random sharing

Music I Love
Atika - Airiškas Migracinis

Book I Enjoyed
Richard Bach - Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Music I Love
Patti Smith - Because the Night

I told myself that I needed to get back out on the road tomorrow. I chose Finland as my destination. If you’re attracted to the North as well, then you’ll understand why. Although this was probably my fiftieth time hitchhiking, I realized that it was my first time hitchhiking from my hometown - Jonava. As I was standing on the road, the sun and the challenge ahead only strengthened my determination to embark on this journey.

I managed to travel barely 30 kilometers in two and a half hours with the help of one girl and a student. The clouds started to turn dark. Although this should have intimidated me, I still felt as strong as ever. Someone decided not to make the beginning of my journey even more difficult, so right before it started to rain, a truck stopped and the driver offered to take me to Panevėžys. I told him my story: where I’m going and why, and it only gave him a scornful smile. But I didn’t care. And no matter how cocky the driver was, he still arranged transportation to Riga for me through the radio. Thanks to him for that. I switched to another truck. This driver was a very smart person, so conversation went on all the way to Riga.

I arrived in Riga. It felt like everyone was staring at me. I felt like an alien. I wasn’t one of them. My so-called unconquered city syndrome kicked in. However, the 3-hour journey to the city center made the city feel much homier. I chose a spot to play and began my performance. But then, I suddenly felt nervous and clearly unprepared for the show. After half an hour, I collected barely a few cents and felt dreadfully hungry. So I headed over by the church to sit down and think about what to do next. Ultimately, I realized that there was only one option - to go play some music.

Gradually, I got more and more into the rhythm and my case started to fill up with coins much faster. After a while, I was approached by two Latvian girls and one Latvian guy and we all began chatting. Seconds later, we were joined by a few more young people from Finland, one of which impressed us by playing a few songs himself. Soon, the Finns started to ask the Latvians where they can get some weed or other drugs. Meanwhile, I started a conversation with one of the Latvian girls and we both immediately felt a connection. Once the Finns were gone, we got to work. I taught the Latvian girl how to play my harmonica, taking on the role of guitarist and vocalist myself, and the remaining two went out into the middle of the street and started improvising with their bodies. It was something unspeakable. I felt like I belonged there. Passers-by were smiling and money kept coming to us.

After a while, a Turkish man approached us and asked me to play him something. He stood there, struggling to make out his sentences, and eventually invited us to the pub. This pub was like some sort of a mirage in the middle of Old Town Riga where a beer cost only two and a half litas (the national currency of Lithuania). The Turk bought me and the Latvians some beer. We listened to some music. I went to the restroom. When I came back, only the Turk and my lady friend were left. Her friends left quite rudely without saying goodbye. I was then approached by the police for bringing my beer out in a public space but the Turk took care of it pretty quickly. K. admitted that he wanted to leave me and A. alone but I whispered to him not to. Still, we ended up being left alone.

I couldn’t believe that I had found my person so early on in my journey. We were sitting on the steps of a store. It was getting dark. We talked about Devendra Banhart, the movie Into the Wild, and played some music. The Turk returned and the young lady had to go home. We walked her to the bus stop. Along the way, the Turk kept looking at women and tried to talk to them. He wasn’t very successful. We found it hilarious:) He was so desperate that he even tried to introduce us to the women. After saying goodbye to A., we headed back to the pub and each got another beer. Midnight came completely unnoticed and I had to drag all of my heavy belongings from the pub and go look for a place to sleep. I said goodbye to K. and went out into the dark. I had no ideas. I just wanted to go to the river bank. I wanted to see the streaming river first thing when I woke up. After an hour of wandering around, I set up my tent in the very center of Riga, in the bushes of the river bank. I felt nervous as I was falling asleep, but.

