happened on saturday, 4th july 2009 in skalna (czech republic).
true, i was so much looking forward to it, not only to see my school mates again, no wonder, i hadn't seen most of them since we were fifteen or eighteen, but i was looking forward to see the little village of skalna as well. i grew up there, i loved running outdoors everywhere, i knew every stone and corner, forests, little forest, island of skeletons, the ant hill, swimming lake, little creek, and so on... so on..
and because i desired to spend more time with my little village, i traveled over on the friday morning already. mum and dad drove me with their car into marianske lazne to catch a train, but trains were unavailable, because the railway station had been bought by some italian or french company, and all the railway tracks had been pulled out and there were big trenches instead, it was obvious that workers were working fast and hard, and they also managed to construct a wc in the old railway building that could easily compete with the best i have seen in the western world. after i had said my goodbyes to my parents, i used that impressive wc, and shortly after i jumped on the bus, which the railway was using instead of the train. and it was a beautiful journey, the sun was shining on our way and i was in a celebrative mood. i truly enjoyed the bus trip, looking at and admiring the nature, and some long time memories surfaced, oh, how many times me and mango traveled this road in to cheb to get yummy durians, and how often i traveled on it throughout all my czech life, this road is so well known and intimate..
cheb was also sunny, but wet, the rain must have stopped not long ago, and i was happily waiting over half an hour on a sunny bench for the next bus journey to skalna. i didn't recognised anyone on the bus-stop. i hadn't visited skalna for many many years, only three years ago for half of the day with mango, we had a swim in the lake and then we looked around the village, driving through some parts of it and i did not see anyone i know, - or maybe i did, but didn't recognise them. the bus journey from cheb to skalna was even more intimate, and even more old time memories came up, like the ones from my childhood, when usually only me and my brother were often walking on the same 6km long road in to the picturesque town and spa baths frantiskovy lazne. we didn't used to walk all the way on the road, we took some short cuts through fields and meadows. thanks to frequent short heavy rains and the early summer season the plants were beautifully and lusciously green. they were shining with their green light. the half hour travel seemed very short, and it was around midday when i jumped out from the bus onto the little village square, and straight away i felt like i was at home.
The sun not only shone, but it gave a lot of warmth as well, and it was noticeably much warmer than in marjianke lazne, and it stayed that way throughout my whole stay in skalna. i stopped on the very short walk to my hotel, where i had been booked in by one of my shoolmates inge, at a little grocery shop to see if they had any fruit as well, and yes they did, so i got some very yummy and ready to eat nectrarines and apricots. they didn't have any cherries, i could not believe it, as they were in season, but hey, that was ok, as long as i had some yummy fruit to munch on i was happy. then i continued on my very short walk to hotel garni, and i arrived to a locked door, surprised i rang the door bell, once, twice, and all i got back was silence and so it dawned on me that noone was home..hmm, i wondered what is going on for a sec and then i decided walk across the street and get some info in a little pub and there i was told where to go and pick up the hotel key, and when i began crossing the road again, one of my school mates, olina, was standing on the other side and she was happily greeting me and soon i gave her a hug and kiss and she told me that she had time and she would walk with me to get the key, to make sure that i didn't get lost. i agreed and she took my not so heavy bag from me and we began our about ten minutes long walk, chatting with excitement on the way, and we also ran in to one afterschool teacher, we said hello and chatted for a short while, i found it interesting that she looked almost the same, as if she had only aged a little, and then me and olina continued our journey in to the restaurant owned by hotel garni owners and we arrived in no time to their lovely beer garden, lucious with radiating green vines climbing the walls, poles and pergola ceiling. i had some nectrarines for my late breakfast and olga (olina) had a drink, and very soon i was filling out the form for the hotel, and the waiters were very friendly and swift. me and olga enjoyed chatting on the lovely verandah, and we also remembered and spoke about my grandma anicka (ann), my fathers mum. when anicka retired and moved out from the school, where she had lived and worked as a school keeper, she and olga became neighbours, living in the same old apartment blog. they soon became very good friends and they visited each other a lot and my grandma was babysitting olgas little children for free as well.
when it was time to say goodbye to olina (she said she would not be attending the school reunion) i walked back to the hotel with the key and when i entered, i learned that there was no one present, just me. i had a very unusual and nice feeling about it and i was singing, walking upstairs and then on the end of a long hallway i found my my very comfy and lovely room with a big window with a lookout to a big backyard and i also could see a big part of the road i use to walk, jump and skip on a lot.. and the houses and lovely gardens around.
as usual i had no watch or mobile on me, so i was asking myself how am i going to contact another of my schoolmates, inge, i wanted to meet up with her asap. i decided not to occupy my mind with it and i jumped in to the shower, then i unpacked my bag and enjoyed the yummy apricots, followed by relaxation and then i went to see what fruit they had in another near by grocery store, and got some more fruit for the rest of my stay.
