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Rolandante

With donkey till the end of the world and further :)

(English version of an online released essay)

2016. május 25. - Rolandante

/Az eredeti magyar verzió a drot.eu -n jelent meg, KATT IDE érte!/

 

I used to be a financier in Zurich, then inherited three prospering businesses from my father. I got everything, but one night while just making Mrs.Andyvajna Shakira Palvin suck in my jacuzzi for five hundred per hour, suddenly the feeling of emptiness occupied me. I realized that it is not what I need. My life was not complete. So I got out of the water, packed my backpack and a week later I found myself at the Caribbean’s working as a crab fisherman; ever since I travel the world and aim to inspire people with my personal story…

Last time it was raining the whole day, so while being bored, I read traveler blogs at an open wi-fi place and learned that the majority of the stories is built on this frame. Well, not mine.

‘Cause at a certain point, no matter how hard I tried to pack my backpack, since I had no money for a backpack.

Finally, my mother borrowed one for me from her friend so that I could start my pilgrimage. (Aunt Pirike, at my next visit I promise I give it back!)

Let’s start from the beginning.

Following my meticulously lengthened rural university studies I became a penniless, fucked-up literature teacher at a small town’s school near to Cock-Of-The-Death.

(Now I already would be better, but on the one hand, similarly penniless, and on the other hand, I wouldn’t be it anymore.) A real neurotic master of liberal arts being horny to Derrida’s works (and also using a great deal of unnecessary brackets and semicolons); however, the world still refuses to understand him.

At the time, I had a pretty awesome girlfriend for several years, but then she rather ran off with a cruising German pseudo-hippie, and started to travel the world together, living in a Transporter painted like Scooby Doo’s Mystery Wagon. She’s even changed her name, now she’s called something like Love-rescuer Blossomly Yoko Ono and lives with Fritz somewhere in Harmony Land with their own water source, own dog and rainbow factory. Indeed, they have their own travel blog, the base storyline of which follows the recipe outlined above, even if they would probably interpret it differently.

Anyway, I understand very well she ran off.

On this rainy day full of reading, I was just shaking my head even on the travel scripts elevated as a lifestyle, but I remember when I moved to Budapest after my teaching career, and continuing the office social-not-working at home, I was browsing the holiday photos of my rarely seen ex-schoolmates, sometimes I also felt like post something. (Usually I don’t do it, because I believe

status update is a lie even in it’s name: any time I tried, my state never became fresher or more up-to-date, however, that time it would have been in need of that.)

I would have written above my unshaved selfie face captured in my misty room at Pest: “who wants your fancy cocktail and blonde bikini girl on Ibiza, you gigolo asshole?! I’ve just smoked a poor quality joint and will soon toss off to online porn, just a pity that it falters, ‘cause I steal the wi-fi from the neighbor, anyway it doesn’t matter because I have to go down soon to drink a Kőbányai beer bought from coins hardly collected from under the bed – with a pal on the concrete pingpong table to have a conversation about how beautiful our life is…

I would also like a punchier name (like Max Power or Krisztina Bombera), but I am Banka Roland and this is it. It’s good to keep in mind where we came from.

Me, for example, from a traditional loser dynasty where I learned from my divorced parents at an early age that money is something to stress, be uncomfortable, argue about, to freak out while gaining it, and to be indignant and ashamed in the lack of it (i.e. always). When – as a decipher of this radical experience –

I saw the national corruption continuously being cumulated starting from the regime change is already growing not only in its quantity, but with a qualitative shift it has changed into absurd, then I decided not to assist to this game anymore.

Money transforms humanoid into bastard villain however he originally came to Earth to do good things. Boycott politics, boycott money! I won’t quit the loser side by collecting more money, but by simply ignoring it. And my name I don’t change, but turn to my benefit, attributing it to God’s sense of humor. (Last year I had an Italian girlfriend, the only one since Yoko. I was thinking that if we had a daughter I could name her Banka D’Italia after an Italian national bank, but then it turned as bad that finally I stated collective guilt not only regarding banks, but temporarily regarding Italians too…)

Back to the story, I haven’t posted the misty-unshaved selfie, but I went down to the pingpong table to that Kőbányai, and mentioned to my pal that maybe we should go to Spain to visit that Composting St. James, see if he says something smart. He answered:

“El Camino? That’s cool… Anyway, since when are you a bored housewife in her fifties with children already flown out and having read too many Coelho which has made her even dumber?!”