My first thought upon waking up was that the first day of the trip was already remarkable. Could another day of this trip be even more perfect? After rehearsing on the river bank, tanning, reading some Jack London, basically just enjoying life, I headed to the store to spend yesterday’s earnings. My belly was begging me for its share, so I let it enjoy the trip as well. I headed back to the Old Town to play. A few older former students from my old high school came over to me to say hello. I realized that the city had been conquered. There was nothing for me to do here anymore.

That day, I walked about 40 kilometers and rode about another 20. I felt myself starting to lose it. I applied a few non-glorifying words to the chants at the football stadium after the Latvians showed apathy toward my thumbs up. Songs were playing loudly, despite the fact that the audience was not filled with visitors but rather with mufflers of roaring cars. I realized that because of them, I couldn’t possibly sleep near the road. I headed toward a homestead with the request to set up my tent in the yard. The owner not only spoke great English but he walked me further away from the homestead and let me set up my tent by a lake where there were also several wooden sculptures. Once he left, I realized that this was a mystical place.

After an amazing night’s sleep, I got another lift with a truck. The driver didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Russian. But I definitely felt positive vibes from him. And he was the youngest truck driver I’d ever met. This nice young man took me to Pärnu. I was ready to get back on the road but 30 minutes later, the same young Latvian, who had now loaded his truck, offered to take me to Talin. Thanks to him.

A new city again. Unconquered. The sky was filled with clouds again. Right after having lunch, I headed to the Old Town to play. I didn’t meet any other musicians. Only later will I find out why. After choosing a nice spot, I began my performance. Once again, it was hard to feel comfortable in a new city and feel the rhythm. Another small problem was that most kroons (the national currency of Estonia) were paper. You couldn’t just toss them into the case, you needed to place them inside. Just in case, I quickly exchanged a one-hundred litas bill into kroons for the ferry ticket. I still managed to feel more comfortable in the city and even had a chat with a few people. My case was getting filled up with kroons. And then, right when I was getting lucky, the police showed up. "You need a paper, you need a paper". Obviously, I, a poor man from Lithuania, didn’t have a license. But I was still short of money for the ferry. I knew that I wasn’t going to move. I had nowhere to go. So for 10 minutes, I just acted like a fool who was headed to Finland. One policeman’s patience ran out and he just gestured to his colleague to leave this idiot alone. However, the other policeman didn’t give up for another 5 minutes. I was more persistent. I continued to play. I wasn’t running out of luck. I suddenly had hope that after spending the night in Latvia, I’d make it to Finland.

After counting the big pile of kroons and wandering around a bit, I headed toward the harbor. Unfortunately, once I’d managed to find it and get to know my way around, I saw the last ferry of the day leave before my eyes. The next one was supposed to leave Estonia at 6 am, so I had plenty of time.

I thought hard and remembered the view of Talin beach from my 8th-grade field trip, so I started to go in the direction where I thought I’d find that sandy place. Along the way, I saw a bunch of clutter and many potential places to set up my tent. But somehow I felt safer if the gushing waves that could protect me from all of human misery were right in front of me. After about an hour, I reached the beach. Although the clock said that it was past 10 pm, it was still pretty light outside. So I had the opportunity to pick out the perfect place. At first, I considered climbing into the bushes but eventually decided to settle down on the beach.

As I was thinking, I was approached by two girls. We chatted for a bit. They invited me to join them and their friends who were two music bands. They had just had a concert and were now having a ‘post-concert party’. I told them that I’d love to but was a little bit shy. As it turned out, these people were great and instantly warmed me up with some wine and beer. We noticed a bonfire nearby and headed toward it. The owners of the bonfire were an elderly German couple. We ended up chatting and discovered we had lots in common. The sounds of guitars started to take over. That’s when I saw up close what it looked like to master an instrument. I felt like an amateur with my own minimal technique but still contributed to the flow of music with some Dylan. The joint was going around in a circle. I was feeling much more comfortable in this company. At about midnight, the Germans headed to their hotel, so I was now the only international in the company of Estonians and Russians. It was fun to just sit and listen to their Russian jokes, although I didn’t understand a thing. Strangely, none of them spoke Estonian. I’d never seen such a bright sky during the night. At about 4 am, the last of my new friends said goodbye. They invited me to sleepover at some apartment nearby but unfortunately, I had no time for that. One of them, who was definitely a shoo-in for the drunkest-at-the-party-award, woke up at about four-thirty and kept searching for his briefcase while I was getting ready and brushing my teeth. He wasn’t successful.

