Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Art & Psychosis of Traveling Alone: Part II

February 23, 2014
Just as I said, some days you feel really alone; some days you feel loved and part of something great.  Yesterday, I met a bunch of cool people: 
a) After the walking tour, I went to the train station to inquire about train times to Budapest and Bratislava.  On way out I passed this Czech girl, and talked to her. She was receptive. Surprisingly. We had coffee. We walked around together and we decided to meet again today for lunch.
b) I met this American guy at the hostel named Phillip.  An investment guy from Los Angeles, and we walked around and had a most delicious dinner together: traditional Czech pork, dumplings, and sauerkraut.  So delicious!
c) Back at hostel, we ran into the Argentineans from the walking tour, and we all had some drinks together at the bar.  We watched the Olympics a bit.
d) This German girl I met at the train station in Berlin found me on Facebook and added me, which made me smile. 
e) And this morning, I met an awesome guy from Costa Rica--an architect--and rather funny story:
Carlos is traveling alone too and before I even mentioned it, HE mentioned that it’s weird traveling alone because you meet cool people and then almost immediately, you have to say goodbye, because either you are leaving, or because they are leaving.  I’m really glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.  Traveling alone certainly does have its pros and cons. 
I wrote this on Facebook yesterday:
"Monroe Mann (Photo of the words: Mozart debuted his opera Don Giovani here in Prague)
Greetings from Prague, Czech Republic. This fun fact about Mozart reminded me of something. I sometimes find myself second-guessing my decision to head from here to China for a year. Strange land. Strange culture. Oh so strange language. And I wonder how it all fits into my continuing showbiz aspirations--just as things were starting to take off, I left. But this little bit about Mozart reminded me that I felt the same way when I left showbiz to join the Army: I felt the same way. And yet years later, where did I find the majority of the money for the Stephen King film? From one of my army buddies turned investment advisor: My showbiz dreams were in fact fueled by my departure from showbiz. And so too did Mozart's opera not debut in his native land. And so perhaps too will China (like the army) be another back door leading indirectly to where I am supposed to be and what I'm supposed to be doing: show business. Moral of story: follow your dreams, even if at times they seem to contradict one another and seem to be mutually exclusive. I don't know how, but in some way, living my dream of going to China for a year is one day gonna be a "big break" that I look back as a blessing to my career--just like the army turned out to be in retrospect as well. OK: time to walk across the river and mosey to the train station to choose my tomorrow's destination: either Budapest or Bratislava. Ooh the suspense!

Want more musings about my travels?

 — feeling inspired."

I hope I'm right. 

This morning I talked with Carlos, the architect, and he agrees with me that the bathroom shower is very poorly designed: form over function.  As he says, “Looks nice but doesn’t work” haha  I'm glad to know I have an architect's eye haha.

He also agrees with me that these hostels are like being in the Lord of the Rings movies, going to the local Inn, where everyone is drinking beer, and some are going, some are coming, and everyone has an interesting story to tell.  He actually equated it to the ‘Star Wars bar’, haha.  Which is funny: people coming from every planet, and each person stranger than the one before.  I really do feel like these hostels are the last vestige of old world travel.  It's not like hotel traveling which is so clinical; here it's so social and so anchored in the soul of the independent traveler. 
I’m actually sitting now downstairs in the café with the Argentinean guys and Carlos.  The Argentineans are here on business, starting a painting company.  Well, two days of business in Berlin, and 20 days of travel, haha. 

I need to check out now, and store my bags in their storage room.  Then gonna walk to meet the Czech girl for lunch.  She's really tall: my height.  And blond, with blue eyes.  She's very funny.  She made me laugh a lot yesterday.  But alas, gonna have to say goodbye to her soon too.  Just as I have had to say goodbye to everyone I've met so far.  I guess it's good to have Facebook in order to keep in touch with everyone, but it seems like a small parting gift.  I wish I could just stay in one place and get to know someone on more than a surface level.  But who knows what the future holds: perhaps I will see some of these people again one day...  Many say that they are going to come visit me in China, but I would be very surprised if ANYONE actually comes to see me.  Even from NY.  I really do hope that they do.  It would be nice to see some familiar faces, but I'm not holding my breath.
Until next time!  I think I'm gonna head to Bratislava this afternoon.  Stay for one night I think.  Will have to see. 

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