mentality of all-in or all-out. I decided I couldn’t finish it, I was condemned to never finishing it, to 100 years of my own solitude. Finishing this book wasn’t written on my life’s path.

I allowed myself to leave CAS, and with that permission came my responsibility of recommending it and talking about it to anyone with confidence. After all, even without finishing it, I could still somehow relate it to my own life, my family, our society in Latin America, and our society as a whole. The decision to leave CAS opened up a new world for me: I was finally able to read new books. I started with Just Kids by Patti Smith, and devoured it, as it is a beautiful opportunity to get inside the world of art and read the story of two soul mates. The Unbearable Lightness of Being came next and helped me describe my feelings after a long night out with Piscola and Champagne. Mix champagne with Pisco and boom, the recipe for feeling the unbearable lightness of being. Then, Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis, Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s vocalist, a painful, accessible account of addiction and rock music. Now I’m reading Bukowski’s Ham on Rye, and it has made me understand how everyone is shaped by their past. How can someone who’s never felt love give away love?

Anyway, Metaphysics. It still mingles in my subconscious. But two years ago, I was sitting at my kitchen in Lichtenberg. Owen, my dear flat mate and friend, had two friends of a friend visiting, and we had a spare room. One of them was Dane. We started talking about what we can’t perceive but still exists, the many occurrences that could be either coincidences or fate. We couldn’t really say anything concrete, but somehow the conversation led us both to say “Metaphysics,” at the same time. Metaphysics was in every sentence, behind the actual meaning we wanted to give to our words. It was the structure and the essence. “It’s the meta, it’s all in the meta,” we kept saying to each other. I had never actually read the definition of Metaphysics, and wasn’t sure I knew its meaning, but sitting in our dimly lit Wohnung’s kitchen, our center for “tertulias”, talking to this new Dane dude, it all made sense. It felt like I had always known the meaning, as if it was part of our collective conscience. It seemed like he did too. He knew it. We both knew it without having to explain. Sometimes you just feel it, you just understand without words, that’s metaphysics.

Today is the first time I look up the definition:

The Public Broadcasting Service defines metaphysics as a philosophy or study that “is concerned with explaining the features of reality that exist beyond the physical world and our immediate senses.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says metaphysical realism is the idea that reality exists independently of how inquiring agents take it to be or of our ability to discover it. Wow, just what I had always felt it was. Perhaps what I call collective conscience, and I explain through my thought that we all have inherited thoughts from our ancestors actually has a name: Realism. All this year I’ve wondered if there are any universal truths, truths that are truly independent of who or what you are. Does metaphysics hold the answer? 

Don’t worry if you didn’t understand the last paragraph. Metaphysics is still here and there. Metaphysics is what gives those thoughts I couldn’t piece together about South America an existence. It makes them real, independent of one’s mind. It is what Gabriel García Márquez is able to put into words through metaphors and analogies. It’s one of those things you just know. It’s the reason why I was never able to finish CAS.

Campanilismo

Four months living in the bellisima student città di Bologna with 4 cozy, carini, best conquilini italiani (and one from Cameroon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

has given me the chance to meet even more Italians, more cities and regions, and learn more about the Italian culture from insider’s perspectives (and eat a lot of food). I had been in Italy a few times before, but living here gave me a whole new perspective of the nation. I was intrigued by several aspects, but today I will just speak about one: Campanilismo.  

Last week I took 3 Blablacars to go to Chamonix (one to Milan from Bologna, one to Chamonix, and one back), I really recommend it as it’s a way to get to know locals in the country where you are at (got to practice my italian too :D)! In the first car I met 2 very nice Italian guys, one from Imola, and one from Modena, two towns 1 hour away from each other, and 30 minutes away from Bologna. Even though these two towns are just 1 hour away from each other and part of the same region (Emilia Romagna), they described them to me as if they were very different from each other. The one from Imola told me that he could tell exactly who was from Imola and who wasn’t just by their accent. Anyways, both of them loved the towns they came from and at the same time spoke of Bologna with infinite love, and described it the same way I would, “a cozy place that immediately feels like home,” it’s very alive, there’s always people in the streets.  

