I remember my rather shy arrival in Bucharest, when most of the faces were still anonymous.
I remember I wanted to leave Poland. I remember people laughing. I remember people crying.
I remember many things, some of them are exciting, some of them very disappointing. Memories, not only one, or two or best and worst.
I remember that the Bulevardul Lascăr Catargiu in Bucharest looked like New York under the rain. I know it seems strange to say that, but it’s true.
I remember being in a polish group, thinking that I could almost penetrate the secret of their language.
I remember a melody composed by few words: Cmentarzysko historii, Boję się przyszłości (…)
I remember the first conversation with Seydou about Africa and Ivory Coast. While talking, I had to think of a German artist to whom I was introduced by Roman many, many years ago. He went to Ivory Coast and cleaned a swimming pool with the help of a few local teenagers as part of his artwork. I remember so many stories about this swimming pool. But I can’t remember his name and I am ashamed by this inability, so I don’t tell his stories.
I remember the first beer in Bucharest.
I remember the nice enthusiasm we had going late in the night to the train station to pick up by surprise new Po- lish participants, and the disappointment that followed seeing the disdain on their look.
I remember sharing an irrepressible desire of dancing in the enormous empty rooms of a palace built for a megalomaniac dictator.
I remember we decided to keep the pineapple that Agata gave us for good luck during the trip before we left Krakow, until she would join us one month later, to give her back. We transported that pineapple from city to city and one week before she arrived it was rotten.
I remember also how Lujza and Nils invented the train toilet party after the whole night party.
I remember this was the slowest train I ever took.
I remember a long landscape strip, whose projection varies according to the speed of the train.
I remember I was sleeping in a train. Sorry, in many trains.
I remember my walk, lonely at first in the cemetery, then with Guillaume in the botanical garden and stumbling, on a Sunday, on what could be the gay bar of Cluj, « Mustache », adorned with plenty of photographs of beautiful actors wearing a mustache.
Being the only client, I couldn’t verify.
I remember the barking dog at 5 o’clock in the morning.
I remember talking about pandas.
I remember us, all gathered in a Japanese pavilion, speaking about our artistic ideas and desires. Kubo yelled in Slovak and Łukasz in Polish to a Romanian kid playing loudly under the pavilion. Everybody laughed.
I remember the long journey for the hidden party.
I remember the white gloves performance in the train station. I had the feeling that Bea, Lujza and Basia were saying goodbye to a century ago people.
I remember some of us played football with Roma kids. They wanted to take the train with us, but I don’t know if we could have handled that situation.
I remember the night party in the train station of Cluj, just before leaving for Budapest.
I remember not very clearly how we were dancing in the restaurant wagon.
I remember the Hungarian border police ordering Kubo and I to go to sleep. Kubo lied on his back on the floor of the corridor, with his ID card in his raised hands; he just wanted to join Bea in the restaurant wagon. I was seriously pissed by this exaggerated authority zeal.
I remember how I stepped into shit in Budapest, and washed my shoe in the fountain.
I remember the Szalon, and the spas.
I remember repetitive tones of cities, monuments and twenty people choir who followed each day the tracks of past they believed there’s no borders, and idyllic vision can last till end of voyage, till dispersion will be made then everyone will go to his bed and tell companion about stuff they saw about Romanians great smile, Slovaks wall about Hungarians national itch and Polish will of „just to be” and everything in three colours freedom, in celebration of 14th of July train leaves the station, I look at the window on reflections and times, which goes by.
I remember that I lost my phone in Košice.
I remember the face of the cop who proposed us a sightseeing tour in Lunik 9 with his police car. He refused to shake hands with Valérie. Was it because she is a woman? Or because she was asking him embarrassing questions about the Roma community?
I remember a Slovak artist who wrote the word “prepačte” (forgive-us) on the outside side of the wall, which was built to protect the inhabitants of Lunik 8 from the in- habitants of Lunik 9. The inside of the wall looked like made of stones and the outside looked like made of con- crete. Both of them were fake, as the real material was some kind of plaster. What is the intention of a concrete like decoration?
