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Arrival Hochdorf

Fri Sep 8 17:51 - 48.6992 N 9.4646 E


One month, six countries, 7000 Kilometres, thirty nights, 25 border crossings, so many faces and so much rain: this was a journey into the unknown.
So much more could be said, and to be honest, I feel like going on. There is no comparison to the sight of wild geese flying in a triangle over your head, the sun going down over a lake, the uncounted encounters with local people wishing you well, lines of trees at the side of the road and a warm welcome in any randomly chosen pub.
The traveller is the stranger himself, so him and the unknown make a perfect match.

The initial trigger to travel along the Nysa and Odra was the fact that the former eastern block countries joined the European Union, making the psychological construct of the Iron Curtain obsolete.
But the borders are still there, in our heads, in our hearts, at the end of the day there is always an 'over there'. Over there they do things differently, and they might hate you or let you be. The language is different, a striking experience wherever you travel, in particular in Europe. Traveling alone you appear to be vulnerable, but generally speaking nobody took advantage of this fact. No one stole anything off the bike, not even when I lost all my documents in Poland in a drunken stupor, and although everything can be expected to happen, preoccupations seem to have a tight grip on our opinions.

This project was designed to nevertheless meet and target certain concepts, such as environments and borders with their notions of home, myth and memory. A reoccurring theme in my work and research has been and is the "border". By this I don't simply mean borders which separate national territory, but also borders of belief systems, historic borders, invisible borders that appear everywhere when you're least prepared to deal with them (like in: it feels weird to be here...), borders which remind you of your heritage, home and what you're familiar with. Outside your home you're a stranger. In short: Illusion is a matter of position.
On a finishhing note please bear in mind that these short excursions were mostly written late at night after a long day's driving, often with the rain drumming on the roof of the tent or in a pub with loud customers and a laptop battery with limited time remaining. My mobile bluetooth connection meant I couldn't dwell over corrections, everything had to be done as quickly as possible. To give this fact credit these texts won't be edited to publishing quality but will remain as is. As Nicholas said: I certainly traveled one weird part of the world, and I can only say, it's true. So here's to all the people who gave me a helping hand, who challenged me, who shared a minute or two, gave me food, drinks, bed, tools, directions.
This is for you. Thank you.


Ein Monat auf den Straßen von sechs Ländern, 7000 Kilometer und dreißig Nächte später, 25 mal über die Grenzen, nach so vielen Gesichtern und Gesprächen kann ich immer noch nicht bestimmt sagen, was ich auf dieser Reise eigentlich gesucht habe, auch nicht, was ich denn jetzt genau gefunden habe. Eine Reise ins Unbekannte, ohne jeglichen Rahmen heißt ein Stück Kontrolle abzugeben, eine Übung, die unseren professionellen Werten zuwiderstrebt. Kontrollverlust wird leicht als Schwäche ausgelegt, andererseits wird in einer Situation, die nicht durchgeplant ist, so einiges Unerwartetes dem Reisenden auflauern. Die vorliegenden Texte sollen diesem Umstand Zeugnis sein. Denn der Reisende ist selbst der Unbekannte, und eben deshalb ergänzen sich die beiden bestens.
Ursprünglich lagen dem Projekt einige Überlegungen zugrunde, zum Einen der Fall des Eisernen Vorhangs mit fünf neuen Ländern als Mitglieder in der Eurozone, zum Anderen beschäftige ich mich schon seit etlicher Zeit mit der Grenze als Manifestation menschlichen Tuns und Denkens, mit ihrer kulturellen Bedeutung um Worte wie Heimat, Geschichte und Erinnerung.
Das heißt, die Grenze ist nicht beschränkt auf eine Trennlinie zwischen Nationen, sondern beschreibt auch einen virtuellen Punkt zwischen Glaubensansichten und erinnert an geschichtliche Begebenheiten, sozusagen unsichtbare Grenzen, die schwer determinierbar sind. Doch erinnern solche Grenzen an die eigene Herkunft, die eigene Heimat und was als bekannt erscheint oder auch nicht. Die Fremde macht den Reisenden zum Fremden. Erlebbar als Erfahrung, erzählbar als Geschichte, Wahrheit oder Fälschung: Die Illusion erklärt sich durch den Reisenden und seinem Umfeld.

Zum Abschluss möchte ich darauf hinweisen, dass die vorliegenden Texte meistens spätnachts im Zelt oder in irgendeiner lauten Gaststätte geschrieben wurden, das heißt, der Stil ist ein hastiger; beschränkte Batteriekapazität des Laptops, eine langsame und teure Handy-Verbindung zum Server bedeuten, dass die Texte niemals Druckqualität erreichen können. Dafür entsprechen sie den Qualitäten und Beschränkungen des Mediums dem sie gerecht werden müssen.
Deshalb wird es keine weitergehenden Editierungen geben. Nicholas hat es ja schon kommentiert: Diese Reise führte mich durch etliche seltsam anmutende Landsstriche, doch gilt mein Dank und Respekt den vielen Menschen die mir die Hand gaben, mir Hilfe leisteten, ein Gespräch fügrten, mich fütterteten, ein Bett oder ein Plätzchen fürs Zelt bereitstellten, die Richtung wiesen oder mit anpackten, um das Motorrad wieder flott zu kriegen.
odra.dysfunction .de ist für euch. Danke.


