JTBL #14 – Warning: Avoid Injury When Hitting The Wall On Your Self-improvement Marathon

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-These Croatian women, man, they’re like princesses. The Macedonian proclaimed loudly, with a strong sense of alpha-status.

-Yeah I know, I nodded with a dreamy look. They’re pretty awesome.

-They think they’re like special or something. You can’t even fuck them on the first date!

I realized we weren’t talking about the same thing. My smile faded into a half concern, half saddened gaze. I listened to this man’s rant. About the wrongfulness of the women around these parts. About how they want to be treated like people and taken on dates and stuff.

Imagine that. To be treated like a person. How rude and delusional they must be to demand such high maintenance luxury.

To be fair, I sympathize with this guy. It’s easy to fall into this tunnel-vision trap and only see the problem completely one-sidedly. The issue arises from creeps approaching women, because sane people don’t bother, because of embarrassment, peer pressure, judging and validation. Then women put up huge bitch-shields to keep idiots away. Which leads to two things:

1. Only macho bullshit gets through. Only the huge body builder gorillamen with the charm of a barn door get women, because they don’t take no for an answer.

2. People think sex is a reward for giving gifts. Which leads to people objectifying women and attempting to give time, money, and power for sex.

Which both lead to the perception of beautiful women acting as princesses.

Curiously enough, if you treat women as individual persons, they’ll treat you as an individual person. And all of this social conditioning disappears immediately.

I didn’t tell the man about this. He had enough to rant about.

Admit it, you’ve dreamed of flying around the world looking for adventures. Passive income, without a care in the world. Sitting in the sunshine, working on your macbook? Well, here’s Jay exploring Europe like a brave soul, right? Glamorous and adventurous, meeting new people, exploring new places. Let me tell you, it’s not always like that. See, the thing about going outside your comfort zone to look for success is that it’s damn uncomfortable. Even scary at times. I’ve been in Zagreb for two weeks and while there’s been women, Tinder-experiments, and business building, I’m feeling weary. Homesickness, maybe? Home to where? I have no idea.. But weary.

Marathon runners speak of hitting the wall. I feel like that – I’m out of battery power and can’t find a place to recharge. Which lead to being bed-ridden ill for three days. Next to the allergy, travelling and the insect bites.. it was the loneliest I’ve felt in months. I had no place to stay, no real income to speak of, and an illness that was practically impairing my mobility. In a city totally alien to me, with people speaking a language I knew nothing about. For a moment there, I felt kinda scared. I mean sure, my lovely little brunette-friend was there to watch Seinfeld with me, but she had no idea. It wasn’t her worry.

So now I’m living in a VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!

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Nah, actually I pulled through. I’m still feeling the effects of the flu or whatever crap disease it was, but I found a little apartment with a local roommate, which shall serve as my base of operations for the immediate future. Some of you guys may think your experiences with roommates have been iffy, but I promise you, I’ve had worse. I’ve had the misfortune of ending up with some of the worst roommates in known history. Thankfully my fears were unfounded, as this 23-year old architect student seems to be cool and harmless. We get along fine.

For now.

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This girl by the way, and I know she reads this, has the happiest pair of eyes. She’s pretty important to me.

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Follows a boring status update for my own records. Skip at your own accord.

Guestblogging is finally reaching that stage where I can start pitching my ideas to bigger blogs and make guest posts that’ll drive traffic to my own site. I’m planning to guest post like a machine in the next few months. It’ll put Rat Race Maverick on the map! Related to that is copywriting, that thing where you persuade people to have a look at your product, which is gonna be my immediate cashflow. Copywriting is all about making a product presentable to a particular audience. To try out this mindset, I made myself presentable through a Tinder-experiment. And while it was kinda cool to immerse myself in quick self-promotion, it also made the program seem even more fake and tasteless.

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..and while that’s all very exciting, I keep returning to procrastination. It’s like I can’t handle all this change, and my body is telling me to just shove it and just rather stare at Youtube. Like I don’t deserve to succeed. It’s a fucked up little feeling at the back of my head that’s trying to keep me from making it. Like my inner Finnish boy telling me to just give up and stop pretending, because after all, I’m a just a big loser. Damn hard to keep that voice at bay. It makes me lose concentration and motivation. There’s a thing called impostor syndrome. I’m feeling it heavily.

Here’s Ellen Bard with a brilliant article about that particular issue.

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You’re 30. Why don’t you have a girlfriend?” She asked quietly, slightly accusingly, with a worried tone. She was probably just trying to understand my take on life and what exactly was wrong with me for not having a stable relationship.

This was not the kind of pillow talk I was hoping for.

I told her the truth: I don’t believe in girlfriends in the classic sense, as it doesn’t feel natural to me. I explained my stance on polyamory and that monogamous relationships in my world are akin to chaining people from their freedom. She laughed nervously, seemingly frustrated that I so blatantly wouldn’t look for validation from her.

I got the sense that she didn’t feel comfortable in her own skin. I felt mistrust, negative energy, and a hungry ego that needed validation. The sort of company I could do without.

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Flashback nearly 3 months ago:

Miami International, central wifi area, Terminal J. Some black dude was blasting some horrible burger-pop from his iphone on loud volume, so I moved outside. Besides, I wanted to take in as much Miami air as I could before returning to the home continent. There was a small clearing next to the terminal, seemed like a designated smoking area. I had time to kill so I sat down and took my laptop out.

Scanning the perimeter, as any seasoned security guard would, I noticed some poor soul sleeping on the bench and another feeding birds. No immediate threat though, and with other passengers having a smoke, I took out my laptop and started my daily writing. I tried getting a signal on the wifi, but it was one of those 600 dollars / 30 minute-deals and I wasn’t feeling it. So I just did some freewriting.

I hadn’t gotten two paragraphs down when the woman feeding the birds took notice of me. I saw her strolling towards my immediate position and got ready for my weirdo-defense. Like for fuck’s sake not now I just wanna sit in peace for a second.

My defensive bitch face soon melted into compassion. It’s funny how some people have honestly run into some bad luck.

This lady had fallen, broken her rib and missed her flight earlier that week, and couldn’t get back to the Netherlands because of that. She had run out of cash at the hospital and couldn’t reach her friends at home. She wanted to use my laptop for e-mail. I tried to listen for signs of deception to see if I was getting cheated here, but she showed me the bandages and sounded honestly distressed and tired. I realized this woman had honestly just run into some shitty luck. I had no wifi, so I couldn’t help with that, but I offered to pay for her call if she could do it at the info desk or something. Then something sparked a light behind this tired old lady’s eyes. She realized she could call collect to her friend who could wire her money. She wouldn’t take my money and promised me she’d be okay.

She reminded me of that lady in Mary Poppins feeding the birds. Feed the birds, tuppence a bag..

Some of you have been wondering what happened to the lovely girl from Graz. Well, she told me she didn’t feel it. Wasn’t REALLY a surprise, but what a bummer, man. Not because of the sex, nah. I didn’t think we had too much chemistry either, and she wasn’t too much in touch with her sexuality. But it’d be a damn shame not to see her again. She was weird. I like weird people. And wickedly intelligent as well. It’s up to her though. There’s absolutely nothing more I can do about that. Besides, I came to Zagreb to meet incredible women on the streets.