With this, I consolidated my theory that Italians are very proud of the region and even small town they are from, and that they feel each region is very different from each other, even small towns are. And, no wonder, for each place is physically different. For example, traveling around the Emilia Romagna region (Modena, Ravenna, Bologna) I’ve seen that cities are mostly colored with red colors, whereas in the south, in Puglia, the cities have lighter white and grey colors. Feeling wise they are also different: as they say, in the North, people are more busy, there is more movement and not so much peace, while in the south I get the feeling that you can live the “dolce far niente” the pleasure of not doing anything, you walk the streets and you feel peace and tranquility. The food is also different: the original pizza, for example, comes from Napoli, and as you move away from Napoli the pizza might look similar but it does not taste the same. (I will never forget the taste of the pizza I had in Napoli, although the one in Bologna is delicious too, there’s something that is not the same). All Italians will probably agree that the real pizza is Napolitan, and if a Napolitan tries pizza in Milan, they probably will say it’s not the real one. Even the way they make coffee, as Lucia (my flatmate) taught me, if you make coffee in the mokka, in the South you should fill up the filter basket as much as possible, whereas in the North they put less coffee in the filter basket.  

Resultado de imagen para cafe moka machine part with coffee

And so I told this to the guys in the Blablacar, that I thought Italians thought of their regions as almost independent of Italy. They told me this was true and that there was a word for it: Campanilismo. Campanilismo comes from the word Campanile, which means “bell tower.” Italy is a Catholic country, and as such, many of its towns were built around churches with a campanile. Thus, the campanile is a symbol of the local, the place where one belongs to. Later, I learned from Marco, another flatmate, that Italy was united not too long ago, some 150 years ago. Before, it was just independent states, like Rome, Napoli, Florence… (food for thought: it’s as if Bolivar had made his dream of uniting all of Southamerica into one nation come true! except Italy is much smaller LOL) This explains A LOT. No wonder that when you ask an Italian where they are from, it’s common that they’ll answer “I’m Roman, I’m Florentine, I’m Tuscan, Napolitan….” it’s all because of this Campanilismo and the history. 

But even though the regions are so different from each other, many of the Italian stereotypes are true all along the nation (in my opinion Italy is the country with the truest, most visible stereotypes).

Now I will generalize a lot, hope no one gets offended (NO REASON TO).

All the Italians I’ve met know how to cook pasta and they all think (and they are right) their way is the right way, they eat pizza and pasta, they drink espresso for breakfast, they talk with lots of hand gestures,

(DO YOU Know what this is?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

they love their moms and grandmas, they are emotional and caring, and they know a lot about the place where they come from, and they are proud of it.

And now I leave you with galleries of different places I went to this year in Italy, so that you get an idea of how different they are physically. 

Bologna (COZY HOME)

Napoli (THE ITALIAN JUNGLE) 

Milan (I GET NO VIBE FROM MILAN)

Puglia (Lecce, Otranto, Brindisi, Grotta della Poesia) (TRANQUIL)

Capri, Positano, Sorrento (ELEGANCE, PLEASURE)

La Spezia, Cinque Terre (COUNTRYSIDE FEELS)

Lago di Garda (ELEGANT)

El Plomo

Cúando se murió Jano, el papá de Mae, lo cremaron. Sus hijos cumplieron su deseo, y dejaron la mitad de sus cenizas en Vichuquén, y la otra mitad en El Plomo.

Por eso descubrí el Plomo y lo subí por primera vez hace 10 años atrás con un grupo gigante de unas 15 personas. Hace 10 años partimos en caballos y con mulas para llevar los bolsos. Fuimos con Seba, nuestro vecino hiker, escalador, bacán, que fue el líder de nuestra experiencia y llevó un domo gigante dónde todos nos juntábamos a comer y chillear cuando no estábamos subiendo.  

