Séjour in Lyon

So I just walked out the other day and walked towards the highway. A cardbord “Lyon” I made and held up, but most of the cars had a 21-licence plate, which is Dijon. I kept walking, it started raining… isn’t hitchhiking great… wait a moment, this is not going to be just another boring story about hitching a ride… this is a great, I might even say an Obamesque account of what really happened. Obamesque means (according to Hilary Clinton) something comes down from the sky. In my case, this was (after a few miles walking) the first car with a 69-licence plate (Lyon!), who picked me up. So what? No, you wait… The car stopped right in front of my nose; not because h’d seen me but because he had to fix a problem with his battery. I walked up to him and told him where I was going to. The driver decided to take me with him. He introduced himself as Pascal, a bald friendly chemistry and physics teacher who was going home to Lyon with his two children. Wait… when we drove away it started raining stronger. Why do I always get lucky? Anyone who has an answer (except from the lord himself, since He would take away the magic a little bit) post it as a comment please.
But the real reason to hitchhike is to get to know very different people and their dreams. And I was served right away. He told me about his patchwork family, about his dream of traveling with his sun one day, after he made his bac (schhol exam). Yes, it was nice to drive in that car on the rainy afternoon southward bound on the route de soleil, and to talk about Environmentalism, musical education for his with Mozart and Nirvana, which he played in his car. I don’t know, now I am thirty years old, and still a shadow creeping on the earth’s crest and enjoying it like it’s the first day I am on this planet.


So I arrived in Lyon Perrache, and walked to an internet access point like I was used to do. Like a programmed robot I tried to get a place to sleep. What this what I called the charm of it: not knowing where you will sleep every new day? Pushing luck to its very limit? Yes, a few hours later I would get lucky again. Here’s what I did. Took the metro to Bellefour (Lyon’s central square), had a salat under the golden arches, wrote until late, and then walked through the very lively center of Lyon. Eventually I met some people in a bar, who offered me not only a nip of Absinth but also a place on the leather couch in their apartment in the Croix Rousse, Lyon’s young area. They were musicians and their main instrument was… a game boy. I learned that the “8-bit music”-scene was pretty big, and “eat_rabbit”, whose name is Yvan, one of its leading artists. I slept well, the loud drumbeats that echoed in my eardrum where pleasant.

The next day I thought about my trip to Portugal, and decided to fly. Well, the real reason to fly was that I wanted to take off from Lyon’s airport because it is called Saint-Exupery and I have this little faible for the petit prince. Apart from that, hitchhiking 1400 rainy kilometers wouldn’t be a pleasure. But there where other factors, too. I lost the inspiration for my novel, and felt not on top of things. Down there, in Portugal, this would probably change, I projected. So I booked a ticked to Lisboa and decided to spend a few more days in Lyon.

But i did enjoy Lyon, though not exhaustively. I visited the Musée des Beaux Arts where I discovered a few nice objects:

Legendre-heral – Euridyce (1821)
Cortot – Pandore (1819)
Cappiello – Les parapluies Revel (1922)
– Cow giving birth
Albert Bartholomé – Monument aux Morts (1895-1896)
Puvis de Charanne – Jean Cavalier jouant le choral de Luther devant sa mere mourante (1851)
Gaugain – nave nave machana (1896)
Albert Gleizes – la Parisienne (1954) (I like Gleizes…)
Chagall – le coq (1947) (famous…)
Jawlensky – tete de femme Meduse (1941)
Jacob van Oost the older – jeune homme reservant a billet (1645-1650) (fascinating subject…)

I stayed another day at Yvan’s place. Then I found some couchsurfers. I remember writing in a bar called “komin” and walking to a subway station Fourviere on the other side of the Rhone and the Saone rivers that made Lyon so strategic for the Romans. They where young students from Brazil, and we spoke French. My memory is so weak, I can’t remember much from the days that followed. They where laid-back, I laid on a cosy couch, played Guitar (which I still can’t) and talked about subjects I didn’t really knew about. My hosts where nice people; very open-minded and clever, too. One day I only left the appartment to buy some food. The rainy weather made me kind of lazy.

