About the landing preparations

I dreamt about the San Francisco.
It looked more like New York city encompassed with the dense Hong Kong mist.
It looked like some place that San Francisco is not, but I knew it is,
I tried to take my mother and a dog out to walk a bit around the golden gate, she said no.

Why can’t we go and walk a bit around the golden gate bridge
Why can’t we

My mother was busy, so was my father. Busy was my sister, my cousins, grandparents, aunties, uncles, friends from school, university, kindergarden, the friends I missed and loved.
My dog wasn’t my dog. He looked different, bigger and more polished, and not like my dog at all really.

Come, let’s go see a world, we’re in San Francisco! We are not here forever. We’re only here for a while. How can you know we will not be in a whole new place by tomorrow.

Let’s
go
and
see

But everybody was too busy.

So I took a metro a couple of blocks away from our San Francisco house, the one looking just like in the Mrs. Doubtfire and went to the Golden Gate park. I sat by the river and looked at the tones of red lines and cables, rapid waters of the blue river. There was nobody else just me and the dog that didn’t remind my dog in any way, the endless lines and splots and contextures, the red of it, the metallic.

The intimidating beauty, and the power, and the time, the cold wind smacking my face, tearing my hair, pulling it, ugly, the face of the dog I didn’t know, faithfully smiling to mine

And so I cried

I cried because I have never felt more lonely in my life. I cried because it was me and the powerful intimidating beauty surrounding me from every angle while everybody else was gone. How powerful the world felt by just surrounding me, the world created and remained, forgotten and dismissed.

Everybody else was too busy.
People got to work you know

I dreaded whether they would see what I saw? How I could I know they wouldn’t say

SAN FRANCISCO IS FOR JUNKIES.
YOU NEED MONEY
MONEY IS IMPORTANT
YOU WILL MISS THE MONEY
IT BUYS YOU A BIGGER HOUSE
YOU NEED TO PAY MONEY TO OTHER PEOPLE WHO NEED MORE MONEY TO BUY A BIGGER HOUSE
YOU NEED MORE MONEY
YOU NEED MORE MONEY
WORK
WORK
WORK
WORK
WORK
WORK
WORK
WORK

But I just sat there. I sat on the grass, green minty grass and I felt what I saw with every bit of my soul like I looked at it through a little piece of a pink glass.

*

Two years ago on the sunny friday morning of October I launched the Apollo 13 from the small ugly Warsaw airport. I waved to my family and friends and the love of my life, I pulled the blue pulsating heart out of my bleeding chest, put it inside the big metal, flying Apollo, and launched it. Since I have done it, two years, seven hundred thirty nights and days of comparable length has passed on the planet earth, the third planet from the Sun, the densest planet in the Solar System, the largest of the Solar System’s four terrestrial planets, and the only astronomical object known to accommodate life. My mum, dad, sister, grandma, grandad, aunties and uncles went to bed around seven hundred thirty times and saw around seven hundred thirty sundowns.
I feel like all these days I have been in a different galaxy. I escaped time as I knew it.

I left earth in Sydney on Friday night and I saw it again, twenty hours later, in Dubai on Saturday early morning, just to leave it again with a repacked suitcase to see it again in London
I like going west, because it makes your day last forever. If you drink coke and coffee you can do with it anything you want.
You can get a little cute wrinkle throughout the day.

Can a fly live the day longer than me?
Does it make me the ambassador of the inequality of days and nights?

I’m so lonely
but that’s okay
I shaved my head
and I’m not sad

Some of my beloved friends has fell in love throughout these seven hundred thirty days. I am so happy for them. Some has changed their style and career, moved to another city, broke up with their boyfriends, got a big pretty tattoo, some stopped smoking and finished universities.
I just fly and fly, just ride you know,
keep on rolling like there’s no tomorrow
jump from one island to another, oh what the world is but islands, making passionate love to the Empire State Building in the May sun, in December nights.

I cried when it started raining in Coventry and I couldn’t explain why. I think I cried because it was so beautiful. It sounded so pretty, like little twinkles on the window sill. It felt so clear, so simple and normal, it felt like my soul has been taking a little shower, so I sat down, with my face wet in raindrops and cried.

