Sunday, December 7, 2014

Wojtek

Picture this scenario:
Estonia. It's winter, early December. First snow was the day before but this particular morning slush was all over the ground. Standing on open roads thumbing with subzero temperatures. Ahead, ~300 Km to Riga. It though it was easy...

Scenario part two:
Stuck in Pärnu about to lose hope and either CS there or take the bus back to Tallinn. White truck pulls over and a friendly twenty something driver. He picked me up and drove all the way to Kaunas while sharing tons of stories. He dropped me at the end of Kaunas but before he gave me his number.

Now, fast forward to exactly a year later...
I'm about to leave Lithuania, again. I'm in Vilnius where I'd stayed the previous 5 weeks (you will read about this, I just thought to share this before as it's very important and meaningful to me). I decided to text him as he told me the year before that he goes quite often from Poland to the Baltics. What where the odds for him to reply to my text, maybe not many. But to my surprise he did,  he remembered me and I was even more surprise when he tells me that he's going to Kaunas and that he could drive me back to Poland! We agreed where to meet and I set off to Kaunas.

A Lithuanian truck driver was the one that drove me to Kaunas. I tried to explain where I was going. I said Garliava, he said Ok. Wojtek texted me that he was not going to unload that evening but the next morning and asked me if I could somehow get to BLS, the place he was unloading the cargo. Again, explained this to the driver and he left a few hundred meters from the entrance. What came next surprised me: he made a hand gesture meaning that now he was going to turn back and head on to his destination... what?! he didn't need to take me there but still he took me! Ačiu very much kind sir, ačiu.

When I get to where he was, a distribution center, Wojtek welcomes me with a huge smile, we shake hands and hands me a beer as we begin to catch up.

Practically the entire day we are catching up, playing games on his iPad. We reached his home town, Grajewo. He invited me for a meal at his parent's house where I met them. They were a really nice couple and of course, very welcoming. But it was getting dark and I had to go. We said our good-byes and Wojtek took me to a petrol station outside of town where he found a ride to Ostrołęnka... the town I was stuck for a few hours the year prior... going to Warszawa!!! Now I have a new friend to visit when I go back to Poland.

It was almost dark when I left Grajewo. It was pitch dark when I got to  Ostrołęnka. The driver spoke the same amount of words in English as I know in Polish. He tried several times to find a ride on the CB radio to WAW but nothing. I saw that he was talking on the phone and suddenly he says "hey, kolega" and gives his handy. I began talking to his daughter. She tells me that he's going to take the trailer to the parking, take the truck to another parking and take me to the bus station where he will pay me the bus to WAW... I couldn't say anything but a huuuge thank you.

Finally I made it to WAW. My friend Agata found a place to stay with Mateusz, a CSer that lives in a squat.

My friends Ania and Antonia are back in Poznań and I tried to reach them but it was impossible. I left WAW late but I managed to get on the motorway. Near Łódź, some guys with a car with Luxembourger number plates drove me to Berlin, where I'm recharging batteries before continuing my journey back home.

Wojtek, thanks for everything man! see you again soon, maybe in Guatemala?

2013
2014


ps. I love everything about Poland

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Alive and kicking (part 4): Kraków - Vilnius

I always have a great time in Kraków visiting friends, making new ones. But it was time to start moving. Kraków to Vilnius could be done in one day, but it's not summer anymore and there are not motorways (no big petrol stations) making it difficult to hitchhike at night. I decided to play it safe and stop for a couple of days in Warszawa. I wanted to see a friend anyways. 

Getting there went smooth. Had a ride in a car that was voted the "ugliest car in the world". Got to Warszawa quite fast actually and had to wait until the evening to meet with Martyna. While walking I saw a guy whose face was familiar. I knew that guy but from where? Then I remembered! To explain I need to go back to 2010, Praha. I was working two jobs, the C&B and the other one posing naked for art school. Now fast forward to 2014. There I was, walking beside the Warszawa Centralna and I saw this guy. Wait, I wrote this already. Fast forward a few more minutes into the same day. The guy stopped at the bus stop. I kept looking at him. I went up to talk to him and asked him in he lived in Prague a few years before. It was him! The guy that drew me naked! We remembered each other but couldn't remember our names. We had a small chat, I was with my friend and she asked him "how do you know each other?" to what he answer "I used to draw him naked". A girl standing nearby turned to look at us with a WTF face, priceless!!!  Can't believe that I almost moved here a couple of years ago. What was I thinking... no wait. I wasn't.

