to be fair, you (ileana) ate his christmas present before we had the chance to give it to him. so… i think we’ll continue to light the pilots manually #presentandfuturehairlessfingers
On the next episode of “Home is where the heart is,” JP the super thinks Ileana is Amanda and Amanda is Ileana. Even though he speaks English with Amanda and French with Ileana. Meanwhile, the Hot Water and Heating intervention team is still fixin’
it’s 3:04am and i figured it out.
thought process is as follows : begins with the same reoccurring thought : NR as it stands, blog, is great for immediacy and freedom but is limited in the way to organize/present information/stories etc. it’s messy, it’s cluttered, it’s up to date (ha), and that’s great but it shouldn’t end there. we need more flexibility organizing information.
next thought : also reoccurring : then publish a book? no. then we can’t fool ourselves into thinking we have readers, we’ll actually know that we don’t. i kid. there are bigger issues, like that we don’t live in 1996. and it would cost money. mainly that i still believe in the interwebz.
solution : full blown website. fucking duh.
dear ileana, in response i’ll give you a progress report: the nomad revolution began with the idea of embracing highly productive drifting. if the blog maintenance is neglected, i don’t think it’s from lack of productivity or interest from either of us. i think it is mainly a crisis of format, how to make things come together in an interesting and expressive way - not easy in the overdone, now ubiquitous travel blog format. it gets boring. i’m not sure… but i’m thinking. i’ve been thinking. we’re both thinking. and something will come.
ps. i’ll post more photos from poland and berlin. even if i find them boring.
Watch the moon
And the band
With the crowds
The nomad heart impatiently
Skips a beat
Yes, the universe is on my mind. Much has happened since the Nomad Revolution fell – yet again – through a wormhole, only to wake up … on the road to Poland. Those events will have to wait for now. Because this fresh baked story is burning my fingers.
Fellow nomad Mandy K flew over the Atlantic to join me in Berlin where I was nearing the end of a summer residency program, driven by the utopian belief that by the end of July I will be returning to NY with a bag full of dissertation chapters. Done! And done …. At least I’m returning with a bag full of dreams… Nonetheless I stand by my belief that impossible goals are the best goals, since feeling equally motivated and defeated makes me write better. Oh, the impossible!
My brother, Traian, honorary member of the revolution, was also visiting. Having partly surpassed the familial bickering stage, understandable since our lives are separated by 4500 miles, jetlag, and (in my case) vacation anxiety, we turned the radio on and sped out south and east of Berlin high on way more call me maybe POP than anyone could handle. I’m not exaggerating. By the time we approached the Polish border, Adele was banned by consensus, and the frequency had switched to romantic classic rock, songs of my childhood, guilty pleasures that every now and then I must must must surrender to. Winds of change…
At this pace, by the time I’m done, this post will be way too long. So I’ll try to be succinct, and give you some facts. None of us knows how to pronounce anything in Polish, except for hello how are you thank you cheers, and word, as in slang: “Let’s get some Zywiec” “Word”. Poland looks like home *sigh Romania. Traian doesn’t quite agree, but that’s because brothers thrive on contradiction. The point is, and as an aspiring scholar I must emphasize this: although they present many similarities, the countries that pre 89 belonged to the Eastern Block are faaaar from homogeneous cultures. For instance, Romanian is very different from Polish. Most Eastern European languages are in fact quite different from each other. Also, common sense might tell outsiders we all speak Russian, which we don’t although at some point in our history many of our fellow country folk have had to learn it. As problematic as the idea of “Eastern Europe” might be, it comes in handy at times, and I confess I do have quite a bit of regional pride, East vs. West kinda thing.
—> Point at which I actually get to the trip:
First stop Wroclaw where architect Max Berg designed this crazy piece of architecture, the Centennial Hall built 1911-13, number 1 of my top 5 best things seen in Poland. Think your favorite science fiction apocalyptic scenario, you’re in a stadium-size concrete bunker/hangar, with other people resting on the floor, watching lights and music flicker through the gigantic Pantheonic dome.
Day two/three Krakow: food, 10 drunk Dutchmen in the room across at the hostel, house music, medieval castles, food, kings’ tombs, cobble stones, markets, electric tourist carts, pubs, clubs, midnight shawarmas or pierogies, calm air, summer, more tourists, tiredness and finally sleep. Day 4: Lodz, Poznan – post Euro cup 2012, rolling hills, universities (Krakow’s was founded in the 14th century!), small roads, small cars, nice people – where are we?!
There’s so much more to say about Poland, even when seen on a 4-day run, but I’ve gone on too many tangents already. I should have written about Poland’s tormented 20th century history. Foremost, the war, and its terrible memory potently present on the streets and corners and facades; the years after the end of the war, the USSR, the plight of intellectuals, religion, revolts, the mass migrations. But my tone here is not the right one for that story.
I’m going to go ahead and be corny, roll your eyes all you want, but Poland might have cured my vacation anxiety, because not for one second did the thought of work and the lack of time to finish all my impossible tasks, cross my mind. And for that one millisecond that it did, it got pushed away, distracted at the sight of pierogies or beer, or simply the swinging mood of late perfect summer. Rolling hills, villages, farms, a pace of being that I fondly remember from home, and from my childhood when summer still felt lazy and bored.
Oh the meteors, and the salt mine.
Close to Poznan are the remains of one of a few rare pre-historic meteor showers in Europe. If you find the site (Lonely Planet’s guide to Poland by the way is rather useless and boring), you’ll see a number of craters of varying dimensions, overtaken by vegetation. Close to Krakow is the Wieliczka salt mine, World Heritage Site, one of the oldest and largest salt mines in the world. It’s a labyrinth supported by centuries of wood pylons carried from the forests above ground, in exchange for blocks of that precious (and nowadays so easily disregarded) substance, salt. With all the (4000-5000 / day!!!) tourists it feels like a busy town, which I imagine comes close to what the mine must have been like during its heyday. Busy with crazy hard dangerous labor that is, rather than relaxed tourist strolling with the casual lick of the wall. I’m a little claustrophobic so being that deep in the belly of the earth did not make me feel very comfortable. Neither did the hour long wait to get out, while in line, with many … many … many people.
As I took a deep long breath of outside air, my mind screaming freedom, my legs imagining never going back, I thought about Krakow’s fairytale Wawel castle, and how it’s perched high up on a hill, which would have offered the kings the best panoramic view of whatever prophesized cataclysmic event, meteor shower, or magnificent storm, or the more prosaic river bend, while drinking beer, and fried kielbasa, or piergogies with a little bit of extra salt.
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