19 Oct 2017

°No longer a forbidden city becomes empty°

ºSome call love a curse, some call love a thief
But she‘s my home
And she‘s as much apart for this broken heart, but see
Broken bones always seem to mendº

I went out to Italian Cinque Terre at the end of September, because I needed to clear my head and tire my feet. Or just escape the city and climb some rocks. Or just to get used to the walking. Sometimes I think I was going just to calm my inner little backpacker girl, who is already biting her nails for the second time, this how much she wants/needs this.

But in the end my secret wish to let him go. Just like she is his home, he was mine. I say `was` because I don’t believe of it ever turning into the present again. Nor I think it should. Damaged or not, I deserve a more cuddly environment.

*Just take my f***ing hand*

However it was, Italy, as usual, delivered. First was Levanto, a cute cozy little town on a coast, close by the Cinque Terre. From there I started walking. Up and down the hill, meeting only a few people here and there, talking a little but not too much, just the way I like it, moving on again. I walked until Corniglia on the first day, which is in the middle and is supposed to be the most quiet and smallest of them all. Which was just a perfect stop-over for me. I sat down watching the sun set with a glass of beer, letting my skin get slightly tanned, had some dinner and went to sleep with my book in my hand.





The second day I have finished my path until the end of Cinque Terre and from there I took a train to Parma, a city I did not know much before I got there, but the city that surprised me very pleasantly. Just like every Italian city, it has an old town, full of ancient or at least from middle-ages stuff, red bricks, churches, all very Italian atmosphere. Not spending too much time there I have managed to walk through the old town, have an authentic sandwich with wine dinner in the place that somewhat reminded me a little bit the La Xampanyeria in Barcelona, that I loved so much I went first time and never had a chance of going there again.





In the afternoon I took a train to Milan where after 8 years of not seeing each other I met Dominyka, an amazingly cheerful blue-eyed Lithuanian girl I first met while working in Microsoft back in Lithuania almost literally ages ago. We walked and walked and walked and then went for some apperitivo [it’s big in Italy apparently] and talk non-stop. It was very refreshing and interesting to see just how much both of us have changed, but how we can still find time and topics to discuss.

And then an adventure in the land of wine and pizza and sun and sand and lost souls and found shoes and recovered wallets and forgotten pains was over.

ºIt’s funny how
When you come around
You’re not hereº

And then, just a hip hop skip the week, closing and reporting I found myself on a plane again. A little adventure that was supposed to be just a quick getaway presented with more surprises than I could have imagined or dreamed about. The less you expect, the more you receive, the important part is just to keep your heart open.

It all started while I was at the airport waiting for my flight to Brussels where I met Aurimas, heading for the exact same flight so we talked. We talk in the queue for the plane, we talked in a queue for the bus, then in a bus and then we split our ways. But after so many topics and so many differently angled conversations it was a pity to walk away. It enriched me somehow.

Later I met my friend Lina that I haven’t seen for a very long time, we had lunch, I walked Brussels, we met again, had a beer(s) and then the highlight of the day [or a week, or a month, really] – Angus and Julia Stone concert. I have been waiting for it for 3 years, since I stupidly decided against going for it when they were playing in Copenhagen and I was not going to let them visit Europe without me seeing them. I was right to fly to another country for it, it was an amazing concert. They play beautifully, they sing beautifully, they are charismatic and sincere with the music and it all makes it only better.




The concert was followed by not so much slept night and quite lazy and tiredly morning, plus a quick walk to the bus, because it was time to change a country – and visit The Netherlands. Just a few hours later I found myself in The Hague, for the first time I may add, where I shopped [for gifts, give it a rest], walked, enjoyed the view and in the end got ready and went for a housewarming party.

I was a little excited, a little scared, a little awkwardly shy when I got there, because there was only one person I knew that and that would be host, so the chances are, he will not have time for me. So when I’m on my own and I might be good on my own, but not around all these never before met people..

The night went better than expected, especially knowing that it ended at 6.30 a.m. The first hour was a bit awkward, but then I met this guy was also knew just as many people in the place as I did, so we had that in common and somehow we hit it off. So we talked about life and travelling, shooting and kicking, food and families, adventures and jobs. We talked until Mr. Patrick, the host approached us with the news that we are leaving the apartment and going to a karaoke bar. Who can say no to that? And we went, we did not sing, but we were dancing and enjoying the night until it closed. Shame.. The strongest ones still wanted to stay, so we went to some other place where we continued dancing and talking and before I knew it, I found myself going to my bed in the hostel, putting my alarm and seeing it almost sarcastically saying: “time left to sleep: 2 hours and 56 minutes”. On a plus side, I closed my eyes happy.

