(smart+jack)ass

But sometimes you get an asshole. A smartmouth that defies you on every corner. We’ve had our fair share of those, too. You know who I’m talking about. The ones that make you want to throw them out but you don’t because you are well mannered and everytime you later think about them you regret you didn’t. Continue reading

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Home is where the heart is

It’s been a while, I know.. I didn’t give up on this blog or anything. I didn’t quit. It would be so easy to say I was just busy, who would know.. Maybe it’s even the truth, just not the whole truth. I was busy, I have a new job. It has become a big part of my life, my ‘free and able to write’ time has been reduced drastically. I really like spending time with Mitja so I try to do so as much as possible. So there… Time and different priorities are my two excuses for not being there for you, my readers.

Last time we were together, we were reminiscing (gotta love the meaning of the word in the dictionary: “indulge in enjoyable recollection of past events”) the day that a Spanish guy helped us save and eventually fail to save a seagull while two hungarian hitch-hiking girls cooked paprikash for all of us. Good times… That was a while ago now. In between we moved again. A good part of summer of 2012 we worked on our new place at Mitja’s parents house and before October we were already moved in. That was quite a project and a huge goal to set and achieve as well. Most of the work we did ourselves and we are really proud it actually came out just the way we wanted. Or better even. But that’s a whole new post some other time. We now live in a surprisingly vast village on the northeastern part of Slovenia. It’s really close, adjacent in fact, to Gornja Radgona. A small town, 5000 occupants at most. I’m not being pessimistic but an average sight-seeing kind of tourist doesn’t have much to see here, no monuments, no renowned museums or galleries or even special events. There are no bars with long hours and certain reputation, no real underground scene or a squated place with mainstream-loathing, system-hating band, no guitars squeaking through the night. Not even a movie theater, working one at least. Night life here is not meant to attract the masses. We thought nobody would even find this place let alone look for it. And yet, people still requested to stay here. Awesome, right!?

A whole other type of people comes here though.. No more party-goers, since there are no parties here, no apparent night life so all the alternative looking hipsters fall off, no more documentary directors or talent scouts or inventors. People who come here look for peace and quiet. They want to get away from the city crowds, they want to enjoy the sound of their own thoughts after a while, they want to be able to feel the tranquility you can only find in pure nature. There are small hills all around us, green forests exchange places with vineyards. Small road follows the crest of the hills, so playful and bursting with colors. The different shades of green and white in the spring, red, brown and yellow in the fall. Walks, hikes, riding bikes, long talks on the terasse late at night. Staring at the sky and counting shooting stars. Outdoors at its best, I tell you. We were ready to be a part of nature again, we moved here at the right time. Bring it on!

How cool is it, on the scale from 0 to cool, that you can get an awesome ice-cream here? Pistachio, dark chocolate and vanilla, mmmm. And the fruit flavors, pineapple, blackberry… aahhhh it’s like eating the fruit but soooo much better. And they are not stingy, the scoops are majestic. No burger place, though. Nope, we don’t recommend burgers. It would be nice, from time to time, to go get a late night snack after a night out. Oh well, we don’t go out much anyways. It would be great though to have a place with fresh čevapčiči. Out of a van in front of some club in the middle of the night. After a few beers five or six čevapi with freshly cut onions, a spoon of ajvar (baked and mixed paprika salad, with I think tomatoes) and a piece of bread would be exactly what the doctor ordered. I’m shocked no one has thought of that yet, just stunned. It would be so easy… Anyways, we don’t have that either here. But there are a few very nice, not so expensive restaurants, A great selection of wine and since a few years now also beer. A guy from around here had an idea about a microbrewery while he was traveling around Belgium. When he came home, he started to work on his plan and after a few birocratic glitches and moving the business to neighbouring Austria, you can now get around 10 kinds of his beer and numerous others from all around, including of course Belgium. Oh yeah, and the food is good to.

… to be continued

Career day

A rewarding part od couchsurfing is learning to see the world from as many different perspectives as possible. Talking about things that matter most to people and are passionate about is an education you get nowhere else, no more than second hand. We’ve learned about diving from divers, about climbing from climbers, about teaching from teachers, about winning from winners and losing from losers, traveling from travelers and about life from all of them.

  In May of 2011 we were expecting a talent scout from France. The thought of meeting someone who is in close connection to fame and celebrities on a daily bases was intruiging enough to invite her to stay with us. Who knew, we might be discovered and be on a world tour this time next year and changing the world with our not yet identified talents.It turns out that this highschool teacher looking, slow and eloquently talking lady had as little to so with fame and celebrities as we did. She was a manager of a small festival on the French coast and was looking for choirs, classical music playing bands and performers, with preferences on Baroque music. Our just developing hunger for fame got shuttered instantly, but I guess it’s all for the best, we wouldn’t have handeled it well, anyways. We did try our best to connect her with some people. Brother from a long lost friend from preliminary school happened to spend all of his time to build up a classical ansamble with his wife and luckily I could connect them with a little help of Facebook. I also found a few good candidates by simply going online but the most promising cooperation happened spontaneously. We went for some coffee and met Mitja’s childhood friend there. They got to talking and soon figured out that she could use him, as well. I can’t believe how I didn’t think of that but I guess you have to be a talent scout to intertwine two such different styles of music as classic Baroque and electronic music but she was really excited. I have to admit that I was anxious to see the results. But even though they have exchanged a lot of correspondence and had almost agreed on everything several times, sadly nothing happened. It was a bust on the ansamble as well, so she had to return to France empty handed this time. She came back in September for a second meeting, this time succesfull, with nobody I know or helped her get acquainted with. I couldn’t get any credit for this but I did gain a friend and an invitation to see the festival.

