Somewhere in Bohemia, Sometime early January 2020

My almost 2nd dad did teach me about star constellations. He also made me appreciate Formula 1 races. We sat each Sunday together and watched. He was team McLaren. I was team Ferrari. I thought of him today while watching the night sky when going back to the hotel from the Indian restaurant. Stars do fascinate people, one of many proofs shall be the song I couldn’t get out of my head lately, One Republic’s Counting Stars.

Do you also ever felt so right doing the wrong thing?

I thought of my almost 2nd dad, my dad, my mum’s other boyfriends and about all those moments, when men, who had been shaping my world and my point of view, just kept on vanishing without me being able to ask that last thing about some star constellation or whether it was really my fault they left.

My almost 2nd dad loved traveling. We’ve been with him to many summer road trips filled with many pinch-me moments that were usually driving my mother mad. I recalled how we couldn’t afford the hotel in Andorra so we slept in the capital in some parking place in my uncle’s car (my almost 2nd dad’s car couldn’t have made that trip). It was quite chilly in the morning, still, we saw the Pyrenees and simply ignored those signs No sleeping in cars placed all around the town.

I know I will soon reach my destination as I am running out of clean socks and underwear. I wash them in the hotel sink, unlike during the travels in China with my friend, where once we run out of clean socks or had to adapt to different climate zone traveling north the country, we just hit the immensely huge market place and bought those real Puma socks along with the real North Face jacket. After that, we went to grab some snacks and kept on laughing about all those mistranslated English inscriptions all around the city.

Young Indian boy serving tables in the restaurant was struggling with Czech. I proposed English. We talked. He said Czech people in Kladno and in Mělník, where his family owns restaurants, are lovely. He said his mum tells him every day on the phone that he should come back to India. I told him I am exhausted, but feeling better every day. I did not talk much, I let him speak. I switched the tv and radio for people lately. When I picked newspapers in Tesco the next day, the header was saying: War is near, pointing to the latest Trump’s extravaganza with unimaginable consequences in the Middle East. I put the newspapers down and decided that at least for some more time, I will make people my news.

I still could feel those late exhausting months. Once, being on a business trip in my home town and going after work to the hotel, I put on navi even though I knew they way. I just wanted to hear that You’ve reached your destination. I was stopping the rented car in a pouring rain in a field lanes and staring into the dark.

Do you ask people or electronic things to point directions?

In Mělník, I asked a passing-by woman to show me the way to the Indian restaurant.

She was walking the dog and instead of just explaining the way, she proposed to accompany me there. She said that every day she looks forward see her husband after work. They know each other since they were 16 years old. She told me her younger daughter studies filmography in London. Her older daughter was a survivor of bomb attacks in Madrid, very traumatized and refusing to travel completely since then, just taking care of animals. I told her the older daughter might get better one day. I said that because one dear person told me lately something similar. I was passing the hope I guess.

Coming back from the restaurant, I chose to walk through the panel housing estate. I grew up in a place like that. I paused and looked; thinking that behind those walls might be another boy or girl, dreaming about filmography in London.

Do you think smaller the place you grow up, bigger the dreams?

Sari, the Indian waiter told me about his Czech friend who teaches Yoga in Beroun. That she gave herself also an Indian name, just for fun.

I asked him to give me name.

He said: Santi.