Shawn gave me his digital camera. He didn’t have a battery for it anymore and he didn’t want to buy one, too expensive. Like 40 Euros. Ebay probably not feasible because of ever changing location. He’s a couchsurfer and a traveler for about one and a half years now. When he gave the camera to me I was amazed. I could have seen it as a useless carcass but at no point I did. It always has been a huge gift. Why? Because from the moment he handed it over, him sitting on the couch, me on my bed, I knew I would get the matching battery. And I told him this. “I will get the battery for it, I’m sure.” He was sceptical of course. But recently I have been really lucky and I believe in the mighty Berlin freecycle community. Besides, it would be totally pointless to get a non-functional camera! So logically the battery had to be out there, and not on ebay, because for money I wouldn’t be able to attain it.
Two days later I got the email that I could pick up the battery. Logic never fails, right? By that time I had also gotten a search for magazines to make collages and corks. So I planed a big Berlin route. Drop of the Geo-Magazines at this womans place who makes amazing napkin-collages but now is going for another medium once again. If you want to check out her work, do so here:
It was great to see her colorfull hippie-esk place. Then further to get the battery. But noone home. That’s disappointing. I asked for pen and paper at a kiosk to leave him a note. At first I couldn’t find his door, but then I found this entrance which first I misstook as an entrance to a cellar. Luckiely I checked anyway. There were pictures on the door, like postcards, one depicting the Atomium from Belgium, another one poppy flowers. And a little cartoon saying: “When you have walked through the wind all day and enter a place where someone says ‘you are just in time for a snack’ then this is …” Well, what is it? Home? Luck? A friend? I forgott. But it made it seem like the place behind this door was at least going to try to be just this. I left the note on a pin that stuck to the wood. And left for my third freecycle meeting that night, to hand over some corks for a bee manger or whatever it was the guy wanted to fabricate.
The disappointment about the unsuccessful battery exchange still clung to me. The worse it was that I jut couldn’t manage to find that stupid street the guy said he lived at. Well the street I found but not the darn number. I passed a supermarket and of course I couldn’t help myself but check the bins. I got lucky as you can see in the pictures. There are two cups of sourcreme missing, I forgot to place them in the picture. Being a bit more positive now, after all the detour had let me to a good dive, I went on searching for that cursed place. Didn’t find it. Asked people twice. Noone knew. Decided to give up. There was another guy, walking slowly, I thought shortly of asking him too, decided against it, drove my bike down the curb, the key fell out of my pocket. Stopped to pick it up, looked at the guy who was still around, thought “might as well” and asked him wether he knew where that streetnumber was located. He tried to help but couldn’t. I sighed:
Me:”All I wanted was to bring a gift to someone and now this!”
He smiled. “Sansara” The weel of sorrow going round and round.
Now I had to smile. “Yes. Yes indeed.”
He: “Maybe I can give you a gift!”
I make a face like this: ?.
“I could give you some candles.”
“I have blessed buddhist ones and regular ones.”
“Well if I can choose, I take the blessed ones.”
I give him a banana and a loaf of bread as a thank you. The bread he will feed to his buddha, he wants to have less gluten in his diet.
He says: “I doesn’t appear like it, but I’m actually a monk.”
I think to myself: ‘What a lucky coincidence!’, and want to learn a lesson. Try to listen what he has to say. It appears he has nothing to say or is unable to reveal it. At one point he says he isn’t sure how much he is supposed to tell. He doesn’t know in how far he is authorized. His line of buddhism is more the Tibetian type but not exactly. Maybe one could say esoteric buddhism. I’m dissappointed when he says ‘esoteric’. The only buddhism I dislike. He says, it is more a philosophy of the countryside than that of a city. I had the impression he thinks of leaving the city. He says that the real thing of his lineage is going on in France. He thinks a lot and says little with even less content. Maybe with time? We don’t have time. I still refuse to believe that this coincidence is meaningless. Is it? I want to race to my train, I might still catch it. I wanted to leave the chance of meeting again. Hearing something. I leave him my blog link.
“Ah, no, but it isn’t.”
He says he isn’t really online. I leave him my phone number. He wants to give me his contact. I refuse. Leave it up to him. If he thinks he has something to say, he will. I race to Alexanderplatz. I’m on time. For a moment I think I’m surfing. Right time, right place. Everything flows. Untill I realize that my train isn’t coming. Untill I realize I’m going to be home really late. The only meaningful encounter was probably with the woman and her art. Coincidences. In the end, what it comes down to, is 4 candles for a missed train and the knowledge of a person who is a buddhist monk from Berlin who doesn’t share his philosophy.