Friday, May 14, 2010

I am leaving now

Indeed sadly, this time there is no occasion for posting a version of Leaving on a jetplane, so the post will have to make do without…

My dear People,
My dear Bagginses and Boffins. And my dear Tooks and Brandybucks, and Grubbs, and Chubbs, and Burrowses, and Hornblowers, and Bolgers, Bracegirdles, Goodbodies, Brockhouses and Proudfoots. – ‘ProudFEET!’ – Proudfoots. Also my good Sackville-Bagginses that I welcome back at last to Bag End. Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday: I am eleventy-one today!

I hope you are all enjoying yourselves as much as I am.

I shall not keep you long. I have called you all together for a Purpose. Indeed, for Three Purposes! First of all, to tell you that I am immensely fond of you all, and that eleventy-one years is too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits. I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

Secondly, to celebrate my birthday. I should say: OUR birthday. For it is, of course, also the birthday of my heir and nephew, Frodo. He comes of age and into his inheritance today. Together we score one hundred and forty-four. Your numbers were chosen to fit this remarkable total: One Gross, if I may use the expression.

It is also, if I may be allowed to refer to ancient history, the anniversary of my arrival by barrel at Esgaroth on the Long Lake; though the fact that it was my birthday had slipped my memory on that occasion. I was only fifty-one then, and birthdays did not seem so important. The banquet was very splendid, however, though I had a bad cold at the time, I remember, and could only say ‘thag you very buch’. I now repeat it more correctly: Thank you very much for coming to my little party.

Thirdly and finally, I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT. I regret to announce that – though, as I said, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to spend among you – this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!

Bilbo at his Birthday Party, in: J.R.R. Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings

My backpack is almost packed, my flat is almost ready to be locked and left slumbering, my life is very much in need of taking a break (now that is already a little too late for this break to be at the just-right-moment) and I myself am almost ready to go out of the door. From there, the road goes ever one and on, as we know, and I’m curious to see how this little adventure ahead of me will turn out. Or rather, these little adventures that lie ahead of me.

Take care, see you later. I’ll be back in the first days of June.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An escape

I’m not only planning an escape, like Bill Murray does in Lost in Translation, but it is now just around the corner. Today, I biked through the rainy gray gloom to the train station and bought my tickets all the way from Vienna to Livorno, Italy.

After a day of travelling, changing my vehicle 3 times until I’m in Livorno, I’ll board the ferry to Olbia, Sardinia, in the late evening. There, I will meet up with my sister, father, and another friend of theirs to set out sailing around the island of Corsica pour deux semaines.

After that, I’ll go back to Livorno and from there to Firenze, where I plan to spend one night and enjoy the city which I visited long ago and now basically only remember in its digital reconstruction in Assassin’s Creed II. Should I want to go back after that, I’ll take a night train to Vienna. Otherwise, I’ll probably go back to Corsica, or maybe Elba or somewhere else, rent a little room and “write off all the pain from my heart” as a friend phrased it. Well, that is a tempting dream for sure.

Otherwise I’m trying to manage my daily routine and a little more than mere physical presence at the university, but it is still really difficult most of the time. I’m looking forward to the sea and the landscape, the different smells and languages, my sister and father, and so on. Also, I greatly look forward to being without the daily computer and internet.

As every time, I would have liked to arrange with some friends or acquaintances to meet while I travel, but this time I seem not be that lucky. So: If you’re reading this and are in any of the places I’ll be going to in the second half of May, then by all means drop me a line; but drop it quickly.