Joonto's Travels: Journey To A Parallel Universe!

in #travel2 years ago

I was so excited to join the #Oktoberfest in Munich for the first time in my life! It was going to be another hit in this superlative 2019, which gave me so much joy so far!
I didn't have any particular expectation for this trip, if not spotting Bayern Munich players gulping down litres of beer.
Nevertheless, we had all the ingredients to make this weekend trip memorable:

  • I was travelling with my long time buddy Valeria for the first time;
  • We were going to be hosted by a local Bavarian, Valeria's best flatmate ever Kristina;
  • Other friends I know in Malta were going to Munich!

It was going to be a great rendezvous in Bavaria!
With such basis, I couldn't believe that night I would have travelled to a more incredible place... a Parallel Universe!

Travelling to a Parallel Universe

How do you travel to a parallel universe? It's way simpler than you think, but be warned: there is no way back! What I'm writing here doesn't exist in my original universe, where I'm happily drinking Bavarian beer!
So, prepare for your flight normally and join your travel buddies directly at the airport. Grab a bite together, talk about the week, how shitty it was but still reminding the great time that awaits you on the other side of the gate!
When the gate opens, queue normally and wait till the very last second, when it's your turn, to check your wallet and find out that... your ID document is not there!
Congratulations! You passed the event horizon and you are now in a parallel universe, where your friends enjoy the holiday while you stay at home... No, trying to convince the hostess that the driving license is a valid document to travel won't work.
This is exactly what happened to me on the night of the 27th of September 2019.
Valeria's desperate attempts to save the situation at the last minute didn't work.
Despite the situation, I felt surprisingly calm. To express what I felt in that right moment, I wrote the following Facebook post:

Yes, I confess that I checked for alternative flights, but no solution made sense under a price and time perspective. I had to give up. Wisdom means to know when to give up and instead open up to new possibilities.
So I took my Aliencoin Car and drove to the nicest bar in Malta, where actually I hadn't gone in ages... Casey's Bar!
Casey's Bar is a unique place in Malta's nightlife scene. It's a tiny bar that makes you feel home. It looks like a living room of a house from the '70s, with the addition of a simple bar that serves good beer and nice super-alcoholics. You can have soft drinks too and nobody will bother you for that choice.
What makes Casey's Bar unique is the friendly atmosphere that allows you to befriend everyone is there. Even the shiest dude will be naturally dragged into conversation.
On Monday you have the chance to show off your singing skills at the karaoke night.
On Tuesday, you can even go further with the open mic, jamming with strangers if you're capable of playing or singing.
Wednesday you might find the comedy night, while Thursday is the everything-can-happen night.
On Friday and Saturday you usually find live music and Sunday is dedicated to quiz games!
As it is the cutest, most magical bar in Malta, during the weekends is packed. You need to go there before 20.00 if you want to find a seat. At least, this is how it was in the original universe... But I jumped on an alternative reality, where Casey's Bar on a Friday night is completely empty!
When I entered I found only the owner Fredrik and his most loyal customer, Tim.
“What the hell happened?”, I asked.
They didn't give a shit. Fredrik was sipping a beer, while Tim was strumming his guitar.
Fredrik was still “blessed” by the gift received on his birth-night, when he got his arm broken under unexplainable circumstances. That Friday Fredrik was working, with the plaster, because his bartender fell asleep at home... Good for him that no customer was in sight!
Of course I was mocked for my missed flight and I mocked myself too. Even with only three people the vibe was already good. This is how we decided to watch a series of hilarious but smart videos...

The Hacks of Life

“Now you can spend this money on sex!”
No I'm not talking about the money I saved while not going to the Oktoberfest...
This is just the closing line of each video of the YoutTube channel The Hacks of Life.
Tim showed us some of the content from this brilliant channel, hosted by Mike Capes. This guy teaches you how to hack people so to sneak into expensive venues or events for free! Mike is a mastermind of social engineering in its most noble form and his narration is so hilarious that you will remember every single instruction, for the best learning effect!
Here is an example of how our hero sneaks into a sold out rock concert that “only rich assholes can afford!”.

“And remember kids: don't be an asshole!”

The Art Exhibition

In all of this, I couldn't ignore another aspect where the alternative reality differs from the universe I was coming from: the alternative Casey's Bar was an art exhibition! There were paintings everywhere. Normally this bar has vinyl discs hung at the walls, giving the bar a distinctive look. The vinyls are classic albums by different music legends, from Supertramp to Aretha Franklin.
In this universe, the vinyls were replaced with artworks by Jelena Zadornova.
I'm not a great painting expert to be honest. I could mostly notice that her style is something like Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, the author of Dogs Playing Poker. Except for one painting, she doesn't portray dogs though, but people. People are represented solo or as couple. The image focuses on the person, often on his/her body.
However, Jelena added 3D elements in some of her works too. I liked in particular one hanging from the bottles. It represents a woman's torso. She wears a business suit, but stripped diagonally in the middle, revealing so one breast and part of her belly. The scar in the suit pops out from the canvas, probably made of papier mâché, giving a 3D effect.
But the works which idea caught my imagination were these:

The concept is brilliant. You see a child who practises on something, while behind, you see the shadow of what the kid dreams to become!