And then the next day, after those precious 3 hours of sleep, I got to spend some quality time with Mr. Patrick. Strange really, how even a quick trip on a train and a simple but open conversation feels more real than most of the conversations in the world. I knew he’d understand me and he did. He’s not in that place anymore, but on some level I think he wishes he was. Most importantly though, he understands. My soul managed to calm down at least a bit.

Also, he shed some light to the question that was torturing me and did not let me go. I was right, of course. I am just not sure anymore if that’s the good part of the disastrous one. I guess we’ll figure that out when we are in our 60s over beers. I really hope this promise will be kept.





ºThere’s nothing else to do here but kiss under the stars
I like you just the way you are
There’s nothing else to do here but fall into your arms
I like you just the way you areº

Off Topic

It’s strange from the `why` to the `how come`. And it’s not the usual, not the typical, but it is me, just the other me. There are no butterflies, but there is a stupid smile on a face and a longing feeling. It’s nice. The best part of it? It’s seems so sincere and naked, completely drama free and I think that’s what I’m missing in my life. Chaos is alright as long as I’m not being lied to and no artificial storm is being created. Simple just like that: You like? I like. You want? I want. You come? I wait. And I am getting impatient with waiting.



P.S. I don’t hold grudges. You just become irrelevant. I’d sorry, but that would defy the meaning of it.


14 Sep 2017

ºTetra packed hopes and dreamsº

ºI wonder where you are
While all the hopes inside my heart
Just fall apart
It’s preying on my mind
But I’m still at a loss of words
They’re so hard to findº

It‘s been raining non stop here in Copenhagen. And I do like the rain, when I‘m walking from the train station to work and I can feel those droplets falling on my skin, I cannot help but smile. Because to me it is life and it reminds me of some happy moments, like that kiss in August or walk to the other side of the death island, better known as Koh Tao. It‘s no snow, white magic falling from the sky on his eyelashes, but it‘s almost the next best thing.



ºBut now I fall for her
I wonder how I could explain the reason why
And when I fall for her
I can´t believe we have to say goodbyeº

I have two girls lined up ready with proposals for marriage, yet I cannot get you to even kiss me good night.

But that’s not everything, is it? You are hiding something, probably from yourself as well. I just wanted to say.. I hope it will get better to you. And I am here when you need me. Wherever the `here` is.

You don’t need to admit it, to me or to the world, but you need me in your life just as much as I need you. And I may have cried, but you choked.

But it’s okay. I will keep your secret[s] safe with me. No one ever needs to know.

ºThis shadow on the wall
Is still your picture in my eyes
And I’m paralyzed
A piece of broken glass
Some scraps of paper on the floor
Now there’s nothing moreº

I feel like I’ve been robbed. I had this precious little thing, only precious to me and I was savoring it, because it is the most important and life-changing thing I have ever had in my hands and then it was taken away. Nothing happened of course, no one died, no one got hurt, but somewhere, someplace, somehow I got part of it taken away from me and there is no way to get it back to the past condition.

I will be alright, of course, but the tie just got broken. And I don‘t feel like knotting it. At some point, in some way, certain things just have to be put to sleep.

Shhhh.... it will only hurt a little.

ºWhen my thoughts became too strained
Then I was slowly sinking like raindrops in the sand
While your voice was in my ears

I was slowly drowning in the sea of my own tearsº



12 Sep 2017

°From lashes to ashes, from lust to dust°

I worked from home today, because I had a doctor's appointment that I have booked about 3 months ago. I was excited, I was full of energy and good thoughts, because I thought, finally I might have another answer to my problem than `she will grow out of it`, or `it must be hormones` *after checking the hormones* `this is not hormones`, or `there is nothing that can be done`. 

So my whole life, as long as I remember, I have been suffering from so called hyperhidrosis [or how it is spelled correctly] and I thought that this is `my thing` and I have to just live with it. And I have. But now - that little light in the tunnel became an exciting chance of maybe increasing the quality of my life. That would be almost like switching from a black-and-white Nokia bought in Thai market for 50 USD to the newest smart phone [of your choice].


