We’re (almost) all shocked by what happened lately onboard Germanwings plane over French Alps. Shortly after it turned out that this awful accident wasn’t caused by a fault of machine or by human error, but was wittingly scheduled by second pilot, Lufthansa ordered a rule of two pilots in cockpit. Maybe it will help to increase safety level in planes, but I thought what about e.g. buses. Even local city busdriver can kill his passengers falling from bridge, driving into river etc, Alps are not necessary and it’s not possible to place two drivers behind steering wheel. And just today I heard on tv that a young woman wanted to commit suicide turning abruptly sterring wheel of a bus full of people between Warsaw and Lublin in Poland. Fortunately driver managed to pulled away and stop avoiding crash but it was really close. But what if a driver was woman and a suicider strong man? Everyone presumes that young woman was influenced by last news about Germanwings plane. What makes people act that way that they want to take with them to grave as many other people as possible? Do they want to become “celebrities” of some crazy kind? Should we be afraid of using public transport more than so far?
I belong to three internet travellers communities: hospitalityclub (since 2007), couchsurfing and warmshowers (since previous year; this one is for tour bicycle users).
I admit that I joined the first one because I’d read in press about it and was tempted by opportunity of saving some cost of accommodation while travelling. So I joined and tried and it worked! In 2007 my family travelled to Romania and Bulgaria for summer 3-week holidays. Of all 20 nights we didn’t pay for 4 thanks to our great hospitalityclub hosts. But saving money was only a tiny part of what membership was offering and as it later turned out it was the least important part! The best of it was meeting locals who generally shares with you their local style of life: habits, food, ways of spending time, lots of information about interesting places/events in area (sometimes they tell you about things you won’t be able to find about in tourist guides) etc, etc. And what I do appreciate – while I travel abroad I have eventually opportunity to use English, here in Poland my contact with English is generally confined to reading and watching tv/films (and sometimes writing blog, haha). The hosts/guests are usually fantastic, open, amiable people, to that extend that in 2 cases my hosts/guests became later my guests/hosts: in England, Slovenia and Poland.
Being a guest is great but of course there is a second side – offering accomadation for other travelers. And it is also superb. Imagine situation like that one – grey, not much interesting March day in Poland, the rest of snow melted long ago, but still no fresh greenery outside the window… You’re a bit bored and check your emails and … wow, a girl from Canada travelling since August 2014 through Asia and since January 2015 by bicycle (!!!) from Instanbul, Turkey to my hometown Rzeszów, Poland (some 2.000 kilometres through the shortest way from Istanbul) and further in Europe is asking if she can stay at your place for 1 night. You of course agree, she arrives to your town and tells you about adventures you wouldn’t hear or watch in travel programmes on tv. It was a big big pleasure to meet Stephanie and talk with her about her brave ride through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine and Poland on bicycle with heavy panniers. And to listen about wonderful unspoiled nature of Canada … Such visits make your day. I wish Stephanie only dry, warm days during her further bicycle travelling, much less trucks on roads and save pedalling, and you – great adventures while travelling and while meeting travelers at your home.
Yeah, I did it and really third time was eventually lucky ! I’m happy again! But, what was it? Interview! This time the chairman of the company proposed me job and I agreed! Maybe it’s nothing special in rich countries like USA or Australia but for me here, in Poland (and far from Warsaw) it’s big big SOMETHING.
A few reasons I think so are:
- I was looking for this job 14 months, OK, let’s say that during first half of that period I wasn’t looking very intensely, because after 20 years of hard work I DID wanted to rest a bit, so I travelled, I was polishing my English, I did what I always wanted but never had time to etc etc. But even then I was looking for, and later I was looking really diligently sending every day a few CVs. For almost no response. People say one can’t find job in Poland when one doesn’t have acquaintances. I don’t belong to people who know lots of other people, so I had to find a job on my own. It looked gloomy. And I didn’t want to become millionth Pole looking for a job in UK.
- It wasn’t that bad. I had few answers and invitations for interviews. Two. The first interview was very nice, a recruitment specialists was deeply interested in my … hobby – bicycle riding, we did shared this passion, but he didn’t share my passion for getting the job the company offered. Second interview – nice lady offered me job, sure, but it wasn’t normal kind of job contract – I was to get only commissions from company and I was to run my own business. I wouldn’t be emloyed at all! And I didn’t want to run a business, I wanted to get a job!
- I won’t tell what exactly is my occupation, but it is in bank branch and kind of job that is not necceserily done in the same town where clients live. So, last few years was a period of moving these positions to bigger towns and the best to Warsaw. So, after that time in my town left few jobs of this position. I felt like fisherman looking for a job in the middle of Sahara desert. And I didn’t want to move to bigger town, let alone to Warsaw. And I didn’t want to leave my family for at least 5 days a week.
- I’m 45. I decided maybe time came to change occupation, to do something else. OK, I made 3-month course which broaden my skills of something I partially studied long time ago and started looking in this line. One big failure, I didn’t get a job because I didn’t have 2, 3 or 5 years of experience which are required and no one wanted to take me as an apprentice because I’m too old. Catch 22?
Today a miracle happened. I answered a phone and it turned out that it’s from company where I sent my CV half a year ago. Three hours later I was after nice interview and we shaked hands with the chairman agreeing on conditions of my work! I’m starting tomorrow! I’ll work again in my old occupation. Hooray!