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Let’s get back to Josipa Jelacica Trg, present day. I see this guy chatting up some girls. Awesome. Wish I’d be in that mood. Chatting up girls on the marketplace, oh making them laugh. Yeah that’d be so cool.. oh they’re pushing him off? No wait, that’s not a chat up attempt. I wonder .. oh shit now he’s coming over. He looks so cool be chill.

Then this guy comes over and opens his mouth. “Do you love animals?” he blurted out too quickly in a hilariously high pitched voice completely unsuited for the image he was portraying. Struck by the apparent fakeness of the display, I felt the need to be a snarky asshole.

“Only on weekdays” I answered, almost patting myself on the back for my cleverness.

“Wot” he said bluntly with a blank face, completely missing my attempt at humour.

Something about this dude was unbelievably annoying. “It was a joke.”

“Oh, I do not speak English that well”

Well, of course you don’t, you clodplate.

This guy was seriously boring me. “So what do you want?” He wanted 2€ for homeless cats. I don’t give money to beggars, and this guy didn’t really seem much different, so the cats remain homeless.

Applying Liam McRae’s advice about speaking slowly and leaving pauses between answers, I met three women on the street. And they were all gorgeous.

And I left them all smiling.

-Jay

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JTBL #13 – How To Become A Negativity Vortex Refugee

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“Hey uhmm.. You said you don’t do one night stands,” she whispered with her Austrian accent.

“Huh?” I turned to look at this beautiful woman-creature lying naked in my arms.

She cleared her throat and asked more seriously. “You said you do not do one night stands. But you just do them with people you feel connected to.”

She stared at me with round eyes. Those beautiful brown eyes..

This exact question was originally the one that made this particular woman stand out from the Tinder matches. It spoke to me of an interest in human beings rather than social conventions.

An interest in a person – imagine that!

This was a multifaceted and complicated subject for anyone, and it’s always awesome to be in the company of someone who understands that. But I couldn’t see her angle. Partly for the funky accent, but also because she was quite conserved in her emotional expression.

I couldn’t get a read on this woman. Most people I see through, or at least catch a glimpse of what’s going on. Not this girl. And now she was staring into my soul with those honestly inquisitive brown eyes, with this simple, yet incredibly deep question.

I blinked a couple of times and straightened my thoughts. “Oh. Sure. Thing is, if I feel a connection with someone, I want to see them again. So in that sense, why leave it at a one night stand?”

“Oh. That makes sense.” She replied and receded into her thoughts.

It made sense to me, at least. Did she agree? I couldn’t say. I read people pretty well, but this was one closed enigma to me.

Which made her all the more intriguing.

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You know when finding motivation feels like trudging through a tar pit with shoes a couple sizes too big?

Well, life in the past few weeks has been a constant battle of trying to find motivation and stay motivated. Sure, focusing isn’t exactly my strong suit, and I admit to taking too much free time for myself. It’s Maribor. It’s becoming too small for me. Sure, I enjoy my local friend’s company, and bless him he’s been doing everything in his power to make it the best stay for me. But I’m getting fucking fed up with finding a different creepy crawlie on my apartment floor every gorram night. And spiders aside, my habitat has become a negativity vortex. And it’s eating me from the inside.IMG_20150522_032732

I need a big city’s energy around me. People’s personal problems in this small village are way too close for comfort. They are not my problems, and yet, they’re invading my space. They’re dragging me down. Add to that this other bloke from down South who brings constant conflict and negative energy even from 200km away. Our coaching sessions ended up with him completely rejecting the idea of change and turning it into resent towards me.

So that’s a result, I guess. My mistake for trying to help, perhaps. But also a bitter lesson that some people .. just do not want help. A humbling experience for sure. Also makes me queasy for even using the word “help” here. But I try.

It’s funny how negativity creeps up on you. First it’s all productive and positive. Then you feel a bit slow, perhaps a bit unmotivated. Then suddenly you’re neck deep in this nasty atmosphere.

Solution: GET OUT IMMEDIATELY.

I’m crossing the border to Croatia next week. Aiming to find a more constructive social circle, and escape this internet nerd-community. Speak with real people.

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Not that I haven’t tried. I got frustrated with playing a rather futile cat-mouse game with the girl from Graz trying to find out if she’s interested in meeting again. Which led me through a rollercoaster of neediness, desire, and frustration. And after getting dangerously close to becoming a groveling loser, I shook my head, grabbed myself by the scruff of the neck and aimed towards new adventures.

See, there was this waitress girl. I spoke to her a couple months back when I arrived in the city, and we exchanged phone numbers. It was mostly to say hi to a waitress in that restaurant I planned on visiting more often, but there was something curious about her… Something.. eye-catching.

New plans came and went and we never ended up doing anything. Now I was throwing messages to every and anyone asking people out. And surprisingly, it was the waitress who was eager to see me. So I dropped by the restaurant for a coke and a smoke and we had a chat. And what a chat it was! She was interested in philosophy, psychology, cooking, and life in general, and I was enthralled!

She was broken, though. Had an addiction to abusive boyfriends – a massive red light to me, especially considering my attempt at removing myself from negative influences. But.. she seemed quite eager to take a load off and hell, I enjoyed the chat, so we had a drink that night.

Which may have lead us to having another drink. And meeting some awesome people.

Which may have lead us to having a couple of tequilas.

Which may have lead us to dancing quite intimately at some club.

If I tell you at this point that she went home by herself and I went home by myself, you’d probably be disappointed.

Don’t worry, I would’ve been disappointed as well, so I ran after her. She was adamant that nothing could happen because her recently ex-boyfriend was coming to pick up stuff in the morning.

Sure.

Whatever.

As it happens, we did nothing .. too serious. Of course, semi-innocent fooling around the whole night meant that we were both horny as hell by morning. Basically using her last hung over strength of will, she kicked my ass out before her ex came by. But riddle me this – what happens when a horny to the point of bursting woman meets her ex-lover?

Yes, later I heard they got back together with her boyfriend.

*sigh*

It would be sad if it weren’t so gorram funny.

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These musician fellows, though, wanted me to join them at this party a few days after. I’m always up for adventure, so sure I wanted to join!

On the way there, I heard the party is actually a concert. Refreshing! The venue turned out to be a studio. Housing an underground radio station, a shitton of awesome people, and a band practice room in the back. The featured artist turned out to be a solo reggae artist dude with a guitar and a soundbox.

An adventure.

Smoking stuff I shouldn’t have, drinking cheap wines in amounts I shouldn’t have, and cheesy rock stories I should’ve been a part of. Even got to jamming with the dudes with my sorely rusty drumming. Only dropped the sticks twice!

I’ve missed that.

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Also made an ass of myself with this one girl due to being fucking wasted.

*rolleyes* I should stop drinking, I guess.

She begrudgingly gave me her phone number. Which just pisses me off, btw. It was obvious she didn’t want to. I mean, could someone just have the fucking balls to fucking reject me properly? Enough of this weak-ass bullshit already. As I guessed, the next day she wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about answering. Oh well.

And yet, I find myself thinking of this Austrian girl. It might sound a bit like “she’s the one”-itis, but luckily I’m not that far gone. It’s just horribly difficult to stay cool.