Once I got to the harbor, I noticed a bus with Lithuanian plates. As always, seeing these plates in another country made my heart pound. I said “good morning” to the driver in Lithuanian. Although our whole conversation consisted of the driver complaining about all of his problems, it was still nice to hear some Lithuanian. I fell asleep on the ferry, although I had told myself that I would watch the sea throughout the whole trip.

I was greeted by a sunny morning in Finland. Once I entered a store and saw the Scandinavian prices, I realized that I had made a big mistake by not loading up on food in Estonia. But the point of this trip wasn’t to worry about things like this. I found a shaded area near a church, drank my whole supply of fluids for the day, and read some Martin Eden. I was enjoying everything. But I had to go play some music. I was hungry.

The problem was that there were no narrow, tourist-filled streets in Helsinki, so I played in a wide street near a huge shopping mall. After playing for about half an hour, my case was still completely empty. I realized that my stay in Finland would be difficult. But then, an elegant man gave me 5 euros. Thanks to him. I decided to change the location of my performance. In the new place, however, my case was still empty 15 minutes later. I then moved to a tourist harbor where a dark-skinned man was already playing his drums. Although my voice can be really loud sometimes, there was no way I could be heard through that deafening noise. I decided to move to the only relatively narrow street I could remember, even though there weren’t many people there. But I played anyway. I collected another couple of euros. My energy was running out and so was the food that I had bought in Latvia. I decided to take a break on the steps of the cathedral. I closed my eyes. When I opened them again, I felt an excruciating pain in my legs. What was happening to me? I looked down and saw that they had turned red as a cherry. I glanced at my watch and learned that 3 hours had just disappeared. I had wasted them by sleeping. Great idea to sleep in this heat, Andrius Romaska. At least my things were all in place.

I really didn’t want to play that day. But I did anyway and collected another three euros. Then, I decided that I should just go for a stroll around Helsinki and finally get something in my stomach. I found a miracle at the store. 10 mini sausages for just over one euro. I fed myself with them for almost two days. Looking back, it seems funny how important a pricetag was for me at the time. But when satisfying your physical needs becomes your number one priority, these things do become really important.

I don’t remember what I did next. I wandered along some waterbodies and came across a beach filled with lots of people. I chose a rock that was further away from the people and sat down to spend some time with Martin Eden. I heard that someone behind me had been playing the guitar pretty impressively but didn’t dare to talk to them after finishing my readings. Although it was early, I decided to search for a place to sleep. But Helsinki wasn’t like Lithuania or Talin. There were no abandoned places. Wherever I went, everything was perfectly clean and the lawn was mowed, so there was no chance of setting up my tent somewhere in a park. After a long search, I finally found a slightly abandoned hill with a mesmerizing view of the sea. I set up my fort like a duke on a mound, waited for a while to make sure that people didn’t walk around here, and fell asleep at 9 pm. After a good night’s sleep, I headed back to the beach. It was really hot, so I jumped straight into the water. I lay down on the sand and tanned for a bit. I figured that I could stay and live here. I’d swim in the mornings, read. I jumped in the water once again and headed toward the city center. I was still short of money for the ferry.

