I am on vacation. And I am so tired! Is it really my vacation?!
I have this kind of noise in my head like a hum. I cannot simply seat and have a cup of coffee, since I know next minute I will have to run somewhere again. Oh, running… I love running! Running cleans the thoughts, makes you focused on essentials -on your personality, it slows the speed of thought. While you’re running it’s like everything falls into place. But! This, this is not the running that I have been practicing for the last 7 days, unfortunately. This running is running to nowhere, when you are constantly in hurry.
This morning I woke up at 10 (come on, it is my vacation by the way!), had breakfast and went to lunch with my sister. I spent 35 minutes on the road. The meeting. An I run again to finish some paper work: 1,5 hours for filling in all in a cafe and making copies at a copy store. Hop, I’m in line at the post office. Window, face of post assistant and papers, papers, papers. Near me a man yelling that he does not want to buy stamps for 22 rubles. He has 100 letters to be sent, it makes 2200 rubles (about 30 euro), which he can use to live a week! He wants them to give him stamps cost 1 ruble each. The girl serving me distracted from me to help explain that in this case, the letters simply do not reach. But he claims that he does not care and buys stamps on the ruble. The girl comes back to me.
I take a taxi to be in time in a meeting with a friend (this place is not near metro, so it is simply faster). I spend an hour on the road – traffic jams are everywhere. Do not have time to ask her even a half of what was going. Her time for the meeting with me is over. This time she has to run somewhere. My phone by this time sat down, so I go to find the subway station, asking people the way. All is dug up and fenced, we have to walk on the edge of the road, as a tractor rides on the sidewalk. Cars are beeping nervously to the people angry about happening. The road to the subway station takes 50 minutes.
People in the subway are exhausted and push you aggressively. I notice a pregnant woman on the other side of the metro car. Her big belly literally bumps into the faces of seated people and stops them from reading. I feel uncomfortable. I can feel the man standing next to me celebrated already the end of the working day.
I should mention that many of these people have very beautiful delicate facial features. Such familiar faces! Smart eyes. And it seems to me that I can easily guess the types of people in them. But my God, they’re so aggressive in the subway! They fight for a place to seat after long working day, they fight to not be pushed and robbed. They are tired and they are rude. They do not give place to a pregnant woman, because «business is business» (Russians and French say «in war, as in war» – «на войне, как на войне» or «a la guerre comme a la guerre»). It’s just a part of the survival game in the big city.
I go to the cafe to charge the phone (which obviously feels the same as I do) and take a breath. Hardly finding a table, I seat down and finally exhale. Head is throbbing, no thoughts. I’m exhausted. But it is only 18 o’clock. Just a few businesses more and in the evening I can drink wine with friends.
This is definitely not the best and the healthiest my vacation. I planned the day full of meetings with my loved ones in one of my favourite cities in the World. But my God, to see a dear face for one hour only you need to spend one hour to go to one side as well. And this hour you’re constantly nervous while running to the subway, pushing in the metro car or standing in traffic jams. What is this city doing with me?!
When 4 years ago (or more?) I met Marc, it seemed to me that we were very different in our perception of life. I ran everywhere afraid to not be in time – he always walked slowly, and still does. I fought for my rights, demanded and attacked any manifestation of stupidity and injustice – he simply turned away disappointed because for him in most cases «no» means «no», And I grew up in the conditions when «no» means «incorrect proposal, try to reformulate the question» or in extreme cases «try to offer something worthwhile or pull a few strings».
But wait! It is not a question of mentality what I try to understand. Once in Sydney, I told to one guy that I was thinking about staying there. He laughed and said I was crazy. For him, Moscow, along with London and New York were places of power and drive, sources of life itself. Comparing to «this village», how he told about Sydney. I and my friends call Vienna «the village» too.
Is it real that the environment affects a person so greatly? Honestly, I never thought so. I am who I am wherever I am. I try to recall when I am slightly different: by the sea, in the nature, with certain people and with others. It is all me, like pieces of one whole person. We call it «the environment» since it environs us. We influence on it, it influences on us.
Even now I know I am always faster than the most people in Vienna. I I’m still learning not to rush, speak quietly, slowly drink coffee and look around without desire to jump up right now and run. Perhaps, it is really more about me than about the environment. Moscow always gives me more drive, Vienna – the possibility of contemplation. But what is really important is harmony inside of me.
Now I live in Vienna. It slows me down, makes me calmer. Don’t run, don’t run! But the hometown, when I visit it, immediately returns my haste. And hello nerves, hello headache and absence of time and thoughts! Hello ambitions! It seems as usual «the true is over there», somewhere in the middle.