And so I went. I biked to the place for 20 minutes, waited there to get to the doctor for 30 minutes more and had to bike back home for another 20 minutes just so I could spend a total of 3 minutes in the doctor's office asking me questions [no testing, just a simple Q&A of like 4 questions] and writing me a referral to the hospital that I live next to [!!!] for the botox procedures. 


Now don't get me wrong, I might be thrilled to get botox injected into my body [what woman doesn't?], but in my humble opinion, this whole thing could have been done over the phone AND three months ago. 


But on a plus side, I will get botox in me, for free, all out of tax payers [me including, but still] pockets. Wish me luck.



Off Topic


I walked 500 miles in my old shoes down the memory lane in the past today. And I know how stupid and unnecessary that it, but I just could not help. I did not plan it, honestly, I was just going through old e-mails, wanting to collect good old songs, without realizing that most of them were sent/received to/from those special types of people, wrapped in the words that I can still remember, even if I don't think about them. Looking at the names the memories flooded and suddenly I could not stop - I was walking those 500 miles.


It reminded me of you. And you. And a little bit even of you. 


I am now listening to the sounds that were reminding me so much of you that I can almost feel your hand on my shoulder. I can almost sense your kiss on my head and I can remember the smallest details from those times when I was so happy. 


Lenno flashed through my eyes as well. And your incredible generosity and my unprecedented excitement when I realized what you have done. 


It was good year. It was a good life. I was happy and remembering that makes me happy now. I just still cannot help but catch myself wondering at times `what if`. I guess we'll never know.


We met at a wrong time. And we kept meeting at all the wrong times. However, how the story would have ended if we had met at the right time? At least now we have a story to tell.


Or what would have happened if we were smart enough to let it go. By not making a mistake making it too big too quick. Would the island have been any different? Would I be different? But at least in this case, I am sure I will get to turn it around. Okay, maybe not to turn it around, but at least to try. Because this is not an ended story. And if it did not end until today, chances are, it will never end.





26 Aug 2017

°On an island of Iceland°

It is always a risk to re-connect with someone you once were happiest with. It might be the best thing that could ever happen to you, taking you to the moon and back, or it might come back biting you harshly in the a**, because you forgot to account for how much the two of you may have changed, forgot or just plainly got lost in a bubble. Or both. Or sometimes neither.

My case? The jury is still out on this one.

Either way, it took me to Iceland and that is just as good as it can get. Or at least this is how I am going to tell the story. My side of the story.

It all started with a 3h15min flight from Copenhagen to windy and significantly colder Keflavik airport and picking up our car from Hasso company [no advertising intended, but I will say that it is a cheaper option than most of the companies in Iceland to rent a car, we did not have troubles on the road, so I cannot comment on their help line, the car (clutch not so much, but I mean, it‘s a rental car) was in good condition and spacious enough for the two of us. It could have easily fit more people, but as I am the kind of girl who finds it difficult to travel with even one more person than myself [Steffany excluding], this was just the two of us.

And so we went. We crossed Reykjavik without stopping, because the plan was to leave it for the last day [depending on time, as nature things are preferred by both of the people in the vehicle] and took a turn towards Snaefellsjokull and the surroundings. We stopped on a way for an expensive [what isn't in that part of the world] Icelandic lunch, stopped on the way a few times to take pictures of the scenery, which is quite different from the usual landscapes you are used to and arrived to the Londrangar cliffs in water.






Moving forwards we stopped at a `baby volcano` that you can climb up to the crater. Not to disappoint you, but since this is a super old baby volcano, there is no water in the crater, nothing, just a little hill with a weird top, but already all covered in grass. Then we saw a waterfall and our curiosity `so is it coming from the lake or from the river` won and we went to check it out. A quick detour to cross a small river, a little climb up and ... it was the river.



I had a room pre-booked for our first night stay as August in Iceland is a high season for tourists and I felt that at least the first night we deserve to be sleeping in beds and not in the cae, so after all that days‘ excitement, we settled for the night in Olafsvik. Not to insult the town [I can hardly even call it town], but it was a tiny fishermen village that had like two streets and not much else. Even not much people in the streets. There were two `restaurants` open for food and one outdoors kiosk, but that‘s about it. Also, the place we were staying at had a self-check in. So even less interaction with actual human beings.