Date With Surprise

The surprises in this new universe weren't over yet. Just when we were talking about the paintings, the very author appeared.
Jelena looked just like out a Game of Thrones episode, ready to lead her next battle. Actually I think she worked as extra in some episode shot in Malta. That night, she had a battle to fight indeed. Fredrik asked her to help him with the bar as it's quite complicated serving drinks with just one hand.
I must confess that I had never had a good impression of Jelena till then. Whenever I had met her in the past, she looked very arrogant to me. But that's how it was in the old universe! In this world, Jelena is a cool person involved in many businesses, with a past as radio speaker back in Russia.
When I told her about my “interdimensional” travel, she revealed that she even travelled throughout her past lives. I never had any such experience, but according to her, it's possible to experience past lives and even possible future lives of your being.
What you need is the right shaman. She found one in Mexico. This shaman coaches among the others, Brad Pitt and Charlize Theron. Not bad for a reference...
This intriguing conversation was interrupted by a couple who broke into the bar. They were already happily tipsy. They hoped to enhance their posh date with a posh prosecco, which Fredrik actually had, but... they had to buy the whole bottle. Too much liquid for them. They went for a normal beer.
I could notice that the lady was going a bit disappointed by the bar. I could hear the tension on the guy's tone of voice. Eventually, he made a smart move, beginning to comment the artworks around the venue. It was Jelena's moment of glory. The lady connected immediately with Jelena as they found out to be both Russian-Latvians! The girl even discovered that Jelena is the daughter of a then popular Russian stand-up comedian.
"Surprise! You see? Everything was prepared for you!", joked the guy.
That date instantly turned into a dream for the girl and the guy could benefit from it with a relieving deep kiss among the paintings! Ah, this universe is aesthetically beautiful!
Before people started to leave, I joined them for a cigarette, because in this universe I can allow myself a puff too. Nothing really mattered, just the present moment.
The same applied for drinks. I ordered Polish beer as if there was no tomorrow: “I was supposed to drink litres of Bavarian beer and now I'm here drinking litres of Polish beer...”
When you drink a lot there is a toll to pay, but not for me. What makes others drunk, just makes me tipsy. This is something unchanged between the two universes. My only problem was the possible check point in Saint Julian's. That check point was always on my way home, unless I took a very wide route to circumvent it.
I considered for a moment to walk back to Pembroke and leave the #Aliencoin Car in Msida so people could admire it, but... “Ah I'm too lazy... I'm going to face the cops. You know, my problem is that my car cannot get unnoticed... but if I stay on the right lane, they might not be able to stop me...”

And I went for it. In this universe, I'm even an asshole, irresponsible driver, ego-centric dude thirsty for danger! And I sped up to the highway on a graffiti car, increasing the pace as I was approaching the location of the possible check point. Usually the cops stand at the end of the tunnel. I focused on the tunnel end even before entering it. I was still in time to take the exit and go for the long way home. My heart was beating and accelerated as I saw a car at the end of the tunnel slowing down and going left... Then the car disappeared, meaning that it took the exit and behind it... no one! I was free to pass unchecked! OMG! 3-4 seconds that lasted like 30 minutes!

Life goes on

We are taught to make tragedies out of our mistakes, when instead we can reshape our reality in something amusing, like or even more than the original experience that we had planned!
And don't get me wrong. I cared to be at the #Oktoberfest. I still feel sorry for my friends Valeria and Kristina, but I'm even sure that they did great, even without me as you can see...

In the past, I tended to get depressed for episodes like this, telling myself off: “Ah! You're just an idiot! You always must forget something! Always!!! You will never change, your life will never improve!!! It's always like that....”
Of course, that night I was a fool, but what about the rest of the week? I don't want to be a braggart, so I will mention just three goals I had accomplished during the week, before the “disaster”:

  • At work, I had the most productive week in my current role ever.
  • I managed to post the Aliencoin Car promotion.
  • I wrote two successful articles on Steemit regarding my trips to Sevilla and Andalusia.

If I were an idiot in this instance, I am a genius for the other three mentioned above...
What fucks you guys is that while angry, your brain will deny you access to the positive information, so all of your life will look like crap. Don't be fooled by this mechanism. Whenever you do something stupid, acknowledge immediately that you are getting angry and maybe even depressed. This will slow down the process and will allow you to do this: think at least of three things you are grateful for in your life.
For me this is easy. I will choose three random things among the tons I'm grateful for:

  • I have a lot of cool friends who are actors, musicians, painters and any other kind of artist!
  • I drive the coolest car in Malta... ;-)
  • People appreciate my articles on Steemit more and more!

Should I really be down for a missed flight? No, and you shouldn't be either. I want you to take bad situations and turn them into your favour. I want you to make gold out of shit, like a mediaeval alchemist with the Philosopher's stone. Your Philosopher's stone is your mind! Don't forget it!

And now let's relax with the perfect soundtrack for a night like this...

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