I remember I wanted him to participate to the project.
I remember Alexis riding my bike at 7 in the morning.
I remember my birthday on July 17th, with the issue of Deadline #1, and the bottles of vodka under the table in Tabačka.
I remember that I puked in Tabačka, but I was not the only one.
I think I remember seeing a monkey in Tabačka. I remember being a monkey.
I remember that Seydou missed the train to Plaveč. I don’t know how, but he was there to film our arrival.
I remember where to turn when you travel from Muszyna by car, and that it is very important to order food the day before, because otherwise you might not get the food you wanted and you’ll have to picnic under the tree.
I remember the first person that came to us. Karol. He is missing one hand.
I remember the first person I saw was Mario, walking down the street with his Slipknot sweatshirt.
I remember the first night when I arrived to Plaveč I felt so relieved.
I remember the fascinating lecture by Juliana, the Queen of style, in Kulturny Dom, our headquarters.
I remember a lot of my dreams from Plaveč. I dreamt of an alternative project with the same participants but with more beautiful accommodations, some other games we played, like writing down gossips and throwing them into a bowl.
I remember dreaming of Andrzej Stasiuk agreeing to give me an interview for my book about masculinity and me waking up inside the dream and telling to some friends that I dreamt of Stasiuk agreeing to give me the interview.
I remember waking up at 9h40. The breakfast closes at 10.
I remember giving a pseudo-Thai massage to Marta and László. He is one of the least tense people I ever touched. He said that it is due to him swimming a lot.
I remember that music makes cry sometimes.
I remember there was a lot of music during this trip.
I remember the incredible monochord voices of the singers in Plaveč, Monika and Daniela. We tried to make mu- sic together.
I remember people dancing traditional folk dance for us.
I remember I found myself individualist thinking that the tradition could erase individuality. I remember I felt home, and all the others were foreigners.
I remember not to be able to go out from the village, be- cause I was living there.
I remember the little kid playing with a small Yorkshire terrier and a ball behind the railway station while me and Thomas made a walk around it.
I remember Meca, the kitten that we healed and that was adopted by Mario.
I remember the kettle disappeared, and the fear that it could disappear again.
I remember the first walk to the lake. Roman said he for- got his pants, so we needed to find a place where he could bath naked. Gosia didn’t swim with us. Thomas inflated his shark. I mounted the shark but it was somehow hard to navigate. I collected stones for the hot stone massage that I never did to anybody and I left them later next to the big stone where we were hiding the key.
I remember a pretty girl sleeping on her stomach, slender legs up.
I remember the organizers were the organizers, and all the others were someone else.
I remember Marta and Tomas had difficulties to make some people understand simple things. And I didn’t un- derstand why they didn’t understand.
I remember the picnic we had with Simon under the tree just because we were not served lunch. Marta’s mo- ther said the real name of the Slovak sausage that Simon called “chorizo” while he was speaking to the lady in the “potraviny” supermarket.
I remember that the photos of the food were much fun- nier than the food itself.
I remember Veronika who won an apple pie contest. All men voted for her pie (I wonder why), but they didn’t know that she wasn’t the Veronika they thought she was. Their Veronika never baked a pie.
I remember the debates, the words “patronizing” and “under-estimate”.
I remember “the Polish” were the Polish, and “the French” were the French.
I remember Gitka showing me bruises on her thin legs, made by her boyfriend who is hitting and beating her on a regular basis, and me trying to be a bit more than just a passive listener, somebody from a different world, where women don’t get beaten up but are adored for who they are.
I remember Valérie lost a shoe in a 2 meters deep hole in front of the Hollywood Car Wash.
I remember being closed in the cinema by Guillame, and the so called “fat little boy”, the main suspect for vandalizing the car, who rescued me. He was number 1 on the list of 10 suspects.
I remember when our car got damaged, and that the inhabitants wanted us not to be disappointed with Plaveč, even those who, not guilty, were frightened by the police.
