three months gone


January 16, 2018

Oh Brasov, you were a beautiful mistake. The mistake was that we weren't aiming for you although I guess, we were always on our way. The beauty is that our mistake propelled us here, here amongst your beautiful cobbled roads and cracked, pastel houses, and little peaks hugging your shoulders.

It happened like this: we slept through Cluj Napoca and rode the bus to the end of the line in Miercurea Ciuc. The dawn was a pomegranate sky and blood-red sun. There was snow everywhere. We found a train that groaned and squeaked and creaked and rumbled and shook with broken pieces and missing bits. We found it with less than two minutes to spare. Jerred bought the tickets and then we threw ourselves through the gap in one train as a uniformed man hurriedly waved us forward to throw ourselves into the entrance of the second train. Heavy bags clutching to our backs. We watched the Romanian countryside roll on by.

I left Australia three months ago. God, this feels so normal now. Australia is a warm dream.

Normal life is endless buses and trains. Is stranger's homes and cobbled streets. Is Polish snowstorms and Czech winds. Is Prague beer and Hungarian langos. Is German cathedrals and Austrian Christmas markets. Is new faces and slow good-byes.

My best friend was with me for a month and it was the easiest thing in the world. The world doubled with goodness. I am carrying our adventures like wings on my heart.

Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Wroslaw, Krakow, Budapest.

She left three weeks ago and now, Jerred is here. A piece of my warm Australian dream. A piece of my warm Australian dream in cold Europe. A piece of my warm Australian dream in cold Brasov.

Brasov Brasov Brasov—I never knew I would be here. I never really thought about Romania.

I was very angry when I got here. Why is hard to explain but there was a boiling aggression in my chest and I was an imploding rage monster and that meant I didn't get to experience all the beauty that was happening around me. And that's a shame.

I don't know what I believe about the Universe or how it works. I just know that it feels like a mutual relationship. A two way street. Give and take. A conversation. When I feel good things, I find good things in the world. When I ask for something without obsessing over it, it is almost always delivered. When I am an imploding rage monster, my reality becomes just as unfriendly.

You always meet yourself on the road. All your sweetness and your sourness.

I guess I broke a little in Brasov. I broke when I walked into that metal gate in the dark and bruised my shins and shouted at the stars. But I broke like a fever breaks and things felt better in the morning.

Morning. We make porridge with all the goodies that I have been accumulating then wander through a park and stare at the Black Church. We eat the sweetest pretzel to ever have existed and use the sugar to power our journey to the top of Mount Tâmpa, wandering through the snow-covered switchbacks and remaining rusty red leaves. At the top, we dangle our feet over the edge and I think about how perfect this all feels. I keep saying, this is a really cool moment! I need to make sure it's acknowledged. This is special. This is precious. This is worth remembering. Be here now.

The sun warms my cold cheeks and Jerred kisses my cold nose. The light is being pulled through the layers of mountains that surround us and everything glows with a sort of perfect haze. Brasov's little red roofs are collected in the basin of the ridges like a Medieval puddle. I can hear dogs barking below and birds singing above. Jerred takes pictures and so do I.

There's a Kurt Vonnegut quote that feels how this feels:

"And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"

So it goes. So it is. If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.


Self portraits with Jerred in Brasov. January 2018.