I saw a grizzly bear. He has been eating a plant on the side of Canadian Highway number one, the longest Highway in Canada. He could kill you with a paw, but he ate the little green plants.
It was beautiful. I couldn’t take my eyes away.

Why do we underestimate the world so badly? Why do we let the system close us in the box, why do we let it make us breath the fake filtrated air and make quick unpassionate love to the computer screens.

It’s beautiful.
It’s wild.

That girl said i want to be like you
And who is that?
Red hat?
Glamorous lifestyle, the big glass doors of the beautiful hotels
London New York Paris oh baby
Tones of make up, red lips, sad eyes

That made me sad.
Can’t you see that’s everything I am not?

I worry my Apollo 13 will crush when touching down. I worry the atmosphere will torn it apart into million pieces, breaking my heart, turning it into something ugly.
I worry I will come back to all the busy people who couldn’t go to the Golden Gate park that day with my arms opened and it will not change a thing. I worry I will leave you, Empire State, to hear no sorry, go by yourself

That go by yourself I dread the most

And so I went

The long story of a backpack from the Chinese street market

I got my backpack for fair traded hundred hong kong dollars on the Chinese market.

It’s close to nothing. It says “Levi’s” inside and “JinTisMao” outside. I find it really cool, the kind of “I’m a badass traveller” cool, so I packed my wallet I got at some local store on omani souq, my big boy camera, passport, a pack of chewable fudge, Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”, pocket edition of Fitzgerald’s “Great Gatsby” I carry with myself everywhere but never really open, and than me and the Chinese backpack became the closest friends.

Going around the world seems like a fairy tale right from National Geographic, but it kicks you in the ass. World kicks you in the ass. And it’s not just some kind of kick in the ass you get before an exam from a friend, it’s a motherfucking superpower kind of Chuck Norris kick right in the ass. Perhaps doubled. I wear my fancy uniform and smile to people more than I would intend to. I give them a massive check-out-my-teeth smile when they can’t get their meal and get angry, or when I kick them for the fourth time with my cart because there’s not enough space. So it happens and my face momentarily transforms into some kind of double cream birthday cake, which you can’t help but smile to. My silver armour. This is what sometimes I feel I’m becoming. A double cream birthday cake.

I stand on the ridge of Grand Canyon, some safe half meter away from the edge, and I can’t stop looking down, in this massive six thousand feet depth, being protected from it with nothing but my own uncertain sense of balance. This massive hole has been here for some millions of years and there’s been some idiots who fell down there and died because they wanted a cool photo, and some Djangos who shot each other there, and some Pocahontas making out with John Smith too, and this thing has seen all that, and it meant absolutely nothing to it. If I made a single step I would fell right into it and turn into a piece of meat eaten by the birds. Maybe there would be a little note in the news or something of that sort, but that would technically change absolutely nothing beside the daily menu of the canyon birds. Everything that surrounded me in that moment wouldn’t give a single fuck whether I am a cabin crew or a toilet cleaner or a president of the United States, Muslim or Jewish, raw vegetarian etc.

I remember the eighteen years old me having a conversation with my old friend. I don’t quite remember what were we talking about, but I remember me saying it’s all about loosing your ego and him let me know when you’ll find the way to do it.

So I flew sixteen hours and than rode for six more to go to this six thousand feet hole in the ground, sat on its edge just to dangle my legs a little. It has become one of the most significant events in my life.

To travel means nothing and everything. I find the word just as undefined as love, and probably just as fascinating. Where does the journey start? I believe it starts once you’re in the land of unknown and the big fluffy monster called “fear” appears right next to you. The moment when you take this monster by hand and decide to go wherever it takes you, this is the journey. Going out of your comfort zone. And than going out once again. My journey has been about looking for something without quite knowing what was it, and it took to go around the globe twice and another twice and than another one to understand.

What I was looking for was myself.

