An ugly heart, tattooed on my big toe. V+P is written in the inside. An old memory. An almost forgotten bet. The ugly heart is a symbol for my semester abroad in Australia. It’s the name of our predestined ‘Australia song’. An annoying song, sang by a TV cast ‘girl group’. “It’s such a pity a boy so pretty, with an ugly heart”, sung by multible female voices, accompanied by a mix of guitar sounds and electronic basses. ‘Ugly heart‘, a name, that is also written on my backpack, surrounded by the names of my closest ‘Australia friends’. An incomplete list of names. A list, that is about to get completed in Switzerland.
Prague. Women with sparkling eyes gather around expensive jewelry shops which are presenting items, not any less sparkling than these people’s eyes. Women, who will most likely never be able to buy this kind of jewelry. Dreams.
An old jukebox in front of worn down pinkish couches. An old jukebox, I try to find any good song on for at least 10 minutes. Unsuccessfully. “Yeah, I’m in for another beer“, becomes one of the most frequent used phrases on this evening, while Bon Jovi tortures my ears. I don’t miss Norway. The morning after I leave the apartment, strolling around towards a shopping mall, blinded by the uprising sun, slowed down my a familiar headache. I miss Norway.
John Lennon wall is the name, Lonely Planet books refer to this wall as. A name, the wall doesn’t live up to nowadays. By this time, almost all John Lennon related graffiti are covered by random paintings. I watch a young English boy spraying ghosts and hearts on the wall, and ugly heart straight next to a giant dick and the word ‘cunt‘. A sight that makes me grin while I enjoy the sun in Prag, rolling a cigarette. Also the woman on the right sight is able to entertain me. Passion. I’ve never seen someone performing contortions like she did, just in order to take a selfie. I wish I could have a look at the result.
Klara, my last-minute host in Prague, works a lot, but still never rejects an offer to spend her evenings together in the city center. “Yeah, I take a beer as well”. In addition to that, Klara causes another one of these “Fuck, it’s such a small world” moments. As it turns out, me and Klara’s former highschool desk-neighbour ‘Marek‘ hitch hiked together in Bosnia, about 5 months ago. We got picked up by the same lift and ended up waving down cars together on the day after.
I leave Klara’s apartment on Friday morning. That is to say Friday noon because I’m both, a lazy dude and an optimist. It is 1 PM when I start putting up my thumb in direction of the cars, entering the highway. It takes me 6 lift to get near Siegen. 500 kilometers that brought me to the last petrol station before the Swiss border. A rich business man, a Swiss guy, sharing his doubts about their upcoming marriage, a young, German couple driving to their parents for a weekend trip, a couple from Hungary, a courier from Prague and a truck driver, who buys 20 cans of beer at the last petrol station in Czech. Classic. 2 of these cans will make my backpack a bit heavier until I reach Zurich.
On this evening, I”ll go to sleep with 3 different business cards, squeezed in my wallet. “Call me in case you need any help”, is the most common reason, they hand over their cards for. It was half past midnight when I reached the petrol station near Singen. The price you have to pay if you leave that late. Erkan shares his petrol station dinner with him. He works in the real estate sector around the world. He is driving in a different direction but we still end up having a little chat. When he leaves me, obviously after handing over his business card, I decide to call it a day. It’s time for another night at a petrol station!
Zurich. Women with sparkling eyes gather around expensive jewelry shops, which are presenting items, not any less sparkling than these people’s eyes. Women, who are able to buy this kind of jewelry. Dreams that won’t remain dreams. My visit in Zurich starts with a post due reunion. Philipp, an old friend from Australia. I consider him and Vi, the girl I stayed in Bochum with 2 months ago, as my closest friends from that time. V+P. An almost forgotten bet. His name next to the ‘Ugly heart’ stroke on my rucksack, completes this memory. Good times, we drink a toast to. A glass of wine, which appears in comparison to the shit we drank in Australia as expensive, late harvest wine.
Glowing buildings, the smell of mulled wine, which apparently lets people in Zurich lose their sense for money and most likely drunk men in an ice-skate area, trying to impress girls by toppling down Hollywood-style, leave no doubt. Christmas time has started. I hear ‘Let it snow‘ from afar. It reminds me of my first blog post. It reminds me of the beginning of a journey, that started over 7 months ago.
Berna, one of my closest university friends, also moved to Zurich 2 weeks ago. Another reunion. I’ll be the first guest in her new apartment. A first guest, neither me or she did expect. I spend my last days in Zurich with Kathy, a girl I met in north Norway about 1 month ago. She spends November back home with her family, in an old farm house, built in a rural area near Zurich. “Eggs for sell”, written on a wooden sign in front of her entrance gives you an idea of her village’s size. It reminds me of my home.
Sight seeing, cheese fondue and Netflix documentations while lazying on her couch. I could not describe the 2 days I stayed with her any better. On Wednesday morning, Kathy drops me at a petrol station near the Zurich airport. My next destination: One of the most expensive and exquisite ski areas in Switzerland, straight at the foot of Matterhorn. Zermatt. My next Couchsurfing host ‘Corina‘ awaits me in the evening. Unfortunately I’ll have to put her off until the day after. But that’s something I did not know by the time, I started talking to people on that morning. On woman working for the petrol station offers me a free tea, a taxi driver gives me a croissant and an elderly lady picks me up, after I asked people for about 2 hours. “I usually never pick up hitch hikers but you seem to be pretty likeable.” A sentence, that made me happy. A sentence, my friends back in Germany will probably laugh about.
A lift, that lures me with a convincing “I know the perfect spot you should hitch from. It’s a petrol station and almost every car goes South“, shoots down my scheduled arrival. Sudden chaotic snowfall doesn’t make it any easier either. 6 hours later, I decide to hitch back in reverse direction. Once again, I end up near Bern. Stunned by a beautiful scenic lake view, I slowly set up my tent, sheltered by a public toilet. A night, that will remind me of Norway with its minus degrees. I don’t miss Norway.
The fear of Swiss policeman fining me, gives me nightmares and makes me get up even before sunrise. It’s freezing cold, so cold, I can’t even feel my finger tips anymore. Back to the ‘asking people for a lift’ game. A friendly woman donates a Swiss chocolate bar and wishes me good luck. I wish I could tell her that her wish actually got fulfilled. 5 Minutes and elderly lorry driver shows up. “Excuse me, are you heading towards Montreaux by any chance? I’m trying to get to Zermatt”, I ask in a polite voice. A slight grin. “Seems like it’s your lucky day. I have to pick up some metal in Zermatt“, says the truck driver, who’s name I could not understand even after asking twice.
Lucky day. It was indeed, even my host in Zermatt turned out to be a lucky find. But I’m gonna tell you more about that in my next post…
Until then, I’ll keep on trying to create more of these beautiful memories. Women, throwing ‘Hallelujahs‘ around, uncommon weddings, true angels, bygone traveling acquaintances or ugly hearts. Furthermore, my journey is facing a turning point. A new direction, a new adventure that could not be any more exciting. An adventure, that is still uncertain. An adventure, I’ll tell you about in my next blog post as well.
It’s also gonna be my last one before I’ll hitch back home to spend Christmas and New Years Eve with my family and friends.