Friday, November 9, 2012

quick stop at the A-Flat

Not that I was having a bad time. I was staying with a good friend but I thought it was time to start heading east. One of the last night I was in BXL I met with Eddy whom I met in Tallinn last year. We almost met last year my last night in Europe but I didn't have credit to reply to his SMS telling him I was not going to make it. We waited almost a year to go out for one, this time in Belgium. And, one day after I left, I found out that Nathalie lives in Brussel!  I met her in Guatemala 4 years ago.

I was a bit hesitant about my first attempt of a long distance (is it?) hitchhiking. The route was not difficult and could be done in less than a day... or so I thought.

After altering the plans of going to the south of Germany I found someone to hitch to Berlin. I decided to head to Poland stopping in Berlin for a night or two. I've done this route a couple of time before in both directions (Utrecht - Berlin). From Brussel it was only ~150km more BUT I would have to go through Essen, Dusselforf, Duisburg, Dortmund and other cities. There are no petrol stations on the autobahn in that conglomerate of cities and I got stuck near Hamm last year. I didn't want that this time.

I always try to start hitchhiking as early as I can. This time I started not so early. Someone drove me to a petrol station near the Ducth border, near Turnhout. Łukasz, a very nice truck driver did most of the way. He even stopped in a supermarket and bought some food! Dziękuję bardzo!

The only time I had been in the petrol station before Magdeburg I got off one ride and practically immediately got into another. I was in Berlin a while later. This time didn't work quite as good as I had  expected and it was raining and it was windy and it was cold and only a few cars stopped and the few that stopped didn't want to take me. It was not only a couple of hours of asking the few people that stopped that I asked Cristofer, well more like showed him on the map where I was going. I was babbling the few words in Polish I know but he agreed to take me to the petrol station on the Berlin ring road. Like I said, I was babbling Polish and English when he said "something something Polski, Spanish". Eh! hablas castellano? We talked the rest of the way in Spanish, he was really happy to be able to speak it again. He recently moved back to Poland after 12 years of living in Alicante. He also invited me to his hometown. It was around 23.00 when he left me in Magdeburg. Very close to Berlin yet so far away. I didn't leave the place until 2.00.

I've heard about the A-Flat before. Some of my friends have been there. There was a sushi party there last year but it was the weekend I flew back to Latin America. The A-flat is a nomad base. I sent them an email before leaving BXL but well, it took me longer than planed to get to it. When I arrived I was greeted very nice, I knew no one but I felt very welcomed from the very first moment. Like when I stayed in Casa Robino in Amsterdam and Casa Bonita in Lyon a couple of years ago.

I wish I could've stayed  longer, the vibe is awesone but this time it was not possible. After sharing a meal we played a board game (which I'm still trying to understand) but I was exhausted, I was falling asleep while playing, maybe this was the reason I didn't quite understand the point of the game. At 2.00 I bailed, they continued the game in the kitchen. I had a long hitchhike in a few hours.

I like the idea of "sharing, adventure, convivality, fun and abundance". Everyone does a bit of anything. Sometimes there is a more variety of nationalities represented but not this time but I was the only one coming from the Americas :-)

The night I was stuck in Michedorf I noticed that between 85 and 90% of the cars were Polish or heading to Poland. This was the place I needed/wanted to go. It was tricky to get there. It took me almost an hour to find the bridge to cross to the other side of the autobahn but it was worth it. After maybe 30 minutes I saw two Audis A6 with British license plates, the drivers didn't seem British tho. They were going back (to the second) home, to Lithuania... driving through Warszawa.

1 comment:

Charlotte Acrobat said...

Argh, what would I give for a car that goes Warsaw - Vilnius. That part is a terror to hitch :)