I was scared more times than I could count on my fingers. I was lost more times than I could remember too. I missed the buses, mistook the metros and walked the wrong directions way too late in the night in the places I have never been to before. I practised looking confident in what I am doing to perfection, just to hide how terrified and lost I am.

Me and dad decided we can’t sleep and went for the night hike to the Griffith Observatory in the North Hollywood. To actually get there with your two legs is quite an effort as most of the road goes almost straight up after what the road peters out leaving you on the sandy path in the complete darkness lighten by nothing but omnipresent night lights of California. On our way back in the late night we got completely lost walking some two miles in the opposite direction. We were left with nothing but two pairs of legs, a pair of brains and a cheap Chinese backpack. We didn’t know the taxi number neither the way to the metro. And you know what? It wasn’t even tiny bit scary. Because after all you got a pair of legs and a brain for the right reason. And once you have your little house right on your back that’s more than you would ever need.

Walking around the globe hand by hand with the old friend called fear I learnt one important thing. I found that sentence in my crumpled copy of Strayed’s “Wild” and it was just right. I realised I was no longer as much loose in the world, as bound to it. The world from the scary, unexplored, big place became the place I belong to. With every other step I feel closer to it, I feel more bound to it. I don’t know when was the very moment when the map on my wall started looking ridiculously inadequate to what it represents. World has nothing to do with the lines and colours. They are far too simple for the amount of blisters and sleepless nights for what it takes to make world feel a little like home.

You may imagine that travelling is sitting on the fancy Californian beaches in your magazine dress and contemplating the sound of the sea while analysing your life and meditating about who you are. I believe it probably is travelling too, but not my travelling. My journey reminds more of lying on that beach with your jetlagged face stuffed with dirty beach sand because an hour ago you literally fell right onto it falling asleep and you probably wouldn’t wake up for the next two days if some kid didn’t shout something next to your ear. Acknowledging that your face doesn’t really remind your face because you’re too tired to hide it under your make up, draining in the forty degrees heat anyway.

Catching up a glimpse of this face in the broken piece of a mirror in a public toilet in the city the name you don’t remember and smiling back to it, that’s travelling. There’s nothing I would rather be than the person in the mirror, you think looking at your watch with a wrong time zone set up. If that takes to go around the globe some sixteen million times to learn that, it is not a bad deal at all.

