Tuesday, November 23, 2010


A little something I'm over the moon happy about at the moment.

Some background might come in handy.
I spent a year in Brussels trying to learn French (along with other very useful things, although irrelevant to the story at hand).
In my French class I had two good friends, both of them happened to be Austrian, none of them living in Vienna.
B I haven't seen for almost two years now! I think she left the city somewhere in December 2008. We stayed in touch for a while but then, as it unfortunately happens all too often, we didn't talk. Fortunately, we've found a way back to each other (blessed be fb!) and do update each other once in a while.
D was in Belgium almost as long as I was, which means we haven't seen each other since June 2009. Also here fb turned out to be civilisation's great gift.

The plane that's going to fly me all the way to India takes off in the Austrian capital. I've been meaning to somehow meet with B & D for quite a while now, but it wasn't in meant to be. Decided their coming to Vienna would be a lot easier than to Warsaw, so sent a message asking if they'd be willing to take the train ride and see me there. I'm meeting my future boss on Dec 10th and wanted to take the morning train to have a couple of hours in this beautiful city. Also considered going a day earlier and finding a host to have the opportunity to get to know the place a bit better.
Got the reply from D - it so happens that she's got an errand to run in Vienna on the 10th.
Got the reply from B - it so happens that she's got a long weekend, 9th thru 12th and can definitely come. We can even stay at her relative's place.
What a coincidence, huh?

Oh, another thing from today. 
I was looking for my flight using skyscanner but got redirected to opodo for the booking operation. Got my ticket confirmation and all was peachy. Till someone from opodo called me today in the morning to inform me that they couldn't sell me the ticket afterall. It's operated by Air India and they'd missed the fact. If they sold me the ticket, they'd have to pay a fine (don't ask me). So in short, they told me they would give me back my money, and I was screwed (they could sell me a ticket for the same flight but from Austrian's ticket pool and it would cost me about 250€ more). I went on expedia, my second choice search engine, and managed to find the same flight, only about 15€ cheaper than the one I'd originally bought.
Go figure.

By the way;
What is your take on a thing called "coincidence"? Do you believe in such a concept?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Luck and expectations in life

I've said it more than once and it has also been noticed by others on numerous occasions - I'm one lucky gal.

Granted, I've had my ups and downs, hit a couple of bottoms (not that deep, fortunately!) but also got to see some pretty amazing things from up above (the last one being sunrise from the summit of Rinjani). However, I've always somehow gotten to be in the right place at the right time, meet just the person I needed or say that one little thing which would make everything work out.

The last couple of months have been a crazy period in my life, seeing my graduation, attitude alterations, first backpacking trip thousands of miles away from home, expectations met, expectations crushed, amazing people (and not so many not amazing ones) along the way. Whatever my view on an exeprience while it was in course, the effect has always been somewhat positive. Or maybe that's just thanks to the beforementioned attitude alterations.

The luck I'd had during my whole univeristy career ran out the day of my thesis defence. By luck meaning somehow passing all the exams, with not too bad a note most of the time, without almost any work at all. By the running out part - getting a question I had no idea how to answer during the last exam ever. But I think that's not bad for 3 years of studying, am I right or am I right?
But honestly, that's the only so-called meaningful occasion I recall that my lucky star wasn't guiding the way.
As to the positive coincidences, lucky situations and fruitful random meetings? Tons.

Starting with all the little things that make your everyday life pleasant, like making it for the bus there was no way of making it for or getting two drinks in price of one during the happy hour they somehow don't advertise anywhere, to all those little things that seem to save your life in extraordinary times. Like someone finding a pair of clean, warm socks in your base camp during a three-day volcano trek that you weren't prepared for at all, having the total of one pair of constantly wet and dirty ankle-length socks you had on you, to doing the island hopping somewhere in the middle of Indonesia, having no place to stay upon arrival to your destination and meeting three lovely girls you'd previously chatted with a week beforehand on one of the small, almost deserted islands, and together managing to rent out a nice clean room in a cool homestay you wouldn't want to pay for if you were there by yourself, to later going out with one of those girls so that you can steal her clothes in a club to take part in a dance contest (that you happen to win some $ in). Not to mention getting to know all those great people and hosts (a huge CS fan!) who make your trip all the more worthwhile.

