Just strolling: from Berlin to Prague, via Dresden – 320 km (total: 2.860 km)

Just strolling: from Berlin to Prague, via Dresden – 320 km (total: 2.860 km)

22nd update on The World Photo Tour, just another walk-around-the-world challenge. This story begins in Berlin. With new boots – thanks to the guys in my hometown that donated, this is  how I used that money. And just some days left of seeing my parents, for they would’ve soon go back to their home. Funny word. And it’s funny when people ask me ‘Where do you live?’ and I reply ‘Now, here, on the road.’, but they insist – ‘Yeah, you are travelling now but where do you live?’ and they expect an answer like a certain place. And there is no such place and no such answer I can give. Well, I’ll be in for some travelling, I suppose.

People generally assume I am filthy rich or something, affording to do this walk. Who knows me knows I am not a rich man, not in regards to money or any form of possession. Quite frankly, I am what some might call a bum. Many times I had no money nor food and  went hungry at points. For those who helped, thank you! But I am rich in life. Actually, I need to rephrase that. My life is rich. I do not own anything after all. My life is my richness and I am rich as I am free. Who knows me even more knows I am rich in so many other ways. And who knows me even better knows I am quite empty at points. Empty of feelings, empty of sympathy, empty of thoughts.

I sometimes feel nobody wants me. And sometimes I don’t even want to contact anyone for they’ll think I need something from them, mostly money or some sort of profit in money or for a place to sleep or stuff. So I feel better keeping quiet sometimes. Nevertheless… But about that, a bit later. Until then, here’s the photo-story of the Berlin – Luckau – Dresden – Usti nad Labem – Litomerice leg (latter two already in the Czech Republic).

Alone again then, actually looking forward for Prague, where I was supposed to meet Levy. Few were the cases when people found out about what I’m doing way in advance and invited me over once reaching their places on my route, and this is one of  them, as Levy actually wrote me back in February, a week after I started walking. So with these thoughts and many more I walked and walked and walked some more.

Levy, a photographer himself, took me in and showed me around. Great stay at his, and I did try, as always, to engage and be social in between taking photos around town or out in the country-side and then working on the previous website update. And, as always, I seldom have the chance  to get a proper rest when staying at someone. First, I need to talk with who’s in front of me.  Then, I need to take photos of the place. Then I need to also work on other photos, as work is coming in a snowball effect, so I need to keep track and be organized about it somehow. I sometimes don’t even sleep. For instance, the longest I haven’t slept was 80 hours in Copenhagen. Cannot do it properly all the time and Prague was definitely one of the cases. :) Ah, to remind me – wow, beautiful, glorious, fantastic place this Prague, as any tourist would say. Well, I’m not a tourist. And I did enjoy Prague. Nevertheless, it doesn’t  make it on my list of places to live for a simple reason – too in-land and away from any body of sea-water. Apart from that, Prague is really something – great place for street photography indeed. But I cannot stop but wonder – if we were to strip the city of all the church-connected buildings, we’d probably end up with about two thirds of what we see, at most.

After all that walking around, for the last day Levy decided to go out of town, south of Prague, to the site of some former mining pits, most of them inundated, which now serve as some really good swimming place  for those who dare to live a little. Great choice!

Back in Prague, it was time for me to work around the clock for the previous update (Copenhagen – Rostock – Berlin). Which I did, all throughout the night, in silence. Apparently, my way of organizing and splitting myself in between what’s to be done during a day was a great cause of offence for my host. So, at 6AM, while still working on what I had to do, I was showed outside. Ever noticed that offence is never given, but just taken? So I took no offence, I just said to myself ‘OK, challenge accepted, this was bound to happen at one point, I just need to go through this as well.’. Not that there would’ve  been room for negotiating. Man’s place, he’s the master of the domain. So I packed everything and walked outside. He followed, giving me a lesson on how I only profit of people, on how he would do things if he was me and what I am doing  wrong and how should I do better. I listened to it all, said  goodbye and went  to the nearest Starbucks for the wi-fi so I can finish working on the previous article. Spent five more hours there and I was then ready to leave Prague. Thanks, Levy, for showing me around, giving me food and shelter and taking some kick-ass photos of me.