Closer (8)
Thu Aug 10 21:36:30 2006

contact (1)
Fri Aug 11 19:31:26 2006

Bikers and other people (7)
Sat Aug 12 23:17:54 2006

Kleine Bademeusel (4)
Sun Aug 13 20:30:57 2006

muellrose (6)
Mon Aug 14 17:46:32 2006

Biosphere (3)
Thu Aug 17 16:31:00 2006

schwedt (2)
Fri Aug 18 14:56:31 2006

puszcza wkrzanska (0)
Sat Aug 19 13:06:30 2006

Greifswalder Bodden (3)
Mon Aug 21 20:51:19 2006

Northnortheast (0)
Wed Aug 23 11:20:26 2006

lands end (2)
Thu Aug 24 12:28:23 2006

mueritz scnr (0)
Fri Aug 25 18:30:22 2006

odertal (3)
Sun Aug 27 15:35:58 2006

Reitweil Seelow (5)
Mon Aug 28 20:02:06 2006

chelm odra (2)
Thu Aug 31 19:06:02 2006

januszkowice (3)
Sat Sep 2 17:15:58 2006

leg (2)
Sun Sep 3 9:16:00 2006

horni lomna wodka cola (2)
Sun Sep 3 19:45:59 2006

pramen (0)
Fri Sep 8 17:49:19 2006

Moravice (0)
Fri Sep 8 6:26:35 2006

Arrival Hochdorf (10)
Fri Sep 8 17:51:29 2006

(#) comments



10 comments so far (post your own)

Posted by Wee Beastie on 2006-09-09 05:33:29 | #52

Hey, max it's raining all over the world; each drop of water has no definite edge so we're all connected though in different continents :)
I missed you by a few days in England and now am back in Korea. Sorry to come to this world of yours so late but love & luck anyway.

Posted by liam on 2006-09-09 11:30:35 | #53

Max, well done me ole china, Ive enjoyed all your writings and I loved this whole project, you must be proud of yourself. See you back at the ranch, Liam

Posted by Heiks on 2006-09-10 16:52:23 | #54

Willkommen zu Hause!

Posted by isah on 2006-09-10 19:24:25 | #55

Hi Mäx, schön das du wieder da bist! Ich ruf dich gleich mal an *freu*

Posted by Diana on 2006-09-10 20:12:41 | #56

Hi Max, freut mich, dass du deine Reise wohlbehalten beenden konntest. Habe erst Teile deines Berichtes gelesen, gefällt mir, macht Spaß zu lesen. Danke für das Gespräch mit dir am Strand von Schapprode, Diana

Posted by the greenwood monster on 2006-09-12 12:47:24 | #57

hi max,
things looking good and your hair is getting longer. the project is looking great and i love the pics. hope the bike is holding out - give her my love and see you soon. watch those geese don't shit on yer!!
they're lying and lazy, they could be driving you crazy...
swear to god they got the most, with every buisness on the border.
i can't believe you lost your documents - oh well, the evil alcohol strikes again!!!(i hope this is deemed inoffensive - how long you been mr censorship?)

Posted by liam on 2006-09-30 17:24:45 | #59

Wikid blinging massive

Posted by altf4 on 2006-09-30 18:57:53 | #60

thank you all!

it has been a great time and it has been a pleasure to meet you all and share some time together.

liam: special thanks to you for the live text here at dca. you're one of a kind.

max ~:)

Posted by altf4 on 2006-09-30 19:13:58 | #61

last words

Said the straight man to the late man
Where have you been
I've been here and I've been there
And I've been in between.
I talk to the wind
My words are all carried away
I talk to the wind
The wind does not hear
The wind cannot hear.
I'm on the outside looking inside
What do I see
Much confusion, disillusion
All around me.
You don't possess me
Don't impress me
Just upset my mind
Can't instruct me or conduct me
Just use up my time
I talk to the wind
My words are all carried away
I talk to the wind
The wind does not hear
The wind cannot hear.

king crimson (with much respect!)


Posted by meurglys III on 2006-09-30 20:03:39 | #62

Now we sit here in our special place,
all wearing our happy faces gladly.
Sunlight appears in our world; our joy
has been turned from badness.
Now we've moved and left alone
and it's easier that way.
We are riding on rainbows
and happy today.
Now we move to the sun in every direction;
we are cloaked in veils of mystic protection...
joking a lot, smoking or not,
floating our yacht off to freedom,
voting to be Aquarian!

I hold silver flashing metal in the palm
of my petal hand, watching it quiver:
to breathe too close is death -
ah, but what is breath but a way to deliverance?
Soon we will all be joined
in a great silver tube,
wanting every one to come along,
that means you too!
Now we move to the sun in every direction;
we are cloaked in veils of mystic protection...
mapping the way, clapping to say
we're happy today, and assured of
the fact that we're all Aquarian!

Hardly any money... who needs bread anyway?
Well, I mean to say, it's just the read to freedom!
Everything's too funny; we just ride along so high,
watch the bad scenes floating by, who needs them?
Soon we will all be joined
in a great silver tube,
wanting every one to come along,
that means you too!
Now we move to the sun in every direction;
we are cloaked in veils of mystic protection...
Lighting the path, righting the past,
fighting the dark like centurions,
writing our names as Aquarians!
As Aquarians, but as Aquarians!

Writing our names as we move to the sun,
we're Aquarian!