notes of november | on the road

Dear November,

next time, could you please slow down? Thank you.

But of course, it cannot. Of course, it won’t. Time doesn’t wait. Twenty days have passed. And they have been full twenty days.

I am trying hard not to push it. Writing, relationships, friendships, everything that matters. Sometimes I slip up; leaving traces of anger and impatience everywhere I go. Thoughtless messages and words. I did okay in November – at the beginning. At least for a while.

November. I spent a lot of time on the train. To and from Prague. I finally headed out east where I had never been until now. Where the industrial areas are, where there aren’t as many trees, where the fog hangs low much longer than other parts of the country. I could barely understand anybody in Ostrava, and there was too much talk about football for my liking, but if you’re around and in desperate need for a coffee (as I always tend to be), Ostravanka makes a kick-ass flat white.

That week alone I traveled within four different countries. Prague, being centered in the heart of Europe as it is, makes it easy. I popped over to Poland one Sunday for coffee and breakfast and warm white wine served in champagne glasses. Everything was quiet, closed, deserted. Cieszyn was a reflection of my own feelings. Although, I love getting out of the capital, I realized over and over that I could not live anywhere else in the Czech Republic but in Prague. There’s something about all the other places that makes me cautious and bored at the same time.

I spent five days walking around Vienna, drinking melanges, and eating my weight in apfelstrudels with vanilla sauce. There were mornings, afternoons, and evenings spent with my namesake over authentic Bosnian coffee with an Egyptian spice. My dearest friend from this year, someone I had forgotten before. But she came back into my life this summer, and I am grateful for her friendship. Summer wasn’t enough for us, so the fall saw us again, and so will winter. One afternoon, I hid in the Albertina Musem with Monet, Picasso, and Munch. The last morning in Vienna saw the most glorious sunrise I have seen in a while. As I boarded the train to Bratislava, everything fell right in the world.

In Slovakia, there wasn’t enough time for anything but breakfast and lunch. With the right people, it’s all you need. Brothers Coffee did not disappoint, and I walked away with two issues of the Standart Magazine. I am now a devout reader.

November. I watched as the trees lost their leaves, all the color fallen on the pavement. Then the wind came and took it all away, leaving only skeletons of nature on the ground. Everything is different now. Winter is nothing like the summer. It’s okay, though. At least, I keep telling myself that.