When the sun shone brightest

over the Balkan Mountains
over the Balkan Mountains

“Traveling is real. Opening the door to all fears is real, even if what comes before and what comes after, the motives and the consequences, are not. To tell the truth I can’t figure out how it is that people can make the decision to travel. Maybe it would be helpful to to study the work of those Japanese poets who trekked from landscape to landscape finding subjects for their somewhat incoherent compositions. Maybe the explanation lies there. “The next morning the sky was very clear, and just when the sun shone brightest, we rowed out into the bay.” (Basho)
-Cesar Aira, the Seamstress and the Wind

Arrival. The slight nausea of jet lag passes as the sun goes down. the odors of linden trees and cheap cigarettes intermingle in the evening air. My room is visually quite sweet, bijoux. yet it is either that I misunderstand the word bijoux or there is a hint of irony. I find the absence of mattresses engenders irony, irony and a sore back.
Dinner with Svetlana. Shopska salad and too many meatballs. After dinner we walk to see the town lit up incandescently: the university, the galleries, the theaters, the monuments. at the Monument to the Russian soldier there are half pipes, skateboarders and kids drinking beer and smoking, bumming cigarettes, huddling in groups.
In a nighttime action some terrific graffiti happened, and by stealth by night as well the opposition removed the graffiti

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