I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 months since my last post and about the same amount of time since the inception of this trip.
A spontaneous imagination of two tipsy guys just chilling over a few drinks and some great music one weekend led to this point right here. Right here is just a month to a lovely vacation in a beautiful snow covered country this winter break. It’s been a pretty eventful time getting to this point and I can’t believe we are actually going through with our plans to visit Europe.
|Summer in Belgrade with Gobzie|
Last time I was in Europe was the in the beautiful summer of 2009 2 years ago in Belgrade Serbia and it left quite an impression on me especially after all my skepticism born out of belief in the stuff I hear on the news about Eastern European countries. So I was very surprised to discover otherwise after having the best two weeks of my life at any given time experiencing European summer for the very first time. I must say the reason I got there are totally far from the reasons I actually fell in love with it. We had gone for the 25th Universiade (World University Games) and although the multitude of nationalities we interacted added to the charm of that experience, the foremost thing that attracted me to Belgrade was the beautiful people and cool lifestyle that I came into contact with. The beautiful crowded beaches, the lovely pedestrian streets filled with colorful things to look at, the ancient architectural buildings in the midst of a modern city, the cute romantic cafes in the pedestrian streets, the beautiful expanse of the parks, old men playing chess under the shade of the trees, young people making out on park benches or simply taking strolls hand in hand, the lovely ponds filled with ducks and geese, the complete lack of noise pollution, stinky rubbish and crowded sweaty bodies and congestion and dust that’s so characteristic of Kampala was a welcome change to what my usual life is and the night life was definitely much more cooler maybe because of the fact that I could probably count the number of black faces in a club. It’s sometimes nice to actually see that you are somebody different among a sea of bodies and I now know the thrill that foreigners find in living among us where you can actually see the effect of living. Finally there’s proof that your life actually counts for something by just being. You don’t have to do or try anything special.
Of course I had firsthand experience of true Eastern European hospitality which was a major plus.
|The Inception Night|
Fast forward to 2 years later and I am ready for a new taste of a different kind of European experience. This time it will be in a Schengen area and it will be as cold as anything I have never imagined but that truly perks my sense of adventure. I must say I have never lived in a cold climate and the thought of living in negative zeros degrees is a little daunting but there’s no stopping now. It’s a little too late to change my mind. I have less than 30 days to it and I have already gone through a great length to acquire a visa I might just as well put it to good use.
So back to how it all started. I had just come back from Shanghai and was chilling wit my best bud Gobzie in his little shop in Kikoni feeling so Ug grounded after a brief stay in China, I must have looked so miserable that Gobzie decided I needed a drink. The thing wit him is that he probably takes more of the alcohol than he actually sells. He tore a whole new pack of Zed and grabbed some cans of Safi to punch it with and we settled for a mellow Sunday evening regardless of the fact that the next day was a working day.
Normally we do this while surfing online since we are both attached to our computers and holding multiple conversations on all the chat sites and having access to online information makes it a tad more interesting pastime
So at that point our current conversation involved all the places we’d been to together outside of Ugandan borders and how much fun we’d had and wouldn’t it be nice if we could do it again.
‘Hmmm I have an idea’ said Robert
‘I have this grand gentleman I used to live with back in the days in Austria and I am pretty sure if we got tickets he would host us for the Christmas holidays’
‘’Hmmm that would be nice” I said. ‘How much do u reckon is the cost of a ticket to Vienna?’’
‘’Let’s find out”
So we went online and discovered that the ticket cost a mere USD706
We stared at the figure in disbelief. ‘Whattt!!!” I exclaimed ‘’ seriously that’s 2 months saving of my salary
‘Dude, Why don’t we do this?’’ “I tell you man we will have so much fun if we went to Austria’’ said Gobzie
Then he went ahead to tell me about all the wonderful things that we could do this winter which included a tour of all the neighboring countries around Austria depending on how much time and money we could amass by then. Some of it included the prospect of skiing in the mountains accompanied with animated illustrations of what it feels like skiing and visual illustrations from some web pages to reinforce the narration.
I was still uncertain about all this because of the age old fear of things new and far away from my comfort zone. I wasn’t completely sold until he mentioned that our host is a patron at a swim club he used to be a member of and he could get me into the club to train with the elite swimmers for free and I was like now that’s a good point to make this journey.
I still had a lot of questions about how we would afford our stay over there and he told me not to worry about it coz we will be in good hands and to prove the point he called our host and made the request on loudspeaker and I listened with my jaws dropping every second as our intended host expressed how they would be thrilled to have our company. And I kept thinkin ‘’ this guy is actually serious about all this and we don’t even have a single coin saved for this venture’’ but Gobzie with his usual enthusiasm was on a roll and could not be stopped
As an icing on the cake he continued ‘’ you know you could even get your Serbian gal to come spend the holiday with us. Am sure our hosts wouldn’t mind coz they have this huge house and plenty of space and trust me when I say they can afford to host us for a great number of weeks or months!! You will eat all the food you want and get back here twice you size seeing that u really need some extras in the size area heheehehehe’’
The mention of the prospect of spending time with Jassie was pretty much irresistible.
‘’Alright!’’ I said. ‘’I’m INJ”