I got a couple of euros and… and then a Russian who had just eaten at a cafe next to where I was playing tossed in a banknote with the number 10 on it. My heart started to pound. “Now I can also buy something to drink! And I have plenty for my ferry ticket”, I thought. I finished my song with even more energy and… and I picked up the banknote and found out that it was actually 10 rubles. Isn’t it interesting how strong a person’s psychological mindset can be? Just unneeded worries. Had I known right away that it was a 10-ruble banknote, I wouldn’t have been so disappointed. After playing a bit more, I headed to the harbor. Including some money I had leftover from playing on the streets of Kaunas and Warsaw, I had 28 euros. It turned out that the ferry ticket was 39 euros. But there was a ferry leaving at 10 pm for 29 euros. I exchanged part of my kroons into euros and still had 7 hours of free time.

I bought myself a drink, some crackers, and started to go wherever the road would take me. There were huge areas covered in asphalt near the harbor, so I decided to check them out. They were all fenced in but I saw no warning signs of using the gaps in the fences. I gradually approached exactly what I expected- the sea. There weren’t any waves because it was a bay or something like that but the view was fascinating. I sat down on the rocks and checked out what was going on with Martin Eden. I read for a long time. I pulled out a can of Finnish beer and my guitar. It just felt amazing being there. Suddenly, a sailing lesson began right in front of me with a dozen of little sailboats. An interesting view. I was sitting on the rocks, playing my guitar. And right next to me an instructor was yelling at his students. In the ferry, it felt like my journey was coming to an end.

I arrived in Talin thirty minutes before midnight and decided to visit a truck stop nearby. Once I got there, I noticed a dozen Lithuanian drivers standing in a circle. To their surprise, I appeared in the middle of the night with the request for someone to take me to Lithuania. Only one of the Lithuanians was headed to Lithuania but he was quite rude, so the others suggested I come back at 6 am.

There was no point in going to sleep, so I started to look for a McDonald’s. I had plenty of kroons but not nearly enough food in my stomach. Unfortunately, the nearest McDonald’s was closed, so I headed toward a gas station. I grabbed a bunch of chocolate cookies because there wasn’t really any normal food there and tossed a handful of kroons on the counter. The poor man struggled to count my money and eventually told me I was 30 kroons short. I put another handful on the counter. He continued to count. Although it was the middle of the night, a queue began to gather behind me. I needed 10 more kroons. So I gave him some more money and happily went outside to eat. Of course, all of this junk food on an empty stomach made me feel sick. A drunk man approached me asking for some kroons and complaining that nobody would sell him any beer. He then disappeared and returned an hour later. Again, he started to ask me to give him some kroons and play some music but after chatting for a while, he disappeared again. A cyclist began turning circles around me. He asked me if I needed a place to stay for the night. He seemed like a nice man but for some reason, I didn’t like him much. I told him no. I walked into the gas station again and saw how unhappy the cashier was to see me. He instantly asked me if I had any more money. I told him not to worry and that I had enough. I died of laughter inside:) I grabbed a bottle of water for 14 or 15 kroons and put some coins on the counter. The poor man counted again.

I decided to change my dislocation and headed to the Old Town. At about 3, as I was wandering around the city, there was a man sitting with his friend on a bench of a closed cafe and I remembered that he had listened to me play two days ago and tossed 25 croons into my case. I felt delighted. Not just because he was sitting there but because he shouted to me, "Hey friend, how are you today?". Talin was certainly conquered. I headed to the most beautiful place in Talin - Toompea Hill, to watch the sunrise. New melodies began to form in my head, so I started to improvise. I felt blissfull. Later, a couple came to watch the sunrise as well. I was too shy to play next to them, so I headed back to the truck stop. After waiting for about an hour, a nice driver approached me and offered to take me to Panevėžys. It was nice to hear from him that there were still some truck drivers who don’t focus purely on taking their cargo from point A to point B but also notice the beautiful European city that they’ve come to and try to take in as much culture and knowledge as possible. Most drivers forget such simple but remarkable things in life due to constantly being concerned about “more important things”. Thanks to this person.

I arrived in Panevėžys. I stayed with my grandmother. I read some more Martin Eden but in a slightly different setting this time. It was nice to lay in a soft bed. Still, I realized that the road was attracting me even more.

