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.


18 May 2017

°Ona&Steffany vs. Lovcen National Park°

Even before setting my foot to Montenegro I knew I have to walk Lovcen National Park. Don‘t really know why, I just had the urge. Maybe to prove to myself and to the world that I can, or maybe just to set the score Ona 1:0 Mountains. Whatever the reason pushed me there, I‘m glad it did. It cleared the fogginess off my mind, brought back the backpacking feeling and made me kind of happy. It may not be much, but not always do we need much.

Unfortunately internet was not too clear about actually walking through the park. Maybe because park and the peaks are very easily accesible by car, but that was not my goal. I found this Belgian guy‘s answer in one of the travelling forums (Thank you, Pierre!) that the walk is doable in one day [hard day if you try and climb Jezerski peak with Njegos monument] where he explained that he started in Cetinje and headed to Kotor and that this is more advisable way, otherwise you will face a quite high ascent. I left for Montenegro basically with this information, determined to reach Cetinje and take it from there.

I came to Cetinje the day before, because I had high hopes for the tourist office and that they will be able to provide with maps and directions that google did not. I stayed and I can only recommend to stay at `Borozan apartment`, because the owner was one of the sweetest guys you can ever meet, plus he helped me where tourist information failed. It took me a while to find the tourist information and sometimes I wish I didn’t. I went in and this not the most polite woman ask me if she could help me. I asked for directions and maps to Lovcen NP and her reaction was quite confused and lost with words: “You want to walk? To Kotor? On foot?” And gave me the `you nuts or something?` look. The fact that tourist information gives you such reaction to your plan gives you chills, I tell you that. My first reaction was to panic a little. I’m not a mountaineer, I’m not even a very experienced hiker and if she thinks I am crazy, I might as well be, right? Anyways, I got back to Borozan apartments and the owner talked me calm, for which I am still grateful. In the end I went out with my hopes high, my spirit a little shaken but optimistic and maps.me app with downloaded map of Montenegro [the best map for Lovcen I got my hands on].

The owner of the place offered to give me a ride to the place where the path starts. It’s only 3-5km, but it’s a nice save of time. Once he dropped me off and I started the slight climb, the clock was showing 7:15 a.m. I got lucky with the weather – even though it was quite cold [~2-3°] but sunny and that was all I needed. The path is quite well marked with red/white signs, so as long as you follow them, you will be in no problem. I mean if I managed, everyone can. 

The views are quite nice too and for someone like me who grew up in the flat areas, the mountains always gave a special magical feeling, so as I was walking I was trying to take it all in.

The path at points interacts and follows the paved car road, so if anything, you are not too far from getting help, you know for all the worse comes to worst cases. As I was walking I was still not too sure if I will be climbing Jezerski, since I was quite afraid of not making to Kotor before the sunset, but the deal I made with myself was that if I don’t make it to the path leading to it in two hours, I will skip it, just to be on a safe side. Now even not being an experienced hiker I usually walk faster than the road signs usually suggests, but just as my luck, I found the path to Jezerski in 2 hours – that’s the one marked with the wooden arrow pointing from the `main’ish road`. And so I headed for the peak. It took only a little over 30 minutes to get to an actual hiking marking with the kilometers and suggested hiking time, so I guess I was there ~9:40 a.m. Hiking to the top of Jezerski and Njegos mausoleum is not very challenging and I would say is quite worth it. At the end of it you have, if I recall correctly 461 steps (you can drive up with the car up to the base of the steps], so if you don’t want to walk the park, you have this option. It might not be the highest peak of the NP, but from it you can see, what they say 80% of the country and in total 5 countries. You pay 3 EUR to get to the mausoleum, but it has a panoramic view platform and is worth your money.

I got back to the markings ~11:20 I believe and followed the part to Kotor. Keep in mind though, it might be saying 4.5 hours, but after you walk for another 20-30 minutes it once again says 4.5 hours, so you can trust it, just not blindly. 

The walk from there gets a little easier I would say because it is mostly flat or descending a little, plus you walk mostly through the forests, so if rain sneaks up to you, you can find a shelter fairly easily.

