17 Jul 2010

Two amazing weeks outside Copenhagen

Getting out of the Denmark was a nice experience. As always, so many things has happened that it’s hard to remember them all. Even more – to put them down in a written form. Let’s start from the very beginning.


My trip started on the 1st of July. I took a plane and went straight to the Berlin. The place I haven’t been to for almost 10 years and to meet someone special I haven’t seen for 4 years. I knew it’s must be good. So I arrived safely in one piece, managed to find a public transportation that fitted me, get to the meeting point and even find Tiago with no big troubles at all.

First night was an easy one. We have been eating a chocolate cake [I just realized how much I would want a piece right now], walking along the river and through the city center streets. We have been talking, remembering old days, old friends, laughing from different people around. It was fun. We had a beer, went to the old, almost non-functional building, where apparently some strange artists like to sell stuff and maybe live, made fun of a beach bar downstairs, since there is no beaches in Berlin and went back to sleep – for me it was just visiting, but for Tiago – it was working day.

Next day we split – he went to work, gave me his bike and I went for a little trip around Berlin on two wheels. I started my journey with the visit to the Easy Side Gallery of Berlin Wall. Surprisingly to myself, I enjoyed it very much. Even though I wanted to see ‘the real wall’, all of those paintings and drawings on the wall just made it so interesting. I headed then to the CheckPoint Charlie where, in those days, there were tanks, pointed one at another, ready to fire, just waiting for the signal. That place looks like from those days only a little bit. Endless amounts of tourists just make it not real anymore. Of course, I may add that trying to reach this Charlie was a bit of a challenge to me. Names of the streets are unbelievable in Germany and some roundabouts are not really roundabouts even if this is how they show that in the map. At the end I managed to reach it and I think I should be proud of myself.

After I was just biking and exploring the ‘touristic points’ of the city – just like one more ordinary person, who happened to come to Berlin. I managed to get lost once again in that big park [still no idea how it’s called though], but this time it wasn’t really even my fault – half of the roads and paths were closed and trusting map became just impossible. Finally I managed to get out of it, completely tired from biking under hot sun all day long and went to meet Tiago. Once again we walked a bit around the city, made some pictures, had some fun, and headed home.

After talking about “Goodbye Lenin” Tiago convinced me to watch it. It’s a movie, just so you know, and pretty good one, if you would be interested. So while I was watching the movie Tiago was making us dinner. Oh I’m just loving when a guy is making food for me, so I enjoyed waiting. It became a bit late, but we still went out, grabbed some beers and went to sit next to the river for a little chat. It was very much fun, even though we had a break of four years, we still managed to talk as no gap was presented.

We ended up coming back home, I would say, irrationally too late, but no matter to that, we stopped by for watching some TV series. It’s a good thing I remembered it, because I really need to download it. Well, I am not sure if it was the lack of sleep or the company, but I laughed so hard while watching it. You might wanna try it, it’s calles: “IT crowd”. British specific humor, but if You can handle it, you will like it. Even though I wouldn’t have mind to watch some more, I knew I have to get up way too early next [well, same if being exact] morning, so we got to sleep. After three hours I packed, woke him up just long enough to say goodbye and left again. To the place I call Weberlinze, because I honestly have no idea how it is spelled correctly for some seminars.

While going to the place by metro, train and bus I have been thinking: I don’t consider Berlin itself to be interesting. Being with Tiago, that’s what made it interesting. And most probably, if ever decide to go back, that’s going to be because of the people, ant nothing more.


The place itself is nothing special – just a small kind of village in the middle of nowhere close to Berlin. The only reason I was there was YES 2010 seminar, where I was supposed to run some seminars. It was a nice experience, especially because I met some of my friends that I haven’t seen for almost a year. And some new people that even though I did not meet before, they already helped huge amounts for me.
We played some hairdressers, made some origami, had some, I am not even sure if I should call them weird or uncomfortable, but interesting on some level as well. Still keep on wondering – how did we come up to them.

