Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Art and Psychosis of Traveling Alone (I'm now in Czech Republic by way of Berlin, Germany)

February 21, 2014
Prague, Czech Republic

Long story short: Copenhagen to Berlin to Prague.  That’s where I am now. 

It’s weird traveling alone.  Some days, I feel in wonderful spirits having met some really cool people at the hostels and hanging out and laughing with them, and seeing the city with them.  Like in Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Berlin, where the hostels were very conducive to meeting others.  Other times, like tonight, here in Prague, I have met no one, and even my charming smile and unabashed ability to just walk up and talk to people has proven useless this first evening here in the capital of the Republic.  And it makes me wonder: why am I so troubled by being alone suddenly these years.  In my earlier days, nothing fazed me.  Now, just being alone drives me absolutely crazy.  Maybe it’s being alone, or more likely, the feeling of not being loved after having felt such strong love from you know how (who so lovingly finally responded to my email of two months ago on Valentine's Day with the words, "Hi Monroe, I never want to see you again."  How lovely. 

Sad to say, as a result of that breakup,
I’ve now become one of those saps who can’t be happy if he’s single, or not hanging out with a girl, or hanging out with someone.  In years past, I used to think nothing of women and nothing of being alone.  And now, I can’t think of anything but being with other people; of hanging out with a girl; of NOT being alone.  It pisses me off that my damn self-esteem appears now to be based on that.  But this trip alone is certainly helping me to reestablish my ability to be on my own and love myself once again.  Cause I AM F***IN AWESOME!  (As Nirvana's Lithium blares at the hostel bar)
Anyway, I'm here in Prague.  I had a great time in Copenhagen--probably the coolest city I've visited yet on this northern tour.  Barcelona comes in second now I think.  Why Copenhagen?  Just the layout of the city.  The way the boats are all layed out in the uniquely designed ports.  The awesome main shopping street which is just  indescribable.  And eating the pancake sticks.  DELICIOUS!
As usual, I met some cool people on the walking tour.  After the free tour, this Australian girl and two guys from the UK joined me to visit Christiana (google it), this crazy hippie town where selling pot on the streets is 'legal' (or at least not prohibited entirely).  I never smelled so much burning marijuana just walking down a street before.  And we visited the little mermaid statue: that fairy tale all started in Copenhagen with Hans Christian Anderson.

Next city: Berlin.  As always, by train.  What a historically rich city with such a sad past.  I went on two walking tours.  The free one, and then one called "Red Berlin".  The city is amazing, but it's also so depressing.  Walking around, in many ways, it still felt like 1960s Russia.  It just has this old creepy feel to it.  Like there is no heart and soul to the city.  I know some people may take offense at this, but it's just the feeling I got walking around.  The 'buzz' and 'adrenaline' of other cities just wasn't there.  FUCK YOU BERLIN WALL AND FUCK YOU COMMUNISM FOR WHAT YOU DID!
And today, I took the train from Berlin to Prague.  4 1/2 hours.  Not sure how much I like this city yet.  It's got the European flair, so I understand why many films are shot here, but nothing jumped out as amazing quite yet.  Perhaps tomorrow in the day time. 
I'm pretty excited that my Chinese visa was approved, finally.  So I'm gonna pick that up in Rome soon.  In March. 
Train travel: truly, there's no better way to travel in Europe.  It's amazing.  And my eurorail pass is awesome.  One fee and now I can ride any trains I want for free.  I just have to pay a $5 (approx.) booking fee for each ticket to hold my reservation.  And it's always first class (space available) and SO comfortable.  Such a great decision. 

I'm at the Mosaic hostel here in Prague.  Probably the closest thing to a hotel yet.  It is so gorgeous and the bathroom is huge and amazing and fancy.  Generator hostel in Berlin and Copenhagen. 
In Berlin, I met a nice Italian girl from Milan, and also a Canadian.  I do like meeting all these new people.  I hate that after one day, I have to say goodbye to them.  That is getting very frustrating, but in this sense, settling in China will be a relief and is actually starting to be something I am looking forward to.  To just be in one place for a while. 
The battery on my laptop is nearly dead.  I want to post this before I lose it. More to come!

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