Anyways, I left. I was on my way by 10. After the first ride of about a 100Km I took a short break for breakfast. Then was a ride almost to the border. There I got stuck a bit. It was fucking cold. A short ride  a few kilometers from the border. Almost in Lithuania but not quite. It was still cold. The small shop in the petrol station was open 24 hours. That was good. I was reviewing my options = thinking if they would kick me out if I wanted to spend the night inside. A few drivers were going to Tallinn. A couple of other drivers wanted to take only Justyna but not me. Finally, one driver agreed to take us to Kaunas. He was going to Riga. On the Kaunas' ring road, he contacted another Polish driver that drove me to a petrol station on the highway to Vilnius. After a failed attempt of buying coffee and 30 minutes later I was on my way to the capital of Lithuania and was going to meet my friends Mikael and Simona. Haven't seen them since last year's Hitchgathering. 

Yay! I was finally in Vilnius! I didn't know what to expect, I've heard such wonderful things about it that I couldn't wait to get here.

the ride that took me into LT

Monday, November 3, 2014

Why I love Poland (Kraków)


Given the fact that I have been to Poland 11 times (2010, 3 times in 2011, 2012, 5 times in 2013 and now in 2014). I guess you can say that I do love this country. And since 7 out of those it's been Kraków, you can fairly say that I love Kraków. I have also been 7 times to Warszawa but I like Kraków more. Sorry.

This is the list of the reasons why I love Kraków. It took me a few days to come up with as I had a few days to think about it. I mean, I wrote on a sticky note a reason every time I thought about one. Also, there is no order in this list.

Without further adieu, I present you MY list:
  • It's very cheap. Granada is cheap, but Poland is cheaper. The only thing I dislike (but I can tolerate) is that beer doesn't come with food. Thank you Graná, you "ruined my life".
  • Polish girls.
  • Pierogi.
  • Wódka Żołądkowa Gorzka.
  • Zapiekanka.
  • 24 hour alcohol shops. No more "the chino is about to close!".
  • Beer, cheap and good.
  • Girls are good looking.
  • Public transport is cheap.
  • Hitchhiking friendly.
  • More pierogi.
  • People are very hospitable.
  • Girls are hot.
  • There are not many motorways making hitchhiking very easy.
  • Polish truck drivers are the best. Don't even bother to make stupid jokes about this, it's because they are very hospitable and can even find you another ride to keep on going.
    SO JUST DON'T!
  • It's cheap.
  • Even though I'm not really into hiking that much, I have to admit that they have great hiking trails. I had been "forced" to do a couple in the past
  • 75% of the girls you see while walking, on the tram, on the bus, are good looking.
  • Pierogi Ruskie.
  • Żubrówka.
  • Zapiekanka with bacon.
  • The Tatras. Yet, I have to Poland 13 times and never been there. Only once I went through them, when I went through Zakopane.
  • Cheap mobile carriers.
  • Pierogi with spinach.
  • More wódka.
  • Did I say it's cheap?
  • Did I mentioned the girls?
  • Did I say that hitchhiking is very easy?
  • Have you tried their food? They even have a Pierogi Festival in Kraków! Why I did not know about this?
  • 24hr alcohol shops.
  • Pierogi with meat.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Alive and kicking (part 3): Halle - Kraków