I remember that Plaveč people were so pleased to share with us.
I remember “Dobry” bumping into each person in the streets of Plaveč.
I remember the walk together in the river under a thin rain with the red umbrellas.
I remember that I walked a lot during this summer.
I remember our bursts of laughter with Sylvestre and Guillaume –the flute player in water wings- during the three colors walk organized by Roman on the top of the hill.
I remember the rugby ball.
I remember randomly meetings of cordial people in Romania, a “Dogville“ feeling in Plaveč.
I remember amazing abandoned spaces, party in unusual places, adrenaline, meetings with police, lungs full of air in pure nature, shower of meteorites. Memories full of opposites, changing of feelings: useless, desperate, amazing, mysterious, funny, cheerful, creepy, creative.
I remember to have nothing special to do, but to have absolutely no time to do it.
I remember Seydou going out to the river at 5 am with a lit candle as an homage to the lately deceased Allan Sekula, me thinking it is one of the coolest things to do, but not joining him, as it was already quite cold.
I remember the rock in the middle of the river.
I remember the rock almost in the middle of the river.
I remember that I played the Little Siren on a rock in the middle of the river in Plaveč.
I remember a castle, some wine and the hands of a pianist.
I remember how surprised I was to see somebody put my name on the timeline. “This is the day when I started to be interested in Miss A”. I remember checking if there was anybody else whose name would start with A.
I remember to try to flirt with a girl, but she was sixteen.
I remember tears in Sylvia Jonville’s eyes when she spoke about the Russian tanks invading Prague in 68.
I remember the energy of people trying to share their thinking.
I remember the debates on group’s polity and the quality of them.
I remember to have nothing to say during the meetings, but that the words came out by themselves when it was my turn.
I remember that on this Midsummer Night Dream, I imagined the Polish team as Shakespearian characters: Łukasz as Prospero, Roman as Oberon, Joanna as Ophe- lia, Dominika as Titania, Marek as Puck and Jarek as Ariel.
I remember the dinner when I proposed the “story night” and Cristina who immediately opposed, without really knowing what and why I propose.
I remember one night, a man wearing water wings around his waist, with his trumpet, shouted someone’s name across a vast plain.
I remember the Ghost with horny horns.
I remember hitch-hiking to Mario and Paul’s opening, the fried vegetables we ate in front of Roman’s house, the story of Judit’s grandmother who was speaking about Dostoyevsky’s Prince Myshkin so often, that small Judit believed he was a friend of the family.
I remember that I wanted to forget one stuff that happened in this trip. The best way for me to forget something is to replace the information with something else. I remember 698.986.472 “Gronczak- Autoserwis”. This in- formation by itself it’s something totally useless for me to remember, an advertising on a billboard in Warsaw for auto service.
I remember it to forget the thing I didn’t want to remember. Now the auto service details transformed into a very functional information.
I remember the humour of human condition.
I remember Slovak food.
I remember not taking care of my body.
I remember that arriving in Warsaw, I remembered that I had loved this city at first sight in October.
I remember everything.
I remember the goats.
I remember shopping in Warsaw, the street grid of Plaveč, a song about Satan by Pentagramcek in Košice, splendid baths of Budapest, secretly hidden techno party in the forest of Cluj, and solitary walks in Bucharest.
I remember getting angry when I heard some people claiming that if the Jewish cemeteries are abandoned in Poland, it is because there is no tradition for the Jewish people to maintain graves.
I remember I had occasions to do things. I remember I was sorry but I don’t remember why.
I remember the group effect that makes some people be more stupid than expected.
I remember rows.
I remember things that never happened.
I remember I wanted to do everything to change circumstances.
I remember holding the hand of someone who is hanging from the shoulder of somebody else who is also taking the arms of a person who is hugging another human being…
I remember I didn’t feel lonely during this trip.
I remember being surprised by the number of sexual exchanges in this group.
I remember tenderness.
I remember I met lot of friends.
I remember Judit.
I remember I was a part of the group.