New York, New York

Do you know why did Frank Sinatra put it twice in his song? Simply because the city is so great, you need to say it twice, like some kind of magic spell. And it really is a magic spell, and a spell of all the great things too. It’s a synonym of the freedom, of if I can make it here I can make it anywhere and there is no need saying that, because once you sit on a bench in a Central Park or get into any tube station, you know exactly what do I mean. New York, New York. I packed my little suitcase and took my dad to the city that never sleeps. He took his little suitcase too. I remember how one day me, my boyfriend and my dad were sitting around the table in my parents house. They were drinking some vodka, and talking some vodka talk. My father doesn’t speak any English, so I was stuck sober between the two of them, and translating. It’s great, translating two drunk men, you can make things sound any way you want them to. I don’t quite remember why did we start talking about travelling, and where did the question came from. I don’t remember my answer for it neither, but my dad, once asked where would he like to travel to, said New York. He said that with that special look on his face. This New York sounded way too big in his Polish smaller city mouth. It sounded almost like the answer of a kid asked who does he want to be in the future, saying a rockstar with all the belief and hope painted on his face, like it was the only obvious answer. That answer would make the family laugh with the warm laugh, maybe somebody would say ah, he’s so funny even though the kid’s face would be as serious as it could get. It was long before I even thought I will ever get myself to New York. So I laughed too. I have to admit it: I fell badly for New York. I love every single street of it. I love SoHo, South of Houston, the neighbourhood of the old textile houses occupied with its new residents, standing out with its tall windows and high roofs. It has it’s own smell, the smell of an old piano and bricks. I love it’s small cafes and its old style outside fire stairs hanging on the building. SoHo looks like jazz, looks like a music, even though it’s quiet. We got ourselves lost on its streets in the early afternoon, when the Sun is not quite there and it slips through the small spaces between the old brick buildings making your eyes squint. If you are lucky enough maybe you’ll spot Leonardo di Caprio or Julia Roberts in the crowd of the people wearing washed, ragged jeans. I look inside the flat through the high open windows, there are pictures all over the walls. There are people sitting on the window frames with a glass of a white wine, there’s some quiet music playing in the back of the flat. In New York there are no curtains. Two minutes away you get to NoLita, North of Little Italy, North of Godfathers and Sopranos. When we’re passing by, me with a cup of Starbucks coffee (which I’m not a big fan of, it’s just that in this ocean of choice which New York definitely is, Starbuck’s is always the choice that’s the nearest) and my dad with a cigarette. I’m imagining I have a flat there. My flat is in the old red brick building, it has black fire stairs on the elevation and tall tall windows. When you ride on the street and look in the window in the night all you see is long rows of books, and me sitting on the wooden chair. I may be smoking a cigar or kissing with my boy, or maybe sitting by the wooden desk with a bright desk lamp lightening my face, writing something really great on the piece of paper. My cat is sitting on the window frame. I would only close my window in the winter, because this is how much I love the music of the streets in New York. This noise would wake me up. My dad loved Wall Street. When I told that to a tour guide we made friends with, he started laughing. How could anybody on earth love a street surrounded by walls? There is a lot of man in white and blue shirts on the Wall Street. They all look like they were in a hurry and they are checking their business mobile phones while standing in a queue for a hot dog and a black coffee. When they get their hot dog and a black coffee they pay for it quick, and disappear in one of the wall’s doors. The guy who is a guide and now is a friend too said that these guys in shirts running on the Wall street don’t have an easy life, he said they have no girlfriends because all they can talk about is finance. Girls don’t normally talk about finance, at least not all the time. Of course unless they are serious girls in shirts, who check their email while waiting for a hot dog on the Wall Street, but I don’t think there is too many of them. In the financial buildings there is a floor where guys in white or blue shirts leave their laundry in case so they don’t wear the same thing for a few days. There are drug and alcohol counsellors offices too, so once the men in shirts after months of working on seventeen hours shifts get a problem, they don’t have to look for help anywhere far. Working on the Wall Street means pressure. There is nowhere higher to go. Unnecessary a comfortable place to be, if you asked me. We got lost in the Central park. After some small shopping we decided we’re too tired of the wild crowd of the claustrophobic metro line number two and we took a walk through the park. If you think that abandoning the lights and noise of the New York streets in the name of Central Park is boring, it means you have never got yourself lost in these acres of greenery. Central Park means thousand different things. It means streets full of joggers and bikes, it means lakes filled with little boats, big green fields with young men playing baseball, little boys and girls climbing the trees. It means dogs. The dogs have all the craziest hairstyles and wear all the different clothes, some of them look like they were an accessory of their classy owner, some of them look more of a mutt, running all over with a smiley expression. There are fluffy dogs lying on the green grass serving as a pillow to their owners reading a newspaper and a tiny chiuaua dogs in funny pink jackets. Central Park is a massive music hall, with all its singers, guitar players, medieval poem singers (yes, that is right.), saxophonists and jazz masters in one place. The grass is the scene. The ticket costs as much as you’ll decide it’s worth. My favourite part of the Central park is its small, sinuous narrow paths, going up and down left and right, under the bridge made of bricks and around the lake you’ve never noticed before. The grass around is moving, from time to time a squirrel cuts your way begging for a nut. Constantly changing the directions we got so lost that we ended up on the wrong side of the park, almost at the East River. The Sun was going down, and the calm East side of Manhattan looked like a dreamland. The lights in the tall apartments were lightening up one after another sharing the secrets of those who live there with a passer by. The man in a suit opens a tall wooden door for the older man taking his small