It comes down to a scarcity mentality, a feeling of neediness and having to cling on to that one girl in the world. When you absolutely MUST have this one particular girl. It’s deceptive as well, because this sort of idea is being sold as romantic by the mainstream. And yet, it’s the one reason why you can’t be perfectly happy with that particular girl. You can never be truly honest and give positive energy to someone if you’re clinging on to them, because at some level you’re afraid of losing them. It’s absolutely not a positive place to be, and I wanted to get out of it. But it was like a maze of feelings in my brain with no way out. Something was just not clicking.

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Eventually, through freewriting and spinning these ideas from many angles, it started making sense. A lightbulb brightened in my dusty cobwebbed little head. I hadn’t been honest about my intentions. I thought I had, I truly did! But what I wanted was this:

I want to see her again.

I’d been dancing around the subject because I was afraid of being vulnerable, putting pressure on her, or scaring her away. I was afraid, because I was supposed to be the aloof guy with no commitments anywhere. But at the end of the day, none of that matters. I’m gonna be that guy anyway, so I might as well accept it.

I had a lot of fun. You’re fascinating and I want to see you again. I hate being pressured into anything and I hate pressuring people into anything, so please don’t take this as any sort of obligation. But that’s how I feel and you make me feel that way. And I think it’s kinda cool.

The maze in my head was no longer a maze, but a lovely little park. With sun shining. And birds singing. And a syrup tree pouring overly sentimental molten cheese all over my laptop oh for fuck’s sake

-Jay

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JTBL #12 – Why social validation sucks, and why you should not

IMG_20150505_141448Okay.

You know the feeling. You got a blog post or article to write. The ideas are in your head and you just can’t find an angle. Well, I’ve lost too many nights of sleep over this blog post. It’s time to get words on the page!

It’s been a crazy month. Ending up in Slovenia was a curious wildcard in the first place. Getting to know the locals has been an even bigger wildcard. We got the Ice-fella, with his rather skewed view of the world. Classically trained, he’s completely sure that everything is against him and nothing will ever change. Working for his father and heading for a dead end rat race-life. Armed with a self-destructive view on life. But. He says he’s moving to London. If he does, he’ll meet life head on. Life as it really is. And if he embraces that, it can be a highway to the stars.

Which could be awesome.

Then there’s Mr. White BMW, who is more of the pedantic perfectionist-engineer type. Restored an E30-BMW with the little money he has. Works his ass off to make others happy. The guy has such potential, such huge ideas. And he understands my gripes about polyamory, the suffocation under society’s rules. I think he should fuck off to greener pastures, out of this rotten country – break free of the confines bestowed upon him without his approval.

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Such colourful stories. I never knew. No one told me there was adventure everywhere. Stay in Finland, it’s a winning lottery ticket to be born in Finland. Well, that may be. But if I’d cashed in on that “winning lottery ticket”, I’d be stuck in a dead end security job slowly deteriorating into an emotionless husk of a man.

-Budapest? Why the hell are you going to Budapest? You got a job there?
-Uhmm.. no. But I’m going to see the world.
-Just stay here, man. You got job security! Why risk that?

I occasionally  play with the thought of driving up to Finland in a few years with some big engined Mercedes car and finding that same dude at the same service station having that same cup of coffee in his same secure job.

Yeah. Let me tell you why: I risk it for my life. Because I don’t want to survive. I WANT TO LIVE. Sure, right now I’m working for scraps in a Mariborian cellar apartment with spiders for company. But I’m free to do as I wish, and nothing is preventing me from taking off to the next country. Which I probably will, soon.

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Because Croatia seems like a nice place.

See, no one told me, that I’d meet a lovely little Croatian girl with polyamorous ideals and the quirkiest sense of humour. No one told me that those people exist. See, for many years .. for over a decade, I was under the impression that it’s my fault for not meeting anyone interesting. “You’re just too picky.” “What’s wrong with you, why don’t you have a girlfriend?” I never saw the point in getting someone and then being completely chained off any sort of social contact. Because polyamory or anything like that was condemned by society, I ended up just not meeting anyone. Yeah I took the train down there and we spent a lovely little evening together.

And before you ask, no. I don’t chase girls to different countries. Normally. But this girl was worth it. Not like I’d travel hundreds of miles to just have sex.

But it helps.

Too many times recently I’ve heard people challenge polyamory with that condescending tone of “oh, but I want to get to know people and not just have flings with everyone.” And while I appreciate the patronizing attitude, it pisses me off. Because while I like to talk to girls with beautiful figures and bottoms and boobies, it’s not only about meeting someone for kicks. It’s about making friends. Getting to KNOW people. Finding out about their sense of humour, finding out what makes them tick. What their worries are, and what their dreams are. I’m not out here to fuck anything with a pair of tits (although right now I’m pretty close), I’m out here to meet people. And find friends. Find soulmates.

It pisses me off when people say that. Judge me all you want, I don’t give a shit. But the point is, when people confuse polyamory with some random pickup artist going out and predatoring women for one-night stands, it’s insulting. Not to me, but to the concept of friendship. As if friendship, love, warm feelings, connections would be devalued the more you have them!

Sorry guys, it’s completely the opposite: the more you love, the more you love.

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Someone asked me if I believe in soulmates. Because I don’t. I think that’s bullshit. Just a marketing term created by, probably some religious nutter, to make people feel happier about wasting their lives with one person. Having said that though, I’m sure that there’s a huge amount of people out there who are compatible with you. An enormous amount of people with whom you’ll have stuff to talk about, laugh about, cry about and create a unique connection that no one else understands. Because only in the last few weeks I’ve found three. And I’m picky, remember? I can’t imagine what I’ll find in the future.

I never knew.

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There was the Miami trip, which changed my world. I’ve been writing more than I ever thought possible. Freewriting, it’s called. And it’s opened my mind to completely new ways of thinking. Curiously, it’s also made my daygame approaches much easier. I have no issues approaching women I see as attractive. The approach anxiety, it’s there. Frankly I’m scared as hell, but my feet move before I get to think of an excuse! It’s a wonderful thing.

She was right there! All I needed to do was pull the car over. The air was thick with a sexual tension I’d never experienced before. We wouldn’t tell anyone. No one would know.

Only days before I’d met this person and noted a strangely alluring energy around her. At the time I simply disregarded it as random swooning over a hot older woman. But we had so much to talk about. So much common wavelength. So many common frustrations. And yet, I chickened out. I said nothing.

Sure, she was married and nothing needed to happen. But I said nothing. And that’s the gutless solution. At least tell her how you feel and avoid the frustration and what ifs afterwards!

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These last few days though, it’s been a writer’s block of the ages. But not because I didn’t want to write. I had a ton of stories to tell. But it’s all turning into a jumble of private stories belonging to different people. And suddenly I find myself responsible of other people’s stories. Stories they’ve entrusted me to hold. What do I do in that situation? I’m completely overwhelmed by suddenly finding all of these awesome connections with people, and yet, I have no one to share it with. And I’m supposed to be the leader here. Show the way for fuck’s sake? How do I show the way if I’m completely clueless myself?

Those glances she slipped. When no one was looking. Did I imagine those? No, there it is again. Stay cool, man.

That smile though.. I’ve seen it many times before. On the faces of many women, who wished I’d done something when I failed to do shit.