Worst story ever. I mean, not worst, but definitely disturbing. He knew the drill from before, he knew why I was there, under which circumstances. I just felt like with my wife that decided to go on and live her life after three months of ‘marriage’ that topped up a four-year relationship. And yes, when I have no money or food left, I knock at people’s doors. Yeah. That’s what I do. Other times I am invited and other times shown out. And for this website to happen, I walk a lot and then work a lot when and how I can. I guess the long lonely road and the task I set myself will inevitably make me seem selfish to people who don’t know me. Cheers!

to be continued

There are 4 comments

  1. Levy

    Levy here. Mihai, I never wanted to continue with this story (in public) but you obviously ignore what we tried to conclude together when you were here. I will reply to you here because I care about you more than you could imagine.

    Remember, I gave you some practical advises: I told you to try to enjoy the moment, share everything with the people who your host are, try to learn something from them (spiritually) and do not live in the past because of your constantly updated journal (plus your photos are great without the extra 12 hours of Photoshop-ing every day!). You should also rest properly and I mean that. Your body might be 26, your mind…14 but come on! I couldn’t take full responsibility for you and see you destroying yourself by not sleeping at my place, I am sorry.

    When I met you, you were a wreck but somehow I managed to shape you up to be able to continue with your trip. The problems started when you became obsessed with the editing on your laptop and – I am sorry to say this, I hoped you will realize it by yourself but you haven’t – when you DIDN’T want to leave my apartment because you were too comfy. 2 days before entering Prague you were desperate on your Facebook updates and after reading them I did everything for you to help you; you asked for a 2 day rest, I gave you 4. And after all of these you still said, I quote you: “if I won’t finish with the photo updates and publish them, I can’t leave”, not caring about my opinion as a host. Just because we are co-nationals and I have a caring personality, it doesn’t mean you can treat me like a piece of junk, like most Romanians do with their own kind. I know you make this trip for yourself but you should really start to care more about people’s feelings, especially those who are helping you and ask for nothing in return.

    And again, generally speaking people DON’T care about their mind and it is OK because they don’t really need it for their daily routine but you CAN’T AFFORD that because in your case…not your legs but your mind carries you all the way, I hope you got that finally. When you get too comfy – just like 99% of the people who live a standard life and read your webpage from their office or at home – your mind tends to take over and to control your body and make you put your guard down and live in a blank state. You were quite nervous saying you might not be able to get home in time to meet your lady friend, remember? Well, yes because you were getting slowed down of getting too much comfort! Your mind was already settling down in Prague instead of taking you out of here to finish the European part of your trip.

    I wanted you to continue, this is the ONLY reason I sent you away. I made you a huge favor by doing that but you still believe everybody is against you. Btw, this is another thing that happens to lonely adventurers, not many have their mind set ready for such a big quest. I know you already forgot about my lesson but I still hope one day you will remember it – who knows, it may even save your life. Take care, man!

    P.S. At least you got some decent (Blues) music from me, so not all is lost.

    • Mihai

      Hey! I don’t feel you or anyone as ‘against’ me. I didn’t mention I wouldn’t leave your place if I didn’t finish my work, I just said I wouldn’t leave Prague as only more work would result afterwords. And I wasn’t getting comfy in the Prague situation as I am not getting comfy anywhere for I know I need to move on. Could not say sorry if you felt treated like junk, for, as said, offence is only taken, not given. It’s not something I put my mind into – going places and making people feel like that. Apart from that, as said again, cheers! And the music was a treat among many others for which I am grateful as well. All the best! ;)

      • Levy

        OK man, you’re welcome. Let’s think about the good things then. Follow your path and be good wherever you go. Take care! As for my last advice I will give you one quote I cherish the most, it may be useful to you when you get older and wiser, who knows.

        “Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.”

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