Rain and Traffic Jams – Day 55 – 10.08.2017

Driven km: 375

This was our camp in sunrise around 5 AM, when BoB had to crawl out of the tent for 5 minutes due to natures call.

We left the campsite around 12 PM after cooking and eating some breakfast and packing our stuff:

The air was getting more and more heavy and thick clouds were covering the sky wherever we looked. 5 minutes after we left it started to rain. We had to stop and put everything from our pockets away. After the last drive in the rain we learned it in the bad way that the outer pockets are not waterproof. So we packed our things including the GoPro, which is also not waterproof anymore since we lost the side cover in the desert in Kazakhstan. This means we could not take any pictures as we drove through the rainy Lithuanian landscape. It was still beautiful but we were not that happy to drive in the rain. Especially that BoB's pants were somehow letting water sip through in the crotch area. This should not happen with a Gore Tex Pro Klim Badlands pants, which cost around €800 and were bought by us for its sturdy and waterproof design.

We drove silent while listening to music through the forests and next to some fields. As we were already not that far away it took us only about 1 hour to get to the Polish border and drive through it without stopping or being checked. In fact if there would have not been a board announcing the speed limits then maybe we would have missed it completely. We drove another 30 minutes before stopping shortly: Zsuzsi was freezing so she had to dress up under the jacket. We found a small petrol station where we could stop under the roof and get some protection from the rain. By the time Zsuzsi put on the extra layers the rain stopped. We hoped it will stay this way but we could not be sure because there were still thick rain clouds everywhere. Slowly however the clouds started to break up and the Sun started to shine again. We were happy for the change because it is not the best thing to drive in pouring rain, especially if your expensive gear that should keep you dry and comfortable fails to do its job and you sit in wet and cold underpants while wet and cold air wooshes by with a speed of 100-110 km/h. With the sunshine the area around us also changed and the previous forests and lakes disappeared and now wherever we looked everything was flat again covered by agricultural crops in different stages of cultivation.

The air was also filled everywhere with that typical smell of cow slurry and cow dung. It was getting hotter and the humidity was rising quickly. We struggled to breath properly under these conditions and had to do few stops to undress again and adapt the ventilation of the jackets to the changing conditions. The landscape we did not like a lot as it was boring and the same everywhere. The architecture was in Poland more like in a post communist country and nothing really exciting.

One thing was really bad in Poland that we did not have that much in some time: the traffic. There were countless trucks everywhere and a lot of Traktors and harvesters and slow cars, etc. many times when the road was going through a village or a small town there was one road crossing with a traffic light and this caused traffic jams that were 5 km long filled with trucks and cars. Luckily in many cases we managed to pass by the line on the motorbikes by driving in the middle of the road and cars were mostly nice enough to pull to the sides and give us space. But we had to start thinking about the driving morale, rules and behaviors in the countries outside of Europe that we passed through. As we heard in all of them the prerequisites for getting a driving license are not really complex. The rules are also more lose and people are driving a bit like they feel to instead of following each rule strictly. However this also means that they have to pay much more attention to others on the road. They have to connect with the other drivers and try to assume what their intentions are and based on that come to a common understanding of who goes first and how things will work out in a complex situation. By this constant attention to the environment and the connecting with the others the traffic somehow flows nicely and everyone fits in their place. Nobody we saw or heard starts to scream and swear much because the other driver was not obeying the rules and did not grant them priority or cut the line in front of them. Since the rules are flexible a bit people are not complaining that much about it. Also there is less to keep in mind and to pay attention to and if you really have some problem with someone then we saw how cars stop or pull over and the drivers start to scream at each other for 1-2 minutes and then drive off. Excess energy and feelings are let go and vented through screaming and nobody got hurt or anything. It is rare that these situations would end up in actual physical contact between the drivers. And how does this work in Europe? You drive in your car. Your head is full with a lot of traffic rules. You had to memorize and learn hundreds of traffic situations in which you had to immediately come to a conclusion who has priority in a crossing when A and B and C conditions are there. In case you make a mistake you failed an exam and do not get your license. It takes you some time to get used to the traffic and drive around once you get your license. You are afraid of the complex situations in live traffic. There are extremely complex crossings everywhere that are controlled in a perfect manner by traffic lights and traffic signs. Everyone obeys the rules and traffic flows. Until someone makes something stupid. Then all the other drivers get upset in their cars. They start to say words they otherwise might not use. They get angry and upset and talk about the other driver and car really badly for many minutes to come. Nothing has happened actually and nobody got hurt and everything is still fine. But the bad feeling and the anxiety stays within for some time. You don't honk you don't yell out of the car or do not release the tension in any form so you continue your drive with some accumulated stress. Sometimes following the manners and the many rules make us actually weaker and sicker. At least this is how we see it.