I was expecting Halle to be cheap and indeed it was. It’s a cute city in the East of Germany, home of the biggest university in Saxony-Anhalt and one of the oldest in Germany. Cobbled stone small streets. Gothic churches, especially Marktkirche.  I walked a lot. I got lost a lot. I got lost more than I walked.  Instead of taking the tram to the place where I could start hitchhiking, I decided to walk. It was a nice day for a walk anyway. It took me about an hour’s walk. I had almost 700 Km to go. It could be done in one day they say. Well, I didn’t do it in one day. Finding a ride to Leipzig was easy. Once there, leaving was impossible, at least for me that day. I tried in two different places. In the first one at least 5 drivers stopped in a period of 2 hours. They were not going my way. One was going to Zwickau. Later that day I thought maybe it could’ve been wise to take that ride. Well, I didn’t and moved to the other place. That alone took me almost an a hour. I’ve made so far less than 50 Km. It was getting late. It was the 25th anniversary of the German reunification. There was policemen every-fucking-where. I don’t think I have seen so many policemen in one day. No less than 60 police cars drove beside me. Finally I gave up. Went back to the HbF. Ate something and stared to use the Internet in McRubbish. Yes, I did eat there this time. I was starving. I had nothing in my stomach. It was 7 in the evening. Fuck off! Asked a girl if she could translate to me some text from Mitfahrgelegenheit. We started talking. She was waiting for her husband to pick her up and driving back to Dresden. Dresden! That’s where I’m going, I mean, I was going to Dresdner Tor, the petrol station just before Dresden. I had been stuck there twice before: Berlin – Prague in 2010 and Brussel – Kraków in 2011. They drove me there. Funny: It took me to thumb for two hours somewhere without success, then get on the public transport for an hour to go somewhere else and thumb an additional three hours, also without success, to find a ride in the most unsuspected place: the top floor of a McRubbish restaurant. Hitchhiking works in mysterious ways. It was not very, very late. I tried to get a tide to Wrocław. I figured once there I could call someone I know there hoping he or she will be back living there. If not, there is always the train station. No worries. I didn’t sleep at the train station because I didn’t find a ride. In 2011 I stupidly slept outside. It was not cold.  This time it was not that cold but I just didn’t want to. I went to the restaurant and bought an overpriced bottle of water and asked in my nicest and most polite tone if I could sit somewhere inside the restaurant, the lady behind the register, maybe in her 50s or 60s gave me a motherly look, then she smiled while nodding her head. She knew I needed somewhere warm to spend the night. I lay down on the cushioned bench type seat and tried to sleep. It was utterly uncomfortable but I was warm. Finally I slept from 2 to 6. I remember exactly the time because when I turned on my iPod it still had the time from when I last turned it on.  I woke up. Started to get ready and walked out of the restaurant not before thanking the restaurant lady. She smiled back.

Went back to the pumps. I heard an engine running. Quickly grabbed my shit and ran towards the lorry trying not to spill the coffee and get burned. Marek agreed to take to Wrocław. We stopped for a pausa in the first big petrol station after crossing the border. 5 minutes after… no, not even 5, even less than 5 minutes after setting foot on Polish soil I remembered one of the reasons why I love this country so much. Marek was going to Łódź but he was going close to where I had to get off, he decided to drive the more or less 5 Km between his exit the petrol station on the A4, right outside Wrocław. From there another guy drove me to Opole. He was asking, without any success, on the CB radio every time he saw another lorry that might go on my direction. In that petrol station I had so many looks of disgust from Poles. I saw a VW kombi. Asked the guy, his car had Slovenian number plates. He worked in Wrocław but was going back home to Ljubljana for the weekend. He took me to Gliwice. There, another guy agreed to take me but we had to wait a bit for his colleague because he needed to give him something. I asked a couple other drivers walking nearby but nothing. Alright, I told myself, you found a ride anyway, don’t mind if I wait a bit more. The 30 Km between Gliwice and Katowice took almost an hour. There was a massive traffic jam at the péage, the queue was a couple of kilometres long. Finally I was in Katowice, I asked a guy with long hair that seemed nice. He was. He said yes. Speed limit was, I think 120, he was driving 180. Given the way he drove, I think he was in a hurry.

So peeps, that’s how I got to the lovely city of Kraków, the place I stayed for a bit over two weeks. The place that I always enjoy going.