Maybe this time I’ll act. No wait nope, stay cool, dude. Stay cool.

But I wasn’t wrong. It was the smile of someone seeing a glimpse of light. She saw the non-judgmental person in me. Someone completely outside her social circle, the rules in her life, her self-imposed prison. Someone she could confide in. We spoke later in private about things I won’t divulge here or anywhere else.

I hope she finds a way out.

Looking back at all the bullets I’ve dodged by staying out of committed relationships all those years gives me a strange feeling of relief. For not giving into society’s pressure of just “getting it over with”. And it’s definitely worth a pat on the back, for staying true to my own feelings in that sense. But it’s still been my own little secluded world far from the general public’s view on life.

Yet, here I was, witnessing an “ideal couple’s” life, a real life shakespeare in the park, where the underlying frustration would never show without closer examination. Plunging into the middle of that is quite a hefty dose of reality.

I was quite angry at the world that night.

This whole charade roots from having to appear proper in the surrounding community, to avoid being ostracized. Best part is, these two and most other people as well, have no idea why they feel trapped. After all, by society’s standards, everything should be totally fine, right? It’s funny how the human brain is completely sure about things to be true, while the human body feels sick because it’s actually bullshit. Now how’s that for a sick fucking society?

Reminds me of home, now that I think about it.

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Yeah, we had a rag tag team of dudes. A restless motorcyclist, a pedantic BMW-driver, an older aged tv-journalist to be-person, and the angriest home video director ever. And myself, a delusional wannabe writer with spiders in his apartment.

I never knew.

I never knew how far I’ve come. At this stage I can pretty much go strike a conversation with a girl on the street if it’s someone who actually interests me. See, there’s two scales I personally go by. A scale of external beauty: most girls are quite pretty, some even gorgeous. But then there’s the more important scale. The scale of attractiveness. It’s perhaps every 30th girl or so that honestly turns my head. They’re the ones with that alluring energy eminating from them, like a glowing aura. Or blinking fog light. When I see these rather rare cases, I move. Especially in cities like Maribor, they don’t come along that often. Then it’s a point of hopping over and ..

-Hi! Don’t worry, I’m not crazy!

And telling them why I bounced over. And then I want to find out about them. Who they are and why they’re so awesome. That’s it. If I get to deliver my compliment, I’m happy.

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It puts things into perspective then, hanging around in company with one person completely socially constipated and another with a constant need to show off. The amount of ego and lack of humility is just mind-boggling, when self-esteem is low. Every tiny problem becomes a huge issue, and taking responsibility for a mistake is replaced with defenses, excuses and accusations. So fucking draining. But I didn’t care, I needed a glass of wine.

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So we headed up to Rijeka’s nightlife. Rijeka, this small town on Croatia’s coastline, is a beautiful little place, with some fine looking women as well! We sat down at a local boulevard to enjoy some refreshments and check out the local crowd. After a few glasses of wine, and after hearing too many comments about passing people, I couldn’t take it anymore. So I bounced off to say hi to this beautiful brunette. I thought I’d get a laugh out of it and maybe some conversation with some cute Croatian girl.

I expected the guys to follow suit and maybe go chat up some chicks at the bar. But instead of joining me for meeting people, my comrades understood my initiative as a challenge of egos. The first one, being socially constipated, stayed put and grumbled something about getting rejected anyway. The second one, rather than going up to meet people, took my hopping approach to a completely new level and used it to scare people. He was looking for reactions because he felt he was being an entertaining clown. “See, I can do this too!” I remember him saying. Maybe not the best starting point, I thought, but at least we’d be able to have some fun. And to be fair, we ended up sitting with a few girls outside a local bar.

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Albeit three girls who absolutely were not looking for company, who I had no interest in, and who were sitting in a horrible spot logistics-wise. But at least they were girls, so that’s something. Now being girls, they immediately saw my non-interest and the relative over-interest of my fellow ape-men. Even so, they valued my transparency and even warmed up to me a bit. Which made the contrast even sharper towards these guys’s socially clueless reaction seeking ego-driven high school style approach.

Was I disappointed in my company? Nah. It was to be expected. Was I disappointed in myself? Perhaps. After Miami and after listening to all these stories about being trapped in the wrong lives, there was a growing thought in the back of my mind about spending too much time with the wrong kind of company. Which means my time in Maribor must come to an end. The atmosphere is too dulling. It’s time for new adventures.

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Curiously though, my whole life I’ve been taught that every decent Finn should suffer a horrible winter with awful weather and life should be dull and grey, and everything above that requires millions and billions of moneys. Now it seems, that only with barely minimum Finnish wage, you could easily afford to live in a beach apartment in Rijeka.

I never knew..

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JTBL #11 – My am I, the hidden obstacle in achieving your goals

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You have it all laid out in your mind. Planned out every minute detail. Your luggage, documents, schedule, transport.. everything is ready and all you need to do is enjoy the ride.

It’s a 32 hour journey to Miami, which is formidable, sure. But it’s not the lengthy trip that’s making you quiver in your socks. No, it’s America. See, you need to get into some serious trouble in Europe before losing all your lifelines of help. Friends, family, even the random acquaintance along the way, all provide a safety net. But on the other side of the pond, you’re alone.

Alone.

America has spent the last 20 years becoming more and more hostile to immigrants and foreigners: building walls to the east and the west, not unlike 21st century Russia, trying to revive a consumer paradise that should’ve died a long time ago. Coming from a tiny European country, America and America’s monster capitalism presents itself as not much more than a pub joke. Something you laugh at over a pint of beers.

.. but it’s much less funny, when you’re the butt of the joke.

You hardly get out of the country before American bureaucracy starts kicking in.

“ESTA documents please?” inquired the deeply antagonistic, slightly hung over Italo-Spanish check-in attendant.

“What?” you quip, biting into your apple.

“ESTA documents. You have electronic?” continued the increasingly displeased service clerk.

“Sorry, I don’t understand,” you reply, slightly puzzled, slowly putting the apple down.

“You are going to US, si? You need VISA, otherwise you not enter country!” advised the attendant, with that look of displeased security professionality in his eyes.

“Wait, what? I didn’t know about this. I thought you can do that when you enter the country.” you explain, to no avail.

“Everybody know this. No VISA, no enter country.” commanded the clerk.

“Well, that’s not a good thing. Can I do anything? Can I call someone?” you suggest, remaining in a constructive stance, even though worry was filling your mind.

“You call anyone! I don’t care. Maybe you go ask service desk over there.” the Italian attendant boomed, with a tone of bitterness and scorn over his menial job.

With two hours time, you grab your bag and head over to the service desk, ambiguously rumoured to be in that direction. Your smile fades into a stern look of concern. Your apple fades into a nearby garbage can.

This lead into a 45 minute interrogation and having to pay for a quick ESTA-application. Plus commission. Plus credit card charges. Yeah, this could’ve been avoided by doing some research about VISA-requirements. Live and learn, you think..

.. and secretly cross your fingers, hoping this will be the last of your troubles on this trip.

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Pasta à l’Eminem

But you’ve been to dangerous countries before. Why would this be any different? What’s that thing nagging at the back of your head like an itch you can’t quite scratch? It’s becoming all too clear that this is no vacation. Granted, hopefully there’s time to sit on the beach and check out some babes, but you’re on a mission. This conference, this writers’ workshop, is bound to make an impact on your ultimate goal of becoming a blogger and a coach. Whatever happens, it’ll change the course of your immediate life.. and it’s giving you the shivers.

