Dubrovnik (glimpses)

There are rabbits in the city of Dubrovnik. Gotta say, it’s well organized, well-connected, and not that over-priced comparing to the other seaside towns in Europe. In Europe, probably not in the Balkans.

I seem to be spending quite a lot of time in the company of girls on this travel. Female company. I take it that’s karma. Not a bad karma. The karma that makes me appreciate female company. Girls are kind, they’re caring, they are very good at looking after. They can be good fun, though, too.

My journey started with Bisera picking me up at Sarajevo airport who then introduced me to her sister Zlata and her photographer friend Enisa. They have taken me on a tour in Sarajevo. Then the German girls, Anne-Marie and Verena, at the kite-surfing spot, later on joined by Chloe and Jess from London. God bless their hearts if they are ever going to read this – I am grateful for the memorable moments. Even here, in Dubrovnik, met a couple of girls from the U.S., New York and somewhere near the border of Mexico they were coming from. Spent the evening together and what an evening it was. They guided me around in the old town of Dubrovnik, had dinner at some well-chosen restaurant and a gelato [ice-cream]. It was a bit much – those scoops, only two, they were immense, though. Upon parting they have taken me to this fortress place where I’ve taken some pictures. It felt peaceful being with them. I felt connected. The evening would have been very different without them.

So, here. People always seem to come in pairs. In two’s, girls especially, with the exception of myself – a boy-like girl vagabond that I am. It’s gotta be nice to have some company, to have someone to share things with, it probably makes it easier too, travelling in two. Not for me, though, with my random urges for the solitary moments. I just have to disconnect from time to time. It gets a bit much. And it’s a bit of a relief not having to explain it to anyone.

Anyhow, back to Dubrovnik then. The place is a fine mixture of the Balkan and yet somewhat already Italian spirit. Perhaps it already resembles Italy more than the Balkans. Tourists are way better off than the ones I met in Ulcinj and around.

***

No jelly-fish in Montenegro. Absolutely none. Loved the fact. The nature’s so unspoiled, people are different. Still remains the high-light of my journey. Montenegro. Still haven’t come to terms with not staying there longer. There’s no right or wrong, though, I guess.

***

Liking this place – it’s under a tree, in the shadow, where nobody does my head in. Relatively peaceful. The view is ok too, apart from the bush in from of me.

Some construction worker walking past – people leading their ordinary lives. People. Just another Monday for them.

20 to 12. The bus is at 12.30. I hope.

***

New Zealand. Lilly talking about New Zealand. “Sheeps” she says “lots of sheeps there”, after a moment she corrects herself “Sheep, sorry.”

It still throws me off how native speakers make mistakes. I wonder what goes through their heads? Is it actually a mistake? Or is it a colloquialism or whatever it’s called?

Lilly is from Sidney. Once they’ve taken a caravan, her and her boyfriend, and they drove through New Zealand. It was amazing, she says, her boyfriend is not here to back her up, though. Just like myself – she’s travelling on her own. An ex, then, I presume, seeing she’s now in Europe on a two year visa.

“Would like to go to Poland” she says when I mention I might drop by there on my way back. “I’d like to go somewhere cold” she says. “Too hot for me. It’s like 17 back in Australia. They are complaining it’s to cold. I’m complaining it’s too hot here.”

Grasshopper syndrome. We always want what we can’t get. A flash-back to the conversation with the girl from Belgrade (can’t remember her name – doubt she remembers mine).

“Why do people always want to be in two places at once?” she says. I bet this question occurs in many of the minds of those travelling, rushing from one place to another, trying to take it all in.

Time to go home. By now, Bologna feels like home. Bologna feels like the end of my journey. It’s all very familiar there. Familiar to the extent of having this “home sweet home” feeling.

The further up I go the more that Italian breeze can be felt. Maestral. Can’t quite say if I like it – the prices increasing, the things becoming somewhat of a déjà-vu, not as exotic anymore. But it’s comforting.

***

Feel like i’m being observed. Gotta admit, it disturbs me a bit. I feel very uncomfortable about these things. That’s why I probably decided not to stay in Montenegro any longer. Felt like I couldn’t stay detached, couldn’t remain an observer myself. A quiet, almost invisible observer, that’s my most usual and, at times, the most painful position. It’s like the air that I’m breathing. I just need to be out. That’s a must. Now, that I’ve identified it, I guess, the only thing left is to accept it.

I wanted to stay in Montenegro and kite-surf. I wanted to go and see Mashrou’ Leila live in Italy. I wanted to just stay at home and let everything rest. I am very tired of the things I’m doing. I get this feeling that there’s always something I’m not doing right. The people I met remind me of that world which is a bit different, they remind me of freedom. They remind me that things are possible. At what price, though? At the price of sacrificing the safety and security of your own home? Sacrificing the love and care of your precious ones? The love which can be as calming as it is restrictive.

They are the choices we make – whether we want it or not – we make them. Or allow them to be made for us – that’s still a choice, though. We’re never quite choice-less.

“It’s greater than that, there’s more to it” – I keep saying it to myself cuz’ I have this acute sense of everything being one. How much does it take for one to be filled? Just how much, exactly? In grams? Milliliters? Experiences? Moments of clarity? Number of possessions? Just how much? And how long does it last?

I got used to things being temporary. If anything – now it comes as a consolation. Just ‘hi’, a moment to breathe, and then ‘bye’. No clinging on to. It’s good to be alone when you’re not lonely.

During the pauses, during those breaks in between one destination and another, I was allowed to feel. That’s why I appreciated them this much. I appreciated being on the road more than ever getting to places. One cannot, though, one simply just cannot be on the road all of the time. It’s time to stop. To get off. Reality check. Checked. Another tick-box.

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