10/01  Villach, Austria

01 Oct 1985, Posted by Scott An Chora in Travelogue, No Comments.

10/01 Villach, Austria

I managed to get some sleep just prior to boarding an early train into Villach.  I didn’t have anything to read and I was getting a little bored.  I got out some colored pencils I had been carrying for some time and began coding a chart of guitar chords.  I was focused in on what I was doing, dreaming about something when I noticed a strong feeling that I was being watched.  I looked over to my left and sitting a couple of rows down the car were three of the cutest little girls all dressed up for Sunday church.  I guessed the oldest might have been about six.  The three of them sat there in a row staring at me with the same smile on each of their faces, as if they were waiting for me to smile back.  When I did give them a smile, each of their faces bloomed like spring flowers.  Their parents could not get over their obsession with me.  Their mother explained how out of character her girls were behaving, “Usually they are so shy”.  In that moment they made me feel special, really special.

As our train headed south the valleys of green that once surrounded us slowly began turning gold.  I got off that train in Villach and spent about four hours wandering about searching for a place to sit down and eat.  Even after I finished a rather large meal I continued bouncing between pastries shops, devouring in seconds items that most likely took hours to prepare if not days.  I reminded myself how important it is to savor every second, every breath and every pastry.  Life is delicious.  Don’t pass it by.  What I didn’t eat I carried onto my train to Venice.  I was alone in a compartment with a young musician who was leaving Austria to compete for a seat in an orchestra in Rome.  She seemed a bit nervous at the idea of competition but I’m sure this wasn’t the first time nor would it be the last time she’d be fighting over a seat.  She shared her past and it was laced with stories of luxuries and opportunities, well breed and well financed.  Her only real responsibility was her dedication to the violin.  Different worlds meet on a train.

A thick fog had embraced Venice.  From the station I could see the top of a few building and the edge of a bridge that led into the clouds.  I stood among numerous other travelers hanging out on the steps of the station.  They gave me the impression that it was the inexpensive way to go but I walked across the bridge in search of a room anyway.  As I was crossing the bridge I overheard a conversation in English and latched onto it quickly.  I inquired if they knew where I could locate a room for the night.  Those two young ladies thought it would be easier to walk me to where they were staying rather than attempting to map out directions, alcohol was involved.  When we reached the desk clerk we were in conversation, laughing and that gentleman got the wrong impression.  When I asked for a room he said he would not allow one guy with two girls in his establishment and my explaining that he had the wrong idea fell on deaf ears.  Venice is not an easy place to wander about at night.  Everything is boarded up and most of the street lights are dim.  Still I located a room that was pricey but it was late and I was tired.  Like in most cases I did manage to haggle a few dollars in my direction.  The room was small and it was almost on the roof but it did have a balcony overlooking a canal.  I sat out onto the balcony, rolled up a joint and smoked it looking into the fog that filled in the space in between the buildings.  I sat there thinking, wrote down a few thoughts, pleasured myself and went to sleep.

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    Usually behind a cup of coffee waiting for the world around me to wake up I entered today’s thoughts about yesterday’s activities into my travel journal. I’m not a writer, so I’ll apologize in advance if I jump around or seem confused. These are just the thoughts of a young man who left his possessions behind and who believes that getting lost is how one finds oneself.

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