Monday, October 27, 2014

Alive and kicking (part 2): BXL - Halle


photo by Rosa
But I think that the most random weekend so far was in Brussel. Me and my friends Margaux and Rosa were looking for a place to eat and then to have a beer. We ended up in this pub that I still don’t know the name when two guys started talking to the Little One and the Curly Hair One. Long story short they ended up taking us to a couple of other pubs, one club that we didn’t go inside because there was a cover charge and finally to a pub that I had been before and that I never remember the name. We had no idea where the fuck were we nor how to get back. One of them gave us a ride home. The second day was by no means less random than the night before. My friend Wim told me about a house party somewhere in BXL. The three of us took the tram to the center and were going to see what would happen next. I saw a big mess in the back of the tram, someone with a Thor helmet, people in costumes… It was Kat and Jeff and Gert! We went to this awesome house party that only God knows (and them) knew where it was. We left, drunk with a rough idea where to go, we had a hand drawn map. In the middle of my drunkeness I started to hitch… at 4 in the morning and drunk! Then suddenly, a taxi stopped. My first reaction was “we don’t have money!”. He didn’t care, he drove us to 3 or 4 street from home and of course, for free.

Wim’s flat is in the North of BXL, it’s actually on the road that leads to Antwerpen which is where I was going next. To meet Johanna, whom I met in Granada. I also met with Janne; I met her in Estonia last year whilst working in the same hostel. I spent only a couple of days in Antwerpen. Wanted to meet with other people but, well, they were busy.

There I was, standing next to a McRubbish, resisting the urge to go inside and eat some of the most delicious rubbish I have ever eaten, but I didn’t do go inside, I refused to do it. Instead, I found a ride to the first petrol after the Dutch border.  The guy was going to Rotterdam. I have never been to Rotterdam I said to myself. It was still early and I still had time.  Why the hell not stop a few hours and then continue my way to Utrecht? That’s what I did. I was very surprised about Rotterdam, it’s nothing like I experienced in The Netherlands. Everything is very modern, basically no old building. Not that it’s bad but I’m used to see really old shit in NL. The building and bridges were really nice. After a few hours I decided that it was time to leave. I was not far away from Utrecht, a mere 60 Km. but still took me a few hours to find a ride. Two good looking girls stopped for me and asked me where I was going but unfortunately for me they were not going in my direction.  Pity, there were really cute. So I stood there for a couple more hours. A couple of drivers stopped but all where going everywhere but Utrecht. Finally a Spanish speaking Dutch guy stopped and drove me to Utrecht. I mean, some drivers tell you “I need to be somewhere so I’m letting you off here”. I’m not complaining about this, they did me a huge favour bringing me there but this guy was like “I just need to make a quick phone call”, this phone call was to his colleague telling him that he was going to be late because he was driving me all the fucking way to Edy’s house! He spoke perfect Spanish with an Argentinian accent. His name is Ariel (well, that Latinoamericanized version of his name, the version he told me).

The time I spent in Utrecht, as always, was really nice. Catching up with one of my best friends. Eating a frozen pizza (like the ones I used to eat in Tallinn) while having a beer: priceless. I spent the weekend and met with Livia whom I met in Tallinn. I also met with Tami. She did a semester in Spain but we couldn’t match our schedules.  I did nothing else than relax in Utrecht. Siemen, a guy I met in Granada took one day to visit Utrecht and drink a few beers with me and Maria who was also visiting town. All in all was a great few days spent in NL.

photo by Livia
There is a place that I always use when leaving Utrecht. Is the entrance of the ring road A27; I’ve used this place to go east to Berlin and South to Antwerpen. I thought it was still the best place. It’s not as perfect as before. Before there was a broke down lane, now it’s a two lane on ramp. Still a few cars stopped before finally getting a ride with a new mum and her 8-week-old baby girl. A Mechanical Engineering asked me where I was from and agreed to take me to the next petrol station. After a few minutes of conversation he mentioned that he lived 10 minutes from where we were and asked me if I wanted to stop for a coffee and a sandwich before continuing. I had still about 500 Km to go but it was relatively early so I thought why not? After an hour we were on the road again. A couple of years ago I was on the motorway near Hengelo, stuck on my way to Berlin. It was not only before a couple of hours of asking people and thumbing that a polish lorry driver took me to Magdeburg. This time was exactly the same. Slow but steady ride. When I made it to Magdeburg it was already dark exactly like a few years ago. What was different was that then, is that I found a straight ride to Berlin in a matter of minutes. This time, eerr, well not exactly. I even scared a woman and her daughter when I asked them for a ride while they were walking to the shop, but when they came out, they wished me luck. To not make things longer, after maybe three hours, I went inside for a coffee. I heard some people talking behind me. I asked politely if they were going direction Leipzig to what they answered that they were in fact going that way. They agreed to take me but warned me that the car was small. I though they were riding a VW Golf or maybe something even a bit smaller… it was a fucking Audi A5! That’s a semi sports car for fucks sake! The 120 Km between the petrol station and Halle were done in about an hour. There were construction works that slowed us down from 180 KPH to about 80 KPH in some parts of the motorway. One of them used to work for a company that was doing business with a Guatemalan company. "I don't know any Estonians but I do know some good Guatemalans" he told me when we talked about Estonia. They took me to Halle HbF and by 22:00 I was already having a Sternie with Anna.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Alive and kicking (part 1): Leaving Granada - BXL


