Archive | June, 2013

In Santiago de Compostela, Spain

16 Jun



It’s About Attitude.

16 Jun

I’m sitting in an airport in Berlin right now. Reflecting. In a few hours, I’ll be seeing a (fantastically amazing) Finnish friend of mine, and I’m super excited for it… but I can’t help but be swept away in this flood of thoughts and feelings of the happenings since I last wrote two months or so ago.

In comparison to the last time I wrote, I feel more confident and I dont know how to explain this…less shakeable? As though I have grown and steadied. And I have (in more than one way – I blame the baguettes).

In all seriousness, I think the reason haven’t been writing or keeping in much contact is because I feel so detached.  My life in New Zealand now feels like some kind of distant memory that just features in my dreams most nights. It’s an odd feeling, and even more so because I know it will swap places with the life I’m now leading once I’ve been home for some time. I’ll start dreaming of travel again and it will seem like a distant memory.

I have fallen in love with this style of travel. In the way that when you have a crush on someone and you think of them and get butterflies, I feel for travel. Honestly, it has its moments in which the love-hate meter ticks over towards hate for a day or two, but something I’ve come to accept and that can be summed up in a great phrase is:

Shit happens.

Here’s a couple of examples:
A few days ago I was couchsurfing in Münster. The guy I was surfing with gave me his student card for the day so that I could use the bus for free. This isn’t strictly speaking legal… And here is where the danger of assumption and Murpheys Law combine. We figured that, as in his half a year living in Münster he’d never even seen the people who check your tickets, today would be no different. Of course, it wasn’t that way. I played the innocent tourist to the stern official and simply explained that I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to use the pass, but accepted my fate and happily accompanied the ticket officer and paid the €40 (ouch!) for this. I just accepted I’d taken the risk and been caught out. Thankfully, we had to go to the central station to pay the fine so I ended up where I needed to be anyway. I was in a really great mood, so I was making friends with the ticket officer and his co-workers and being polite and bubbly, because I might as well make the best of a bad situation. Nothing terrible happened, money is just money. In fact it worked out even better for meeting up with my friend in central Münster, as crossing the street outside the ticket office we ran into each other. I felt guilty for getting my hosts ticket taken, but he felt guilty because I had to pay a fine. As mum would say, life swings in round-abouts. And it really doesn’t matter at the end of the day, I got an opportunity to brings some smiles into the day of the ticket officers who probably mostly deal with less than friendly people. I was also not too bothered because Münster had shown me kindness the day prior when I took the right bus but in the total wrong direction, and realised this two stops before the end of the line. I got off somewhere in the outskirts of Münster and walked across the road to the bus stop for the correct direction thinking I was safe… no way! I had used the last of my cash for that previous single use bus ticket. Then I realised I was in luck, there was a ticket machine that accepted cards! Urgh, some bastard had shoved one and two cent coins in the card reciever which I tried to flick out with a hair pin, but they were firmly stuck. I walked a few bus stops back the way I came, not really having a plan. I ended up making a conversation in broken english/german with a mum and her kid who were waiting at a bus stop along my way. Luckily for me, it turned out that not only were they waiting for the same bus I needed to take but that she was a really kind lady and insisted she pay for my way.

So yes, life does swing in round-abouts. And shit does happen. Above all, with what attitude you act and react changes the whole situation in big or small issues.