You know when you feel like your feet are frozen, your palms are sweaty and knees like Eminem’s spaghetti? Yes, we’re talking about the exact same feeling that creeps up when you walk past an amazingly gorgeous woman on the street. You want to approach her. You’re interested. Your mind feels like there’s something at stake, so it makes an effort to try and prepare you for a fight. This, guys btw is why you sound like a bumbling idiot when talking to the ladies.

You obviously have a financial stake in this blog business, but it runs deeper than that.

Your whole life has been a stream of unfinished projects, people you’ve lost interest in, projects dismantled by lack of motivation and procrastination. But now you have a burning desire in getting this coaching business of the ground.

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You flick down a few gears on the Mustang’s gearbox. That sweet V6 bellow turns into a mighty roar as you accelerate out of the bend.

Suddenly the financial toll of this trip takes a backseat. It’s all worth it. The conference is full of stunningly brilliant people, all with their own creative approach to the blog profession. You feel like .. you belong. The type of people you’ve been searching for, they’re here: entrepreneurs, writers, and coaches. People who enjoy traversing outside their comfort zone. Suddenly it all makes sense. This blog business, which only moments ago was just a game, is now frighteningly real. It’s actually attainable.

You now have a direction. A path. And there’s a group of amazing people who are going the same way!

“And how would you like to pay for your hotel room, sir?” asked the hotel clerk, in a polite proper manner.

“Sorry? I thought it’s paid for.” you quaver. A déjà vu of an airport episode 30 hours before runs through your mind. You shake it off and focus.

“No, this is just the reservation, sir. We’re going to need to charge the full amount now for security.” explained the hotel clerk. From his expression, you understand that he’s on your side. He’s here to make your stay pleasurable. You give him your credit card, and sure enough it redlines immediately.

Thankfully, internet banking helps and two days of headache later your hotel is paid for.

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Actions speak louder than words do

It’s been four months since you left beautiful Finland, and you’ve achieved more than in the last ten years combined. This can all be traced back to that fateful weekend in September. The Sasha Daygame bootcamp in London. But what was it exactly, that instigated this chain reaction of changes? Beneath everything else, what changed?

They always told you to go out there and apply yourself. What does that even mean? What good could it do to just jump out there with no plan and just start “applying yourself”? It’s completely useless to explain, because, ironically, unless you go out there and try it, you won’t understand.

But I’ll try. See, our minds learn by doing. We may logically understand something, but our minds won’t subconsciously believe it unless we put it into action. You leave home without a plan. Without a destination. Even this simple act of hopping onto a flight is enough to spark a belief. A belief that defying convention is possible.

The bootcamp showed you how to take action, and not just run your mouth. Because at the end of the day, even the tiniest bit of action towards a goal is worth a thousand words. A small bit of action sends you overseas to meet an astonishing group of people. A small bit of action ends up in talking polyamory with the cutest little brunette from Zagreb.

At the end of the day you realize the world isn’t going to stop you. Social validation is worth nothing.

The only thing stopping you..

..is you.

-Jay

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JTBL #10 – Be part of the story

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Spending 3 nights on creating a landing page for your business? That’s rough work. Not to mention draining.

But I got it done. Fucking finished something. That’s awesome. I’m patting myself on the back!

Here’s the page, in case you’re interested in becoming a Rat Race Maverick!

https://www.ratracemaverick.com/

I’m gonna order some business cards to spread out the message. It seems Iike I’m running into more and more interesting people on my odyssey.

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The people on my odyssey

So there’s this dude, nicjasno. I’ve always thought he’s a bit strange. A pedantic car geek with a radical view on the world. But there was always a good vibe about him. I’m not sure what it was, but my instincts said it’d be a +ev proposition to spend some time in Slovenia. Oh, and it offered me a way out of Italy, which helped the decision.

So here we are, two weeks later. Nicjasno has introduced me to the local internet marketers, who churn out money like hot butter by selling tons of t-shirts with clever marketing. As a marketer of a slightly different field, I found this fascinating. We also visited the local American Car Show, where he introduced me to a local nightclub-DJ with a similar maverick-view on life. We ended up spending a lovely afternoon at this DJ’s home vineyard, discussing the higher values of life and the universe, women and marketing.
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And cars! This man had been longing after his dream car, a certain military spec luxury offroader, for 30 odd years before finally having the means and resources to acquire one. And you could tell. That look, that expression of pure joy on his face, when we took it up and down the steep hills of his wine farm? Priceless! Some true happiness there! Incredible machine by itself, sure, but the story gave it a personality that just doesn’t exist in a car that you buy down at your local Volvo dealer for credit.

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Adventures happen when you listen to instinct.

Lesson learned – listen to your damn instincts.

Listen to your damn instincts

So this nightclub-DJ was playing at a local club, which he advertised was a hot spot for Serbians, because of the music. Having a hot spot for Serbians, I needed to visit this club! Also Mr. Dude from before was in the company, and I wanted him to meet someone, and would damn well do my best to make it happen.

And ‘lo. There were women. And Mr. nightclub-DJ was playing some weirdly excellent music with an enthusiasm I rarely see. The place was on fire. I had a good feeling of not giving a shit about anything, so I gently took a passing girl’s arm because she had cute glasses. And incredible boobies. Told them that Mr. Dude wanted to say hi. He was a bit flabbergasted, but got some words out after a bit of coaxing. Here’s the funny part – I kinda was infatuated by the other girl talking to Mr. Dude. But this was a simple passing though. Not even a sidenote in my mind. Besides, Ms. Glasses was funny enough, so we danced a bit and hung out. Had some fun, I thought.

Some 20 minutes later, she asked me which one do I like, because I clearly want the other woman. The amount of empathy and perceptiveness of this woman, (and women in general) never ceases to astound me. I replied,

-Choose? I can’t choose between you! I think you’re both sexy, and I want to get to know you both.

Which wasn’t the answer she was looking for, so I became an asshole in her eyes.

An honest asshole, mind. She smiled at me under that angry face.

You could see she respected the honesty.

So then I got to know the other woman. This dark haired half Slovenian half Serbian marketing math wiz girl. Holy hell, she had this awesome energy about her. And she was so confident that it was almost cute. Apparently offputting to many men, because most men fear the strong woman. So we ended up outside, making out. I wanted to take her home and fuck her brains out. That’s what my instincts said I should do. But I didn’t. ‘cos I’m a moron.

Also, to add insult to injury, two days later my memory pulls a gag and reminds me of what she said when we were sitting outside.

-So uhh.. Where do you live?

I start spelling out the street name of my building, but can’t do it because I’m drunk and really have no idea.

-Uhh somewhere up there.

-Oh. Kiss me!

Then proceeded to do squat to actually take her to that address though. Didn’t even ask. Which lead to instant auto-rejection*. And not surprisingly, she’s quite cold the next day. I’ve been kicking myself for the last half hour for being such a knucklehead.

But, at least I realized my fucking mistake. Discovering life – one glorious failure at a time, right?

Oh, and it did give me some social momentum. I did my first street approach in weeks!