That’s right, I’m alive. My life has been intense since the last crap I wrote. Met some wonderful new people that I wanted to take with me. I met someone very special the last weekend I was in Granada. I am indeed the King of Bad Timing. I spent more time in my second home (or first?), oh yeah, that place is Hamelin. That pub became a very special place for me. The barmen became my friends, I did some crazy shit there. I slept at the bar more time than I would like to accept. I would be in a position to deny that but unfortunately there are a few photos of me sleeping. Since I started traveling I don’t listen to radio and I don’t what to look for on youtube, I mean new music. My music library has grown very, very slowly. But despite that fact along the years I managed to came to know some really great bands. I’m not sure if I knew them before but in Granada I became a fan of The Black Keys; and I specially like one song: Lonely Boy. I’m not sure who was it that changed the name of the song to Lonely Ron but I liked it. From then on I sang that song, let’s say a lot.  I even managed to get a shot named after me… yup, you guessed it right, the name of MY  shot is Lonely Ron. The last beer I had there, the Sunday before I left was very, very emotional.
 (photos courtesy of Syrmo Kyrstopoulo)


photo by Cristina
I needed to be in Paris fast and given the fact that hitchhiking in Spain is utterly unpredictable, I decided not to hitchhike whilst still in the country. I found myself in Bilbao 12 hours after leaving Granada. I had been there before, 4 years prior. In Bilbao I met with my friend Cristina. She spent 5 years in Australia. I haven’t seen her in the same amount of time. We talked about of love stories, about traveling, about traveling and love stories. We had a lot to catch up… a lot! Although, 3 days was not enough to get up to date for the last 5 years, but we have an idea of what we did in that time. Sometimes some people tell me “life has taken us different ways, you are traveling the world. Distance tends to drive people off". Not in this case, I felt like the last time I saw Cristina was a month ago (a 5 year 30 days ago, if that makes any sense. It does in my head).


The route that lorry drivers take from Portugal/Spain to Northern Europe “goes through” San Sebastián. So there I was, at 6 in the morning looking for a way out. I decided to share a ride to the first petrol station on French soil. The driver didn't charge me... it ended being sort of hitchhiking. Once there, 5 minutes later I was inside a Portuguese lorry on my way to Bordeaux. I think that Granada turned me uglier. I spent 7 hours stuck in that damn petrol station! Nothing was working. I was asking people near the pumps. No one was going to Paris. In December I was on the other side of the road, going to Madrid and I found an straight ride after less than 30 minutes (we had breakfast in those 30 minutes of waiting). Why on this side was different? Dafuq should I know! I just knew that no one was picking me up. I was desperate. I was anxious. I was hungry. I only had one apple, one peach and one pear in my stomach. Finally, by 17:00, a Belgian car drove me to Paris… super fast! I was very scared but I didn’t care, I was finally going to Paris, for the third time.

Paris, the City of Light. Twice before I had been there and twice before was nothing special. In fact, I’m not a big fan of Paris but I was supposed to meet someone there, someone that never came. Therefore, third time was not the charm.  I met some nice people there so it was alright. I met with my good friend Lempi and everything was alright.

Leaving Paris is always a major pain in the ass; this time was not the exception. The distance between Paris and Lille is not that much so I decided not to start as early as I normally would. After four hours of sharing the spot with four other people, I finally left and was having a beer with my friend Chloé by 17:00. The first thing I noticed when I saw the beers on the table was, where the fuck is the food? Oh yeah, I was not in Spain anymore. Summer of 2013 I met a nice Moroccan in Tallinn. A year later I was meeting Abde in Lille for a coffee.