but first i revisited the shop where i got the very tasty nectarines and apricots earlier, to get some more, and this time i recognised the salesperson, it was alena, my childhood friend and she also recognised me at the second time. we had not seen each other for a long long time, and we chatted for a while, and then the shop phone rang and alena disappeared into the little shop office, so i carried my nectarines and apricots i had bought back to the hotel and then went to check the other shop, just around the corner next to the old church.. in front of the shop stood a, to me unknown, girl/woman, and when i came closer to the shop she called out: "inge", and i thought: well, this is great, inge is in the shop, i wanted to see her and talk to her, and in no time she came out from the shop and she regognised me and she greeted me with a big smile and so did i. we chatted on the street for about ten minutes and then we agreed to meet at six o clock at night, on the same verandah i had sat down and spoken with olina earlier. i told her that i was without a watch or mobile, but that i would try to make it on time. she laughed and she said, that i was always like this.. and we also chatted with her brother and sister who both live very near that shop and then we all went on with our day, i got in the shop and i bought a half a watermelon and 2kg of bananas, i took my sweet fruit in to my room, i packed my bag and i went for an about half hour walk to the lake for a refreshing swim.
and as i was at the beginning of my journey, walking alongside the church, toward the ancient castle, my school teacher brizova from my first class joined me. i always liked and looked up to her, she was and still is a very lovely person, and she also looked almost the same, as if she had hardly aged, carrying with ease her very slim body, and she told me that she also goes often for a swim, but on that day she was going only for a walk and to have a look at the water. we chatted all the way to the lake talking as well about times when i began my first year at school, about forty seven years ago. we also gave each other nice compliments and when we reached the lake, we said our goodbyes and she was off to her home and i went to my favorite spot by the lake to relax in the sun and then have a swim.. and there were two sisters of alena from the first shop i went to, and one of them had a seven year young grandson with her, and we chatted about our past and present while grandson was mainly enjoying the lakes water. once i felt nice and warm from the sun i also jumped into the lovely water and i swam with zest and joy and at times i was just floating, and all around me was only nature, i felt so great and when i felt cold i got out on the sun again and soon after everyone left and i deeply relaxed and as soon as the mighty sun warmed me up again i jumped into the lake for another enjoyable swim and soon i felt euphoric and soon after i got out from the water my euphoric feelings increased and i was laughing with joy.. as usual after i've had a good swim. about one hour later i had the last swim and as soon as the sun had dried my skin i jumped into my dress and barefooted as all day long i was off on a beautiful solo walk from the lake to my room.
i walked along a little creek, the one i used to walk barefoot through in my beautiful childhood summer days, i used the creek instead of the road next to it. this time i walked on the road, but almost with the same fascination as so many years ago, i looked at the water, how it was peacefully traveling, at the sand and the little and bigger pebbles on its bottom, and at all of its natural beauty that little creek possessed and as i went along i could also see that the little creek was getting slightly bigger.. and surely i noticed some lovely flowers along the way as well, and mighty trees etc, and there was no way that the lady with the cherries could not have gotten my attention. she carried them with a tender care, they had just been freshly picked by her husband from their garden, she informed me, after i'd asked her where she'd found such beautiful cherries. i told her that i love cherries, and i could not get any in the shops and i asked her if i could buy some from her. she smiled and told me that these were for her family, and she offered me a few big handfuls, and she also said that she would send cherries for me via her young daughter in law tomorrow morning at breakfast time to the hotel where i was staying. she happened to be a member of the family who owned the hotel i stayed in. so i was very thankful for her kindness, and just before we said goodbyes she offered me another handful of cherries, oh, how could i resist, so i took more cherries and i was continuing my magic walk, i was almost there and on my arrival i had a shower, cherries, nectarines, apricots and relaxation while watching the beautiful blue sunny skies, where lovely, and white as the snow clouds, were traveling, it was summer time, beautiful summer time, just like summer time is supposed to be..
and just as i got out fom the hotel on the street on my way to meet inge, i could hear that someone was calling my name, so i turned around and i could see that some lady was running toward me, it was one of my friends and shoolmates vladka. i couldn't recongise her, she had to tell me her name, and we were both very happy to see each other again, and we chatted all the way to the verandah of the restaurant where was already waiting inge and dana the other school mate and inge's long term friend. we had a great time chatting and looking at some photos the girls had brought along. yes, i made it there on time, and it was about eight thirty at night when we said our goodbees and see you tomorrow at reunion. inge also said to me: " come and visit me tomorrow morning". i said: "ok"
i walked to my hotel room alone and didn't meet a soul. i went to bed and i was very relaxed and looking out of the window and thinking about all the days' events, and i was looking forward to the next day. then i switched on the tv and there were people singing songs and i ate almost the half of my watermelon and it was around midnight when i fell asleep.