One day I made sure that I will go to hell. Here’s what I did. I visited the cathedral which lieds proudly above Vieux Lyon. In an entrance hall, I stood in front of a Sapientia-statue and saw the coins in the water below her feet. I picked out all pieces of 50 Eurocent to give them to homeless later on. I tossed the wet coins in my pocket and walked into the church itself. There was a sign “confessions” and one moment I played with the thought to confess my freshly commited sin. But no, I went out, enjoyed the view of Lyon and walked down through the Jardin des Roses towards the center. Soon enough, I saw beggars on the streets, whom I gave the coins. No Mr. Ratzinger, I don’t feel sorry. I’ll face the consequences at the end of the line.

I stayed up the final night writing, because there was no point in sleeping. I wanted to be at the airport on time.

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Séjour in Lyon

So I just walked out the other day and walked towards the highway. A cardbord “Lyon” I made and held up, but most of the cars had a 21-licence plate, which is Dijon. I kept walking, it started raining… isn’t hitchhiking great… wait a moment, this is not going to be just another boring story about hitching a ride… this is a great, I might even say an Obamesque account of what really happened. Obamesque means (according to Hilary Clinton) something comes down from the sky. In my case, this was (after a few miles walking) the first car with a 69-licence plate (Lyon!), who picked me up. So what? No, you wait… The car stopped right in front of my nose; not because h’d seen me but because he had to fix a problem with his battery. I walked up to him and told him where I was going to. The driver decided to take me with him. He introduced himself as Pascal, a bald friendly chemistry and physics teacher who was going home to Lyon with his two children. Wait… when we drove away it started raining stronger. Why do I always get lucky? Anyone who has an answer (except from the lord himself, since He would take away the magic a little bit) post it as a comment please.
But the real reason to hitchhike is to get to know very different people and their dreams. And I was served right away. He told me about his patchwork family, about his dream of traveling with his sun one day, after he made his bac (schhol exam). Yes, it was nice to drive in that car on the rainy afternoon southward bound on the route de soleil, and to talk about Environmentalism, musical education for his with Mozart and Nirvana, which he played in his car. I don’t know, now I am thirty years old, and still a shadow creeping on the earth’s crest and enjoying it like it’s the first day I am on this planet.


So I arrived in Lyon Perrache, and walked to an internet access point like I was used to do. Like a programmed robot I tried to get a place to sleep. What this what I called the charm of it: not knowing where you will sleep every new day? Pushing luck to its very limit? Yes, a few hours later I would get lucky again. Here’s what I did. Took the metro to Bellefour (Lyon’s central square), had a salat under the golden arches, wrote until late, and then walked through the very lively center of Lyon. Eventually I met some people in a bar, who offered me not only a nip of Absinth but also a place on the leather couch in their apartment in the Croix Rousse, Lyon’s young area. They were musicians and their main instrument was… a game boy. I learned that the “8-bit music”-scene was pretty big, and “eat_rabbit”, whose name is Yvan, one of its leading artists. I slept well, the loud drumbeats that echoed in my eardrum where pleasant.

The next day I thought about my trip to Portugal, and decided to fly. Well, the real reason to fly was that I wanted to take off from Lyon’s airport because it is called Saint-Exupery and I have this little faible for the petit prince. Apart from that, hitchhiking 1400 rainy kilometers wouldn’t be a pleasure. But there where other factors, too. I lost the inspiration for my novel, and felt not on top of things. Down there, in Portugal, this would probably change, I projected. So I booked a ticked to Lisboa and decided to spend a few more days in Lyon.

