Dream of: 22 May 1995 "Backpacking"

I was in the middle of my last term of law school when I stopped going to classes. I had started the term with three classes, one of which was biology. However I had gone to practically no biology classes, and it was now too late to catch up. I had only gone sporadically to the other two classes, and I now also saw little hope for them either. I felt bad about not finishing the term, especially since it was the last one. However, at the same time, I realized that I was already a lawyer, and that it wasn't absolutely necessary to go on.

But I was now uncertain how I was going to live. I had borrowed money to go to law school, and if I weren't in law school, my funds would dry up. And now it would be even harder to borrow again, because the lender, who would probably check my record and see that I had dropped out, would be reluctant to lend me more money.

I recalled I had borrowed money in London for this last term. In London, I had walked into a small, unimpressive office and sat down with a man who had looked over my application. As I now wondered whether I could return to that office, I actually found myself sitting in the office talking with the man. He was very friendly and quickly concluded the preparation of a new loan for me. Apparently borrowing money in London was easier than I had thought.

Once we were finished, we both stood and walked out into a small, dim hallway. As I walked along, I thought I wanted to do more in London than simply borrow some money: I wanted to work here. Actually I would prefer to work in one of the countries on the European continent, but I thought Britain was a good place to start, mainly because of the language. Although I spoke other languages, I couldn't master any well enough to feel comfortable working with them. For now, Britain would be perfect.

***

I was sitting in a field on the outskirts of a city. I had a back pack and knew I was somewhere in Europe, probably Germany. I had taken some papers out of the backpack and was looking over them; they were loan papers for several different loans which I had obtained. I was becoming somewhat concerned about the loan I had obtained in London to return to school, because I hadn't gone back to school. The London loan and several other loans had become confused together, and I was trying to sort through them. I wished I had a large separate envelope into which I could put the different papers for each loan.

Another group of 15-20 backpackers had stopped near me. They mostly seemed in their early 20s and all seemed to be traveling together. I could probably join up with them if I wanted and travel for a while with them. But I hesitated to do that, thinking I would probably be better off to continue on alone. One fellow walked over near me and began examining a large metal box which looked to me as if it might have been set there by the electric or telephone company. As he took off a panel in the back of the box, I briefly engaged him in conversation, and learned he was checking the box to see if someone might have put a listening device inside it to monitor the activities of him and the other people with whom he was traveling. He seemed a bit paranoid, and I wondered if he thought I was spying on them. I concluded I had made the right choice by deciding not to join up with them.

However, I knew I needed to do something soon, because it was starting to get dark, and I was unsure where I would spend the night. As I packed my papers into the back pack, I pulled out a cloth belt which had a design of small flags from many different countries woven into it. I thought I might put on the belt later.

But right now I was in a hurry. I needed to find a place to spend the night for me and Carolina, whom I now realized was also with me. I thought about looking for a youth hostel, but I didn't have a pass for hostels, and I was too old anyway. I thought about taking a train out of town and getting a sleeping car. But then I realized I didn't have a Eurrail pass, either.

Finally Carolina and I stood up, adjusted our back packs on our backs, and began walking. We had only gone a short ways when we saw a nice, large motel ahead of us. We quickly made our way to it and walked into the lobby, where I saw a pretty woman standing behind the counter. I walked up to her and asked, "Wieviel wurde ein Zimmer fur zwei Personen sein?"

She smiled and in German informed me that she was sorry, but that the motel was full. I groaned, and continuing to speak in German, asked her if she knew where we could find another hotel. She said she did, but it was a bit far away. I told her we were walking, and she began giving me directions. When she finished, I asked, "Konnten Sie das Hotel fur uns anrufen?"

I wanted to know whether the other hotel had any rooms before we went all the way there. The lady graciously picked up the telephone, quickly called the other hotel and after hanging up, informed me rooms were available. As we turned to leave, I wondered whether we could find a taxi to take us there.

***

Carolina and I were on the back of a truck, being hauled to the other hotel. We quickly reached the hotel and climbed off the truck. Before us stood a long stucco building which had been painted beige. It didn't really look like a hotel, and Carolina commented that it must also have apartments where people lived full time. I didn't really care; it was getting late and I was only concerned with getting a room for the night.

We walked up some steps and entered a lobby. I mentioned to Carolina that I didn't want to stay in this town long, that I wanted to get to Berlin as soon as possible, where I intended to stay about a week.

Not seeing anyone in the lobby, I looked into a side room where I saw a woman (about 50 years old). She came around to the lobby and sat down behind a glass window with a round hole in it. She was portly, dressed in dark colors and wearing bright red lipstick. Again speaking in German I asked her how much a room for two people would be. She told me it would be fifteen hundred. I thought that was around $25. I asked her whether she meant fifteen hundred apiece or fifteen hundred for both of us. She said it would be fifteen hundred for both. That pleased me because I recalled the other place had been thirty nine hundred.

I asked her if we could first see the room. She shrugged her shoulders as if to say we could, but she seemed impatient we would first want to see it. She began looking for the key to give to us.

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