That night we went out for some beers and dinner in one of the two open places. I have ordered mussels and they were really good. Local too, so except for the fact that it was way too small and too quiet of a place for anything, it ended up being a quite good night.


The second day was basically just driving from Olafsvik to Akureyri [unofficial capital of the North] and stopping on a way wherever we felt like we wanted to stop. The landscape kept changing every few kilometers, making it an interesting drive. 




Once in Akureyri we faced a little problem – everything is booked and where the hell are we going to spend the night. So we took a beer in the bar with the Wi-Fi and started searching. After a while everything fell into places – we found a sleeping place, we found a happy hour bar [completely empty though. Weird] and even a place to eat that was not bad. We also went for a little walk around the old town of Akureyri, but it is so small, that it only takes a few minutes. We even visited their botanical garden, and even though it is nice and tidy, unless you are just passing by, do not go specifically for it to Akureyri.




Day Number 3 was supposed to be quite good and I believe it delivered. First stop – Asbyrgi canyon/national park. After around two hours of driving in the morning we got to the parking spot, which takes you a pretty well made path and walks you through the `forest` to the little lake and then from there around 10 minutes little ascending path to the view of the full canyon. It was a nice sunny day and the canyon was beautiful, however according to my travelling partner, he was expecting it to be something bigger, as it was on the `10 things you must see while in Iceland`.




After a quick stop at the store for some food supplies we got on the road again and started going towards Dettifoss waterfall which is said to be the most powerful in the Europe. Since this is a more popular destination with tourists we met quite a few people there, plus the marked paths where to go so you don‘t end up killed by the waterfall. It‘s not Niagara, don’t get me wrong, but this was definitely one of the better ones I’ve seen.



We checked this place off the list and headed towards Krafla – the old’ish volcano that erupted in the late or early 80s [I can’t really recall anymore]. So first we went to see the crater and then we walked around on the old black lava, which, if you look at the horizon, is everywhere in that area. Whatever the eruption it was, it modified the surroundings for sure. 





From there we took a very quick detour to the other side of the road where you can find those tiny ponds, kind of looking like small geysers and smelling like rotten eggs. We climbed up a little hill to get a better panoramic view and slowly walked back to the car. Next stop was supposed to be Myvatn lake and the thermal baths there. But once there, it looked more like a warm pool than anything so we decided not to waste time and/or money on it and better go to the Blue Lagoon. It might be a little more expensive, but at least it’s bigger and from what I’ve heard, better experience.

Unfortunately nowadays you need to pre-book Blue Lagoon and when I tried to do so, it was fully booked. We even tried calling and asking about it, but apparently there are no walk-ins anymore, so on this level we were screwed. Did I want to go to the blue lagoon? Sure I did. But was I going to cry about it? Probably not. I’m sure thermal baths are great experience, but I could definitely live without it.

So after not experiencing the thermal baths in Myvatn, we drove to Egilsstadir for the night. The town itself kind of has nothing much in it to do or to see, even not so many places to go and eat, so we picked one that was not fast food, had to wait a little to get seated [no wonder when that is the only affordable okay place in town] and had lobster dinner. I took pasta, Sascha took soup and even though my stomach was not sure how it felt about it, it was really good food and really nice place.

We spent the evening back in the guesthouse and went to sleep quite early as the next day was supposed to be a long one.

The morning started with a visit to a shop and a quick 40 minutes’ drive to the Litlanesfoss waterfall [waterfall is probably not necessary here as `foss` most probably means that already]. It wasn’t very busy with people and the further we went the less people were there. It was a nice hike through the rocks on the little river to almost the base of the waterfall. Sascha went ahead quite fast and at some point I gave up, but then I saw this French family over taking me and I thought to myself – if they can do it, so can I. Not longer after that I stepped on unstable rock and my foot went to the water, to which I could only respond in curses, as it made the rest of the walk much harder while being all much more slippery now. But it was worth it. The waterfall itself may not have been that great, but coming so close to it and not have crowds of people around – this is what you are going for after all.