But i did enjoy Lyon, though not exhaustively. I visited the Musée des Beaux Arts where I discovered a few nice objects:

Legendre-heral – Euridyce (1821)
Cortot – Pandore (1819)
Cappiello – Les parapluies Revel (1922)
– Cow giving birth
Albert Bartholomé – Monument aux Morts (1895-1896)
Puvis de Charanne – Jean Cavalier jouant le choral de Luther devant sa mere mourante (1851)
Gaugain – nave nave machana (1896)
Albert Gleizes – la Parisienne (1954) (I like Gleizes…)
Chagall – le coq (1947) (famous…)
Jawlensky – tete de femme Meduse (1941)
Jacob van Oost the older – jeune homme reservant a billet (1645-1650) (fascinating subject…)

I stayed another day at Yvan’s place. Then I found some couchsurfers. I remember writing in a bar called “komin” and walking to a subway station Fourviere on the other side of the Rhone and the Saone rivers that made Lyon so strategic for the Romans. They where young students from Brazil, and we spoke French. My memory is so weak, I can’t remember much from the days that followed. They where laid-back, I laid on a cosy couch, played Guitar (which I still can’t) and talked about subjects I didn’t really knew about. My hosts where nice people; very open-minded and clever, too. One day I only left the appartment to buy some food. The rainy weather made me kind of lazy.

One day I made sure that I will go to hell. Here’s what I did. I visited the cathedral which lieds proudly above Vieux Lyon. In an entrance hall, I stood in front of a Sapientia-statue and saw the coins in the water below her feet. I picked out all pieces of 50 Eurocent to give them to homeless later on. I tossed the wet coins in my pocket and walked into the church itself. There was a sign “confessions” and one moment I played with the thought to confess my freshly commited sin. But no, I went out, enjoyed the view of Lyon and walked down through the Jardin des Roses towards the center. Soon enough, I saw beggars on the streets, whom I gave the coins. No Mr. Ratzinger, I don’t feel sorry. I’ll face the consequences at the end of the line.

I stayed up the final night writing, because there was no point in sleeping. I wanted to be at the airport on time.

Séjour in Lyon

So I just walked out the other day and walked towards the highway. A cardbord “Lyon” I made and held up, but most of the cars had a 21-licence plate, which is Dijon. I kept walking, it started raining… isn’t hitchhiking great… wait a moment, this is not going to be just another boring story about hitching a ride… this is a great, I might even say an Obamesque account of what really happened. Obamesque means (according to Hilary Clinton) something comes down from the sky. In my case, this was (after a few miles walking) the first car with a 69-licence plate (Lyon!), who picked me up. So what? No, you wait… The car stopped right in front of my nose; not because h’d seen me but because he had to fix a problem with his battery. I walked up to him and told him where I was going to. The driver decided to take me with him. He introduced himself as Pascal, a bald friendly chemistry and physics teacher who was going home to Lyon with his two children. Wait… when we drove away it started raining stronger. Why do I always get lucky? Anyone who has an answer (except from the lord himself, since He would take away the magic a little bit) post it as a comment please.
But the real reason to hitchhike is to get to know very different people and their dreams. And I was served right away. He told me about his patchwork family, about his dream of traveling with his sun one day, after he made his bac (schhol exam). Yes, it was nice to drive in that car on the rainy afternoon southward bound on the route de soleil, and to talk about Environmentalism, musical education for his with Mozart and Nirvana, which he played in his car. I don’t know, now I am thirty years old, and still a shadow creeping on the earth’s crest and enjoying it like it’s the first day I am on this planet.


So I arrived in Lyon Perrache, and walked to an internet access point like I was used to do. Like a programmed robot I tried to get a place to sleep. What this what I called the charm of it: not knowing where you will sleep every new day? Pushing luck to its very limit? Yes, a few hours later I would get lucky again. Here’s what I did. Took the metro to Bellefour (Lyon’s central square), had a salat under the golden arches, wrote until late, and then walked through the very lively center of Lyon. Eventually I met some people in a bar, who offered me not only a nip of Absinth but also a place on the leather couch in their apartment in the Croix Rousse, Lyon’s young area. They were musicians and their main instrument was… a game boy. I learned that the “8-bit music”-scene was pretty big, and “eat_rabbit”, whose name is Yvan, one of its leading artists. I slept well, the loud drumbeats that echoed in my eardrum where pleasant.