dog for a walk. The lamps lighten up and you can see the faces of the strangers talking about something passionately. Times Square never sleeps. It gets me a headache. It is a vortex in a washing machine, it mixes older ladies on the holidays with a group of Asians and a young gentleman in nothing but pants saying a naked cowboy. The two policemen stand lost in the crowd looking at it with tired faces, ignoring the mass passing on the red lights touching a mask of a yellow taxi. Times Square smells of million smells, it attacks your nose with such an intensity that you feel lost, aroma of caramel nuts changes into the smell of a tramp within two seconds. Street food from 53rd has everything in it: fried oreos and a grilled chicken. Somebody passes by next to you with his big black Starbucks coffee. We hide in a metro station, three floors underground, surrounded by the heat and a noise of street musicians, who didn’t fit in the crowded street. The noise goes down as we walk west on the 53rd, heading to the Broadway dance centre, a dance school I always dreamt about visiting, hidden in the old brick building. There is some dodgy car, a big puddle and a limousine in front of the red, not too visible sign that I know from the dance tv shows I was watching over and over again as a teenager. I go around all the three floors, watch all the classes in around fifteen rooms. It’s hard to believe all that magic fill in this old building. I’m sitting on a bench amazed, watching the tap class, feeling like somebody took me out of reality and put me there. On the last hours of the trip, we took a boat from Brooklyn to the Green Point. It’s quite a dodgy place in the north from the Brooklyn bridge, which invited us with shoes hanging on the pylon. Thankfully my dad doesn’t know it is sign of somebody being killed in the neighbourhood, because I don’t think we would go any further in that case. We passed the India street and saw a long row with Polish shops, small Polish restaurant and an old catholic church. As much as I wasn’t too excited about that part of a trip, I need to say that it was pretty amazing, and I could see in the face of my father that he thought the same thing. You feel like you went through the whole world around, don’t even remember how many times you felt asleep and woke up during your fourteen hours flight and you end up in a place that looks no different from what you knew as a five years old. You could have been there million times, but you’ve never been there before, and the food you buy is the same food that your grandma prepared for you during every single holidays, and will prepare for you the next time you will see her too. It gives you this strong feeling that it is not as much about the places as it is about the people. I’m pretty sure that if you placed a Polish community on Sri Lanka, the Polish street would look just like this one, maybe there would be a few more palms, or some weird insect watching you from the wall, but everything else would be just the same. It is great to feel home somewhere far away. Even when you are not sure what home means anymore. This few days gave New York a special place in my heart. It is no longer a city from the movies. It has its own intense smells I can feel, its sounds and its own colours, and every single memory, every time of getting lost, or looking for a metro station or asking for a way are part of my memories, and finally I share these memories with somebody important to me. I do travel all the time, I go to new places every week, but this time it was my trip, my choice, the hotel I booked. This time I was getting lost on the airport with no make up on, I was standing in all the queues like any passengers. I was sleeping, watching movies and being served on a plane, at once. I became one of the million thousand people I say hello and goodbye to every single day at work, and being one of these nameless people was one of the greatest things that I had an opportunity to do thankfully to the job I have. And it felt just great, to finally be myself instead of a smiling cabin crew. As we talked with the bus tour guide we made friends with, I was gradually realising how similar our jobs are. After some time I told him I am a cabin crew and my dad with his regular proud face showed him my photo in the uniform, which still gets me a little bit embarrassed. The tour guide looked at me with a super excited face and almost shouted oh man, that is awesome!. He said he’s seeing us girls when they drop us off from the airport, and he always wanted to talk with one of us, but he thinks, it must be tiring to smile for so many hours, probably makes you not want to talk with strangers for a while. I was curious whether he is a bit tired, because he does pretty much the same thing, plus he shouts loud the whole history and story of the New York city in the meantime. And you know, once he finishes the job and gets dropped off at the Times Square around 10 pm, he just walks. He does not talk to anybody and he does not look at people faces. He goes along central park and just look at the lights in a complete silence. In this enormous surprising indifferent silence all the pictures are more vivid than anything, and every quiet sound of a bird sounds with more intensity. The silence sounds like a music and the relaxed part of the upper Manhattan looks like the most desired place on the globe. He didn’t tell us all that, but once he started talking, the voice in my head finished every sentence, almost like they were uttered by the voice in my head. He is a bus tour guide on New York city and I am a cabin crew. My job may seem like the most exciting one to him and his job seems like a great fun to me. We both thought for a little tiny second I wonder how is it like. But than we are done, the job is over, and it is all just the same. In the silence you still hear million voices of people, million questions. You still see faces but you cannot place them in time and place. Things that happened in your job may have happened few hours ago or months ago and you don’t know anymore, you just go, quiet. Your face wears no expression, your heart have no feelings. You just walk. Open the doors, close them. Breath in, breath out. You come back. Realising things like that calms me down. There is a guy in a red jacket in the New York City who feels the same thing I do. There are million other people like that too. You probably feel this way too, and if not, I’m sure one day your time will come too. Me and my dad walked miles of the sleepless streets. You could see us in the wild crowd of tourists on the Times Square, and among the tired faces of people going to work by the metro line number three, craving for a seat. We were nothing special just a part of a picture. Some lost tourists asked us whether we are New Yorkers and know how to get to some place. And that was a great feeling. Because you know, for these couple of days, we in fact were just a pair of the casual New Yorkers. And this is all I know about the New York city.

