Bad news

​Old men doing their cocksure manipulation again. It’s unbelievable and I’m truly worried for what is to come over the next years. 

We desperately need to find ways to deal with „post fact“ communication in order to make sure democracy, solidarity and tolerance, human rights and nothing less but a peaceful society for generations to come do not fall victim to the antics of some evil old souls. 

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Fear and loathing in Venice Or, No Grandi Navi

Some might say they had warned me and they were right. However, I wanted to take a look at Venice on my way from Trieste to Munich, although I had a foreboding that I might not be alone there on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Indeed, I was not! 🙂

Lemmings of tourists from all over the place crowded the alleys. Vendors had plenty of “all original” glass beads, Venetian masks, magnets, postcards, ice cream, puppets in robes etc. on display. No alley that doesn’t go without the capitalistic promise of an everlasting memory attached to a fridge or lamp or cupboard or what not… or so the delighted lemmings thought and made me stumble over them in their abrupt group stoppings in front of kitsch shops.

Seriously, how overrated can a place be? Of course, I took most of the nice pictures that every virtuous tourist does. I used my elbows to punch my way to the first row on Ponte dell’Accademia. I waited patiently until I was in line for a quick shot at the Canal Grande, down at Campo Salute. I even waited in line until it was my time to cross the Rialto bridge with a multitude of other people. All more or less happy to be there, it seemed.

What a pity, I thought, that all this once grandeurish town is being subjected to decay and capitalistic exploitation. What  a beautiful backdrop it once must have been to stories like Romeo and Juliet. Or Voltaire’s Candide. Or Byron’s „Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage“: „She looks like a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean, / Rising with her tiara of proud towers / At airy distance, with majestic motion / A ruler of the waters and their powers.“

Of course, it’s difficult, maybe even impossible to maintain the “tiara of proud towers” over centuries. And standing in water. Hoards of tourists, however, will only add to the quick and fierce decay, which has only a fading memory of patina and elegance. It’s sadly rotting. Its soul being sold to the multitude of people that are being swamped over the city with each cruise ship harbouring there. To the city itself and to those who adore the “sea Cybele” I wish from my heart that the citizen’s campaigns I saw in the streets will be successful: No grandi navi.

Hospitality or, A country to cuddle

Slovenia is lovely. Like they say here, it even has love in its name. 

Talk to the people and you get an idea of what unpretentiousness can be like in its best version. I encountered a wealth of hospitality on all sides. And most people here seem to be very laid back. Relaxed. Not to be shaken. Proud of their country in a shy and delightfully ironically distanced way. I find them cuddly with their Slavic rolling ‚r‘ in their accent.

It started with my host’s mother with whom I drank orange juice and ate cookies while she told me everything about what to visit in Ljubljana. 

It continued with the tour guide who helped me find someone to take me in their car to Piran. It never worked out because the guys never replied to my messages. But how nice of Tevz to remember my plans even after days and to send me screenshots of several options to call.

Then there was the guy in the tourist information. I asked for alternative ways to get to Piran and Trieste on the same day. He shared his cookies with me and recommendations of where to get the best coffee in town. Maybe I’ll send him a postcard from Piran. 

And finally I need to mention Sandi, the most versatile advisor on balkan craft beers. THANK YOU!