After that we drove quite a bit the coastal roads enjoying the scenery which was, once again changing quite often. And we drove as close as we could to the Vatnajokull glacier’s one of the tongues – Flaajokull. I read somewhere that this is the one you can get as close as possible without the tour and tour guide and special gear, so we went for it. In the beginning it look weird, since there was no people, no signs, nothing there, just a little drive path. We drove as far as we could until we hit the fence and it was still quite a walk to the glacier, but since we were there, we went for it.

It's a simple easy walk in the beginning, then a little rocky at points where you could see there probably used to be a path to walk on, but the slide of the rocks kind of `took over`, but all manageable and after ~45 minutes we were close enough to touch the glacier. It was dirty and black, so did not look anything like the one in El Calafate, Argentina, but on the other hand, we did not meet a single person while walking up to it, or from and even not a single person while we were walking along the glacier on very unstable rocks for the cleaner ice, so it had it’s own charm that I enjoyed. We had to give up on finding the clean part of the glacier, because it was simply not even visible and the climb was getting more and more challenging, we turned back. And in a way, I really liked this glacier. That black colour gave it a special `spice` that made is all so more exciting experience.






Quickly after that we came to what they call `glacier lagoon` - Jokulsarlon. It was full of people, but I could easily understand why. It looked like the views you could find in Patagonia or Antarctica [not that I’ve ever been to Antarctica], because they seem a little divorced from reality. And this being a late afternoon with sun falling down it gave quite an extraordinary and breathtaking view. There were even sea puppies [or seals, if you will] swimming around, just a few meters from us.





That was almost the end of the day, except that we still had no place to sleep and every place we stopped on a way, phoned or looked up online was fully booked. I was starting to be anxious and worried about it, but Sascha, as always, was very chill. Hof, a tiny town with no more than 20 houses came to the rescue. We stopped in this small `guesthouse` that did not have much online visibility and I went in to ask if they had any space for the two poor us. It’s a family run business so I had pleasure of talking to almost everyone in the family. First the grandpa saw me in the living room/reception. He then went and called one of his grand-daughters and once I asked her about the room she went to get her sister. Sister was willing to help, but before answering went to get confirmation from her mom about the price. In the end we got the room and that meant we did not need to sleep in the car.

For the dinner we went to a fancy, only place around gas station/grocery shop/restaurant, which was closing at 9p.m. but the guy working there ensured us, that no one will kick us out and we can stay longer no problem. So it was beer o’clock and it was good. Mostly because I knew that we had a bed for the night.

The next day Iceland greeted us with a clouds and rain and we were not looking forward to get out and start a cold day. But we only had 2 days left, lots to do and even if forecast people were saying it will be raining non stop until our flights, we took off. First stop – yet another waterfall, except this one was full of colourful jackets and people, that it was kind of impossible to take a nice picture. But on a bright side, while we were there is was not raining in the beginning and then only rained a little bit.



Next stop – Vik, a little town that has grocery shops and black sand beach right next to it. In the beginning I just wanted to see the black sand beach, but soon we realized why it was so full of people – it was full of puffins. You know, those little penguiny kinda looking birds? Like this.




We walked along the beach and a little up the basalt columns and then drove up to the other side of the beach, with arc and even more of those little puffin birds.

Later on we decided to skip the old plane wreckage site, for one because it was a 4+4 km walk, and for two, because it was just a plane on a beach and for three, it was cold, rainy and windy. Instead we went to the Skogafoss waterfall and got a little rained on.




It was getting late’ish after that so we just drove to Selfoss town where we had a night booked and stayed in it. Our quick beer before we go out for dinner turned into a long one, especially because Sascha made a friend – a 45 year old divorced German, who was travelling around, so we sat there talking about a lot of things, mostly diving though, because this is what those two are really into. So by the time we finally got out and about to get some food, everything was closed – Iceland is apparently early birds‘ country. The only option without going too far, looking too much was KFC and for the first time in my life, I have tried KFC. It wasn‘t horrible, although I don‘t think I am coming back.

The next day greeted us with rain again – this was getting better and better, but then again, this was supposed to be our last day in Iceland and it was supposed to be a highlight of the trip since we saved the best for the last – better known as the golden triange. Off we went and stopped at the first place we had to pay to enter – an old crater or an old volcano with a `lake` at the bottom. It was more of a pond and it was more funny than anything, as it was small and not so exciting, but there was nothing left to do but laugh at the situation. 



