Ban Jelačić Square, holy mary monument
So here I sit, in a green park on a sunny day in Zagreb, getting ready to take my final flight to end what is arguably the biggest chapter in my life. Trying to understand what has happened in the last 6 weeks by looking back at the notes, until for a moment I get distracted by the birds singing, noticing their proneness for dissonance, tritones in particular. I never noticed that about birds. Or maybe I had never really listened to them like I do now. As I reach the airport, I buy a coffee with the last marks that I have, and then head to the check-in counter. A beautiful girl checks my ticket, while I think about the last days.
I had reached Zagreb without any complications and wanted to feel as comfortable as possible after eleven flights. Buying a ticket probably wasn’t even that complicated here, but my laziness and exhaustedness may have prompted me to believe so. Should I just enter the tram without buying a ticket? I travelled around the world now, always buying a ticket from Australia to the US to China to Turkey and all the other countries. I was asked to show my ticket only twice, and it was twice in Melbourne on a ride that took half an hour each. And now I only need to take three stations. I have been so super lucky with everything, the timing, circumstances, even the weather. It always stopped raining when I arrived or it started raining when I left. Why should anything happen now? So I just enter the tram without buying a ticket. The probability of somebody checking the ticket is quite low. Two minutes later I have to show my ticket. The guy’s female colleague even speaks to him and tried to convince him to give me a free pass, but he shows no mercy and I have to pay a fine.
As I get off the tram, I feel disoriented and walk along a park, once again realizing how all the trips and flights in this short amount of time have taken a lot of energy from me. A local apparently notices how I am lost, so he takes me to a hostel, where I meet a Belgian room mate, with whom I would later head to some of Zagreb’s sights, most nnotably the Freedom Square. Later that night we went out to some club, where we had some Rakija, a liquor that everybody seems to love except for me. And I wasn’t in the mood for partying anway. Instead I was just amused watching the nightlife and thinking about the last six weeks.
The two final days in the final country Croatia are less spectacular. And after all the impressions from around the world, after all that happened, I do neglect Zagreb. In Croatia I neither find the time or energy to explore much, except for some prominent stops such as the King Tomislav Square, the Ban Jelacic Square and the Holy Mary monument and the cathedral.
How far I have come. But How far would I go today? Figuratively and literally no longer caring about the direction where I need to head, arbitralily choosing one direction from the Zagreb city center, to which I stick and walk for hours, not really paying attention to the thick clouds that begin to appear. Soon I realize that I have ended up on a mountain range. A sign reveals just where exactly I am. It says 'Medvednica'.
As I continue my hike, I suddenly feel something I had not felt in my entire journey around the world. A drop of rain, followed by showers of rain. Contrary to what the weather forecast in New York said, it did not rain. In Los Angeles it only started to rain once I was at the airport to catch the flight to Melbourne. Even in the tropical country Malaysia, where rain is more common in this season, there was no rain, and the heavy storm that did not allow us to land in Pakistan later, stopped once I left the airport in Islamabad.
„Final Destination Frankfurt?“ fragt mich das hübscheste Flughafenpersonal, dass ich auf der ganzen Weltreise gesehen habe. Final Destination Frankfurt.... ich muss grinsen.... so heißt mein Stammclub, in dem ich so oft gefeiert habe. Ich grinse nur und sage: „Oh yes!“.