of departures and arrivals

Posted by Daniela Elza on Oct 28 2007

It has been a while. In August/September we spent a whole month traveling to the old continent. We flew to Amsterdam, then to Prague, after which we took a train through Hungary, Serbia, on our way to Sofia.
In Amsterdam I was fortunate to meet with a friend, who I had not seen since 1993. In that time she has been following her dream: published a first book of poetry and has a second one coming out soon. This encounter was very dream like. We had only 8 hours before our plane took off for Prague. She picked us at the airport, in no time we were on a train, then her apartment, where we met her partner Paul (a photographer). He had worked his culinary magic, and after a short walk to the river we were in their boat on the river Amstel. Why dreamlike? Well, we had not slept on the plane due to the constant flashing TV screens that were “supposed” to keep the passengers entertained. I always wonder what the world is coming to when I am not trusted with my own entertainment. We were determined not to sleep until we got to Prague, where we could go to bed with the people there. So that exhaustion put me in a dreamy state where you look at the world and just marvel at what comes. And we were in Amsterdam. It is a dreamy place. There even was a leaning pub infront of Rembrant’s house. So much was packed in that time. it seemed like a minute was not wasted. On the plane to Prague we contemplated this dream.

After we left Amsterdam we arrived in Prague, at our little hotel in Starie Mesta (the Old town) at about 11 pm. In the attic room that overlooked the city’s roofs and spires we fell asleep, pleasantly exhausted. Two days in Prague added to our already dreamy selves. We discovered that the street our hostel was on turned into a fruit, vegetable, crafts, souvenirs market during the day. We spent time in the Prashky Hrad, and the street of alchemists, after crossing Karlov Most (Charles bridge). I have been to Prague twice, but had not seen the armory in the castle, where my daughter and I had the chance to shoot a crossbow.

The overnight train ride was a trip in itself. It was a bit exhausting, and gave us a totally different feel for the places we were going through, as seen through the train stations, and the speeding scenery. Then almost a month in Bulgaria, with four days in a little town of Leptokaria, Greece, where we just had to cross a street to be on a pebbled beach on the Aegean sea, in the embrace of Mt. Olymp. I imagined Olymp much higher that it was in reality. I had only seen it in myth time.

When we came back it took almost a month to get back into all that was already in progress. School for the kids, school for me. Yes, school. I am back into the Ph.D. program in the Philosophy of Education this time. Under the guidance of my professor Dr. Heesoon Bai. I am excited. Yet I feel the pull and push that happens when I am crossing such boarders and how important it is to remember my dreams. Life then feels more like a place where I remain “in a state of constant departure, while always arriving.” (from the movie Waking Life)

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