Decisions that make us

24. Juni 2013 § Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

I’ve been warned about unpredictably violent thunderstorms. One of them hit a huge sports festival in Switzerland this week and caused havoc and injuries. Today, after cycling over a spectacular little pass of 1600 metres and riding down through gentle meadows and woods, I arrived at Berane in sweltering heat – no wonder, the place lies nearly 1000 m lower in a wide river valley. It has a peripheral feel to it and is certainly rougher than the aspiring tourist spot of Kolasin judging from the waymcars are slammed around bends.
I made the mistake of chasing a beer after two ice cream balls in an attempt to cool down. I was sitting in the charitable shade of linden trees along the main pedestrian drag and got drowsier and drowsier. I nearly fell asleep over my indecison whether to plod on for another 30 km to outlying Rozaje so that I’d be as close as possible to the next pass, due tomorrow, or to stay put and lie low in an air-conditioned hotel room.
The waiter took the decision away from me: when I wanted to go pee and fill up my water bottle, he assumed I was leaving and asked me to pay up for the sandwich and beer. So I took his haste for an order and set off, still slightly sleepy and weak. I must have taken a wrong turn and ended up in an outskirts of homely half-finished houses when a shower of totally unforeseen cold rain fell from the blue sky. It couldn’t have drifted from the towering clouds ten kilometres away, could it? I took shelter, first under a tree, then under a sunroof made for a caravan. Looking up, I saw more clouds with a thunderhead looming above the road to Rozaje. So the reversal of the waiter’s decision was also taken out of my hands.
Still strangely lacking willpower, I drifted through the streets in my rainjacket, passing girls who’d fled under shop awnings and young men who toughened it out in T-shirts that would show their six-packs, once wet. Before I even stumbled upon Luka’s Hotel and checked in, the sun was beating down again. Never mind, I could finally devote myself to the slumber that my body had craved all along. I’d probably have been struck by lightning on the mountain route to Rozaje.
Once awoken by the relentless techno music that blasts from Luka’s terrace loudspeakers all day long – yes, it’s a very modern hotel, and I wonder where the guy has all the invested money from, cigarette smuggling perhaps, which is a popular pastime around here – I checked the travel itinerary which I had worked out in the long-drawn-out winter, and Berane is precisely the place I should be at on this sixth day of journeying through the deep Balkans. So who needs decisions if everything is pre-ordained anyway?

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