Anyways, in this place I had way too little of the time and I needed to get away, so I could go to another place. The place I was looking for for a year and the place, there I was supposed to meet some amazing people from the near past.

Of course, me and no troubles while getting somewhere or something does not really work together. So I was waiting for a bus as a complete normal person and on time, expected for once orderly Germany to kick in. The bus arrives on time, but he does not take me with it, explaining something in its own language and not caring that I don’t know a word in it and basically kicks me out of it and drives the opposite direction. Ok that’s fine by me, I am just waiting for the right one. After waiting for maybe 15 minutes it becomes clear that it’s either not coming or I am going to be late for my flight. So I call and leave a desperate ‘please get me out of here’ message. Gladly there is a person who is willing to give me a ride to the train and I am reaching train station successfully and on time.

Leaving Germany gives me not too much of sentimentality, maybe because a new excitement about the new place I am going to is arising inside of me.

Trying to reach Cabo Verde in one piece

Turns out – it’s not the easiest thing to do after all. Three connected flights were waiting for me and only one hour in between of them just made me a little bit worried and paranoid that last year’s success with getting stuck in Casablanca might repeat itself. And of course, my luck did not disappoint me, my first flight was a little late and I was running to the second one. Second one was a little bit delayed, to I made it on time but it gave me even more stress about getting into the last one on time. To be honest, missing that flight would not be a complete disaster because I would have to spend night and day in Lisbon, city, that I find amazingly nice, so, I thought, if it happens it happens.

It was 15 minutes until my last plane was supposed to take off and I was still in the bus that was supposed to take me from plane to the airport, still waiting for the lazy slow people to move in it. I was cursing inside my head and already thinking where to get a map for Lisbon and how to get my friends from Lisbon phone numbers so I could meet them when some worker from airport came with a table, with Praia written on it and was calling for passengers to come. So I changed my bus, with some optimistic ideas about getting into the place but kind of buried possibilities of getting my luggage on time.

So here I run, trying to find the gates, almost starting screaming out loud “don’t go without me”, still trying to figure out where exactly I should go and then I hear “run run”. For a moment I just wanted to turn to that person and tell him/her to do something not very nice with himself/herself, but then I actually turned and I saw my people, from last year, the ones I have been waiting to see once again. I was kinda shocked and surprised seeing them, even though I had a feeling I will meet at least some of them at this plane but with all the stress of being late I just completely forgot.

So the last plane was delayed a bit as well and we all managed to get to it. Some sleep in the plane and we are in Praia. We have been waiting for our luggage and I was praying for mine to come, because once again, with all the hurrying I did not pack extra-survival in my hand luggage. Turns out, my luggage arrived, we passed through passport checks with no checking at all, outside the airport met Ludgero, who is an adorable amazing person and friend, and moved to the place where we were supposed to stay for our training. For a week. Since it was night, we could not really see the surrounding and what we have around. The only thing we realized that night – we are in the middle of nowhere. Well, that can be exciting too, right?

Staying in the prison

Well ok, it wasn’t a prison at all. Just a fancy place in the middle of nowhere. You could get out of it, just if you go, you turn out to be nowhere, just surrounded by mountains and the only place you can reach is the sea. Which is a good thing, of course, but getting out to the city to see the real Cabo Verdian life was out of reach.

The first morning we woke up we got this amazing view from the window – mountains and the sea. What else better anyone could expect? Since we had no program in the morning, we decided to go to the beach. It was brilliant, really, to go there, has some nice time fighting waves. We were something like seven of us, enjoying the sun and water. I managed to do one thing from my ‘to do list’ and I was able to cross it out of the list.

We got back to the place at some point later, had some lunch, had first seminar, waited for the night. At some point Ahmed arrived, which was very exciting for me, because I missed him, I missed our conversations, dream team building, the power of three questions and answers sessions. We have been sitting and talking and having some nice time together. Re-union with those people touched me more than I could have hoped. I was literally speechless at some points, just wishing this would never end.