NZ: about kiwis and sheep

First of all Kiwis don’t like Aussies.

And Aussies don’t like Kiwis.

It’s actually pretty offensive when Aussie’s call Kiwis “Kiwis”, but Aussies get offended once Kiwis call them “Aussies” too.

I asked one Australian lady on the New Zealand flight whether she would fancy any milk in her tea. She looked at me surprised and said “milk? We don’t really drink tea with milk in Australia. Only kiwis do”.

If you’re a bit confused, and still don’t know what do I talk about, let me clear it up.

Ladies and gents, this is KIWI. I know you thought it’s small green and tasty, but it’s not. It has feathers, big nose and it’s not suitable for vegetarians.

What’s the relation between this small funny thing and the New Zealand? Let me ask you what is the first think that comes to your mind when you think of Australia. Is it big, jumping and carrying a bag with its baby on a belly? I guess I got it right. Basically as much as kangaroo means Australia, kiwi means New Zealand. Or probably even more, because I’ve never heard anybody calling Aussie people “kangaroos”. That would be actually quite funny: “you know Kiwis drink tea with milk, but kangaroos just don’t”.

I hope this post hasn’t offended any sheep so far. Because sheep means New Zealand just as much. The Sheepland. The Promised Land of the Sheep. Everywhere you go, there’s some sheep randomly hanging out with its sheep friends, buying fridge magnets and postcards with sheep. There are sheep key rings, and sheep t-shirts too.

Okay, I’ve overdone it a little but. Beside tourists shops full of sheep souvenirs, you’re not going to see any of that. You’re not gonna see a sheep in the Auckland shopping mall, neither on the street. It is a stereotype. Just as much as people will associate Russians with vodka, England with tea, they assume that every New Zealander is a sheppard. And how New Zealanders laugh at this stereotype and turn it into touristic catch-up phrase only proves what an amazing, self-distanced and relaxed nation they are.

People in New Zealand wear relaxed clothes and do relaxed things. The houses look more cosy, shop assistants are more friendly. There are no Ferrari cars driving in Auckland, even though it’s ranked as the third city on the Mercer Quality of Living Survey, among the cities such as Zurich, Geneva, Vienna. The difference between these cities and Auckland is that New Zealand simply doesn’t seem to care about the surveys. Nobody seems to be bothered whether the city goes up or down in the survey, nobody seems to care about Ferrari car and Chanel bags. Luis Vuitton store is just next doors to the tiny souvenir shop. People know how to enjoy their life and the life is good: there’s no point in making too much fuss about it. There are small dodgy looking weed shops just next to the noodle stores, there are parks, there are seagulls and the ocean. Nothing seems forced, everything looks a bit slow, a bit like it was taking its time. New Zealand feels a bit like it could be the philosophy of how to live your life.