I was standing in the entrance of the motorway. A place I had been standing twice before. The first time I was there I was going back to Belgium and I found a ride straight to BXL. The second time I was going South, I was going to Saint-Loubès and found a ride to the first petrol station on the motorway. Both times it took like maybe an hour or two. Both times I was with a girl. This time though, I was alone. This time it took me I think more than four hours. Not one single car even stopped to ask me where I was going. I didn’t remember that hitchhiking in France was that hard. I saw a lorry with Belgian number plates and immediately showed him the “BXL” sign I had been using. Suddenly, the unexpected happened: the driver agreed to take me! After introducing myself and talking for a bit he told me that he was not going to BXL but to Antwerpen through Gent… Fuck it, I was on my way to Belgium, I didn’t care. As long as Belgium was still as easy to hitch as it has been in the past, I could be anywhere and still make it before dinnertime to my destination. He offered me to take me to Antwerpen (it would’ve been as easy to go there and hitchhike down to BXL but why bother to add an extra 100ish Km) but I asked to be dropped off before Gent, right before the crossroads on the motorway leading to BXL. 10 minutes went by and I was offered a cigar whilst being driven the petrol station on the motorway. There I asked a few drivers but they were going not quite to Brussel (by the way, for those of you who do not know: BXL = Brussel = Brussels). Finding a ride in 10 minutes is super cool, especially after being stuck for 4 hours in the same place. Belgium is the country where I had the most rides in luxury cars. I saw a fancy MercedesBenz S-Class, the driver looked (and was) a businessman. He changed his name to Dries when he converted to Islam, over 20 years ago. He used to hitchhike and told me that Spain was once easy to hitchhike and that Guardia Civil had always been assholes. Oh yeah, he told me this while driving me to BXL.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

what's next?


Exactly! And I don't know.

I have three weeks left in Spain and I have no idea what to do and where to go. I don't think I have been this confused about this. 

It all started one day when I was having dinner with my friend Julia back in the hostel. A week later I received the news that I had to leave. It felt like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge... or even worse. Yeah, maybe worse than that.

That was over a month ago. At the moment I felt that the world was crushing me. I didn't want to leave. I almost cried. As much as I love Granada and actually, almost became my new black hole, Estonia is still very deep in my thoughts. I started again with the "when I was Estonia" stories.

Days went by and not only I started to accept the fact that I couldn't stay but I started to embrace the idea that I had to leave. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to leave. Maybe it was a sign from a superior being that I needed to move somewhere. That I needed to pack my stuff. That I needed to get going. That I needed to start using my thumb again because it's getting rusted because of the lack of hitchhiking. But where to, Germany? Poland? Lithuania? Russia? Back to Estonia? Finally leave Europe and go East? Pavel is already in Iran and Matthieu is hitchhiking to India very soon...

Some of my good friends left. I don't know if I'm ever going to see them again. I sure hope so! I still have good friends here but we don't hang out as often as before. There was a very special group of volunteers working at the hostel but they are all gone. Then two more came but they soon will be gone. I, soon, will be gone too. The hostel way of life: people coming in and out of your life. But some, well, they a leave a mark on you. Really looking forward to meet with the little one, the curly hair one, the skinny one and the Swedish looking Aussie guy really soon.

I'm starting to think and to "plan". That is not good. Never works out. I have my life "planned" for the next month. I mean I do like how this plan looks like. No, I love how this plan looks like but what if doesn't work out? You see, I'm thinking too much. I don't like to think this much. I even thought about going back home. Home as in Guatemala. Stop traveling for good. Or go to the forest and live a naked life. The naked part seems interesting but I need internet to keep writing crap, crap like the one you are reading right now.

My room is a mess. I need to clean it up. I'm leaving this flat at the end of this week and I have no idea where I'm going to move in! I will be literally homeless for two weeks. Maybe I could camp in Sacromonte?

Anyways,  I'm back to where I started, asking myself what's next? I guess the answer is that I'll see what happens next...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Note to self

I always tell myself NOT to plan. Most of the times I listen to myself. But it has happen that in a few particular occasions, well... I don't.