For the several couple of days the schedule was the following – trainings, seminars, opening ceremonies, dancing and listening to African music, having some nice time at nights. There was still missing this part of interacting with locals, feeling the real Cabo Verde, but we still managed to get the best out of the situation we have been in.

One day the history decided to repeat itself. I’ve got sick, my stomach decided to strike. So when everybody enjoyed a football match and beach, I have been struggling with my stomach, trying to feel better, getting some sleep and wanted to recover so much. Sleeping for 3-4 hours per day did not help too much in this either.
One day was very promising. We went to the city. I can’t remember the name, but it was the first place where Europeans got to Africa in medieval ages. It was great, we saw locals playing music and dancing. It’s really amazing how they can move their asses accordingly to the music. We walked around, made some pictures. After we were all thinking that we are going to the city to have a decent night, but it turned out we got back to the prison.

My frustration was reaching it’s limits. But in the end there was a party held in the prison, so even though we could not get out, we had a lot of fun inside. It was nice, I danced, I watched some shooting stars, I had some very nice conversations that let me to attach to some of the people even more. I already knew it’s gonna be hard enough to say goodbye to all of them when the time comes.

Birthday, invisible moon and one night out

We had a very special Rita, who had a birthday and for this occasion we were supposed to go to the beach. Being very late with the schedule and workshops we almost missed the chance, but finally we went there. Honestly it was magical. Swimming in the sea at night, with all the stars in the sky, seeing a birthday girl honestly extremely happy and modest waves were the best. We got back all excited and happy.

Frustration kicked in later when we realized that we are not gonna get into the city. And it was Ahmed’s last night, we had to go to the city. So I was expressing my frustration out loud [I know I crossed the limits, but I just couldn’t help myself]. So after some time of frustration and some people going to sleep I managed to get Yassine and Ahmed to the city. Yes, we almost made the impossible, we went out, we got into the club, we danced, we had fun.

And even though there was not more, but much more moments that I regretted this decision because of the lack of sleep, fear Ahmed will miss his plane and other stuff, while saying goodbye and hearing “I really needed something like this tonight. Thank you” just gave it all – it was worth it. No matter that I had to sleep only for two hours and more difficulties, it was worth it. Simply because it meant a lot to the people I care.

The last day was full of sentiments. It’s crazy how easily you can get attached again to the same people and when making a simple roundtable and expressing feelings makes you wanna cry. Not sure even if for joy or for sadness. Just tears at that point seems like the only thing you can do. For yourself, not anyone other.
A lot of people left that night, saying goodbye was a mess, but made me sad and a bit miserable. So the last night had no going out or wild parties in mind, just separate people walking around, feeling like lost in the space. I went to check up on Marco. Poor guy was feeling pretty sick for the last days, and I felt bad he has to be alone. So we sat were, talked, shared experiences and future plans. We made some dreams and discussed them. It was nice. Easy, slow night, when nothing is happening, but together so much.

Exploring Cabo Verde

Next morning I just woke up to say goodbye to some other people that were leaving. Turns out, I had to leave myself. So we moved all to Praia, the city, together with Ludgero, because we were staying at his aunt’s place for couple of days. My last days of being in Africa, in Cabo Verde.

The house was amazing. Big, full of space and we got the best care about us, I would not even dream about that. So we first went to so called zone, where Ludgero grew up. When we went to explore some beaches, looking at the waves, at night we went to eat some traditional tuna stomach thing, which was very tasty and went to listen to some African music. All of us were tired, so we decided to call it tonight and go to sleep, because next day we had a little trip planned.

Next day we went to the Taraffal [If I am not misspelling the name of the place]. Going to it reminded Cote d’Ivoire a little bit. Overcrowded mini bus was taking us pretty fast through amazingly looking mountains and hill to the other side of the island. Taraffal was amazing – nice little city with some nice buildings and once again very nice beaches. And yet again, the would not have been so special if not the people that I have been with. Once again I learned that it’s not the places that are special, it’s people who make them special.

