One Year of Awesomeness – Season Finale

I am sure this blog season finale was more expected than the last Breaking Bad episode, when Walter White stabs to death his crippled son (I wish… no spoilers, don’t worry).  

During this amazing year I have seen many places, from the Nepali Himalayas to Bangkok red light districts, from Indonesian volcanoes to Phnom Penh brothels, from Central Asian yurts to Makassar “karaokes”, from Lao mountains to Hong Kong massage parlors and so on. Here a few things I have done that made this trip so awesome:

  • Visited many Countries: Nepal, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Blowjobstan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine.
  • Rode animals: elephant, camel, horse, donkey, fat-ass sheep, Thai hookers.
  • Have seen more animals: monkeys, orangutans, unicorns, rhinos (nope, I missed them), snakes, yaks, mosquitoes, parrots, dogs, tropical fishes, manyhorns, turtles, more monkeys, buffalos…
  • Drugs I took: No! I don’t do that. Drugs are bad, not as bad as Paulo Coelho tough.
  • Ethnic and tribal people: Tibetans, Indian sellers, holy men, long neck women, ladyboys, Akha, lazy Laos,  Batak Toba,  Mentawaians, Balinese, Tana Toraja, Bajau, hipsters, Jackie Chans, Uighurs, Central Asian sheep-shagger nomads…
  • Extreme sports: Bungee jumping, trekking, pParagliding, extreme not giving a fuck, scuba diving, wWakeboarding, bridge motorcycle jumping, barbecuing, gangbanging, fishing, shepherding, vodka for breakfast…

I had countless great experiences, indeed. Overall, the best were the people. I cannot thank everyone that helped during this time here because it would take me at least two lines, kidding, I would need another blog. I am already missing Asian friendly folks and their big smiles. They will be always in my heart.

There are some places I would love to go back, mainly in Central Asia and, of course, my beloved Indonesia.  And many others I would love to visit in the future such as: Ladakh, the Tribal East and an ashram in India, Papua Island, Mongolia, Pakistan, North Korea, Barakaldo, Maluku Islands, Philippines, Kamchatka, Kazakh steppe…

Full-time awesomeness is over. I guess now I have to move on, and go back to “reality”. The concrete jungle, where the most aggressive and dangerous animals live. “Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television….” Well, you have watched Trainspotting, I don’t need to go on. So this is the “real”, the other wasn’t, good to know.

Home is wherever I am with you
Home is wherever I am with you

Before finishing, I want again to thank you all who wasted a bit of your time reading this blog instead of watching cat pictures, porn or doing productive work. MANY. MANY THANKS!

And I am ending this trip as I started, quoting the greatest, which, to make it clear, doesn’t apply to this trip:

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”
― Charles Bukowski

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Goodbye Lenin

The weather was quite cold and I felt lazy to go to Crimea (next time) so I took a night train to Kharkiv. I didn’t know much about the place but looking at the map an University city there shouldn’t be bad.

Indeed apart from the obvious the place was nice, with some pretty orthodox churches, a flea market, some parks, decorated tube stations Moscow style (well, kind of) and so on. The main thing there is a huge square. They claim the 3rd in the world after Tiananmen and the Red Square. What makes it special is a big inspiring Lenin. Well, actually in Tiananmen they’ve got a Mao and the Red Square have the Lenin mummy. Never mind, Kharkiv main square is cool because I say so.

Awesome
Awesome
Super awesome
Mega awesome

I had a great time there meeting interesting characters like a dude who developed 7 theorems that explain the world and the meaning of life during one year “into the wild” around Russia and Belarus, true story, book coming soon. The nightlife was great as expected and I had a perfect guide to it, a local post punk guitar player. But the best was the girl working at the hostel and her friends. They took me to places (even to a dinner at their place), gave great advice and offered me to stay at her friends’ in Donetsk. There were as well a bunch of Uzbek students around to discuss Central Asian matters (corruption, plov eating, sheep shagging…)

Flea market stuff
Flea market stuff

Another night train took me to Donetsk, the last destination. The place hasn’t got much to see apart from a few statues devoted to hard working miners and another cool Lenin. But ad I confirmed many times in this trip people are more important than places. I stayed with some really nice locals and had a great time, even with a bbq on my last night.

Comrade Vladimir at Donetsk
“Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in ancient Greek republics: Freedom for slave owners.”  – Comrade Vladimir

And the time to put an end to the good life arrived. But I did it in style. At the flight I took at 6 am the dude next to me opened a bottle of… guess what? starts with a “v”. So I arrived to London ignoring queues Asian style and saying hello in Russian at the passport check. Only meeting old friends (and beer) relieved me from the sadness of the big smoke. I had got used to local markets, everything cheap, street foods, friendly people, a slow pace, sun, nature, smiles… and London is completely the opposite with its all-the-same franchised shit, people rushing… It’s gonna be very difficult to adapt, I feel I don’t belong here any more.