Most of the times I listen to myself and just go with the flow, no plan. It has worked for almost 5 years, except in four occasions. The latest one was a couple of days ago. I planned to stay in Granada for an indefinite period of time. I came to like and the love this city. For the first time I found a place I could stay for long. Well, second time. Tallinn was the first one. And then, after the planning, the shit came in! YAY FOR ME!

"Here I am. Life has taken an interesting turn". I found this quote last year. Now, I think that life is playing its "funny" tricks on me once again. Life indeed has taken a quite interesting and specially unpleasant turn. Shit happened and now my days in Granada might be very limited if I don't come up with a solution. My mum always said that things happen for a reason.

"My past known". I have been living in Granada for the past six months. And I love it here, I don't want to leave but...

"My future unknown...". Should I swim against the tide? Should I hit the road once more? I have no idea what to do. I wish my dad was still alive, I could really use his wisdom right now.

"The present is up to me". But he's not here. No one is going to help me solve the crap I'm in but me. "I took a shot to the chin" by some motherfucking cunt. But I managed before. I know I will now. I know me. Time to pick myself up off the floor, shake the dust from my trousers and find a solution, regardless of what that may be. I still have more than a month. Anything can/will happen in this time.

As I was finishing this post, I was about to click "publish" when this song came on iTunes:
Hang Tough by 80s glam metal band Tesla

Took a shot to the chin.
Looks like you just can't win
In this do or die situation.
And it's harder than it seems
To survive, keep alive and make your dreams,
Make your dreams all come true.

You gotta, you gotta give it your best shot.
Give it everything you got.
Oh, you gotta hang tough.
Hang tough. Hang tough.

Sometimes love can make you blue.
A heartache made just for you.
But you can't let it bring ya down.
If you should stumble, if you should fall,
Pick yourself up off the floor.
Fight for what's right and stand your ground.

You gotta give it your best shot.
Give it everything you got.
Oh, you gotta hang tough.
Hang tough. Hang tough.
When the goin' gets rough.
Hang tough. You got to give it all you've got.
Hang tough. Keep your head above the ground.
Don't you let it get you down.
Oh, you gotta hang tough.
Hey! Oh! Hey! Oh!

You stay locked away inside your room
'Cause you don't know what this world is comin' to.
Hummingbird hums 'cause he don't know the words
And the piper will play 'cause he don't know what to say.
He's alot like you, yeah. Oh, he's alot like you, yeah.
He tries hard ev'ry day to be free and fly away. Yeah!

Hang tough, oh, when the goin' gets rough.
Hang tough. You've got to give it all you got.
Hang tough. Keep your head above the ground.
Don't you let it get you down.
Oh, you gotta hang tough.

Hang tough. Oh, you got to give it all you got. You gotta
Hang tough. Don't you let it get you down.
Hang tough. No! Oh, you gotta hang tough.
Hang tough.
Hang tough!

One thing is sure: I'm not ready to go back to Guatemala...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Granadian? Granadese? Granadino facts!

These are some of my facts I came up with and some of the things I think about Granada.
- People with dreadlocks in Granada are as common as people with noserings: you can see them everywhere! I'm no longer crazy about girls with dreads. Pity.
- I loooooove girls in tights/leggins. Never seen so many like in the South of Spain. You looked so good in them!
- Guys with beards are also quite common but I'm not going to shave tho. I shaved not long ago. I'm starting to think that I do it once a year.
- Awesome free tapas is a Granada thing. In Cádiz they were not free nor awesome, they were actually quite expensive. In Madrid there was only one place that had great tapas but the drinks were quite expensive.
- Most things are more expensive than Estonia but the few "important" things (if you know what I mean) is way cheaper!
- I don't think I will ever go to Alhambra, at least to the paid areas. The Spaniards spent 800 years trying to get rid of the Arabs and now they are making a (huge) profit with what they left behind? This is not to open a debate. If you don't like this, keep it to yourself.
- It's painful to walk on the cobble stone street with shitty jandals. Even with Chuck Taylor's is painful.
- I will NEVER get used to going up and down Albacín. NEVER!
- Who the hell had the idea of putting slippery stones on the sidewalks, even if it's drizzling it's super slippery! Don't even think about going out wearing jandals... or be prepared to spend most of the time either on the floor or walking funny. 
- The weather is as crazy as all the women in my life. During the day can be really warm and at night can get chilly. Then it was warm throughout the day. Now it's chilly throughout the entire day! WTF! Granada., you're drunk!
- Did I mention the tapas... Oh my God. They're great! The other day me and my friend went to this restaurant and for only 1€ we had a 3-piece (?) tapa!
- It's a hikers paradise. There are many hikes to choose from. Too bad that's not my strong.
- With the exceptions of Poland and Estonia, where I had a bunch of local friends, in Spain all of my friends are not Spaniards and I'm the only whose native language is Spanish. But I ask ask them quite regularly how to say some things in Spanish...
- Outside sitting is called "terraza" (terrace) but a "terraza" is also a real "terraza".
- There are many things that are quite similar to Latin America, for example: you can buy movies on the street. Or sunglasses. And while you drunk a beer in some pub you can see a guy selling roses inside!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Granadadada

