on the road, part two

thirty one days.

whole three weeks in czech republic. traveling between prague and a little town in southern bohemia on a daily basis. hours on the bus. sleeping at a friend’s house every time I miss the last one at seven. which was every day. a beer with my mother’s co-worker from a different lifetime. cafe bar velryba. I went back there almost every day for the rest of the week. meeting with my childhood gang. instead of ball games we played drinking games. seven of us; each completely different but the same. popocatepetl. first then the second one. shots. laughing. smoking a joint on a bridge; asking freaked out foreigners for a lighter. uncontrollable laughter. laughing and laughing and laughing. midnight snack at kfc. mashed potatoes because my mind won’t accept anything else. foosball. shots of hruskovica. the last bus and then a taxi. four drunk balkanks at four in the morning. the taxi driver did not look happy. breakfast in the morning. I felt at home with all of them. coffee in the garden, looking at old pictures. slowly remembering things everyone has forgotten. the youngest one old enough to prepare lunch whilst the rest just messed around. a compulsory shot of travarica before lunch. chilling out. back to the city. coffee with gavrilo. mojitos; mala sa mlijekom. back on the bus. dinners under the night sky, bottles of wine, stories of childhood. cool weather. dogs and children. sleeping in the attic. rain, thunderstorm.

my mother’s friends from university period are now my friends. more lunches, more coffees, more dinners. during the last week the weather was on crack. thirty five degrees to fifteen to twenty five. in three days. dinner back at home with my childhood gang. another old friend of ours. three of them playing guitar, the youngest one singing. a beautiful night. a bike ride through the meadows, picking apples and pears off the trees at the roadside. last minute decision to fly to croatia tomorrow. back on the bus. it took me twenty minutes to pack up, three hours to fall asleep.

alarm at quarter past five. dust; the sun hasn’t come up yet. the house is cold, everything is cold. my bus leaves at six twenty. I skip breakfast, say goodbye. an hour waiting at the bus station in prague. breakfast at mcdonald’s. airport. another hour and a half but it only took three minutes to check in. touchdown at the split domestic airport at noon. hot dry land. hot dry air. same faces, same everything. seeing my grandfather after two years. my only thought was I am home. a car drive to our little town. rogoznica. everything has remained the same. everything smells, feels and looks the same. like home. I have a whole apartment just to myself. top terrace; incredible view, my grandparents. everything is here. my activities strip down to a beautiful nothing. swimming, tanning, walking, reading summer paperbacks, sitting at the local cafe Starac watching soccer qualification games. both malta and israel lost 3-1 to croatia. everyone cheers, everyone yells. I only just smile and have another sip of bijela bevanda.

September 7, 2011