(Better late than never)
this beard, I'll use my Facebook update format to talk about a variety
of topics that are basically unrelated to each other. readygo
spent nearly three weeks in Kaunas, Lithuania. That was longer than I
intended, and indeed, a little too long. (Getting sick didn't help.)
Because I sat around for a little too long, I started to get mopey and
dissatisfied. Luckily, the cure for that situation is simple: get on
the bike and ride.
II. A couple days on a bike -- hell, even one
day -- is enough to completely reset my clock. Which is kind of funny to
say, since twice since leaving Kaunas, I have crossed time zones
without realizing it. But what I meant by that phrase is that when
riding, I get back to the present, and past worries kind of fade, and
the future becomes a thing of unknowable possibilities that don't seem
particularly threatening. It's an amazing way to feel.
I get back on the internet after a few days of that, and I see that people have tagged
me in photos from less than a week ago, and I think, "Damn, I was
there? That only just happened? People still care?" The things I did
seem so far away and unimportant. Which is not to say that they were
unimportant. They just don't matter anymore, now,
presently, here-and-now, etc. etc.
III. God damn it is radical to
be in Ukraine. This is the furthest I have been from home, culturally. It's still
European, definitely, but something about it feels different. It could
just be my prejudices. At any rate, it does feels different, and the thing
about coming to a place that feels so different is that it just makes me
want to keep going. How else will things change? What other ways
will I be exposed to my own prejudices, my own ingrained mores, and my own
IV. The rest of this draft went off on a
ridiculous tangent concerning tents and blizzards and bugs. I'm not
gonna say it was not worth reading, but I will say it doesn't belong in
this particular beard.
Which, incidentally, has now been stewing for two whole months! Time to publish, baby!
One last thing. It did, indeed, feel pretty radical to enter Ukraine.
Now I'm a little burnt out. I just spent ten minutes trying to describe
my impressions, but failed. The fact is that I'm more prone to emotion
than to logic, and anything I would say would be easily refutable.
I can say this: I think the language barrier is making life pretty
tough. I just don't even try to interact with people. If I had time to
get more Russian proficiency, my attitude might change a lot! For now,
though, I've just buried my nose in my programming projects and started
counting down the days till I hit the road again.
It will be interesting
to get some perspective.