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Johannes Holmberg

UI developer & designer

Writing these words I’m sitting in front of a café in the harbor of central Sydney. I’ve just had a refreshing mango smoothie and am about to finish up some work for the day.

On the other side of the bay, on the stairs of the opera house; sprinkled in a few fragmented rays of the sinking sun; a last convulsive wave of photo-taking tourists is flushing up the steps, in attempt for one final picture in front of the massive landmark before it’s too late. In a matter of minutes it will all be over.

Later, when the evening starts to fall, I will take a walk, trail along the rim of the city river, cross through the botanic gardens, pass the harbor of Woolloomoolloo and walk up the Butler stairs to get to Kings Cross where I am staying. I may do that. But then again, I may take a completely different path.

Today, it’s nearly four months since I left home to go about an undefined journey.

It’s been the coolest experience of my life.

After a period of some really heavy-intense traveling I decided to settle in Sydney for a while. Jumping around at five different hostels within two weeks was a choking experience and I needed some breathing room. I spent a week in Melbourne but never liked it all that much. Cold, windy and way too crowded. After a few annoying incidents I decided this wasn’t my place to be and I took a bus north toward Sydney in hope of catching some sun.

But, as it was about to prove, unlucky incidents weren’t through with me just yet. In the very early morning, after 12 hours of driving, we’re pulling in to a station to let some people off. It’s still dark outside and I doze off next to the window. A few moments later, I wake up, hear people screaming and outside seeing how the bus driver is violently assaulted by two people, knocking him unconscious and then runs off in the dark. The ambulance is called and they roll him away in their car.

Still dizzy after a night of irregular sleep I can’t even believe what just happened but here we are, out in the suburbs, in the late hours of the night, and no driver to drive the bus.

Some people abandon it while others try to call someone for help, two hours later and after the police has done their investigation, the company sends a new driver, and we’re on our way.

After some turbulent time, it has been good and refreshing to get some stable ground under my feet and not having to switch living place every other day.

While being here I also decided to apply for a visa to get to India. After a whole afternoon at the consulate, trying to acquire the correct forms, gather all the information needed, getting a photo taken and filling out all the forms; I was finally ready to hand in my application. As the clerk took all my paperwork she made a final statement that the process would take around 10 working days to get completed, and since my passport followed along in that process, it was with a huge gulp that I reluctantly handed it in.

Being without identity in a foreign city, far away from everything and everyone you know, is a feeling that can almost knock you off your socks. It leaves you with a hole in your stomach. Helplessly unable to do anything except obediently wait and just hoping for it to come back is a feeling new to me. But so, finally, yesterday it returned safely to the consulate clipped together with a granted visa. That means on Monday I’ll be heading to Bangalore to meet up with some old friends.

And so, the journey continues.