The next day I thought about my trip to Portugal, and decided to fly. Well, the real reason to fly was that I wanted to take off from Lyon’s airport because it is called Saint-Exupery and I have this little faible for the petit prince. Apart from that, hitchhiking 1400 rainy kilometers wouldn’t be a pleasure. But there where other factors, too. I lost the inspiration for my novel, and felt not on top of things. Down there, in Portugal, this would probably change, I projected. So I booked a ticked to Lisboa and decided to spend a few more days in Lyon.

But i did enjoy Lyon, though not exhaustively. I visited the Musée des Beaux Arts where I discovered a few nice objects:

Legendre-heral – Euridyce (1821)
Cortot – Pandore (1819)
Cappiello – Les parapluies Revel (1922)
– Cow giving birth
Albert Bartholomé – Monument aux Morts (1895-1896)
Puvis de Charanne – Jean Cavalier jouant le choral de Luther devant sa mere mourante (1851)
Gaugain – nave nave machana (1896)
Albert Gleizes – la Parisienne (1954) (I like Gleizes…)
Chagall – le coq (1947) (famous…)
Jawlensky – tete de femme Meduse (1941)
Jacob van Oost the older – jeune homme reservant a billet (1645-1650) (fascinating subject…)

I stayed another day at Yvan’s place. Then I found some couchsurfers. I remember writing in a bar called “komin” and walking to a subway station Fourviere on the other side of the Rhone and the Saone rivers that made Lyon so strategic for the Romans. They where young students from Brazil, and we spoke French. My memory is so weak, I can’t remember much from the days that followed. They where laid-back, I laid on a cosy couch, played Guitar (which I still can’t) and talked about subjects I didn’t really knew about. My hosts where nice people; very open-minded and clever, too. One day I only left the appartment to buy some food. The rainy weather made me kind of lazy.

One day I made sure that I will go to hell. Here’s what I did. I visited the cathedral which lieds proudly above Vieux Lyon. In an entrance hall, I stood in front of a Sapientia-statue and saw the coins in the water below her feet. I picked out all pieces of 50 Eurocent to give them to homeless later on. I tossed the wet coins in my pocket and walked into the church itself. There was a sign “confessions” and one moment I played with the thought to confess my freshly commited sin. But no, I went out, enjoyed the view of Lyon and walked down through the Jardin des Roses towards the center. Soon enough, I saw beggars on the streets, whom I gave the coins. No Mr. Ratzinger, I don’t feel sorry. I’ll face the consequences at the end of the line.

I stayed up the final night writing, because there was no point in sleeping. I wanted to be at the airport on time.

Helsinki #3. Dry feet.

Another day started with a lazy morning and a tasty breakfast. I joined Ilpo to his office and decided to go to the Art MuseumAtheneum“. Before that I walked in another shoemaker’s shop and asked him if you could repair the crack in my sole. He saidyes, I can“, and started working immediately. Ten minutes later he had neatly glued a piece of rubber onto it and charged me only one euro. I went outside and stepped in the first pool carefully. The second and the third one still didn’t get me wet feet. So sometimes a one-euro-repair is much better than a free repair, now that’s a motto.

The museum presented actually a couple of interesting collections. I saw a collection of Ukiyoe drawings from the Edo period in Japan (around 1850). They were nicely presented and gave a good insight in the culture of that period.
More impressive though was a collection of 64 photographs by 8 Japanese photographers. One set depicted the consequences of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, another the results of Japan’s rapid industrialization.
On the upper floor they presented some movies based on work by Mika Waltari, Finland’s most famous writer, as well as a representative series of Finnish paintings.
In the main hall they’d projected moving Finnish words on the ceiling and the walls, and since I heard the Finnish language is endangered I found that moving indeed.

We had a delicious lunch in a Mexican place with two nice girls. Over a spinach chicken pineapple wrap we had a little conversation about the inconsistency of me being an environmentalist but not a vegetarian, and about practicing what you preach. My wrap tasted so terrific that I actually managed to say “Well, catholic priests also don’t practice what they preach. Isn’t go and reproduce yourself a vital motto of Christendom, and yet they never do it.” Such an argument is indefeasible of course, and we finished our lunch with a healthy laugh about the issue.