After we got back from that city once again through all those mountains we went out. Again, some African music to listen to, some nice conversations to have. It was great. And it started hit me – the end is coming already. Sadness is coming to accompany me.

When paradise turns to be hell

Last day was unbelievable. Like I was saying – I like Cabo Verde very much, but Cabo Verde seems to hate me. I don’t know why, absolutely no idea, what I did to make it mad at me, but it did. So we went to the beach. Waves were strong, but I did not expect them to be that strong and I went inside. And here it started. First bigger wave just threw me down. I thought it was just as warning and I kept going. Second and the third one were decisive: I’ve lost my sunglasses [ok that’s a small detail], I’ve lost my necklace [some of you might know it meant a world to me and I never took it off. I didn’t this time either – sea just snoopily took it from me], I hurt my ears [doesn’t hurt anymore, thanks for that] and I almost drowned, since when threw down and being rolled on the bottom of the sea is not something I am used to. So I’ve got enough of the sea, most of the next time I was staying on the sand.
People were strange that day. Some freak tried to talk to us in creole, got very mad when we ignored him, but thankfully after a while just decided to leave. Another guy, who was pretty nice and not persistent at all, at some point came and gave me his e-mail, so I would write him, because he liked me. Felt a bit like Denmark at that point.

On the top of all the misunderstandings, while trying to get into the plane, the security guys took a beer glass from me and told me I cannot take it with me. It was the limit. I was already sensitive and fragile about leaving Cabo Verde, saying goodbye to all these people and now they would not even let me carry one thing that would have truly represented me Cabo Verde home. Once again, I just wanted to cry. Too much of emotions.

The flight was very sleepy, and in the Lisbon I had to say goodbye to Ludgero and Muge and move to my last flight for now – back to Copenhagen.


Back in Copenhagen I could not help myself and the only thing I could do was looking through the pictures, sending some e-mails, remembering every single detail of that time and every single person, who once again, helped me grow up inside of me, who reminded me who I actually am and how much educational this all was.

Here I am now, writing these words, knowing that the best memories and the smallest details are kind of impossible to put in here, but they are staying in my head. I am tasting the last sips of Strella beer, somehow feeling that this could get me closer to them and to there. And the truth is – there is no certainty I will see them or even if I am, not sure where and when. I just know that I want, but then again, world sometimes likes to joke with me and for him [her] – no matter what I want, he/she will run it not according to my wishes.

Out of topic

Yes, I’ve got attached. And it’s not going very well, I may add.
Once again, I learned how to deal with it all. Wasn’t easy, but I managed. No consequences so far. Hopefully we will reach ‘never’ phase for the consequences to occur.
And yes, you should have. No matter what. But I guess we will have time to talk about this.
Not important to anyone but me, I guess.

1 Jul 2010

Denmark seems to be in order. Although Danes still manage to surprise me again and again and again. Take, for example, this World Cup of football. No matter if they loose or they win – they are still celebrating. When there was this big and important match Denmark-Japan, I have been working. When Denmark lost, I figured, people will either drink for their sorrow or just go home. Yeah, not gonna happen. People went out into the streets, with flags, singing songs. In the bar, they have been drinking, dancing on the tables, singing and being happy. For the moment I was thinking that maybe they were actually supporting Japan, but then again, we were facing the same actions when Denmark lost.

Is that anything?

All the rest is just like always. Still working and working and working. The only difference – no more studying left [well, almost], so I do have some time to relax, have some fun or even go out. Now when I think about it, I have no idea how I managed to do all that for six months and even pass 3 out of 4 exams.
Once again – nothing is impossible. Experienced and proved.

Off topic
What are we doing? Are we for real? I’m loosing myself and I am even afraid to judge what is happening there. Keep on asking myself – are we there yet?

P.S. I’m sorry