 

 

 

 

 

La Josefina y yo jugábamos a las cartas en la tierra con Santiago mientras esperábamos a partir en los caballos.

Maea nos había regalado a Josefina y a mí una camarita enana de Bob Esponja, y todas las fotos que sacamos con ella eran de novatas y tenían nuestro dedo en las esquinas. Igual tenían un toque ochentero.

 

 

Tenía 10 años así que supuestamente todo era mucho más alucinante, y la barra quedó altísima para las próximas idas al Plomo. Tenía 10 años y todavía me acuerdo de los detalles, el susto en algunas subidas a caballo que parecían tener precipicios. 

                

La segunda vez fue igual de alucinante, y eso que ya tenía unos 17-8 años. Las vistas del Plomo no se olvidan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Las cosas que se aprenden de la montaña tampoco. La primera vez, descubrí que las piedras puestas una encima de la otra por personas se llaman “monolitos” y sirven para distintas cosas, cómo mostrar que alguien estuvo ahí, o mostrar el camino o hasta para marcar dónde alguien hizo caca (si no le ponen un palito). En los tres viajes, nunca dejo de notar los monolitos. La primera vez también descubrí lo importante que es tomar agua, si no la puna es más probable aún. En el segundo viaje aprendí a sacar fotos de las estrellas en la noche, gran logro para mi proceso fotográfico!

           

Las noches de estrellas mágicas acompañadas de nuestro descubrimiento que en el cielo, entre las estrellas, estaba el hijo del heredero de Orión, y muchas risas no se olvidan. 

      

Compartía carpa con Josefina y una noche se despertó toda sonámbula y me trató de convencer que la carpa se había dado vuelta mientras dormíamos.

Pero de la vez que más puedo contar es de la última, que fue hace menos de dos semanas. Maea le puso mucho empeño y lo organizó perfecto. Invitó al grupo preciso. Obvio, estaban los infaltables, los de siempre, pero esta vez también vinieron nuevas personas. La Josefina dijo un día en la fogata que le encantaba ir al Plomo y que le impresionaba que las tres veces que habíamos ido habían sido con distintos grupos, y cada grupo era igual de increíble y entretenido. Steven le respondió algo muy cierto, “no cualquiera sube una montaña.”

Partimos cinco caminantes y atrás nuestro venían los a caballo. A mi me encanta ir caminando envés de a caballo porque así me canso, lo siento más como un desafío, disfruto más de la vista y puedo ir dónde yo quiera. 

 

Supuestamente, el tiempo nos iba a acompañar y nos iba a tocar despejado todos los días, pero a penas llegamos al lugar dónde íbamos a acampar, empezó una tormenta, y muchos creímos que se iba a romper el cielo de lo fuerte que eran los truenos. Primero se veía así:

Y, a penas llegamos al campamento, se volvió todo blanco, lleno de nieve. Todos nos apuramos para armar las carpas rápido y tener dónde refugiarnos. El frío y las ganas de tener un techo para esconderse de la lluvia hizo que todos se apuraran y ayudaran a armar las carpas.

y justo cuando estábamos listos, dejó de nevar, salió el sol, y en menos de 10 minutos toda la nieve se fue, y quedó así:

Fue impresionante, no podía creer lo rápido que podía cambiar el paisaje arriba en la montaña. Abajo en Santiago, deben haber hecho unos 30°, arriba con la tormenta yo diría que unos 5°. Cuando hay sol, está exquisito, y a penas se va hace UN FRÍO, que hay que ponerse hartas capas, tomar cosas calientes y sentarse en la fogata a comer marshmellows.                   