That afternoon I spent writing in the post office, and reading the current edition of Time magazine. In an English language newspaper I read about Anni-Kristiina Juuso, a very pretty Sami-actress, hardly known among the Finnish, who lives in the north, and constitutes yet another reason for me to go up there.

I had dinner together with Ilpo, who had prepared rice and tofu; it was really tasty. After a short nap we went to a fancy bar and over a Fosters we discussed techniques of approaching woman, and I learned that I should really read this book ‘The Game’ by Neil Strauss. Soon enough we could see some of it in practice, albeit not in a way we fancied. On my way to the toilet I waited for another guy in the doorpost of the men’s room, so that the little man on it could easily escape the sight of the person behind me. A very female looking person passed me and entered the toilet, invoking me to cough loud enough to catch her attention. The soft-skinned man smiled and it was only after I had directed my eyes on his chest that I recognized my mistake. It was a very funny situation, and I don’t think it was such an embarrassment for him. Aren’t gender roles to be played and played with freely?

It was not so late when we arrived back home and went to sleep.

Helsinki #3. Dry feet.

Another day started with a lazy morning and a tasty breakfast. I joined Ilpo to his office and decided to go to the Art MuseumAtheneum“. Before that I walked in another shoemaker’s shop and asked him if you could repair the crack in my sole. He saidyes, I can“, and started working immediately. Ten minutes later he had neatly glued a piece of rubber onto it and charged me only one euro. I went outside and stepped in the first pool carefully. The second and the third one still didn’t get me wet feet. So sometimes a one-euro-repair is much better than a free repair, now that’s a motto.

The museum presented actually a couple of interesting collections. I saw a collection of Ukiyoe drawings from the Edo period in Japan (around 1850). They were nicely presented and gave a good insight in the culture of that period.
More impressive though was a collection of 64 photographs by 8 Japanese photographers. One set depicted the consequences of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, another the results of Japan’s rapid industrialization.
On the upper floor they presented some movies based on work by Mika Waltari, Finland’s most famous writer, as well as a representative series of Finnish paintings.
In the main hall they’d projected moving Finnish words on the ceiling and the walls, and since I heard the Finnish language is endangered I found that moving indeed.

We had a delicious lunch in a Mexican place with two nice girls. Over a spinach chicken pineapple wrap we had a little conversation about the inconsistency of me being an environmentalist but not a vegetarian, and about practicing what you preach. My wrap tasted so terrific that I actually managed to say “Well, catholic priests also don’t practice what they preach. Isn’t go and reproduce yourself a vital motto of Christendom, and yet they never do it.” Such an argument is indefeasible of course, and we finished our lunch with a healthy laugh about the issue.

That afternoon I spent writing in the post office, and reading the current edition of Time magazine. In an English language newspaper I read about Anni-Kristiina Juuso, a very pretty Sami-actress, hardly known among the Finnish, who lives in the north, and constitutes yet another reason for me to go up there.

I had dinner together with Ilpo, who had prepared rice and tofu; it was really tasty. After a short nap we went to a fancy bar and over a Fosters we discussed techniques of approaching woman, and I learned that I should really read this book ‘The Game’ by Neil Strauss. Soon enough we could see some of it in practice, albeit not in a way we fancied. On my way to the toilet I waited for another guy in the doorpost of the men’s room, so that the little man on it could easily escape the sight of the person behind me. A very female looking person passed me and entered the toilet, invoking me to cough loud enough to catch her attention. The soft-skinned man smiled and it was only after I had directed my eyes on his chest that I recognized my mistake. It was a very funny situation, and I don’t think it was such an embarrassment for him. Aren’t gender roles to be played and played with freely?

It was not so late when we arrived back home and went to sleep.

Helsinki #3. Dry feet.