I hope I see her again. =(

Listen to your damn instincts, kids. Be part of the story, not a cog in the machine.

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*auto-rejection = This is her shutting down to protect herself from a guy she thinks isn’t going to give her what she wants and needs. The causes of auto-rejection can be tied to at least one of the factors that can demote people status-wise:

  • Being too much of an asshole to a woman makes her feel insulted and fear rejection.
  • Being too aloof toward a woman makes her feel ignored and makes her fear rejection.
  • Showing too much value to a woman makes her feel outclassed and makes her fear rejection.
  • Moving too slow with a woman makes her feel sidelined, unimportant, and unwanted, and makes her fear rejection.

http://www.girlschase.com/content/secrets-getting-girls-staying-out-auto-rejection

JTBL #9 – A Bosnian, a Slovenian, a Croatian and a Finn walk into a bar..

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Removing clutter – inserting focus

After two days of doodling about, I realized I’ve got to shake the crap out of my head and focus on my goals. Interestingly enough, my goals had become hazy and unfocused. So I’d began drifting. Sure, the move to Slovenia and the whole Italy-fiasko played a part in this, so I’m not completely hopeless in that regard.

But now it was time to get back to work and seriously focus on the things that matter.

Clearing my head was an issue of distorted proportions. I had had this Blog Launch Formula module on my desktop for the last four weeks, pretty much without progress. Mostly because of crappy internets, but also because of losing motivation for just sitting in that damn shopping mall for three weeks. So that rather tiny goal of building a landing page had turned into a massive elephant in the room.

I needed to take a step back. Forget the tiny module for a second and look at the roadmap for the next three years. Building an airbnb empire, getting a Tesla Model S and getting ten thousand subscribers for the blog. Curiously even making it a goal suddenly makes it seem plausible.

Okay, that’s three years. Then one year? That’s mostly just building subscribers and getting through the Blog Launch Formula-online class. Hoping to have a decent income by the end of the year. Then six months, every month, every week and..

..every day.

That’s six hours of work at least. Every day. On the blog. If I can grind 20 tables of poker for six hours every day, I can easily work on something as creative and interesting as a blog business for six hours. So I did. And more.

The landing page is completely ready. Only the content needs some adjusting. And I feel great for actually getting some work done!

So I’m trying to get into the habit of asking the waitress’s name, if I like the service or restaurant. To show them I appreciate their work, to work on my social skills, and possibly get a date if she’s cute. This one was pretty, sure, but not really my type. But I asked her for her name. Turns out she’s interested in foreigners and does tourist guiding as a side gig. She promised to show me around town next week. The stuff you get by asking, I’m telling ya.

Zagreb, Croatia

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We headed out to the neighbouring country with one of the locals. Zagreb was on my mind mostly for the rumoured amount of beautiful women rippled into that city. But also for getting out a bit with this local fellow.

Since I got the spark for coaching people, I had been interested in getting this dude into the dating game for quite some time. His heavy resistance to the subject made it all the more fascinating for me, being the total psychology pervert. Also, I’ve realized the people with the most extreme positions are usually the easiest ones to teach new tricks to. Apparently he’d seen rejection too many times and he just wasn’t made for dating. He was to only suffer misery on this Earth, and he had approached enough women to realize they all hated him. Oh, and no one likes him because of his looks.

Sure.

So let’s drop the bullshit for a second. Looks department? Totally fine, perhaps a few kilos extra. A few months at the gym and hell’s bells this guy would be unstoppable. Is able to speak in complete sentences. Personal hygiene is lacking a bit, but not bad. So I’m gonna wager on the usual story – guy gets rejected a few times and develops a heavy bitterness towards anything involving the opposite sex.

But we’ll see. I’m not one to presume.

So evening comes and I’m still sore from the surgery wound. But I wanna go see this city! It’s cold and my bank account gave me the office for being a dumbass at budgeting. I play out my game in my head, since obviously I’ll have to take the lead here. Warm up by talking to some girl, any girl. There! They’re standing still. Good, I don’t need to run.

-Hi. You guys know the way to this bar, this Corner Pub?

We make acquaintances and exchange a few teases. My dude-friend hovers along like a nervous stranger. Output stammering and uncontrolled. I figure I’ll take the lead. The other girl kindly decides to show us the way, so off we go to this fabled bar that’s nowhere to be found. We have a bit of banter with the other, more English-capable girl, and don’t really get past the social hooking point. Dude hovers nervously along.

Rest of the evening is me doing silly approaches and having fun. And dude cramping my style simply by standing around. So frustrating.

Yeah, I’m being mean. But the point is, a nervously weak posture, a negative attitude verging on self-hatred, a black outlook on life, and a twisted self-image will NOT get you laid. It just won’t. That shit shows.

Good news is, dude listened. Something slipped through the crests of stubbornness and started gnawing doubt into that mind of self-hatred.

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And that, ladies and gentlemen, is fucking awesome. I’m not a relationship coach by far, and my own journey is far from finished in that department. But I do enjoy seeing progress in people! And most of all, I enjoy seeing people take that first step towards getting their mind out of the gutter. Now we need to get him a victory. One date. One positive experience with a woman to start undoing the damage started by some nasty memory somewhere.

I think I have a Tinder-date in Ljubljana. Not sure if that’s a fucking stupid idea or not.

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Jay and two bits of luggage #8 – We’re not selling Jesus

Helsinki, Finland

That’s the second time in a month I’ve crossed Helsinki’s borders! I obviously need to vary my destinations. Nah, I had to be here for an operation: a bit of surgery that’s been two years in the making.

Coming here was hard. Not just because I can’t fit into an airplane-seat, but simply being in the country brings out a slight melancholy in me. Albeit everyone was glad to see me, and for once I felt welcome at my parents’ house.. Finland just doesn’t feel like home anymore.

I’m just a visitor now.

My life is elsewhere.

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Venice, Marco Polo International Airport

I got to chatting with this American soldier dude, after he forced a receipt on me that I left at the coffee shop. “You need to keep this, man!” I had heard this several times during my two week stay, so I finally asked him why. Why bother with these useless bits of paper?

“You might get fined by the finance police!”

“Haha yeah right. .. Wait. You’re serious?”

Apparently Italy has some sort of police force that could and will check if you actually bought what you carry out of the store. In short, this means they’re actually using the consumer as leverage to force the business owner to pay taxes.

I can see a Berlusconi-type twisted politician drooling over this concept as clever and practical.

.. which means the regular citizen will find it a bunch of fascist bullshit. Expect to see it implemented in Finland when they figure it out.

Anyway. I escaped the country without getting caught by the FINANCE POLICE.

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Good fucking riddance.

Maribor, Slovenia

Helsinki was pretty much as expected, although I would’ve liked to stay one more night. My original plan was to hurry back to Italy to get back to the workaway family, but now with that cancelled, there was no hurry. Which meant my time with a girl I’m quite fond of was limited to a mere couple of hours for no good reason. It was.. frustrating. Snuggling was interrupted.

Surgery went without complications, which was nice. No complicated aftermath with bullshit logistics needed. Only issue is my hand luggage, which I packed full of sanitary towels to use as bandages for the open wound in my crotch. As usual, they wanted to open the suitcase at Helsinki Vantaa airport. The customs lady didn’t even raise an eyebrow. I guess they’re used to seeing strange things in people’s carry-on.