 

Cuando uno va a acampar a la montaña, lo único que tiene es lo que lleva. No solo cosas físicas, como la comida y el equipaje, si no que también el conocimiento y lo que viene en la cabeza. Arriba no hay internet obviamente (LOL), así que todo lo que se habla sale de la cabeza y de lo que cada uno sabe y ha vivido. La música que hay, también es la que cada uno ha guardado, no se pueden buscar nuevas canciones, así que todo es cosa del momento, sin interferencia tecnológica. 

Las cosas cotidianas que uno hace en la ciudad sin pensar, en la montaña son tema. Por ejemplo, ir al baño. No es llegar y meterse al baño con water y confort, si no que hay que ir, buscar un lugar dónde no te vean y dónde nadie haya hecho caca antes (idealmente), y llevarte el confort con que te limpiaste y meterlo en tu basura personal para no dejar cochinadas en el cerro. El Plomo es muy seco así que no hay árboles. El lugar dónde acampamos solo tenía una roca gigante así que todos íbamos detrás de ella al baño. Así que el último día había que tener cuidado para no encontrarse con una sorpresa asquerosa.

Aunque si eres un caballo, no lo tienes que pensar. 

La comida es otro ejemplo. En la cocina, podemos dejar la comida ahí no más, pero en la montaña no, por que se la pueden comer los zorros. El gas con el que uno va es lo único que hay así que hay que cuidarlo para poder cocinar. 

Es rico caminar todo el día y estar cansadísimo en la noche. En especial porque dormir en saco de dormir no es lo más cómodo del mundo, así que es ideal llegar agotado al saco. 

De día cuando no se camina, es rico tirarse al piso a descansar y calentarse con el sol, o simplemente estar ahí.

 

Aunque si eres Agustín y te apunas (por la altura, no de punes), no sé si es tan rico tener que tirarte al piso por obligación. 

Aunque Mae ya había subido el Plomo hartas veces antes de conocernos, nosotros no lo habíamos subido nunca. Es probable que si mi mamá no lo hubiera conocido, nunca hubiéramos subido el Plomo. Gracias a Maea descubrí la magia de la montaña y que era algo que me encantaba. Así que shoutout al Mae!

Gracias a Mae y a su familia también descubrí que la muerte de alguien querido se puede hacer bonita con “ceremonias” como esta. Cuándo me muera también quiero que me cremen y dejen mis cenizas en algún lugar que disfruté mientras vivía, en vez de encerrada en una tumba debajo de la tierra. Me encantaría que me dejaran en un lugar tan especial como el Plomo, para que cada vez que me vayan a ver, sea algo entretenido. Cada vez que subimos el Plomo lo pasamos increíble. En este caso una muerte reunió y reune a distintas personas en cada ocasión y nos da nuevas experiencias.

Todos suben la montaña con distintas ideas o distintos propósitos, pero siempre se comparte y se disfruta. Las vistas del Plomo no se olvidan. Y ojalá vengan muchos viajes al Plomo más.

Matrixes

Yesterday I started learning something new in Math class: Matrixes. I had heard about it many times before, but to be honest, I was thankful I never had to do new things in math, although math is full of surprises and explanations to things. Apart from being something complicated to grasp at first, learning about matrixes made me think all the time: How could anyone come up with this?! Whoever keeps saying math is not an art is wrong. All these important mathematicians were creative enough to come up with the idea of finding this ONE point.

Creating math

Is math something that is already there and we can just discover it? Not invent it? Probably yes, although, probably no. If it is, then its existance is implicit. We can’t see it unless we have the creativity to imagine that there could be math behind this one thing. Then its existance is microscopic, like cells (we couldn’t see cells until they discovered they existed and we can only see them through a microscope.)

Math lets us see the patterns behind things, the numerical explanation, the formula of things. Do leaves become by following the Fibonacci sequence? The formula comes first, and then the leaf? Yes, the Fibonacci sequence is probably/definetely impregnated in the DNA of a leaf. This means math is part of the basis of things; the code of so many things, if not all. Could math be the God? It makes sense that it is something big, the logic behind things, perhaps the way to find the tangible explanation of the universe and beyond.