  We meet a couple of real life genuine modern hippies. I have a feeling it wouldn’t really be expected of us to run into hippies, we wouldn’t mind but we haven’t so far but I meet the most interesting people I’ve met, I’ve met through CS. Two young ones came into our lives on their hitch-hiking pilgrimage to Istambul, where they’d sit on a plane to India. Very stereotypically they went to Ashram all naturally dressed, dreadlocks and the works, to meditate, learn more yoga and get new recipes for vegan food. Only she spoke English and spoke it well, he spoke only French and seemed a bit slow, frankly but I could be wrong. We would all try to translate to him but sometimes the conversation speeds up and we just couldn’t. He would be looking at us, we talked, she laughed with us and I understand how he could have felt a bit secluded. So we left them to spend a lot of time alone as well. They went on long walks, eat the grapes and spent a good part of the evening out on the terrase. They made a vegan chilli with potatoes for lunch the next day and we baked some young corn  over the bonfire in the evening, they liked that very much. There’s not a lot of things vegans get to barbeque.

 She came back to visit us few years later. A different guy came with her this time and their destination was a bit closer but she hasn’t changed a bit. A hippie through and through, on the way from a transcendental festival only hippies hear about, full of happy stories about her friends, living happily ever after in a community on the Canary Islands. As happily ever after should be like. With sun shining all the time, aloe vera growing on every corner, the sea of the most blue color ever everywhere you look. There are also some awesome caves to explore to avoid the boredom of paradise.You can just hear some nice, calm music and wonder if it is playing only in your mind. But the best feature of all these great features is a toilet shed out in nature, the door is just high enough to cover you when you sit down and just low enough to present the best possible view of the greatness of the big blue sea while you’re taking a dump. Exellent!

  While we were living in Maribor, we got a visit from a couple on their way from Haiti. They were humanitarian workers that were helping out after the disaster and were on their way to the next crisis. I guess seeing all those sad things, sad faces and sad fates makes you fed up with the world, ready to give up and loose faith in a normal future but not them. Strangely hopefull, borderline naive maybe or is that only to an unknowing eye, they genuinly believed the world can be repaired. I’m not saying I don’t believe that it can’t, I just think it’s not likely to and I’m really gratefull for each person who does. At the time they were filming a documentary about their trip, their work and their lives so we answered a few questions infront of a camera but unfortunatelly didn’t hear from them afterwards. I would have liked to see that.

  One of he most eyeopening experiences was meeting a doula. An old soul, the professor of life and a ray of a beautifull sunshine in darkness of normal. Doula helps with big life decisions or transitions, like birth or death. She gives support, understanding and comfort, enormous patience and deep love. The bond between her and her boyfriend was strong, serene and reassured. Every little thing that weekend was enriching, enlightning and left me wondering. About birth, about death. About big life decisions.

…to be continued

May of 2011 – between paprikash and paella

  Right when we almost got over, or should I say, when we were finally able to get past, or even better, when we pushed the whole Budapest declining us as guests into our subconsciousness, it became obvious that Hungary would come to us. Two students from Budapest would be joining a spanish surfer for a day or two and with a bit of carefully taking care of the two, our luck with Hungary just might change. Continue reading

April 2011 – the religious couple and a renegade from Czech

   I couldn’t describe myself as nosy under any circumstances but I definitelly go through life with a curious note. Overwhelmingly intriguing as life is, it never fails to make us wonder over and over again. I try my very best to find those alusive little things in life that power up this curious note in me and I hate to miss any opportunity to learn new stuff.  So, when a request of this sort arrives, I can’t refuse. Continue reading

Les forgettables

 From time to time it was a real circus. The days were going so fast, that from time to time we had to take a break, check the Occupied box on the profile and take time off. Off everything really. From time to time we had to spend time together, just the two of us. It’s no wonder I guess, that in time some couchsurfers more or less blend together, unable to be recognized anymore.  Going through the CS correspondence I found quite a few names that I couldn’t pin the face to it. Or any kind of event or even conversation..

Continue reading

December of 2010

One of the definite upsides was being able to participate in urban events all over town with little notice or none . We attended street concerts, alternative movie nights, photo exhibitions, we visited friends and had friends over, we really tried to exploit towns hospitality and give some back at the same time. Continue reading