Anyway, after a few episodes of Fast&Loud, and a ride in a tricked Audi owned by a friendly gearhead, I’m finally in Maribor, Slovenia. With a working internet connection. Finally. Maybe I can get some fucking work done for a change.

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Yup, this’ll be my home for the next few months. It’ll give me a chance to catch up with my blog-business, and to chat up some local girls! It’s funny how everything turns stagnant and colourless without a constant female-spark.. Too bad my walking speed is somewhat limited right now by my crotchety condition, so it’s a penguin-type speedwalk all the way if I’m to catch a woman on the street!

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As housekeeping news, I switched hosts over to wordpress.com. Blogger.com had a crap interface, horrible looking themery, Google’s weirdly intrusive terms and conditions, and an overall dated image. I just installed WordPress onto my business blog, so this was as good a time as any. All the previous posts are available here.

Jay and two bits of luggage #7 – Error in judgment, or simply an error in risk management?

Feel like an ass?

Italy turned out to be a bust. I’ve been without internet for 2 weeks now, and my productivity has fallen to a tenth of what it was. Seriously. It takes hours to negotiate with the local public wifi for an available ip. Often to no avail.

Linux Mint threw a fit after eating up a misplaced update two days ago, and ended up needing a reinstall. With these third world internet connections, I only just got the system back up.

As a final insult, my phone has been dropping from networks because the Italian operators don’t seem to like roaming connections. It’s like the whole country is against my being here!
After a quick rehash of my situation, a few things became abundantly clear:

1. I need to get *the fuck out* of Italy.

2. I need my own space and a good internet connection.

3. I need to stay somewhat near Venice, to catch that flight to Miami in April.
So I had a chat with the mother of the family. While we could have a blast hanging out as adults, we agreed it’d be best if I take my leave from this babysitter role, which I’m clearly not suited for. I thought that’s fair, and the best decision at this stage, before we’re at each other’s throats!

Lack of internet leaves time to catch up on Modern Family

I thanked her for the opportunity. After all, it was a great experience. She thanked me for giving it my best. I think I might drop by some day, years from now, to say hello.

So. Chin up! I start looking through Croatian workaway-ads and airbnb-apartments. Something good, something not so good.. nothing excellent. Up the coastline and .. hey what’s this little country here?

Slovenia?

Wait. How did I forget Slovenia? Gearheads live in Slovenia. Maribor is a big Alpine resort-town. I wonder what sort of leads I can pull towards Slovenia?

Thanks for giving me fucking unstackable cups!

Some 15 minutes of IRC-chat later, a couple of friends are welcoming me into their country with open arms, AND arrange this awesomely cute alpine villa-apartment in Maribor for me! Friends.. can’t wait to see some friends for a change. Some *peers*, even. I’m becoming a frickin’ social recluse in this dark age-village.

Budapest seems like a distant dream now.

Never again. I need to find out some way to make small cash. This workaway gig isn’t my thing at all. It’s a good thing Tim Ferriss and the 4 hour work week are keeping me motivated.

I’d tell you about all the lovely Italian girls I’ve been meeting, but honestly I’ve been so stuck up trying to find 15 minutes of working wifi a day that I haven’t had the energy to make any approaches.

What a rough week. What a rough two weeks, even! But alright, let’s focus on the positives:

1. I reached way past my comfort zone!

2. I got to try some Italian delicacies, like cheeses and pastas. The whole culture DOES make sense, when you slow down and take in the scenery for a while. Not my cuppa tea, though. Not now.

3. I’m learning tons. Making mistakes is part of the journey, and this was a giant learning experience.
I hope they find a better nanny.

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Jay and two bits of luggage #6 – 3 GB should be enough for anyone

This week I heard of an unlimited mobile data plan. Unlimited, meaning a 7GB data limit. But hey, at least it’s 100MBps. As if THAT would be the issue? What is this, the fucking dark ages?

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It’s the first time in a week I’ve had a moment to myself, so I snuck out of my self inflicted prison to relax in Padova city. To get away from screaming kids and a mother undermining my reasoning and situational awareness at every turn. Not to mention the internet access that’s been restricted to limits that only a blind person without fingers would find sufficient.

Like, fuck you so much.

*sigh*

So a week ago, with a hangover of the ages, I’m making my way across Europe. In Copenhagen, somewhat shellshocked by the price of the meal I just had, I notice this incredibly hot, obviously Italian brunette doing her e-mail work and videochatting on her phone. She’s on the same connecting flight to Venice. With my hangover still in the “I wish I was dead”-phase, I’m pretty far from a playful mood. But after an hour of watching her from the corner of my eye, I realize I simply must do something. So when we finally land in Marco Polo, I gather whatever wits I have and catch up with her right at the exit.

“Hi. Uhh don’t take this the wrong way, but I just saw you back there. And you’re the hottest thing, like absolutely gorgeous. If I didn’t come to meet you now, I’d be kicking myself halfway to next week wondering about it. So hi, I’m Jay.”

She giggled and gladly took the compliment. Sadly she lived in Copenhagen and was in Italy only for a couple of days. We had a bit of a chat and agreed to meet if possible. I didn’t care if we never met. I’d overcome my fear and made someone smile that night.

So then I met my host family. A youthful Italian mother, a French father and two distinctly Italian looking small boys who spoke Italian and French fluently and learning English on the side. My job would be to speak English with the kids. Pretty impressive? Yeah, sure.

The next day my life in Italy started off with a bang, as we visited the local kiddie-rugby tournament the next morning. The smaller of the two was bored out of his mind and found throwing rocks into a nearby sewer a better use of his time.

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I couldn’t help but relate. I’d rather watch paint dry than sports.

So we got to know each other while throwing rocks into a sewer. Although, to be completely fair, the rugby culture seems much more sport oriented than the ego-driven personal achievement bullshit I’m used to. So I guess I could give that a chance.

The week quickly passed with early mornings, fighting the kids to school, a few hours to myself doing whatever home improvement tasks needed doing, and fighting the kids outta school.

And the park.

The fucking park.

So after school we take the kids hand in hand to a nearby park to play around and be kids. Which is cool. But rather than being able to enjoy this little afternoon in the sun, I have to stand like a bodyguard and and follow the kids’ antics with hawk-like precision. Now, I don’t exactly mind that, the little guys need some supervising. But however carefully I stare at whatever the kids are doing, the mother finds something that could be watched more carefully, while she chats with the other Italian mothers who don’t speak English. Now I realize she’s a mother and mothers do this, but for fuck’s sake. I am a security guard with 3 years of experience watching people. Not to mention the 10+ years of experience reading people’s behaviour and anticipating actions. It’s incredible how fast those sorts of comments go from constructive into piercingly annoying.

I hate the fucking park.

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So in the evening it’s a constant struggle to keep the kids happy. Then we have a struggle to brush their teeth and go to bed. And the mom keeps pointing out things I could do better.

And I’m exhausted by 9 pm.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m starting to like the little buggers. And the mother knows her kids and how she wants to raise them. But in some cases it just feels like she’s stirring the pot unnecessarily and causing a conflict where there needn’t be one.