Yes, I live by the idea (or try to) that life is just there to be lived, no explanation needed (yeah right). There is no meaning more than living it to the fullest, but yes, life could be part of a formula or pattern like the Matrix which led to all that life is now.

The Matrix is, apparently, one of the inspirations for the movie, which is also inspired by Descartes’ Evil Deceiver. The idea that all we can really be certain of is that we are thinking. However, there is a possibility that we are all just a creation of the Evil Deceiver, that being who is experimenting with us and making us see, sense, and live all that we think we are seeing, sensing, and living. When in reality, we might just be a small particle living in a jar full of water with cables connected to all of our bodies in order to make us feel the different things the Evil Deceiver wants us to feel for whatever his purpose (boredom? Psychological experiment?). Perhaps we are all just part of a scientific experiment by scientists who are so advanced in science that they have created us from a different dimension. Could math be the source to dig deeper into the rabbit hole?

Yet, the fact that I’m writing this makes me think it’s pure bullshit. But that’s the magic of life: that everything is actually a possibility. All of this could sound just like a crazy idea by someone trying to pass time, but in reality, it could be possible, and I know I’m not wrong about this, unless math can prove me incorrect.

Anyways, math leads to so many places. It’s hard for me to think a mathematician is no artist, because he creates the idea of searching for the mathematical explanation to the most random of things.

 

  • Photo is from a wall in Lucca, which I came across the day after writing this! (Everything is connected to everything!)

Road to Budapest, Road to Belgrade

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This is Åsa (pronounced Osa), from Sweden, although for me, Argentinian Latina at heart. She lived for years in Argentina and the first time I heard her speak I simply thought she was from there. To put it simply, she’s crazy, and when she realized we had a week of Fall Break in October, she told me we should hitchhike to Romania.

The idea of hitchiking in Europe had always been in my mind, but I always thought it was something that I’d do in a veeeery long time, and very hesitantly.

The day came closer, and when I told my mom I would do it, she said, “Okay, I don’t give you permission to do it, but ask Mae (my wise stepdad)”  He told me it was simply an unnecessary risk, but he didn’t want to control me from afar, because now we live thousands of kilometers away.

Over many talks we finally decided we’d go to Budapest and then see where life would take us.

And so the day came. I met Åsa at Altglienicke, a place in Berlin where the road leads to the highway where there’s no speed limit :O. It was a cold fall morning that seemed more like winter. And then we stood at the highway for around 40 minutes with our fingers raised for someone to take us closer to Budapest.

Our first ride was a nice guy with his two little German daughters. He was on his way to Dresden to leave them with their Opa and Oma for vacations. It was an enjoyable ride, they didn’t speak much english so I was happy to get the opportunity to practice my German :D. He left us at a gas station close to Dresden and we were lucky enough to get a ride to somewhere close to Prague in less than one minute. This time, it was two Czech girls who spoke like 10 words of English, but were really nice and told us they were heading to the Czech mountains for some days of hiking. They left us in a McDonalds and gas station stop, where we had to wait for around 2 hours to finally get a ride. This time it was a Slovakian Economics teacher who was in Berlin for the weekend at a coin show, because he was a coin collector, his name was Branislav. We talked the whole way until we finally made it to a gas station at the end of Bratislava.

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On the road

Coming from Chile, the long country, where you can ride your car for 20 hours and still be in the same country, these rides kept amazing me. It’s so weird that in Europe you can be in another country in a matter of minutes, by land. Also, language changes as soon as you switch countries.

It was already dark, but luck kept accompanying us. We were at that stop for around 30 minutes, till we found two cool women from Budapest who had gone to Prague for the weekend to celebrate one of their 40th birthdays. Although language was also a barrier, we shared some nice conversations, listened to awesome lit music like Madonna (when you call my name it’s like a little prayer), and gave us chocolate and cookies until we had a chocolate coma HAHA.

