The Post-Prologue

I have entitled this the Post-Prologue, because it is a prologue, but this is supposed to be a diary in chronological order and this section was written only (way) after the trip ended, so calling it merely a prologue would be misleading. Hence, it's obviously a Post-Prologue; I pondered about the suitability of calling it a Pre-Postscription but that sounds like something given to you by your doctor.

Enough blabber, there'll be enough of that in the pages you are about to read. What I wanted to do is give a word of advice: The following is an almost literal transcription of the 101 pages of scribbled text I managed to write down during my vacation, only the syntax has been cleaned up a little and a few sections moved around. Inevitably, this scribbling was done at times when I, for one reason or another, had nothing better to do, the unfortunate end result of this tending to be that most interesting happenings are just briefly glossed over or ignored entirely and the bulk of the diary is just me bitching about something, or more often about nothing at all.

Why read this then? Because any guidebook can tell you all you want to know and more about the 16th-century mosaics on the inner dome of the chapel of St. Herbert's cathedral, but they won't tell you about the endless little surprising details of travel - the ship's band intoning "Shoop shoop shoop" with a Swedish accent, the exploding can of yogurt, the army artillery range around a youth hostel, the Italian Communist Party's Festival of Liberation from the Resistance to Progress, the WWF promoter/referee couple you'll share a couchette cabin with, the farmer in a battered Renault who'll give you a lift in Slovenia, the punk-listening Japanese exchange student, the testosterone-overdosed Australian surfer dude - that I ran into on my voyage, just to mention a few off the top of my head. And in the end, it's not the buildings and statues that you remember, it's the atmosphere that matters. And the atmosphere is generated by all the millions of little details just like these, most forgotten as soon as they happened.

Of course, the oddities you run into will be different, it wouldn't be much fun if they weren't. But by reading this, maybe you too will learn to steer clear from Czech raspberry juice, order bus tokens in Slovenian, and find a few wonders of nature and man that next to nobody has ever heard of.

Let the show begin!

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