I told myself that I needed to get back out on the road tomorrow. I chose Finland as my destination. If you’re attracted to the North as well, then you’ll understand why. Although this was probably my fiftieth time hitchhiking, I realized that it was my first time hitchhiking from my hometown - Jonava. As I was standing on the road, the sun and the challenge ahead only strengthened my determination to embark on this journey.

I managed to travel barely 30 kilometers in two and a half hours with the help of one girl and a student. The clouds started to turn dark. Although this should have intimidated me, I still felt as strong as ever. Someone decided not to make the beginning of my journey even more difficult, so right before it started to rain, a truck stopped and the driver offered to take me to Panevėžys. I told him my story: where I’m going and why, and it only gave him a scornful smile. But I didn’t care. And no matter how cocky the driver was, he still arranged transportation to Riga for me through the radio. Thanks to him for that. I switched to another truck. This driver was a very smart person, so conversation went on all the way to Riga.

I arrived in Riga. It felt like everyone was staring at me. I felt like an alien. I wasn’t one of them. My so-called unconquered city syndrome kicked in. However, the 3-hour journey to the city center made the city feel much homier. I chose a spot to play and began my performance. But then, I suddenly felt nervous and clearly unprepared for the show. After half an hour, I collected barely a few cents and felt dreadfully hungry. So I headed over by the church to sit down and think about what to do next. Ultimately, I realized that there was only one option - to go play some music.

Gradually, I got more and more into the rhythm and my case started to fill up with coins much faster. After a while, I was approached by two Latvian girls and one Latvian guy and we all began chatting. Seconds later, we were joined by a few more young people from Finland, one of which impressed us by playing a few songs himself. Soon, the Finns started to ask the Latvians where they can get some weed or other drugs. Meanwhile, I started a conversation with one of the Latvian girls and we both immediately felt a connection. Once the Finns were gone, we got to work. I taught the Latvian girl how to play my harmonica, taking on the role of guitarist and vocalist myself, and the remaining two went out into the middle of the street and started improvising with their bodies. It was something unspeakable. I felt like I belonged there. Passers-by were smiling and money kept coming to us.

After a while, a Turkish man approached us and asked me to play him something. He stood there, struggling to make out his sentences, and eventually invited us to the pub. This pub was like some sort of a mirage in the middle of Old Town Riga where a beer cost only two and a half litas (the national currency of Lithuania). The Turk bought me and the Latvians some beer. We listened to some music. I went to the restroom. When I came back, only the Turk and my lady friend were left. Her friends left quite rudely without saying goodbye. I was then approached by the police for bringing my beer out in a public space but the Turk took care of it pretty quickly. K. admitted that he wanted to leave me and A. alone but I whispered to him not to. Still, we ended up being left alone.

I couldn’t believe that I had found my person so early on in my journey. We were sitting on the steps of a store. It was getting dark. We talked about Devendra Banhart, the movie Into the Wild, and played some music. The Turk returned and the young lady had to go home. We walked her to the bus stop. Along the way, the Turk kept looking at women and tried to talk to them. He wasn’t very successful. We found it hilarious:) He was so desperate that he even tried to introduce us to the women. After saying goodbye to A., we headed back to the pub and each got another beer. Midnight came completely unnoticed and I had to drag all of my heavy belongings from the pub and go look for a place to sleep. I said goodbye to K. and went out into the dark. I had no ideas. I just wanted to go to the river bank. I wanted to see the streaming river first thing when I woke up. After an hour of wandering around, I set up my tent in the very center of Riga, in the bushes of the river bank. I felt nervous as I was falling asleep, but.

My first thought upon waking up was that the first day of the trip was already remarkable. Could another day of this trip be even more perfect? After rehearsing on the river bank, tanning, reading some Jack London, basically just enjoying life, I headed to the store to spend yesterday’s earnings. My belly was begging me for its share, so I let it enjoy the trip as well. I headed back to the Old Town to play. A few older former students from my old high school came over to me to say hello. I realized that the city had been conquered. There was nothing for me to do here anymore.