As we crossed the bridge over the Danube river and gazed at the beautifully illuminated city we were left speechless, and realized we had made it to Budapest. There, we did couchsurfing for a couple of nights.

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Our couchsurfer’s apartment

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And our breakfast

Unfortunately, the weather was sooo bad that it didn’t let us witness the magic of Budapest at day, but we met up with our friend Mila, and had fun hiking up a small hill at the Buda side.

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Mila

I must say, the biggest highlight of Budapest was the food

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Cheese Soup

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Nutella Langosh

After 3 days, it was time for us to get on the road again. We decided to go to Belgrade, just because we could. We took a bus to a small petrol station at the outsides of the south of Budapest. After 2 hours without any luck, we decided to just go to Prague, thinking it’d be easier, but just as we made that decision, we found a ride to go to Belgrade :D. This time it was two businessmen who gave us the best compliment: “you guys look so free”

We made it to Belgrade when it was already dark, and since it was a last minute plan to go there we didn’t know where we’d sleep. Thankfully, we saw a Marriot Hotel (I think) close to the highway and made our way there to get some internet and try to find a couchsurfing host. This time we weren’t lucky, so we just booked a 6 euro hostel where Åsa thought she got bed bugs.

Going to Belgrade after being in the European Union for so long, specifically Germany, a very developed country, was at first a shock for me. Specially because we got there at night and walked through places with people sleeping in the streets, and through deserted streets, I thought Belgrade was an abandoned, unhappy place. But, I was proved the opposite the next day, when we met our friend Marta,

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who showed us the beauty of the city as she walked us through the fortress. (More photos at the gallery)

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Åsa had worked at a hostel in Turkey, and when she put a picture on Facebook showing that she was in Belgrade, her ex boss texted her saying we should go to the hostel where he was staying, Akrabarka, a floating hostel in the Sava river. For 12 euros we got a room in the best hostel ever with breakfast, dinner, and an open-bar included!!!

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Our terrace

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Morning views

It was really cool because Åsa’s ex boss was there for a meeting with owners of the best hostels in Europe. So, the hostel was full of really interesting, successful hostel owners, and we arrived on the night of their good-bye party!

Our last night we couchsurfed at a crazy musicians house, and went to eat dinner while we discussed the magic of not being normal.

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Belgrade was an extremely interesting city, full of history. At the 6 euro hostel, we met a Serbian woman who told us her experience during the Yugoslavian war. You learn so much from talking to locals of the city you visit while traveling. The two most interesting topics for me there were, the Yugoslavia war and the many Syrian refugees that came to Serbia as a last stop before entering the European Union. (Too much to write in this post)

Then, it was time to leave Belgrade and head back to Berlin

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Our way back was a whole other story, but in summary, after around 15 cars, hours of walking, and amazing people, we made it home :D. (It’s funny because after just 6 days being away from Berlin, I had already began to miss it.)

We passed by Bratislava on our way back, to meet Branislav again (the guy who took us to Bratislava on our way to Budapest), who had invited us to have lunch at his house on our way back to Berlin.

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This was just a small portion of all the super-mega-delicious food he gave us: duck, dumpling, and purple cabbage.

 

Literature accompanies you through the different phases of your life, you interpret it the way you must in order to understand yourself in a precise moment. Like literature, travelling helps me understand myself better, realize what I want to do, and find my track again. When I travel, I happen to meet the right people or happen to live the right moments to help me refocus and rediscover myself. This trip happened to be incredible because everything was unexpected, and with Åsa we were open to any opportunities.

and of course, it was even better because I travelled with one of the best travel-companions!

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Extras:

  • Hitchiking at gas stations is safer than just standing in the road, because you actually get to talk to the people you ask to take you beforehand.
  • Trusting your instinct is vital.