I mostly turn to this blog when I feel either very bored, or maudlin, or both. This is resulting in an assortment of "Life Sighs" which actually makes me feel sorry for anyone who reads it.
(Jackie, you are my heroine. Honestly!)
Enough misery now. Even if my life is rather dull these days, I had a fair share of adventures to write about. Some thrilling ones, some funny ones, and even a few romantic encounters. They could feature in this blog, too, as a change from the usual gloomy posts.
What should I start with? The most exciting adventures were not always pleasant - like the one where I almost freaked out when a friend and I got lost in a maze of crevasses on a glacier, which we had tried to cross without proper gear (we both were very inexperienced and stupid, and lucky to survive the day!) - nor were all the funny ones, like when I embarassed myself in front of a camerateam and dozens of people by walking right into a grass-covered slough in Poland (the locals tried to warn me, but I didn't understand Polish and was already sunk waist-deep in the bog when one of the guys on my team grabbed me and pulled me back to solid ground).
No, I think I'll start with a story of cultural misunderstanding.
I travelled in Scotland once, by bus and train, going north along the east coast. For one night I stayed in a pretty little town called Keiss, which has a very scenic ruin of a medieval castle, right on the edge of a cliff.
I took a room at the local pub and spent the evening downstairs - having a meal at a table by myself, and then a few glasses of ale with the locals at the bar.
It was summer, and night fell late that far north. Looking out of the window, I saw a beautiful dusk. An almost full moon rose over the North Sea, and I decided to take a walk along the beach. That was when one of the men from the bar asked if he could join me.
The first strange thing was that the landlady didn't want to give a house key to me, although I had rented a room in the house. I practically had to fight her for it (and she refused to talk to me the next day until I departed). This should have made me suspicious of the situation's undercurrents - but I had already had a few glasses of ale and was glad for the company of that nice guy.
Until I understood that his idea of 'taking a walk' didn't involve much walking.
When he started kissing me, I was tempted for a moment, but really only a moment. The guy was married - he had told me stories of his wife and kids all evening - and I was soon torn between being amused, exasperated and frightened. It was not easy to get rid if him. I told him over and over again that he was a nice person, and I was very sorry about the misunderstanding, but I really only intended to take a walk and watch the waves by moonlight. I did not want to make him angry, because he had drunk a lot more than I had, and he started to hint at how strong he was and how he could force me. So in the end I let him come back to the pub with me (he was probably hoping for a bed instead of the beach) - where I had to tell him I would yell for help if he did not leave, until he finally gave up. From my room I watched him drive away, and wished I would have gone to the moonlit beach alone.
The next day I settled my bill with the landlord, whose wife didn't even look at me. I took the next bus north, and wondered how they would have laughed about the true story of that 'walk'. But I didn't tell anyone, of course - and I am sure that guy still enjoys his reputation as a seducer of naive foreign tourists.