So we moved forwards and went for the Geysers. The first shot up was disappointing small `poof` and I was thinking, if that‘s it, this is sh*t. But then it brought up it‘s A game and suddenly it was almost what they promised online – a 20 meter shot up in the air of the boiling water. And we did not even stand at a wrong side where you could get sprayed with it.



Next stop – the last waterfall of the trip – Gullfoss. The most visited Icelandic waterfall and in a way you understand why – it is close to Reykjavik, it is fairly nice looking and has easy access to it. But if I am completely honest – I‘ve seen better. On this trip as well.



The last thing on the agenda and in the golden circle – Thingvellir national park, a place where tectonic places of the continents meet. It is very nicely made for people to access it easily, but I expected for it to look a little more spectacular. So we walked around, saw some people snorkelling where Sascha also wanted to dive, but decided against because of the required two days minimum time and insane prices and got into the car. Just in time, once again, because it started raining like hell about 5 minutes later.



We headed to our last stop – Reykjavik. After a little drive to the capital of Iceland we got a map from tourist information and we saw basically everything the girl showed us – a metal sculpture, cathedral and two main streets. And I am sure there are more and very nice spots in there, but it was getting late, we had early flights and still a little drive to the place where we were going to stay, so we went for some Icelandic food in cafe Loki and called it a day. We both had their tradicional meat soup, plus some herring sandwiches and 4 whale bites. They were tiny and I was grateful, because they were tasting super awkward and strange. They had this stron amoniac smell and taste that was not evaporating fast enough. Still though, I got to try whale [don‘t judge me].





And that was pretty much it. After dinner we got into the car, drove to the warehouse area of some small town close‘ish to the airport, dropped our stuff, went to sleep. Next morning we took the car to the car rental place, got dropped off at the airport, went through securities and it was it. I walked with Sascha until the passport controls, heard a little crack inside and he was gone. A few minutes later I got on my flight, took off and waved Iceland goodbye. I may never come back to it and who knows, I may never see Sascha again too, but something inside of me changed irreversibly and even though it was too much of chaos in my head at that precise moment, I knew that once that storm passes, I will have a much clearer view of my surroundings and what I need to do.

I may not have it all figured out, but both of them gave me a kick I needed and now there is no way back. It might be a disaster, might be a blessing, but before I try, I cannot know and therefore I cannot afford not to.



Off Topic

Somehow you got under my skin and it is scaring me to the fullest. You still have that effect on me and I don’t mind really, it’s just a pity that I lost that power. Everything changed so much that I am not even able to get close. Somehow I still feel like I needed this in order to continue. My scar have almost faded and I feel lost, because there is nothing left for me to hang on to. Almost nothing. I guess that means I need to let go.

But it’s so scary.



18 Aug 2017

ºIrreversible glass mountainº

--------------------------
Off Topic

It was not my smartest move, but somehow I feel like I needed this to continue with my life. Except that I was expecting to be stronger, having it all figured out and finally knowing better. Well didn’t that just flash in front of my eyes and shattered like a house of cards.

And it‘s not even the heart breaking part that caused the blow. Although I won‘t deny it, this one will probably never go away and will be continuously celebrating anniversaries by yet another break. I can survive it, because I know that all those years ago, on that magical island and then back on the mainland, in those arms I was the happiest I could ever be. And so were you. And no matter what, this can never be taken away from me. I may have bet everything I ever had and will ever have on our number at the roulette in the casino at the end of the world and then lost it absolutely all, at least I had my chance and I took it. I may have done lots, really freaking many mistakes during, after and then later after, I still opened my heart and allowed myself to find home in you, which later was taken away from me and almost killed me. But at least for that brief moment, when your window was open, I got to experience what I honestly never thought was possible to feel.

The biggest shock was an eyes-opening realization how far have I come from the road I always wanted to take in my life. It’s like I was hiding from myself and living in a pretty convincing denial of a life I have never wanted, but persuaded myself that this is the right way to go. Even more, I was so deep in this rabbit hole, that I was sure I know better, I am stronger, I can handle whatever comes my way. And then you came and blew my cover, opened all open wounds and took away the shelter I have created to hide myself from my true self. Not enough I was not better off than I thought, I was so far from my old true self, that I could not even remember how to go around and be me.

And that is scary. But also kind of freeing. Now all is left is to change my life completely and go get myself back.


Wish me luck.

-----------------------------------------