I know why it’s called sickness; it’s an actual disease. I feel it in my bones; it eats away my strength and leaves my limbs feeling limp. I feel it in my heart; it makes it miss every other beat and makes my chest feel empty. It deteriorates my state of mind, making it a negative place I try to escape by working too hard and driving myself to exhaustion.
I didn’t think I had home until I left it. I have never treasured the spaces I slept in, the pathways I took on a daily basis, the language I’ve heard and spoke even in my dreams.
I’m glad, however, that leaving home forced me to discover myself; once something tries to pull you away from your true identity, even if you don’t quite know it yourself, you almost subconsciously hold onto it and it always tries to bring you back where you belong. I dream of places where I belong, I dream of people I belong with and all of this is anywhere but here and God knows it hurts.
I think the best places to be are those that inspire you. At first they astonish you with their beauty, then they unravel their history, showing you the stories of people who have once lived, whose feet touched the same surface you stand on, whose words filled the empty streets you’re gazing at with wonder in your eyes. Then you take on what is given and unintentionally start creating stories of your own. You see this old theatre down the street? Many years ago, a girl known by many stage names left her story there; a story that eventually became a play. That never happened, but in my imagination it did. If a place fills your mind with ideas that excite you, then this is where you have to be. For me this place was Prague, and even though I’ve visited it as a tourist, its stories will stay with me till the end of time, and I will definitely go back there before that end comes.
There is only one word that comes to my mind every time I remember Prague – magical. Its magic was to tie my heart to this city. Franz Kafka put it perfectly – ”Prague never lets you go…this dear little mother has sharp claws”
London is without a doubt one of my favourite cities. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever visited a city I didn’t like, but London is the only one I consider to be my home. It is one of those metropolitan cities that seems to be composed of many little individual cities and towns; if you take a district line from Westminster to South Kensington, you find yourself in another era. If you go to Greenwich, you don’t feel like it’s a part of London – Greenwich is a city on its own.
Christopher Wren’s Old Royal Naval College takes the visitors back to the 17th century. You can adore this sight whilst walking along river Thames, and if the English weather is forgiving, it’s a pleasant experience.
Also, I will forever be fascinated by the rooftops in the very heart of Greenwich. And I made a wonderful purchase in the Greenwich market:
Here’s a spam of photos I snapped whilst exploring central London (warning: attention for detail and not so much tourist-like material, also as an architecture student I focus on buildings only whoops) :
An old rusted window rested on top of a brick. Wooden frames of the window were cracked in so many places it seemed like they had vessels that could start bleeding at any moment. The glass inserted into the frames danced in its place every time someone was walking up the stairs, which made loud croaking noises after every step taken, as if someone was walking on frogs. I was making my way up the stairs into a room, which was not occupied but someone inside refused to let me in.
Last night I walked
A long-known road
Where a house resides
I lived in before.
I looked up at the sky
And did not even dare
To look back down
Onto the bare ground.
The sky drowned in stars;
All of them so bright
Promising me to be
Showered in luck and light.
She was walking down the wavy path, not knowing what is going to wait for her around each corner. ‘That’s why the curves of landscape are so beautiful’ she thought, ‘you never know what comes next’. The bright sun rays shone onto her, making the bronze of her hair shimmer. The warmth gave her cheeks a rosy shade of pink. Her breath became heavier as she started making her way up a hill. As the road started curving to the right, she saw something on the left side of it. There was an old inn – ‘The Greyhound’ it was called. Even though it was old, it was taken care of rather well. The golden patterns of the big letters and sides of the lamps that probably emphasised the letters at night looked almost as if they were polished. There were large baskets hanging down from the hooks fixed at random parts of the façade, filled with various flowers; yellow, white and purple violets, lantanas with colourful clusters of pink and yellow and red, the blue lobelia plants as well as bright orange begonias. She stood there for a moment, observing the inn quietly. It was like a small shelter, blooming in the middle of dense greenery of trees and bushes. It was a place where one would come to look for safety. She raised eyebrow at such thought; this whole land seemed to be the safest place her eyes have ever witnessed. She started making her way forward and walked to the left of the inn where the road started going further up. The road was almost enclosed by the trees that arched over it from both sides. The sunlight that made its way through the branches and the leaves created patterns on the dark surface of the road, which almost made it look like a shadow play. There were sounds of birds singing with their high voices, flies buzzing as they were dancing in circles in spots of sunlight and somewhere in the distance, she could hear faint music. She kept walking upwards, with her breath deepening as she made each careful step, until she reached the top of the hill, where the road stretched forward. She stopped there for a moment, to catch her breath and made her way further and deeper into the woods.
It was a small town, purposefully built on the highest hill on land known to man. The church was right at the centre of the town; it was known as a godless place to the locals for its dark appearance both on the outside and on the inside. It had countless arches stretching towards the sky as if in an attempt to reach the clouds. When it rains, the raindrops seem to form a river in-between the pointed arches of the church, which rapidly drops down almost like a waterfall, onto the ground, flooding the rest of the town. It rains almost every day; thus the locals have to commute on boats a lot of the time. When it is sunny, barely anyone leaves their home. Those who arrive to visit the town from the outside world, only hear whispers and see no inhabitants. Their impression is always of a mysterious and secretive nature. A lot of them get lost, and when they do…very few of them make their way out, no one knows why, not even the locals. The houses are very small in comparison to the church, but they are built in a similar fashion; pointed arches at the doorways and the windows, slightly arched roofs with what looks like swords at the tops of them. It is a strange place to be in, very strange indeed. It attracts you like a mindless magnet but at the same time wants to get rid of you. The only thing that could ever make you stay is curiosity, which sometimes is overshadowed by mere fear.