Another day started with a lazy morning and a tasty breakfast. I joined Ilpo to his office and decided to go to the Art MuseumAtheneum“. Before that I walked in another shoemaker’s shop and asked him if you could repair the crack in my sole. He saidyes, I can“, and started working immediately. Ten minutes later he had neatly glued a piece of rubber onto it and charged me only one euro. I went outside and stepped in the first pool carefully. The second and the third one still didn’t get me wet feet. So sometimes a one-euro-repair is much better than a free repair, now that’s a motto.

The museum presented actually a couple of interesting collections. I saw a collection of Ukiyoe drawings from the Edo period in Japan (around 1850). They were nicely presented and gave a good insight in the culture of that period.
More impressive though was a collection of 64 photographs by 8 Japanese photographers. One set depicted the consequences of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, another the results of Japan’s rapid industrialization.
On the upper floor they presented some movies based on work by Mika Waltari, Finland’s most famous writer, as well as a representative series of Finnish paintings.
In the main hall they’d projected moving Finnish words on the ceiling and the walls, and since I heard the Finnish language is endangered I found that moving indeed.

We had a delicious lunch in a Mexican place with two nice girls. Over a spinach chicken pineapple wrap we had a little conversation about the inconsistency of me being an environmentalist but not a vegetarian, and about practicing what you preach. My wrap tasted so terrific that I actually managed to say “Well, catholic priests also don’t practice what they preach. Isn’t go and reproduce yourself a vital motto of Christendom, and yet they never do it.” Such an argument is indefeasible of course, and we finished our lunch with a healthy laugh about the issue.

That afternoon I spent writing in the post office, and reading the current edition of Time magazine. In an English language newspaper I read about Anni-Kristiina Juuso, a very pretty Sami-actress, hardly known among the Finnish, who lives in the north, and constitutes yet another reason for me to go up there.

I had dinner together with Ilpo, who had prepared rice and tofu; it was really tasty. After a short nap we went to a fancy bar and over a Fosters we discussed techniques of approaching woman, and I learned that I should really read this book ‘The Game’ by Neil Strauss. Soon enough we could see some of it in practice, albeit not in a way we fancied. On my way to the toilet I waited for another guy in the doorpost of the men’s room, so that the little man on it could easily escape the sight of the person behind me. A very female looking person passed me and entered the toilet, invoking me to cough loud enough to catch her attention. The soft-skinned man smiled and it was only after I had directed my eyes on his chest that I recognized my mistake. It was a very funny situation, and I don’t think it was such an embarrassment for him. Aren’t gender roles to be played and played with freely?

It was not so late when we arrived back home and went to sleep.

Gdansk/Danzig #2

The day began with a large breakfast, the same as ever. I went out with Kathryn, and we had lunch in a famous local restaurant called Turbot, where they claim to serve all food that is mentioned in the novels of Günther Grass. That kind of rounded my experience of Gdansk. The restaurant was really great. In a quiet sellar we sat on high chairs of incredible design, and ordered the offer of the day: cucumber soup and gulash. We expected a bowl with a brown hot substance, and when the friendly smiling waiter brought us two plates that were arranged in a haute cuisine fashion, we were surprised. And it was delicious!


After lunch we walked through the old town, and enjoyed the classical townhouses with their tapered roofs. We visited the National Museum, where we found an interesting collection of Renaissance painting, as well as pottery and porcelain. My favorite painting was by a 17th century Dutchman of which I could swear, after exploring his stroke technique, that he was similar to Van Gogh. A lot of the paintings had a (from a secular perspective at least) pretty boring subject: heaven and hell. Burning drunkards and screeming sinful people on the right hand side of the panel, pious people with their hands folded together and their hands bend town before Peter on the left.

Back in the hostel, I wrote some postcards. I recall having put the Polish stamps on it, but not posting them until Vilnius, where I had to buy new stamps. Anyway, there was a young Korean girl called Kyong-Mi, who was very nice, and whom we would go and have a beer with later. In a hazy Irish Pub we had a few beers together (which we had to order in Polish). A group of American-Polish students joined us.