On top of this, there’s the internet-debacle. Now let me get this straight. I don’t require much in life. In fact, my priorities can be summed up to four simple rules:

#1 Keep myself safe and healthy. This always comes first, no debate. No negotiation.

#2 Keep my friends and loved ones safe and healthy.

#3 Ensure my life goals are met. I’m on a mission to realize the life I want to live. Non-negotiable.

#4 If I have a chance, I help my friends and loved ones reach their life goals. I’ve learned not to force this on anyone, but I’ll take time to help if asked to.

Let’s focus on #3 for a second. My life goals at this point are: create a coaching business. Don’t get me wrong. This requires very little besides my own head. Namely a laptop and internet access. A constant and stable one. Not with some bullshit restriction of 1.44Mb/week only for text downloads. And the fucking patronizing attitude I run into. “Hey take a break and enjoy Italy for a while!” I got a fucking job to do here! You don’t tell a taxi driver to take a walk for a change, do you? More to the point, you don’t give a taxi driver a car that only goes 10 metres a day, now do ya? Eh? Eh?

So I want you to understand my full meaning when I express my incredible frustration of repeatedly running into ridiculous limitations and security measures against getting a data stream going. If this issue is not sorted, I will have to leave Italy. Simply put. Because if I can’t work on my goals, I might as well be sitting somewhere else in the world working a shit job.

This has been a bit of a rant, and it’s mostly because of this fucking flu and the internet-issue. Because at the end of the day, the mother is a cool person. We chat about saving the world and why capitalism is corrupted. And she cooks a wicked veggie-meal! Which means I need to put zero effort into eating healthy. She also completely symphatizes with my internet-issue and took time off her incredibly busy schedule to try and do something about it. I respect that.

The worst thing is, I feel lonely. I haven’t felt lonely since I left Finland, because there’s always been the city and the people. In Budapest I could just pop out and meet someone. Here I’m stuck in the middle of the countryside without internet.

There’s that word again, stuck. Stuck in my self-inflicted prison with no internet and no access to my peers.. My therapist would be proud. I’m finally understanding where this feeling comes from.
But it’s just been a week, so we’ll see how it goes. I just gave 2 euro to a lovely Jamaican for brightening up my day and making me a little bracelet thingie. Perhaps it’s not all as bad as it seems..

Maybe I’ll go find a glass of vino bianco and run into some cute Padovian brunette.IMG_20150314_155147

Jay and two bits of luggage #5 – From Budapest to Padova. Via Tampere.

Day 1

Hours awake: 20
Mileage: 420km
Location: Krakow, Poland
Notes:

-Slovakia is the driving equivalent of a pair of underwear that’s been left unwashed since the 1970s.
-What the hell is the speed limit? Should I care?
-Why can’t I find food in Krakow at 7pm on a Monday?
-Breakfast in that otherwise bland hotel was incredible.

Poland, and a jawdropping view.

Day 2


Hours awake: 14
Mileage: 702km
Location: Kaunas, Vilnius
Notes:

-Polish police dun’ give a shit.
-Drove into a speed camera 90@70kmh.. and so did everyone else. Panicked for about 30 minutes, and figured nothing could be done about it so joined the traffic flow again in slightly dampened spirits.
-Later realized that speeding fines in Poland are less than a one course dinner in Finland. Which means 24€. And considering the car rode on foreign plates with zero traceability, I doubt the Polish police will bother.

Cos the Polish police dun’ give a shit.





-Kaunas is fucking gorgeous. Seriously. Who planted this little country called Lithuania here, and why have I never been there? Architecture is incredible and women are stunningly hot! Need to come back with better time.
-Kaunas is also cheap. And unlike Krakow, it’s got a nice pizzeria right next to the hotel which was open late at night. With wifi as well! And the waiter had a sunshiny smile. And ridiculously large boobies. I don’t ask for much, but this place offered it all. =)

I ordered a pizza and a cola for 8€, which seemed fair to me. After all, it was a quality establishment. Then a strange question followed:

“And your second pizza?”
“Sorry? Nono, one will be enough.”
“Oh we serve two pizzas for this price.”
“.. .. Wh.. Oh. Well. In that case..”

So I got a lovely little snack for the next day’s journey.


Day 3

Hours awake: 13
Mileage: 450km
Location: Pärnu, Estonia
Notes:

-Latvians don’t drive as rough as the Lithuanians.
-Entering Estonia was the second time this trip that my jaw dropped in awe, simply because of the scenery. Pärnu laht, or Pärnu bay seen through some trees off the E67-highway with a setting sun is absolutely picturesque. This sort of scenery is somewhat characteristic to northern countries, and definitely gave me that warm feeling of getting closer to my own kind.

That warm feeling of nostalgia would turn into a rude reminder of reality the following day..






Pärnu always strikes up a lot of memories. And not least because Ultra Bra’s Pärnu is such a classic. Maybe I could buy an apartment here?


Day 4

Hours awake: 15
Mileage: 140km
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Notes:

A lovely medieval themed tourist trap.

Wheel chair recharging on the sixth floor. Not accessible by elevator.

-Estonians enforce their speed limits.
-Driving 30kmh over the limit is quite alright from a safety-point of view.
-Driving 30kmh over the limit, slamming the brakes on speeding cameras is slightly questionable from a safety-point of view.
-Driving 30kmh over the limit, overtaking cars in a wild manner, generally being an asshole and hitting a speed trap straight up is just stupid from any point of view.

But hey, at least the car looks wicked cool with its new window tint!

Day 5


Hours awake: 24
Mileage: ~40km driving, 200km as a passenger
Location: Tampere, Finland
Notes:

-3 hours in Helsinki and I’m fucking through with this city. The atmosphere just sucks. Got verbally pissed on by an overzealous customs dinosaur, who wasn’t happy that I hadn’t understood Finnish import laws to the dot. Although, to be fair, he lightened up a bit when I stayed calm and proved myself to be an honest customer. Also, another employee in another municipal institute caused me 2 hours of extra running around because she couldn’t believe I actually WAS doing things according to the instructions I had been given.
-After surprisingly few hickups, I got the car registered to Finland. After seeing all these awesome countries, I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would register a car into that god forsaken tax hellhole. But it’s not my problem.

Car washed after 2000km of hard driving. Damn it looks cool.

-The captain took the wheel after I opened a long drink. Probably best that way. I’m not too good at driving in Finland without gathering a bunch of tickets.

Met a cute girl at a party. Didn’t pull the trigger. Slightly annoyed.


Finally at its destination!



Got hassled by some junior student official. Unbelievable. I’ve been attending these parties longer than he’s been in the school.


Day 6


Hours awake: 12
Mileage: 2060km as a passenger
Location: Padova, Italy
Notes:

-Threw up in the bus from Tampere. Whose idea was it to get absolutely varshnigyered without eating anything on the night before a huge trip?
-Met a lovely, stunningly hot, brunette at Marco Polo airport. I’m starting to think Venice might not be a bad location to get to know women. She was Italian, but lives elsewhere. Such a bummer. =) But at least I had the balls to do it!
-My workaway family seems warm and friendly. This’ll be a new sort of challenge for sure..

And there ends the saga with the Audi. Mission accomplished, so to speak! 1912km of adventure. Although, perhaps next time we’ll just drive through Germany and hit the ferry in Travemünde..

-Jay
Padova