Then we stopped to fuel up and to grab some quick late lunch at a petrol station.

According to the navigation soon after this petrol station we should have ended up on a highway (S8) leading to Warsaw. Instead of the highway however there was an endless construction ongoing with very dense traffic. We could drive maximum 30-40 km/h and the construction lasted for 30-40 km. So we lost the hour we gained while crossing the Polish border and getting back to the Central European Time Zone. Then after the construction the road suddenly turned into a highway and the last 30 km we drove on it to Warsaw.

We arrived in the evening and checked in our hotel. After that we went out for a beer and to grab some food. Zsuzsi chose a pub which had a really good review on the Internet both for their craft beers and their food. So we walked to the BrewDog, which was 5 minutes away and along the way we saw a street salsa dance happening. In a bar a band was playing salsa music while people danced freely on the street in front of the bar while others watched and took photos and videos. Here is a video how it looked like: Video

The BrewDog was a surprisingly empty pub for its good rating. They also had their kitchen already closed so we could not eat anything at 9:30 PM besides buying some fancy and small gourmet popcorn. It was supposedly produced with a flavor that matched the dark beer Zsuzsi was drinking. And exclusive and super mix of tastes for about €6.5 for the both. Well BoB thinks this is rather stupid. Just another fancy trend that was invented to rip off some money of the wannabe generation. You get a small bag of popcorn with whiskey and coffee flavor with your craft beer. Both hand crafted to perfection. Yeah, right… The truth is that many of the craft beers we tasted until now are actually mediocre and not really that good. There are of course some which are exceptional and they get it right but just like with wine having a limited series or some fancy name does not mean that it is already good. The introduction of experimentation and competition is very welcome but we don't like the fact that people mystify the craft beer as if it would be better than anything else just because it is craft beer. They had a beer called Punk. They made such a huge thing out of this that they sold t-shirts with a script on it: "I'm a Punk and I'm proud of it." They had fliers and cards with this slogan. They also had a poster that explained that being a punk is to embrace life and be proud of being different and thus you would choose a strong taste and a quality handcrafted beer. Well, this has nothing to do with being a punk at all. This is plain crap and it might fit nowadays to those who are pop-punks or fashion-punks but when we grew up the punks we knew were not like this. They did not care about such empty statements. They were real punks and not just look-a-likes.

Actually the look-a-like but empty things are the ones that fill our western and globalized environment more and more without having much behind anymore. The ideas and ideologies are twisted by marketing and sales to an extent where nobody knows anymore what was the meaning (the actual filling) behind they just become empty things that people follow for a short period of time due to fashion. The question is if this is an evolution or a devolution? Are there still values behind the movements or these are becoming just empty words and fashion looks? We don't know it anymore because we are not the ones who are in the young generation that goes through these stages. We get older and get out of this world a bit but we remember how important these stages were for us. They helped forming our personality, they gave us purpose and took us through some rough times by enriching our experiences. We are sure that the youth has a similar experience but we are not sure anymore how that looks like from the inside. From the outside it looks a bit empty and messy but maybe we need to sit down with some teenagers and have a discussion with them how they see it to better understand it again.

Since the BrewDog did not have any food and after the beer we were starving we walked a bit and found a KFCburgerking. The two fast food restaurants merged into one space. We have never seen something like this before (except on food courts in malls but this was somehow different). So we ate there something quickly before going back to the hotel.

Our route on Google Maps: Map

5 thoughts on “Rain and Traffic Jams – Day 55 – 10.08.2017

  1. A nyugati civilizációt érintő kritikus gondolatokkal teljesen egyetértek, és jó, hogy a tapasztalataitok alapján ezeket leírtátok. Az is biztos, hogy az új generációk mindig az újat érzik a magukénak. De hogy ez tényleg jobb-e, vagy legalább nem rosszabb, mint a régi volt (mint az eredeti punk), csak visszanézve derülhet ki majd talán. Ha akkor lesznek még emberek 😀 😀 :D.

    Az tényleg nagyon durva, hogy nem volt vízhatlan a szerelésetek! 800 euro nagyon sok, még akkor is, ha vízhatlan lett volna, de talán akkor megéri belefektetni. De ez a befektetés csak a “szolgáltatásnak” szól, mert szinte kizárt, hogy ennek az árnak köze legyen az előállítási költségekhez. Még ha a kutatási költségeket beleszámolnánk, akkor is. Szerintem. 🙂


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