The second part of the walk was a pure pleasure for me. For once all of the fears from the day before have left me and the feeling of `actually making it` was settling down. I took a lunch break [do not over pack, I did not bring much food and it still was too much] in the middle of the forests all by myself, surrounded by silence and enjoyed it to bits. Once I left Lovcen park, I had to walk a little on a paved road, but since the markings were there, so was I. And then the descent to Kotor starts. First you go through the pine forest which lasts for maybe 30 minutes and then you come out to the clear and you understand why Kotor is one of the most visited places in Montenegro – the view from the top is quite spectacular, so even if you don’t want to talk through Lovcen NP, you definitely want to either climb the serpentine path from Kotor up or have someone drive you there for the scenery.

I sat there, taking it all in, not quite yet believing that I was almost there. I could already see a little bit of Kotor old town, the Kotor bay and a serpentine path that I had to take to get down. That being said, `almost` was quite exaggeration here, because even though you can almost see the place, it takes you ~2 hours to descent. And if while walking the Lovcen I hardly met anyone [except on the peak, that is], on this serpentine path I saw quite a lot of visitors going up from Kotor and then eventually back down.

I looked at my watch once I was down in the old town – it was showing 16:15. So overall it took me 9 hours to walk from Cetinje to Kotor through Jezerski [climbing to the top] and skipping Njegusi village and I am at best average hiker. So just like Pierre in the forum said – it is definitely doable, although if you also want to add Njegusi, you might want to consider spending the night in the village, because otherwise you are risking of nightfall in the park or the forests. The path is easy to follow and is well marked, so the biggest challenge you have is to convince yourself to do it. I was happy I did. And once in my hostel and with a reward beer in my hand I settled the score 1:0 and made a little promise for myself to come back. Maybe not Lovcen, but another mountain, another hike, another mind clearing experience.

Off Topic

There were so many things happening in the recent months that I can hardly keep up. And once I thought I had a weekend for that, I got a severe tonsillitis which made me crave for the sweet sweet death. I survived, of course. Sometimes there is no other way, but to go on. Or push the show to go on.

I have been flying here and there, visiting old and new/old friends, planning future visits, making either a mistake or a great decision, meeting people that I knew from the very first eye-lock will change something inside me the way I will never be able to get back to my old self. 

But the most significant thing is - I have learned to be the person you always wanted me to be. A little too late and maybe it's not a good thing in the long run, but.. I haven't even tried, it just sort of happened. But you will never learn about it. One more sort-of-a-promise was made and if broken, it might change something more. 

On the other hand.. If you brought them back, maybe I can bring it back too.

15 Mar 2017

°Tampered brick, made of silk°

°I'm good at staying awake..
I'm good at staying up real late..
I'm good at playing your sympathy games, but if you touch me, I'll break..
But if you touch me I'll break°

We live in a f****d up society where a mistake made when announcing a movie winning an Oscar is more important than 4 billion people being cut off from fresh water in Santiago de Chile or a German guy being beheaded in Philippines by the jihadists. In a society where being stupid is getting rewarded and being a genius is only paid moderately at best. Where the Kardashian sisters are getting money for being plain stupid on a TV and little children in, let’s say South Sudan, are starving. Where running in a field after the ball for 90 minutes with other 19 guys pays millions while scientists who are researching anti-cancer drugs need to go through the usual financial struggle just like the rest of us.

It’s probably always been like that – a beautiful dress and someone’s smeared make up on the red carpet is more important than yet another air strike on innocent people somewhere far away and mostly because it is more entertaining and might leave you happy. And the rest? If I don’t learn about it, it does not exist and it cannot cloud my good mood.

Humans are horrible livings. Not that I’m any better or worse. It’s just an observation.

°I keep'em coming cause I've already crossed the line
I keep'em coming cause I like to forget
And it's my uneven heart beat that keeps me up at night
When we play in the trail of the broken hearts and the mess they left behind°

3 times. That’s all it took, only 3, even if long, times. And the weird/sad thing is, it is almost a record really. I went in with an open heart, all ready to have to come back later for the pieces and it took full three cycles before I, not even realized, just faced the `Now the pond is too deep` status.

I expressed the `I’m going to regret this` thought loudly in the very beginning and got shot back with a confused look. Of course confused, because that does not exactly make sense. In a normal world that is, where you live. And her. And millions of others. Even where Dog Orchestra is creating new songs and sends e-mails to listen to the new Demo. Not at the end of the world though. You most probably will never know, but that one step, that one little action where I have decided to follow my own advice and promise to myself instead of being a rational and emotional roller-coaster avoiding `normal` adult, it is equivalent to a high stake bet in the casino at the end of the world, at that poker table. You may have controlled my mind the whole time, but the bet, the bet I placed myself.

