Midsummer oppurtunities!

It never ceases to amaze me how easy everything comes to me, how easy life can be – all the oppurtunities which present themselves and which I just have to grasp.

It’s Sundaymorning. Somethings happening, but I have no idea what. I move around a bit, trying to get back to sleep. Somebody is talking though: “Hey, I feel like going back today.” It is Rieke, on Thursday we hitched here, to Copenhagen, from Hamburg to celebrate midsummer with the Danish. We did not make any appointments about going back together though: ‘Fine’, I think: ‚´Enjoy the trip‚´.

I’ve got enough reason to be grumpy, I guess, when somebody wakes me up before the afternoon has even started.

The night before was the celebration: on Saturday evening we first go to Christiania, a `project‚´ which started in the 70`s as a squatted marinebase. Later we join some campfire in another place, near a lake, only to find out that the midsummer celebrations actually end around midnight already. However, there is still the Danish nightlife – we meet some cool Danish guys and they take us around the city. The first crowded pub we get in we get kicked out pretty quickly, because of some closing curfew. The same with the second lively pub. The third pub is quite death, and thus does stay open for a long time. Only the fourth one actually both has nice people and reasonable opening times. By then we can already greet the sun, and after a while we go to the cute small harbour to warm up in the sunshine. When we finally get home the Sunday daytime life is well on it‚´s way.

“You feel like hitching to Germany today?”, Rieke asks. I turn around: I’m sure that whatever is happening we surely can talk about another time. Say in four, or no, better yet, five hours. “So, what do you want to do?”, she says, seemingly unaware of interrupting my valuable sleep. Somehow I manage to open my eyes, and I look around our small room. I notice that Daniel, our host and a friend of Rieke, is still sound asleep. Last night he worked as long as we were partying; as a rickshaw driver. Nothing else is really happening right now, it‚´s simply just a good time for sleeping. The sharp bright daylight wakes me up however. A little bit, at least. Even my thoughts are becoming a bit more coherent, and I remember the two job suggestions Daniel made yesterday, one in a Indian restaurant, which is only Indian because the Pakistani owner realised Indian food sells better, and the second one as a rickshaw driver. Both cool jobs – quite independent, flexible, and with a reasonable pay – which is good, because I can use the money to realise some big dreams.

‚´Ok, so my friend wants to hitch back. Not really a good plan for me if I want to make money here‚´, I say to myself. Let‚´s see though, take a shower, and hopefully my brain will come back into action again, so I can think more clearly. While taking the shower I realise that Denmark would be quite a bad place to learn German. Danish, yes, for this it might be very good, but my interest in this language is really not that high. So I might work here, but not live here. However, despite the great oppurtunities I got here, my real priority is finding a steady place to live, and finding a room in Berlin while working in Copenhagen is really not the most practical thing to do.

I get back to Daniel‚´s room, and tell Rieke with all the enthusiasm I can muster that I‚´d be happy to hitch back to Germany with her: “Guten Morgen, do you feel like going tomorrow?”, I mumble. But no, she does not. Well, I figure, I‚´m partly awake anyway, and hitching two is a lot more fun then one, even on a sleepy Sunday. So around early afternoon we find ourselves on the street. Where to start? It‚´s a big help that neither of us has any maps of the city or of the autobahn; we can just go by intuition, and some vague memory of mine: “I think in this direction there might be some road where we got out of the city about five years ago. It was with my ex-girlfriend, even before she became my girlfriend.”, I tell her, pointing down a big street. We walk some ten minutes, find a place which is still part of central Copenhagen and start hitching. I sit down, and write a new “10 K.M.” sign, since my old one, which I have been using for over 18 months, is getting really unusable by now. It‚´s torn in two, has blood and food stains on it and is covered with other random dirt of different countries and continents. Even before I finish the new sign Rieke stops a Danish car with her “E20” sign though. I quickly suspect this driver of not being Danish, since he has a very clear and distinct British accent. We leave Copenhagen and chat a lot, since he’s an interesting guy, who loves to talk. We pass an intersection displaying a sign ‘RƒÆ’‚¶dby`with an arrow pointing right. We go left. “Hmm, we might like to get out here.”, I say. “Well, you’re welcome to get out wherever you want, I’m going to the west of Denmark.” It seems a big detour, but why not, I’ve never seen that part of Denmark, Rieke thinks it’s actually a faster option (with which I definitely not agree), and it’s still a sleepy Sunday without many personal plans, except crawling back in bed at the first oppurtunity.

We say goodbye on a gasstation with wireless internet access, just south of Kolding. We’ve a picknick here and afterwards I look around for sleeping oppurtunities for the night (perhaps some haystack at one of the nearby Danish farms?). Then I consider the totally different option of visiting the country where I grew up, since I haven’t been there for a year now, but instead we put a giant old Hamburg sign on top of my backpack. A lot of smiling people pass by, many of them Germans living close to Hamburg, as betrayed by their license plates. I listen to and look at some Dutch people having a picknick nearby and quickly realise that I’ve no urge at all to be in a country with 17 million Dutch people. The matter about going to Holland gets even more strongly decided when after just some 20 minutes a car stops with a license plate showing ‘D’ (for Germany) and ‘HH’ (for Hamburg). Our blonde male driver actually turns out to be Danish, but somehow one of his appartments is in Hamburg. That’s also all I learn about him before I fall into a deep sleep on the backbench. Sometime, perhaps a long time later, I open my eyes again. We’re still on the highway and I notice only German cars, so I figure this must be my new home country. We pass a sign telling us that we’re 24 kilometers before Hamburg. Do I want to go there? Perhaps I should go immediately to Berlin. Another sign announces a gasstation in just 1 kilometer. Very sleepy I recognize it’s a perfect option for hitching, I just have to grasp the oppurtunity. I look at the woods, consider getting off and unrolling my sleeping bag on a picknick bench and then just close my eyes and put my head back on the pile of backpacks right next to me instead.