Why all this talk here?
Because my going to India is nothing more but another 'lucky' thing. I wasn't looking for a job  and I happened to stumble across a possibly perfect one. One, which could be the beginning point of a very satisfying career. Which I wasn't meaning to start at the moment, either.

And here comes the second part - expectations. Should we have, feed or try to escape them?
I do generally trust my gut feeling and instincts but I have been known to make some mistakes. The last one before a trip I came back from three weeks ago.
The thing is, I tend to trust people too much, to the point of naïvety. And naive I was, thinking that things would just magically work out without much talk or thought. It was so not the case. In the end, the whole trip turned out to be amazing, but definitely not thanks to the circumstances I'd previewed.

As much as I don't want to think about the internship too much, I can't escape the results of all the commotion that had been taking place in my head just a few days ago. And by results I mean the E-word.
I mean, they do cause you trouble, right?
You sit in the comfort of your own room, imagining, and what is more important - convincing yourself, what things will be like. All the wonderful things you'll see, the opportunities you'll be presented with, the people you'll have a blast with. It is fine, to a certain point, as that's what mainly drives us - the promise of a dream come true. However, if, upon arrival, the reality doesn't fit the frames you'd so meticulously prepared, you're dissapointed. The views might still be beautiful but you won't care for them much, as the weather's not as perfect as you'd want it to be. The food might be delicious, the people around you friendly and most welcoming, but you'll be down because the one person you want to be this way, isn't so.
If you're lucky enough, you'll realise that thanks to that cold and rainy weather during your hike, you've proven to yourself just how hardy you are. That because your travel companion isn't good company, you meet people whom you befriend and find comfort in. But there always is that moment of pain, of emotional distress, when regret enters your thoughts.

At the same time, if only you'd figured out a way to NOT have expectations. You couldn't help but be happy. You would take life as it comes and accept everything that's being thrown your way. You'd know  - this is how it IS, so this is exactly how it SHOULD be. Afterall, if it shouldn't be like this - it simply wouldn't.

So that's exactly one of the goals - approach everything with a clear and open mind. Try to escape frames and check lists, make those up as I go. That way you can't go wrong - they will always be a perfect match.

And so the countdown begins..

Exactly three weeks from now I'll find myself standing in the middle of a busy crowd of people somewhere in the middle of the huge metropolis that is Mumbai.

It seems the most unusual thing, seeing how I'm at home in Warsaw and was meaning to stay here till the beginning of April 2011. It has been proven to me many times over how true the saying "God laughs when people make plans" is. Luckily, this time it turned out to be a very merry and loving chuckle that is taking me on yet another adventure. Hopefully, a very successful one at that. 

It was all very random and spontaneous but the decision to leave was far from reckless. 
However, meeting a person over a drink and taking an internship offer on another continent within a couple hours of having met one another might sound a bit ... hotheaded. I guess this is why whenever I tell my friends about how the whole thing went down they look at me stupefied and call me crazy. But they mean positive crazy. 
I assume.

As I've quite recently found out, the best things in life are the spur-of-the-moments we stumble across while making our way through everyday routine. The only question here is whether we are willing to jump in and see where the current of life, and our decisions, takes us. Seeing how Ganga is the sacred river for millions of Hindu I can only hope the current will be a generous one.

I've once had this big crush on Bollywood, which later turned into a crush on India itself. I had been planning a backpacking trip around the country a couple of years back, but ended up not going there. Not seeing the Taj, not trekking the Himalayas, nor acting in one of the movies I used to enjoy so much. As far as last month, while sitting in a room my best friend's renting on Java in Indonesia, I was reminiscing about how I once yearned for a trip to India and how that had somehow gotten lost along the way. Sometimes life's got this funny way of reminding us of what we had once dreamt of and giving us a second shot at whatever craziness it might be. So my time's up, and India awaits.
It will definitely be nothing short of exciting!

However, now it's the time to arrange all the formalities, bank accounts etc., pack a part of my room into boxes so that my folks have a bit more space at home and throw a kickass farewell party ;)