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Published: April 28th 2006
Well I'm back from an exhausting 2 week travel binge. The first week I traveled through the Slovenia and the Balkans, which brought me to a new understanding of the world. We started in Ljubljana, a world which was still familiar to me, then on to Zagreb, Croatia and Dubrovnik, also not out of my realm of understanding. We stayed next in Mostar and then Sarajevo, and our last stop was Belgrade, Serbia.
I'm still at a loss for words how I would describe the 10 days. Sometimes it was charming, sometimes it was shocking, sometimes it was depressing, and most of all it was educational.
The following week I went on a trip to London with the school I work at and stayed with a host family there. "True Cockneys" they were, and even though I had trouble understanding their manner of speech, by the end of the week I found two new friends, Pauline and Brian, and know that I have a place to stay anytime I want to come to London again.
But the whole time I had something weighing on my mind, and it was the disturbing argument I had with my "host family" in Köflach, Austria, before I left for my travels. I kept thinking about what they had said, what I had said, and decided that the first thing I was going to do when I got back was tell them that I don't like having conversations about race and other cultures because it doesn't get us any further in the world. Especially because I will never agree with a racist, and they will never agree with the internationalist that I am.
That's exactly what I did tonight, and I feel a whole lot better. I was contemplating moving to Graz for next year, I mean, seriously considering it, and even went so far as to get into contact with a few people in Graz who have apartments available next September. Then I got to thinking that if I leave the Waschers, I would be leaving them on bad terms and only be adding to their distaste for foreigners. Maybe I should really stay here in this small town for another year and not give up. I have made a few important friendships already in these 7 or 8 months I've been here, and do I want to give those up and make new ones in a big city?
Who knows. Time is dwindling down to a wire, and I gotta decide in these few weeks I have left here.
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