Friday, 25 February 2011

Road trip to Azub, Chezch Republic

I have never visited Eastern Europe before, images of grey, depressing concrete buildings illuminated under a grey sky, populated with people with spirits broken from recent Communist hardships, was never an inspiring place for me to visit before, but as most things that are not actually experienced, we project images of what might be that are not accurate.

The opportunity to visit the Azub factory in the Czech republic, gave me the chance to break this illusion. Even seeing these places in the grey wintery conditions that we experienced at this time of the year, did reveal a brighter side to my imagination, of countryside, mountains, great architecture, innovative designs and truly lovely, warm welcoming people.

My feelings were that they are all enjoying the freedom and economic opportunities that are the result of the collapse of Communism. People are happy to have work, food and drink is still relatively cheap for them so at least these basics in life are accessible for most, whilst luxuries are very much out of reach for most people, thus keeping people humble and not creating preoccupied consumers of heavily marketed luxuries that I am used to seeing from my part of the world, which only seems to bring us sadness instead of happy, easier lives.

The less that people have in their lives seems to give them more time for each other, and remain more human. This has been my experience also whilst travelling through many parts of Asia, the poorest of them being the most open and sincere. If only we all could remain humble without the poverty involved that produces this condition? Then I think the world would not be so much out of balance as it is today and the resources used more wisely.

Auchwitz, Poland

What can I say about this place that could possibly describe the enormity and scale of horror that words struggle to penetrate.

But as I struggled to comprehend it all and fight back the tears in disgust of my own humanity that breeds such hatred towards others, it becomes obvious to me that this is just scratching the surface to many other horrors that are less publicised, that have happened and are still happening today. We can cry for these poor souls who have suffered and for the relatives who still remember and continue to suffer, for me it reflects my distaste for all kinds of racism and intolerance of other people that appear different to us, whilst we still have these divisions within our minds then we are still causing and attributing to such horrors that happened in this place. We all must stop judging and dividing each other and become one human, humane, caring, intelligent species.

Freiburg, Germany

A truly inspiring place of ecology, design and the ability to be able to live all together without judging or discriminating each other. From super modern apartments to people living in vans, tepee, Yurt, there is a bit of everything, people have been given the freedom to live the way they feel correct for them, based on their personal economy and various philosophies they have integrated with each other perfectly.

The city is designed with correct proportion of space allocated for every need of social requirements, enough green open areas between buildings, play areas, parking areas, recreation, cycle paths everywhere.

The overall atmosphere is obvious, if you respect all these basic needs of society then most of the common problems that we experience in other cities are removed, if you remove the cause of peoples frustration, anxieties instead of punishing them then you create a well balanced, self directed society. It is so obvious if you think about it, all people want to do is raise their families in a safe, happy environment, they don’t want to be violent or addicted to harmful chemicals, these are just the result of frustration and escapism, again we often do not address these problems at the source, instead governments try to punish, dominate, dictate to us what and how we should live. Give the power to the people and all they want to do is live happy, safe peaceful lives.

I watched for some time just looking at people going about their daily routines, even the cars driving seemed to be driven peacefully, no sudden accelerating or braking, no stress, people walking casually, not rushing, polite, helpful, it was really obvious to see everyone was peaceful and content.
We stayed with people we met through the couch surfing organisation, 9 people living in a shared community, who confirmed how well they worked together and within this environment.

I was very surprised to find a city in my lifetime that I could say I would not mind living in, as I am more inclined to live within nature and open spaces. I would like to think this is the future that will be able to contain our growing population, that will be integrated for other developing places. Here is a working model of how we all can live together with different cultures, religions, ideas, sharing and learning from each other without discrimination or fear.

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