There are a lot of stereotypes about the St. James pilgrimage, this was only one of them. Let’s see whether I can disprove some of them.

The first step: I rather don’t invite this pal to join me. But instead I invited another one who has some movie making experience and he threw in the idea of shooting a video blog or one longer documentary on the way. And if we would find a sponsor to this, then we immediately had the missing financial coverage to our pilgrimage.

Good idea!

We like walking pretty much, only we shouldn’t carry that lot of stuff, especially if we go with cameras and those other shitty gears… And, in that special moment one totally flippant sentence came from his lips, kind of sentence of which hundreds come from his lips day by day, but that one in this case specifically has changed my life:

“We should get a donkey or something.”

THIS IS IT!

Donkeys are terribly cute.

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So I wrote the sponsor-hunting project outline which already included the donkey business, I show some details of it:

„Today’s materialism as well as the deterioration of human &nature relationship share a common root. This is the idea behind the growing number of alternative societies trying to take steps towards self-sufficiency, as antithesis of the technocratic-materialistic spirit of this age.

People disgusted from urban rush returning to sustainable and renewable resources can be considered as Earth’s sporadic immunoreactions, as the system determining the world’s economy increasingly proves to be untenable in a long term.

Social disintegration and the elimination of money as measure of value result in a number of contradictions and encounter many difficulties. Our intended documentary is searching for the unlocking of these contradictions and difficulties at a micro level, meanwhile considering the possibility that perfect solutions may not exist. From our perspective, it is the process what interests us, which is often symbolized by a way. /…/ The fact that the traditional religions’ role has diminished left a spiritual space in the western culture behind, which a reasonable part of youth aims to fill with personal religiosity with eclectic motifs, independent of churches. This usually includes the combination of humanitarian principles with self-fulfilling and self-transcendental ambitions. This kind of personal religiosity – just as in case of organized religions –often considers the Camino as its catalyst, or even its foundation. /…/ From amongst the target topics

materialism is inconsistent with the cash fund deprived lifestyle reducing the consumer needs to a minimum; in contrast to the alienation from nature, semi-nomadic conditions and a donkey as company – and of course as a consequence of these: responsibility.

/…/ We’ll name the donkey from the famous Spanish hoofed-character, Rocinante because we consider our trip as an experimental pilgrimage of a modern Don Quijote and Sancho Panza, driven by extinct values. In addition to the perpetuation of our own experiences and reflections, a big part of the captures would operate with pictures and interviews of interesting characters, thereby processing life histories as well as searching for common points in the phenomenon of the alternative religiosity.”

The guy cancelled the route of course, but the thing is that I am still doing it.

Documentary didn’t become of it, however, we already have some partial results as answers to questions raised! To communicate it outwards I do what currently I can: just started to edit a blog. Indeed, now that my status is already freshly updated from the lot of walking, I even do some “status updates” on its Facebook page. As I mentioned, I also try to turn my name to be a benefit: the title of the blog is Rolandante – from the fusion of the donkey’s and the owner’s name. As a matter of fact, Roland, my Old French mythical hero-namesake is one of Don Quixote’s chivalric role models, and andante means walking, step by step – as if it were written above the music sheet of my journeys. (Not to mention the renaissance Dante ‘cause – though he’s gone through inferno and heaven, just like me – he was a politician, what’s more, was an Italian, too! In love with a descendant of a banker. Blows.)

Stories of self-realizations like mentioned above in the epilogue are not only didn’t inspired me, but in fact, frustrated the hell out of me.

They suggest that in order to change lifestyle, first you have to experience the emptiness of the meaning “successfulness” dictated by the current social order. This I have never experienced. On the other hand, I would be happy to inspire, after all I’m still a teacher (plus meanwhile I also graduated from psychology); my professional identity is intact, I only have problem with the system. From which – good news! – it is possible to quit. Let this short story below be an epilogue to this, which – combining La Fountaine and Vonnegut – was born when I was collecting money for the donkey by fluting folk songs for several days, at the border of Rocinante’s place of origin.

The Ant and the Cricket

Once upon a time, the cricket was partying the whole summer and chilling out in the fields, while the ant was working hard beside him.

Then came the winter and the cricket was starving, because he had nothing harvested to eat, in contrast with the ant who was just completely dead, as the average life expectancy of the ordinary black ant (lasius niger) is 4-6 months.

And so it goes.

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