°Make no mistake, if you touch me I'll break
If you touch me I'll break
So say, oh please say it's not too late for us
Tell me that you love me still°

The `almost` is that magical word, which can crash and burn you, but it can also rebuild the hope and the will to live. Almost. That almost-last kiss or the most sincere `sorry` you have heard in a long time. Almost a regret to see one go. It’s either a good sign or a disastrous one. It's almost heaven or almost hell.

You never lied to me and that I like about you. Well, that and `Gangsta’s paradise`. And I think you have a very big heart and warm personality. Maybe even warm enough to melt the ice of heart. No, not mine. Mine’s a little like a slut, always open for a new challenge to love or to get broken.

°Beneath the stars and the heart shaped pills. It makes no sense,
But it sounds so pretty, sounds so pretty, sounds so pretty when you say it.
Make no mistake, if you touch me I'll break°


°So watch me die in the flashes of a disco light. Won't you meet me in the club tonight, won't you try to bring me back to life, won't you watch me die
Make no mistake, if you touch me I'll break°

6 Feb 2017

°Upon my liars chair°

When you get to the nostalgic mood and start listening to the songs that you were a fan of about 20 years ago and you cannot stop listening you realize quite a few important things:
1.     I had a killer taste in music even when teenager.
2.     There was a reason I liked it so much. It WAS much deeper than I have thought and I get it now.
3.     I’m not making promises, but I might be naming one of my kids that name. IF I ever have any. And that’s a big if.

°All our times have come
Here but now they're gone
Seasons don't fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain, we can be like they are°

Its really hard to wrap around my own life and thoughts at the moment. So much has happened and so much has changed. My head crashed and burned, changed the directions, worked overtime, did the unthinkable, performed the unstoppable and for what? I am still here, I am still lost and for the first time in a long time I am realizing – I need somebody like you.

°Heaven ablaze in our eyes 
We're standing still in time 
The blood on our hands is the wine
We offer as sacrifice°

Even though Philippines were a little disappointing, they accomplished one very important mission – I have spent 2 weeks almost all by myself and I could not get enough of it. It’s almost like I had material for loneliness for ages and I had to squeeze it in only that short period of time, to analyze myself and world, my actions and your reactions. The life itself. The roads that cross and the paths that to be chosen.

°What a wicked game to play
To make me feel this way
What a wicked thing to do
To let me dream of you
What a wicked thing to say
You never felt this way
What a wicked thing to do
To make me dream of you°

After that – the rollercoaster that was not into the stopping. Almost as if I had made up my peace while in Philippines with literally everything and life went on - `haha, just a second, dear. Here, have this – enjoy!`. And I did. Take it I mean. The enjoyment is still questionable. I’m sure I will make something good out of it, but for the time being: “Hello Chaos, my old friend”.  I even took that rollercoaster to the crazy town this weekend. I’m not complaining, I’m not anything really. But right now I really need to calm my own chakras, comb them, if you will.

This is no longer `why did I not learn from it from before?` kind of issues, it’s more `why after all this time, all those experiences, after knowing perfectly well the outcome I am still doing this to myself?`. Okay, not exactly that. I’m doing this to myself, because I promised to do this to myself. For myself. And the reason, or the answer, is because not doing this and regret is worse. Long term worse. Short term would have been a brilliant choice. So the question is more: `why after all this time and all this experience and knowing perfectly well what will happen and how it will develop I am not evolve and adjust to the situation?`. I should be smarter than this, right? I mean, I just got older. They told me smartness comes along. Mine probably got lost. Somewhere between Crete and Mendoza.

°Farewell heartless world,
I'll send you a postcard burnt in flames
You've tried so hard to extinguish with the fear of failing,
I'll write down everything I have learned,
And edit it down to a single word "Love"
For you I'm waiting, anticipating°

A quick escape to Barcelona was a great getaway. I was so very happy that night that even 3 hours of sleep and tiring next day did not ruin it for me. It was almost like nothing else in the world existed, just me, you and him. The boy I met over 10 years ago, who grew into a man you can be proud of and who can understand me from one word, one look, one satiric comment or one dance. Just as well as I can understand him. I guess it is true in some cases:

°He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same°

I will okay though. It’s not even that bad, if I’m completely honest. And if I managed that, several times, I will be able to take over the world. You may not have asked, Romeo, but I will join you for this conquer trip. You may not know if yet, but you want me there. Trust me.