i woke up to a beautiful sunny summer morning, and was relaxing in bed and then i had a shower and dried myself siting in a big comfy armchair on a big towel, the sun was shining directly on me, i was admiring the sky and when i was dry i put on my dress and i walked downstairs for the breakfast included. they had lot of toxic stuff but also nectarines, i asked if i could take some with me as i wanted to have breakfast much later, they said yes, and i was also brought the promised and very tasty cherries for a beautiful price with a beautiful smile of a lovely young woman. the breakfast time for hotel guests was almost over and she began also cleaning the dining room and we ended up chatting till eleven o clock. i did not know her previously as she had moved to skalna when she got married to one of the sons of the family who owned the hotel and restaurant.
when i returned with my fruit to my room i said to myself: "inge said come over in the morning, but who knows when her morning begins, and i felt at peace and i did not think i may be late, so i slowly took out my fruit from the plastic bags and soon after i strolled bare foot to visit inge. my destination was not far, but i was very slow, enjoying walking on nice soft grass and fine sand, oh, it felt so beautiful, my feet and soul were rejoicing..
and it was exactly midday when i mistakenly rang the bell to inge's mum flat. so i was surprised when inge's sister answered the door and soon after, curious mum came up as well, because we were talking for a while, but very soon i was ringing the door bell one floor up, and the timing was perfect, inge had woken up only a short time ago and was ready to chat with me, we had a very interesting and long conversation and i am looking forward to visiting her again. time flew very fast and at three thirty in the afternoon we left separately for the school reunion.
i stopped over on my way, at the hotel, and i stuffed myself with a lot of yummy cherries, then i was relaxing for half an hour and finally i finished my walk to the school reunion. it was a reunion of two classes because i attended one before my back injury and the other class one year later after, that was also the time when i was for the first time home again, and it was only for half of the year, but that's a different story. the school reunion was held in a big room of a restaurant called pohoda. and as i was approaching the restaurant i already ran it to some schoolmates, and i found it difficult recognising the most of them, but with time i found the faces grew more familiar. a bit later already in the restaurant i walked around two very long tables, and i greeted and chatted shortly with everyone and then most of the time just sat down and chatted only with those who were near me. i changed my place a few times. i was in some kind of shock and a bit speechless later on, and i just observed and listened, it was like watching some interesting movie and at times i managed to have a few short conversations. after some time my schoolmates gave me a gift of very nice cut flowers, i was touched, surprised and i almost cried. soon after i felt sorry that they all didn't receive flowers, and then i felt sorry for the flowers being cut, because i do not cut flowers to end their life, and then i decided to cheer up and don't let myself down just because i perceive life differently than most. the whole event was very peaceful, cheerful, interesting and an unforgettable experience and around 2 in the morning the last of us said our goodbyes and a few schoolmates walked me to the front door of the hotel garni, where we wished each other a cheerful goodnight, and i went alone to my room and i placed the flowers in the big jug on the square coffee table in the corner, they fitted in perfectly and they beautified the whole room with their lovely colours and magic lifeforce and nature.
i finished the watermelon and i was relaxing in the comfy bed at least for another hour, going in my mind through the whole day and night again..and the flowers were at the center of my attention, i could not take my eyes of such beauty, and then i drifted into peaceful sweet sleep. i woke up around nine in the morning and about three hours later i went in the restaurant to return the keys, and some of the owners offered me a lift in to cheb, as they were leaving soon to some carneval, driving through on their way. it was a beautiful sunny and warm summer sunday, and i also had time after my breakfast in the hotel for a good chat with the young lady of the family and it came out that she is a good friend with some members of my family who live in skalna, i do not want to get in to it here, but we ended up having a very interesting conversation.
with the fancy car, we were in cheb in no time and i got out, said thankyou and goodbye and walked out with my flowers and cherries, to see when my train/bus would be headed for marianske lazne, and it was to leave in just a few minutes, so before i knew it, i was back out there, and from there i got a taxi in to the near by village where my parents and some other members of my family live. i spent some good quality time with them and on thursday my parents gave me a lift again in to marianske lazne where i caught the train/bus almost to the town plzen and there i jumped on the real train witch took me through plzen and usti nad labem and there i changed train for decin..
where my auntie was waiting for me with her beloved partner, and a weekend on a right brain hemisphere drawing course, but i will write a bit about that some other time..
life is beautiful
ps: they had no cherries in the skalna shops because the local trees and trees in peoples gardens were loaded, so the shops wouldn't have been able to sell them.. much more happened in skalna, but i do not want to write toooo long a post.
school reunion 2009
me and my classmates
the flowers the present from my schoolmates