19 October 2008

In case you were wondering what happened…

I arrived in Moscow after a 5 day train ride through Siberia at the break-speed of 60 km/hour. Bored with vistas, and the basics of Cyrillic, I was happy to find myself conversing with a Frenchman with a perfect Scottish accent. The novelty wore off quickly though, and the following day I met minds with T. Back then she forgave me for not speaking Catalan. T was traveling East through Europe to taste the wonderful Russian drink Kvass. As I was going West, trying to put as much distance between me and the 2008 Olympics as possible, I consider our meeting to be a heads-on collision. We spend many hours comparing Russia with China, explaining the North-South cultural axis, and getting lost.

Things move quickly in Moscow however, and after our 24 hour intermezzo we parted ways at the train-station. I felt like Bogart on the platform, but without his own bar. Taheaded for Kazan, and I moved to the airport. With only 20 minutes on the clock for our tickets and visas, my travel partner F and I finally managed to convince the Russians to let us leave, and head back home.

After a few days though, electronic mail arrived, and continuation was discussed. Tau arrives in Brussels, enjoys the wonderful chocolate, and sees the only African museum in the world. The culinary bliss lasts for 12 days before Ryanair ends the bohemian partnership. After a few days of dissatisfaction with Skype, I booked a ticket to Barcelona, packed my bag full of chocolate, put on my shorts, and headed South.

Barcelona turns out to be the staging area of a longer term partnership, with the city of Berlin as common denominator. We decide to both try an live there, until I start studying again in February (which seems to turn into September, more info later). At southern pace, it only takes us 12 days to get the ticket, pack our bags, and sweetly glide to the emptiest capitol of Europe.

And this is where the jumping gypsies find themselves, jobless in a city with 20% unemployment. A 40 square room with a mattress and a desk. With cheap food and secret baklava. And maybe, just maybe, a signed contract, a nice and long stay, and enough pay for a decent coat this winter…