Like many individuals of my internet deluded generation, hypnotized by the power of free will and alternative ways of living, I too decided to try one of the many possibilities of the modern world.
My simple wish was to visit France, but because I come from working class family and besides that from one of the republics of former Yugoslavia where having a job is reserved and violently guarded only for special kind of people, obviously there was no way of ever fulfilling it.
So, my wish of visiting a France stayed only a dream. I would fantasize of Paris and its narrow rainy streets, about Cote de Azur and its azure blue sea, embraced by almighty orange rocks on which lively green trees are caught in the dance with the fresh salty wind, about charming violet fields of Provence, … I would lose myself into those magical landscapes of my mind, light a candle with the scent of Lavande, and wander around the romantic French villages, which I imagined all had a scent of the perfume Lolita Lempicka, oranges, and lemons. I continued living my ordinary wife and mother life, in small provincial town where nobody cares about you when you are there, but immediately notices when you are gone.
It is kind of town where people live and breathe together, and if you want to live and breathe on your own, then you are considered as a traitor of the pack. It is a place where participation of their Friday and Saturday drinking evening accompanied with some new age undefined sounds is of high importance, otherwise, you wouldn’t have in the week that follows nothing to talk about with them and eventually you’d get excluded. Admiration of those taking advantage of you, like bosses, managers, leaders, is a key to a happiness. It is a home of people that don’t worry about their salaries being lower and lower from month to a month, in the matter of fact, those citizens, in their feverish wish to be recognized by their rulers, voluntarily reject to be paid. A person, following laws of the mathematics or physics (that is, expecting to be paid a certain amount of money for hours they’ve worked, and shares feelings only within the narrow circle of their family) will be christened as a cold-blooded, arrogant and egoistic machine. And forever ignored.
But otherwise, life is quite calm and happy from where I come from: Uncles and aunts in warm family spirit employ their nephews as close as possible to the money. Those without uncles or aunts feel honored to serve them. Then, barons fulfilling their imagination-free son’s and daughter’s dreams of bohemian life by providing and inventing them jobs in cities scarce cultural organizations. They prosper so beautifully in that narrow valley that recently a lack of land for their new homes was noticed. But not for a long, for their humble servants when acquainted with this terrible situation their idols faced, in order to help them to solve this unpleasant situation, rushed to hand them all the best public spaces, including city park.
In the place like that, for one like me, nothing was left to do than to read, watch movies and to dream.
I dreamt about the world I met in the books and the movies, about places and people far away from there. I’d imagine my life somewhere in Italy, living in some old Italian village where I’d be a guitar professor, and I’d owned a little cafeteria fool of books and paintings of yet unknown artists. I’d be a walking smile in colorful flutter dress, a scented trail would spread in every street I’d pass, all of my fears would be carried away with smiles and kindness of my friends … I was dreaming that I was happy.
My days were passing by, and everything I loved and liked was happening solely in my head. Handicapped by fear the only travels I have ever made were those on my balcony where I was diving into the magical world of my imagination.
But everything changed the day I got the computer and the internet. First I was stubbornly fighting against it, spending my days still on the balcony, with my own image of the world, my own pictures, my own stories … but … the internet is a dangerous place for hanging out. Little by little I would spend more and more time behind this magical modern place- and time-travel machine, discovering not only the world but also enormous range of possibilities.
My first mania was to get all the books I couldn’t get otherwise. Oh, days of glory, how happy I was when I received my first package. I started to order more, and more, and more, and more…still today I haven’t read everything I ordered during that shopping fever. Then, movies. In the town, I was living there was no cinema, and the libraries stock of movies was very poor … it is no wonder, that the internet has soon become my favorite place for spending free time (which as an unemployed I had a lot).
Days of spending time on balcony dreaming and making up the stories were over. I finally had a feeling that I am a part of the world, part of some society, that I am not alone, nor weird, that there are actually people around the globe with the same hobbies and interests.
Encouraged by the sudden tremendous worlds my wish to escape the world I knew was becoming, with every day, stronger and stronger. I spent my time finding ways how to escape, and I tried every one of them. But this is not the story of every one of them.
This is the story of just one of them. This is the story about Helpx, France, and one deaf dog.