Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Its a wonderful life

25.12.2016, Ljubljana

There is an announcement. I hear Ljubljana. I ask the young couple in front of me. They confirm. Many people get up. I pack my stuff. Off the train.

Its freezing and the train station is wrapped in darkness and silence. The station is very concretey and non fancy. Reminds me of Delhi. There is a massive car park outside. Very quiet. A few people are receiving their loved ones. I follow the people. I check the GPS on my phone. The blue dot is going away from my hostel. I turn back.

I see a sign for my hostel. Its a quiet alley. Its foggy all around. Surrounded by concrete, fog and silence, I am slightly scared. I look at my little dot on the map. Left, right and then right. A group of young boys approaches. I quickly put my phone in my pocket. Right. There's the hostel from the website. Thank god!

I am buzzed in. The hostel is quiet too. Holiday time. I ask for an upgrade to a cell. It works out. I ask the receptionist about food. She says there is a Christmas festival in the town.  Everyone is there. Its 15 min from here. The area is quiet and cold. Do I want to go? I put together some courage and my day pack and head to town. After 5 min I see some people. And some more. As I reach the river, I see some more. And then, everyone. EVERYONE!

Christmas decorations in Ljubljana city centre
Giant Christmas tree in the city centre
Its the biggest party, ever! A massive tree, lots of food and drinks. Families, young, old, prams, musicians, lovers, couples, they are all walking by the river. Talking, laughing, hugging, kissing, eating, drinking, singing. The Christmas spirit I saw in Munich has followed me here.

I grab a burger and some mulled wine. I walk around. Its -3C. My fingers freeze. My burger becomes a piece of cold meat, a leathery substance that you can chew on. The wine is warm. There is a concert. Old men are playing in a band. The song is "Its a wonderful life". It is, isn't it? It feels like that in this atmosphere. No one has worries, no problems exist.

Its a big family here at the city centre. A big home, for everyone.