That day, I walked about 40 kilometers and rode about another 20. I felt myself starting to lose it. I applied a few non-glorifying words to the chants at the football stadium after the Latvians showed apathy toward my thumbs up. Songs were playing loudly, despite the fact that the audience was not filled with visitors but rather with mufflers of roaring cars. I realized that because of them, I couldn’t possibly sleep near the road. I headed toward a homestead with the request to set up my tent in the yard. The owner not only spoke great English but he walked me further away from the homestead and let me set up my tent by a lake where there were also several wooden sculptures. Once he left, I realized that this was a mystical place.

After an amazing night’s sleep, I got another lift with a truck. The driver didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Russian. But I definitely felt positive vibes from him. And he was the youngest truck driver I’d ever met. This nice young man took me to Pärnu. I was ready to get back on the road but 30 minutes later, the same young Latvian, who had now loaded his truck, offered to take me to Talin. Thanks to him.

A new city again. Unconquered. The sky was filled with clouds again. Right after having lunch, I headed to the Old Town to play. I didn’t meet any other musicians. Only later will I find out why. After choosing a nice spot, I began my performance. Once again, it was hard to feel comfortable in a new city and feel the rhythm. Another small problem was that most kroons (the national currency of Estonia) were paper. You couldn’t just toss them into the case, you needed to place them inside. Just in case, I quickly exchanged a one-hundred litas bill into kroons for the ferry ticket. I still managed to feel more comfortable in the city and even had a chat with a few people. My case was getting filled up with kroons. And then, right when I was getting lucky, the police showed up. "You need a paper, you need a paper". Obviously, I, a poor man from Lithuania, didn’t have a license. But I was still short of money for the ferry. I knew that I wasn’t going to move. I had nowhere to go. So for 10 minutes, I just acted like a fool who was headed to Finland. One policeman’s patience ran out and he just gestured to his colleague to leave this idiot alone. However, the other policeman didn’t give up for another 5 minutes. I was more persistent. I continued to play. I wasn’t running out of luck. I suddenly had hope that after spending the night in Latvia, I’d make it to Finland.

After counting the big pile of kroons and wandering around a bit, I headed toward the harbor. Unfortunately, once I’d managed to find it and get to know my way around, I saw the last ferry of the day leave before my eyes. The next one was supposed to leave Estonia at 6 am, so I had plenty of time.

I thought hard and remembered the view of Talin beach from my 8th-grade field trip, so I started to go in the direction where I thought I’d find that sandy place. Along the way, I saw a bunch of clutter and many potential places to set up my tent. But somehow I felt safer if the gushing waves that could protect me from all of human misery were right in front of me. After about an hour, I reached the beach. Although the clock said that it was past 10 pm, it was still pretty light outside. So I had the opportunity to pick out the perfect place. At first, I considered climbing into the bushes but eventually decided to settle down on the beach.

As I was thinking, I was approached by two girls. We chatted for a bit. They invited me to join them and their friends who were two music bands. They had just had a concert and were now having a ‘post-concert party’. I told them that I’d love to but was a little bit shy. As it turned out, these people were great and instantly warmed me up with some wine and beer. We noticed a bonfire nearby and headed toward it. The owners of the bonfire were an elderly German couple. We ended up chatting and discovered we had lots in common. The sounds of guitars started to take over. That’s when I saw up close what it looked like to master an instrument. I felt like an amateur with my own minimal technique but still contributed to the flow of music with some Dylan. The joint was going around in a circle. I was feeling much more comfortable in this company. At about midnight, the Germans headed to their hotel, so I was now the only international in the company of Estonians and Russians. It was fun to just sit and listen to their Russian jokes, although I didn’t understand a thing. Strangely, none of them spoke Estonian. I’d never seen such a bright sky during the night. At about 4 am, the last of my new friends said goodbye. They invited me to sleepover at some apartment nearby but unfortunately, I had no time for that. One of them, who was definitely a shoo-in for the drunkest-at-the-party-award, woke up at about four-thirty and kept searching for his briefcase while I was getting ready and brushing my teeth. He wasn’t successful.