Even in Hamburg we still pass a highway entrance to Berlin, but really, all I want is some sleep. At the trainstation we get off, and we get some coffee at the Burger King. After this wake-up we say goodbye, and thank each other for what was, despite the sleep-deprivation, a pretty cool weekend. Rieke goes and takes a free train home to Hannover and I’m left with my quest to find some friends and a bed. It’s nine in the evening, where do I go? I consider calling one good person I know here and stayed with before, but despite being so tired I rather meet some people who’ve some free time to go out and socialize. Or perhaps I even feel it would be bothering to call yet again at the last minute. So I check my German telephone for phonenumbers – there are about 30 people in there now, and I’ve no clear picture of who actually lives in this city. So for the next twenty minutes I go about reorganizing my telephone in a hitchhikers fashion – prefix B in the adresslist for Berlin, H for Hannover, HH for Hamburg and a special prefix for German friends living in hippie communities. The first person I call is really happy to hear from me, but tells me that to boyfriend related issues today would not be a good day. The second person I call, Matthias, also sounds quite happy and he does invite me to come by whenever it suits me.

So I do in the end, after first making some detours in subways which I shouldn’t have taken in in the first place. Still I make it to Matthias his house, we socialize a while, and then, being a well-travelled person himself, he makes sure to offer everything I could possibly need: an oppurtunity to wash my clothes, a shower, a towel, a bed with pillow and blankets, internet access and food & wine. Late in the evening some more housemates arrive – they have been hitchhiking from somewhere in mid-Germany. After some nice socializing then finally I stretch out on the couch for some badly needed sleep.

After waking up Matthias goes on to give me some house keys and a bike. A very relaxed stay indeed. I check the internet and find out that someone from Berlin has emailed me out of the blue with a room offer in a wohngemeinschaft with 15 people. I call back, find I really like this person, that the city location is excellent, as is the height of the rent and the description of the place. There are even 2 Spanish guys living so that I can keep my language skills alive. We make an appointment to visit, and it sounds like that this time I’m really the only lucky person who got the offer.

Life is often easy like that. You decide to go somewhere, and surely enough you get there. I’m looking for a house and surely enough I will get good offers coming to me. Or even I barely realized I needed a bike in Berlin, and I meet a friend on the street who’s just looking to buy a bike, takes me a long, and surely soon enough I stumble over a great bike for a good price. Even my money hasn’t run out by long yet (I’ve still got a huge 800 euros), and already I start getting job offers – without even asking for it! With friends it’s the same, when I got to Berlin I just searched a while for the people I already knew there, and sure enough I had an almost instant social life. Of course it’s not the same as meeting old friends you’ve known for many years, but it’s the best you can get as far as a nomad’s life goes. Only love seems the exception in which life is not plentiful; truly special girls I met only perhaps two times, and nothing managed to work out. Perhaps because in the past romances often got to complicated, and I’m now to afraid to act on my feelings, because things might get complicated again – which of course is the source of the romantic trouble in the first place. It’s like you’re hitchhiking from, for example, Ciudad Real to Granada and doubting that you will ever get anywhere, because hitchhiking in Spain sucks, and then surely enough even getting a ride out of the city will be so hard that it only confirms your lousy beliefs. Of course it’s much better to be full of confidence that you will make it – when I’m feeling like that I never fail to get a lift.

But anyway, in the end all the oppurtunities are there, and all I’ve to do is just to grasp them. Of course great oppurtunities also pass, but they only do when you choose to let them, so it’s still in your own hands.

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5 Responses to Midsummer oppurtunities!

  1. Marnix says:

    Nice and inspiring story. Life is full of beautiful opportunities if you learn to accept the gifts :) Your story only confirms my belief :)

  2. Gerard says:

    It’s a while ago that i’ve been here. “Your input, or should I say your output in writing”, is also a path off your life with ambition and whishes. I hope that we meet again some day, …..
    Good luck, with your period of staying and working in Berlin!

  3. Marta says:

    Hey Jurgen,
    it seems Im chasing you ;) I’ve just left Spain and I’ll be in Copenhagen on Friday. Too late though :) It’s always great reading you, thanks! Hugs and good luck!

  4. Dennis says:

    Right on bro, you have to grasp your opportunities :-)

    My travelling plans got a bit disrupted by meeting Nia, but it’s not a chance I’m going to let slip.
    Travelling and romance and opportunities, a matter of priorities and being prepared to take a risk.

    Good luck brother, hope to see you again sometime, it’s been way too long.

  5. Jasmine says:

    Hello, you post interesting articles on your page, you deserve much more visitors, just search in google
    for – augo’s tube traffic

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