Just like nothing 3 months had gone by. Three months I have been living in Granada. It took me a while to finally get used to it or actually to adjust to this new country. As weird as it may sound, one of the reasons why I couldn't quite adjust was the language. If you know me, you know that I'm weird so this shouldn't come as a surprise. Nevertheless, it took me about a month to accomplish what it took me more than 6 months in Estonia (even tho is no secret my love for Estonia).

I no longer live in the hostel, which is good. My flatmates are cool. I live with 3 girls. I have a super cool group of friends in which I'm the only native Spanish speaker.

Another interesting fact is that in these three months I had more friends visiting than for an entire year in The Black Hole. And a couple of more are coming in the next few weeks. I guess Spain is more "central" than Estonia.

All in all, life is almost good here. I mean there are a couple of things are not quite alright but I guess I can live with them. At least for the time being.

I wish that 9gag didn't exist. I need to spend less time browsing through all the crap people post there. But it's funny. That, and the fact that for some strange reason I cannot get online at home make very difficult for me to write new stuff. But there has to be a solution no? Maybe I could write a word document and then copy and paste it onto the blog? I could try that. This post won't have pictures in it. I don't know where my memory card reader is.

I went to Nerja again. This time I camped on the beach. There is a hippie beach 5 seconds away from what I think it's  the guiriest beach in Nerja. Just walk around a big rock and you are in Playa Chica. I didn't feel welcome there. I felt a bit of aggression while being there. The same kind I felt when I went to the Dragon festival, a free hippie rave in the nearby town of Santa Fé. I wanted to take shitloads of photos of people but nope, I didn't. I didn't want to get my ass kicked. It was a very interesting festival. I'm not an expert when it comes to festivals but I thought there was going to be a central stage where DJs where going to play their (strange for me) music but no. Anyone could just set up a tent with a sound system and voilá! I was having a lovely time when suddenly a generator was started followed with horrible music. Killed the mood. There was a tent that was playing good music but I only stayed for one night. My parents raised me as a responsible boy, didn't even go out that night. I tried to hitch back to town but no one picked me, bastards. The police were checking for drugs, they were checking people going in and coming out:
- policeman: "where are you going?"
- Ron: "home?"
- policeman: "do you have any illegal drugs on you?"
- Ron: "no. I don't do drugs" (?)
- policeman: "where are you from?", while holding me by the arm
- Ron: "Guatemala"
- policeman: "do you have hash in Guatemala?"
- Ron: "eeer, I don't know". I actually don't know,
- policeman: "and coke?"
- Ron: thought about telling him that we also have Pepsi and a few other colas but decided not to, he seemed that he didn't have a sense of humor. "coke is from Colombia. Besides, coke is everywhere"
- policeman: "alright. good-bye"
- Ron: ?. "ciao"

Spring should here. During the day it's warm and sunny, except when it's raining. The other day it was and I went to the shop wearing shorts and jandals... some people even looked at me angry! It was not that cold, nothing I couldn't bear. I probably looked very guiri.

I think Granada is drunk: warm days and chilly evenings. Oh well, beer and drugs are cheap around here... probably that's the reason.