This calm and relaxed atmosphere does not match very well with the extreme entertainments it has to offer. Stuff like bungee jumping, jumping from the tallest tower in the country, throwing yourself up to some 400 meters high in the metal ball are the things that people seem to be doing for fun. There is one particular picture that comes to my mind when I think about this funny relation between relaxed and extreme. The two friends of mine, the other crew I went to the town with, got in one of these crazy machines that sends you up to the sky and back. The picture I hold in my mind is the guy in his casual home clothes with two massive grocery bags in both hands looking up at my friends being thrown on some 400 meters up. He doesn’t seem impressed at all, he looks more like he was reading the ingredients on his muesli pack, he just stops for a second, looks up, and goes back home, or wherever people with hands full of grocery bags go. The reason why this particular shot comes to my head every time I think of New Zealand is because, this is exactly how New Zealand feels like.

It is a crazy, amazing place. You can see the Vulcanos from almost everywhere you go. It has the most beautiful islands on the world, places where penguins just cross the roads as it was the most normal thing on the world. If you feel a bit down, you can jump from the highest tower and stay alive. It’s where they shot “The Lord of The Ring”. Basically, it is a magical place. But just like the man in his too big flip flops carrying the potatoes and beer back from the grocery store, nobody makes too much fuss about it. Nobody is going to build there a new Burji Khalifa, if you know what I mean.

What I can say is, I love New Zealand and I love its people. Even when sometimes their accent makes me absolutely clueless. It is not the kind of place where I would take my family on the dream trip to shock them. It will not surprise you with “the biggest, the richest”, it is not a kind of place that would impress everybody. If you love Ferrari and starve yourself for a Chanel bag you’re probably not going to like it. Actually it’s going to bore you to death.

But it is okay too.

P.S. Have a look at this too: The 25 hardest things about living in the New Zealand. It’s pretty fun.

 



Switzerland

Zurich looks like a place where the life is a bit easier.
It makes a perfect sense, because they say it has the highest nominal wealth per adult in the world, and the Swiss people have the second-highest life expectancy in the world. You can feel it everywhere you go.
There’s no cheap shopping in Switzerland. The train ticket for the 30 minutes ride will cost you 24 franks, which is around 20 euros, and the fresh bread around 5. The only reason why you’re not going to decide to starve yourself and walk this distance on your tired feet is: in Switzerland you know where do your money go. The bread is just fresher, the train ride is more fun and the grass looks greener.

We woke up quite early, before eight and took a train to the Uetliberg, a mountain where the Zurich television tower is located. It was cold and grey: the thing about Switzerland climate is, it is not very regular. You may freeze your ass off during the springtime, and I’m usually too naive and spoiled by Dubai weather to pack any proper winter clothes.
The train goes all the way up to the mountains, passing all the Swiss little wooden houses and rides through the middle of the forest, making you feel like you were the Hogwart new joiner.

The city feels very cosy. This grey weather actually suits this feeling: you can see a warm light in the windows of the colorful houses. Gentleman in their big round hats sit in the teahouses and drink the hot tea. All the tiny streets go up and down, making you exercise your legs. The city is full of bicycles: this made me feel very impressed once trying to reach the top of another street going all the way up.

We went inside a small chocolate shop. Switzerland is famous for its chocolate, so you can find a fancy chocolate shop on every corner. The older elegant lady tried to explain me why the Swiss chocolate with some green liquor on the top is so special, and so worth its ridiculous price. As I couldn’t and didn’t really want to afford it, I tried to change the topic before she got too passionate. There was a photo of Leonardo di Caprio in the shop: the lady got very proud once asked about it and told me how Leonardo di Caprio came to her shop with his parents, and she tried to keep him forever, and he loved her chocolate. She made me smile.

The people in Switzerland seem relaxed. Everything seems a bit slow, people don’t run on the train station (well, except me) because the next train is going to be there in ten minutes. If you’re lost, the train station cleaners will explain you the way with their perfect English, looking happy about the fact they can help. It’s not the kind of smiley place: people are not going to smile at you everywhere you go, but there’s something poetic in it.
There is something in the city that is going to make you feel proud to say “I’m from Europe”. And as your Europe may not remind anything from what surrounds you there, it’s just nice to forget it sometimes and tire your legs in the place like that.