Blogs headlights, Exploring Europe 2016
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Eastern feelings

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We feel as though we’ve escaped time. As if we’re suspended outside reality, outside our culture. For us, there are no depressing Mondays, no lunch breaks with colleagues, no drinks with friends on the terrace, no happy Fridays, no weekend plans, no work-eat-sleep-repeat, no holidays. We’re losing the notion of time and it’s a strange feeling. We feel like we’re on the fringes, avoiding any standard schedule. Without our normal routine, it feels as though time is a wave that sometimes expands or suddenly accelerates. Writing a daily journal entry helps keep track of the calendar. But days of the week and dates don’t really mean much. The weekend no longer exists without the weekdays and vice-versa. It’s up to us to define each day and give it meaning. We’re free to live life to the fullest day by day.

© Bertrand ring

© Bertrand Lanneau


Sometimes, we have what we call “one of those days”. This happens most often because there’s something wrong with the destination for that day’s trip: closed today, doesn’t exist, wrong GPS coordinates, etc. When this happens, we head down the road to the next point. And if we’re having a really terrible day, the van gets a flat tyre or we realise we’re out of cash when trying to pay someone who doesn’t accept credit cards… Fortunately, this doesn’t happen very often. But when it does, we take a deep breath, realise it’s all relative, and decide to look on the bright side. By evening, everything is going better because we know that two “one of those days” never happen in a row.

© Bertrand ring

© Bertrand Lanneau


When we met some Polish people, we realised how similar our culinary routine is to theirs. They eat a savoury breakfast early in the morning since they start work early (around 7 a.m.). Around noon, they eat a light snack (sandwich and fruit). When they get off work (around 4 p.m.), the family has its biggest meal between 4 and 5 p.m. It features a starter, a dish with sauce and sides, salad, and sometimes dessert. Finally, in the evening, they have a light supper, usually with bread, fresh vegetables, meat, and cheese. A little vodka to help with digestion and then off to bed! Completely different from the French routine. But, without knowing it, we have been closer to the Polish routine since we started our trip. We eat breakfast around 9 a.m., then wait until we feel hungry to eat again. Most of the time, our biggest meal of the day is around 5 p.m. And then, before going to sleep around 11 p.m., we have a tisane and some biscuits. This routine works well for us. All we’re missing is a few sips of vodka!

© Bertrand ring

© Bertrand Lanneau


When we arrive in Poland, the roads are filled with more lorries than we can count. We don’t know where they’re coming from or where they’re going, but they’re always there. They’ve invaded the road, rest areas, and roadside restaurants. We practice patience, waiting for the right time to pass so we can (finally) drive faster than 60 km/hour.


We visit the Auschwitz concentration camps. I have no idea what to write. I’m not sure if I even feel like writing. It was Dana Rolin-Bosak who convinced us to go by saying: “It will be difficult, but once you’ve processed it, life will be more beautiful. We have to live for them.”

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