Once I got to the harbor, I noticed a bus with Lithuanian plates. As always, seeing these plates in another country made my heart pound. I said “good morning” to the driver in Lithuanian. Although our whole conversation consisted of the driver complaining about all of his problems, it was still nice to hear some Lithuanian. I fell asleep on the ferry, although I had told myself that I would watch the sea throughout the whole trip.

I was greeted by a sunny morning in Finland. Once I entered a store and saw the Scandinavian prices, I realized that I had made a big mistake by not loading up on food in Estonia. But the point of this trip wasn’t to worry about things like this. I found a shaded area near a church, drank my whole supply of fluids for the day, and read some Martin Eden. I was enjoying everything. But I had to go play some music. I was hungry.

The problem was that there were no narrow, tourist-filled streets in Helsinki, so I played in a wide street near a huge shopping mall. After playing for about half an hour, my case was still completely empty. I realized that my stay in Finland would be difficult. But then, an elegant man gave me 5 euros. Thanks to him. I decided to change the location of my performance. In the new place, however, my case was still empty 15 minutes later. I then moved to a tourist harbor where a dark-skinned man was already playing his drums. Although my voice can be really loud sometimes, there was no way I could be heard through that deafening noise. I decided to move to the only relatively narrow street I could remember, even though there weren’t many people there. But I played anyway. I collected another couple of euros. My energy was running out and so was the food that I had bought in Latvia. I decided to take a break on the steps of the cathedral. I closed my eyes. When I opened them again, I felt an excruciating pain in my legs. What was happening to me? I looked down and saw that they had turned red as a cherry. I glanced at my watch and learned that 3 hours had just disappeared. I had wasted them by sleeping. Great idea to sleep in this heat, Andrius Romaska. At least my things were all in place.

I really didn’t want to play that day. But I did anyway and collected another three euros. Then, I decided that I should just go for a stroll around Helsinki and finally get something in my stomach. I found a miracle at the store. 10 mini sausages for just over one euro. I fed myself with them for almost two days. Looking back, it seems funny how important a pricetag was for me at the time. But when satisfying your physical needs becomes your number one priority, these things do become really important.

I don’t remember what I did next. I wandered along some waterbodies and came across a beach filled with lots of people. I chose a rock that was further away from the people and sat down to spend some time with Martin Eden. I heard that someone behind me had been playing the guitar pretty impressively but didn’t dare to talk to them after finishing my readings. Although it was early, I decided to search for a place to sleep. But Helsinki wasn’t like Lithuania or Talin. There were no abandoned places. Wherever I went, everything was perfectly clean and the lawn was mowed, so there was no chance of setting up my tent somewhere in a park. After a long search, I finally found a slightly abandoned hill with a mesmerizing view of the sea. I set up my fort like a duke on a mound, waited for a while to make sure that people didn’t walk around here, and fell asleep at 9 pm. After a good night’s sleep, I headed back to the beach. It was really hot, so I jumped straight into the water. I lay down on the sand and tanned for a bit. I figured that I could stay and live here. I’d swim in the mornings, read. I jumped in the water once again and headed toward the city center. I was still short of money for the ferry.

I got a couple of euros and… and then a Russian who had just eaten at a cafe next to where I was playing tossed in a banknote with the number 10 on it. My heart started to pound. “Now I can also buy something to drink! And I have plenty for my ferry ticket”, I thought. I finished my song with even more energy and… and I picked up the banknote and found out that it was actually 10 rubles. Isn’t it interesting how strong a person’s psychological mindset can be? Just unneeded worries. Had I known right away that it was a 10-ruble banknote, I wouldn’t have been so disappointed. After playing a bit more, I headed to the harbor. Including some money I had leftover from playing on the streets of Kaunas and Warsaw, I had 28 euros. It turned out that the ferry ticket was 39 euros. But there was a ferry leaving at 10 pm for 29 euros. I exchanged part of my kroons into euros and still had 7 hours of free time.

