Bronchitis is a pest. This is not a scientific statement. It is just my purely emotional conclusion. Once you catch it (or rather – it catches you) will stay with you for quite a long time. Keeping you weak, half-brained, coughing and sneezing at your fellow humans and in the peril of being detained because of attempted biological terrorism act.
If you are on the road – especially travelling the way I do – you just start eating out calcium, antiinflammatories and vitamins from your medkit, heading for the closest safe haven.
When you get to the place, where you can collapse for at least 3 full days, you stay there. And no partying! You just lay down (alone), pumping warm liquids in (ginger + lemon + honey + hot water or ginger + garlic + honey + hot milk) and sweating them immediately out. If you are strong enough and keep the drill, on the fourth day you will wake up weak like a kitty, foul-smelling, but sort of recovered. Then you stay indoor one more day! And finally, carefully, hit the road again. There is a good chance next time the microbe would jump on you, it will bounce back harmlessly. We, travelers, are a hard breed.
This is not the guaranteed method, of course. You may end up in the Babylon’s medicine claws, after all. Good for you if you do need to pay for it, at least. But remember, they will only stop the disease, leaving you even weaker and more vulnerable. Helping people is good, but who wants to loose a returning customer, anyway.
Normally, I do not consider myself a lucky man. Can’t even remember my last big lotto jackpot (couple incarnations ago, I would guess), no money found on the sidewalk (you should hear Krzysiek stories about his findings!). Even the greatest luck in my life – getting together with Natalia – appeared to be not a pure chance: she has just chosen me.
And that is why I am constantly amazed by the fact how many good AND unexpected things happen to me now. As if I finally got to the land of my dreams. The world of magical realism – urban stories of O’Henry, dark magic/cyberpunk RPGs and sometimes even eccentric steampunk novels.
You get the bronchitis in Berlin. Fine, it happens. You gather your wits and you try to arrange the least exhaustive way to get to Ulm, where BenJah will host you as long as needed .
Fine, there is a carpooling connection for just 30 euro. All you need is to pay your booking on paypal. Fcuk, you are 2 euro short. Noemi sent you money, not knowing that paypal will take it’s commision from the transfer. So, you are running around the big ‘Economics and the Commons’ Conference, asking people to take 5 euro in cash and paypal them to you. No way, Jose. People either have no paypal at all, or not a Euro account there, or they just don’t give a fuck. Among noble exceptions, Helene, which I always secretly adore, is trying to make a transfer couple times, but something is apparently not working.
And then again – out of a thin air, pops out a thin figure. A fellow natural philosopher, gentleman Irish mighty odd – says:
‘Where are you going?’ – ‘ Ulm’.
‘When?’ – ‘Tomorrow, around 10’.
In fact, he expressed it in a much more eloquent way, but that’s the bottom line.
And guess what? Next day at 10:03 we met at the Berlin Hauptbahnhof, and at 10:16 we were (half of us wheezing, coughing, sneezing and dying of anoxia caused by sprinting along the platform) sitting in the train to Nuernberg/Ulm.
I have never had better journey. My Irish Guardian Angel, completely oblivious to the perspective of being arrested by the local DHS forces (attempted act of biological terrorism, I remind you!), was hauling me from one local train to another, as we were frog-leapping south. Stuffing me with his weirdest ideas, asian food and vitamin juice – topped with a double hot Irish whisky in the (Irish, of course) pub in Nuernberg.
You better have a whole bunch of kids, Eimhin. Humanity needs people of your kind. And traveling storytellers need them badly. 🙂
BenJah picked me up at the Ulm station, led me to his friend’s lancia, pulsing with bass strong enough for a heart massage, an drove me home. I was mostly on the autopilot then, not registering most of this part. The status you may know from being deep drunk and heading home with the perseverance and intelligence of a salmon going upstream. I only managed to get there, make the bed, mix a magic potion to be sipped over the night and crashed. Latter this night BenJah FBed “Discussion about Anarchopositivism with Petros” bud I do not accept any responsibilty for the content of said discussion. I just wasn’t there…
Next two days were sort of routine. Laying down, drinking mixtures, making some fuzzy plans about next steps, exchanging thoughts with my host, watching my body recovering slowly. Meanwhile, a meeting in Ulm hackerspace and in the e-cigaret shop brought me new contacts there. And finally, on the third day, I have risen from the dead and decided to go South again. Richtung Venice and the ferry to Greece…