Arrived in Budapest and found my way to a park in the centre. After being in Ukraine it was so strange to see people sitting in the grass drinking, laughing and enjoying life. I made a few friends and found out about a big bush doof (outdoor psytrance festival) called Ozora not far from Budapest starting in a few days. Heaps keen! From there I went to a town called Subotica, just on the Serbian side of the border for a wedding. It was traditional Hungarian wedding with lots of eating drinking and dancing. After being on the road for 6 weeks living like a cheap bastard it was great to have more food and drink than I could poke a stick at.
After the wedding I caught a lift back over the border into Hungary and started hitching to Ozora. I think hitchhiking has a few life lessons to teach. Particularly in patience and learning to be more comfortable by yourself with your thoughts. I'm learning to be more at peace with the world around me and to not struggle against the flow of things. For example, I used to get up at the crack of dawn, rush in packing up my camp and even skip breakfast to be at the highway even 30 minutes earlier, thinking that the earlier I get there then the better chance I have of getting a lift. Now I wake up whenever I feel like it, take it easy, get to the road whenever I get there and not worry or stress. I believe that allowing peaceful and relaxed energy to flow through my life rather than stress, worry etc helps things to work out better, through some sort of alignment with the universe and positive intention. Whether or not our thoughts and intentions really affect the physical world I don't know, but life sure is more enjoyable for me when I believe so.
*I should note that when I say I just chill out, relax and be at peace with things, this is not always easy. Sometimes it takes all my mental effort to remain calm and peaceful in some of the situations I find myself in. Sometimes I even dip out, yelling and swearing at myself or the things around me (usually trees or passing cars). I'm not just on some rainbow and sunshine vacation to candy mountain. The way I am choosing to travel can be rough at times and a lot of hard work. I know it's easy to relax when everything is flowing smoothly, but I'm trying to learn to be at peace with all things, and all situations.
On the second day of hitching I was almost there; by early afternoon I was only 1 hour's drive from Ozora. By this stage it was very hot, I was pretty tired and there was no shade at the bus stop where I was hitching from. I was starting to feel pretty exhausted and needed to rest, but also really wanted to push through it and catch the final lift. Because of the way I'm choosing to live, I decided not to ignore my body and to lay down in the shade, believing I would get the lift regardless of whether I'm standing up or laying down. I carried my bag up the road to a shady tree, leaned my OZORA sign against my bag so it could be seen from the road and laid down for a kip. I don't know how long I was out for but I woke up to some Hungarian guy standing beside me, saying, "Hello? HELLO?". I look up at him and he's like, "Ozora, you go?". I jumped up and loaded my gear into the car. He was going to the festival too and gave me a lift all the way in. Hitching in my sleep? Not bad.
When we arrived at the gate, I explained that I would walk through the gate and meet him on the other side (he already had a wrist band) to grab my bag. He was cool with this and let me out... I chucked on a high-vis work vest that was given to me by a worried parent I met in Poland to wear while hitchhiking, and walked towards the gate. I just pretended that I was working there and walked straight through without anyone stopping me or even looking twice. Once through, I met up with the driver to grab my bag and I was away.
As I travel I've been working out the best items to travel with. I think the weight-to-usefullness ratio is what should be considered. For any would-be backpacker, I recommend a high-vis vest as an essential item for any travelling kit. It weighs next to nothing and is a golden (or fluro yellow) ticket to nearly any large festival or cool place where you probably should be.
As I didn't pay for a ticket, I looked for some other way to contribute to the festival. I volunteer myself by picking up rubbish, assisting people to set up their camps, being super friendly and doing what I can to help everyone have an awesome time. I try to be some sort of element that spreads happiness, peace and joy throughout the festival. I think it is a good way for me to be a positive addition to the party without using pocket dollars.
I met my first typical Aussie Euro-trippers at Ozora. I have to say, it was a bit painful. We were all from Australia but it was like I was from a totally different world. It was interesting to hear about their travels and their perspectives on things. It made me think that maybe I'm not so crazy after all. One bloke was complaining about how heavy and annoying his wheely suitcase bag was to travel with and I had to have a little laugh to myself. Good on ya boys, you'll get there.
The festival was pretty cool. It was a big one (40-60 thousand people) which took away from the community feeling that I love about doofs. Because it was so big and so many different energies it didn't really have that feeling of everyone coming together as one to celebrate life that you can get at smaller doofs. Still it was a lot of fun and was good to get out in the bush with some doof-doof.
Hitching out of Ozora was a mission. I was at the front gate for over 24 hours —along with hundreds of other carless bastards trying to get out. I was trying to get a lift directly to Lost Theory, another doof in Croatia which was due to start in a few days. Things started to get so hectic at the gate I dipped out. I had no food, water or cash left and just needed to get anywhere with an atm and a shop. Eventually I caught the first lift i could to the closest town where I was able to have a feed and clear my thoughts enough to plan the next leg of the journey... Lost Theory.
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I haven't had the opportunity to upload more photos yet... too much doofing.
Maybe next week... maybe not... who knows? Not me.