I bought myself a drink, some crackers, and started to go wherever the road would take me. There were huge areas covered in asphalt near the harbor, so I decided to check them out. They were all fenced in but I saw no warning signs of using the gaps in the fences. I gradually approached exactly what I expected- the sea. There weren’t any waves because it was a bay or something like that but the view was fascinating. I sat down on the rocks and checked out what was going on with Martin Eden. I read for a long time. I pulled out a can of Finnish beer and my guitar. It just felt amazing being there. Suddenly, a sailing lesson began right in front of me with a dozen of little sailboats. An interesting view. I was sitting on the rocks, playing my guitar. And right next to me an instructor was yelling at his students. In the ferry, it felt like my journey was coming to an end.

I arrived in Talin thirty minutes before midnight and decided to visit a truck stop nearby. Once I got there, I noticed a dozen Lithuanian drivers standing in a circle. To their surprise, I appeared in the middle of the night with the request for someone to take me to Lithuania. Only one of the Lithuanians was headed to Lithuania but he was quite rude, so the others suggested I come back at 6 am.

There was no point in going to sleep, so I started to look for a McDonald’s. I had plenty of kroons but not nearly enough food in my stomach. Unfortunately, the nearest McDonald’s was closed, so I headed toward a gas station. I grabbed a bunch of chocolate cookies because there wasn’t really any normal food there and tossed a handful of kroons on the counter. The poor man struggled to count my money and eventually told me I was 30 kroons short. I put another handful on the counter. He continued to count. Although it was the middle of the night, a queue began to gather behind me. I needed 10 more kroons. So I gave him some more money and happily went outside to eat. Of course, all of this junk food on an empty stomach made me feel sick. A drunk man approached me asking for some kroons and complaining that nobody would sell him any beer. He then disappeared and returned an hour later. Again, he started to ask me to give him some kroons and play some music but after chatting for a while, he disappeared again. A cyclist began turning circles around me. He asked me if I needed a place to stay for the night. He seemed like a nice man but for some reason, I didn’t like him much. I told him no. I walked into the gas station again and saw how unhappy the cashier was to see me. He instantly asked me if I had any more money. I told him not to worry and that I had enough. I died of laughter inside:) I grabbed a bottle of water for 14 or 15 kroons and put some coins on the counter. The poor man counted again.

I decided to change my dislocation and headed to the Old Town. At about 3, as I was wandering around the city, there was a man sitting with his friend on a bench of a closed cafe and I remembered that he had listened to me play two days ago and tossed 25 croons into my case. I felt delighted. Not just because he was sitting there but because he shouted to me, "Hey friend, how are you today?". Talin was certainly conquered. I headed to the most beautiful place in Talin - Toompea Hill, to watch the sunrise. New melodies began to form in my head, so I started to improvise. I felt blissfull. Later, a couple came to watch the sunrise as well. I was too shy to play next to them, so I headed back to the truck stop. After waiting for about an hour, a nice driver approached me and offered to take me to Panevėžys. It was nice to hear from him that there were still some truck drivers who don’t focus purely on taking their cargo from point A to point B but also notice the beautiful European city that they’ve come to and try to take in as much culture and knowledge as possible. Most drivers forget such simple but remarkable things in life due to constantly being concerned about “more important things”. Thanks to this person.

I arrived in Panevėžys. I stayed with my grandmother. I read some more Martin Eden but in a slightly different setting this time. It was nice to lay in a soft bed. Still, I realized that the road was attracting me even more.

random stories

Naivety. 2008.

Abroad. 2010.

New Beginnings. 2014.