Report 12: remarks in between
(Germany: July – December
By land into Mongolia across the borders
of twelve nations, far away from touristic regions: Two people of
the advanced age of 128 had the intention to reach this goal and
they now have arrived. They managed 11.500 kilometres (8870 miles)
on their loaded bicycles across countless mountains, fighting head
winds, cold and heat. They could have arrived home, proud of what
lies behind themselves, ready to tell stories from a stunning journey.
It was deep personal disappointment for
both of them at first: to be forced to go home because of a disease
before finishing their trip around the world completely on bikes.
Ulan Bator was supposed to be just a stop over.
Several Months have passed since then.
Summer has gone and winter has arrived in Germany.
We are ready to leave for the world again. Our plan never staggered.
Jutta has fully recovered, she is fit and healthy – that was
the only requirement. Advanced inoculations shall help us to resist
future risks of infection. We want to take care of each other.
But why take the two the strains and privations,
when they could enjoy ”the last years” at home just
as well? What motivates them to leave their ”normal”
life, to break out into the world, into the unknown? It is the memory
of the experiences. Mentally we still are somehow in Asia, seeing
all the people in front of us, whose affection we enjoyed so much.
People write us from every country we crossed. Some of our reports
have been translated into Persian or Bulgarian. People prayed for
us in mosques and orthodox churches. We confided ourselves to the
Muslims. What happened on September 11th did not irritate us; on
the contrary, it encouraged us to get to know these people. We also
crossed Serbia, where the effects of war are still obvious.
Our motto of believing in the good sides
of people has not come out as naïve or blue-eyed. Our expectations
have been surpassed. In Iran we somehow felt saver than in Germany.
Our mission is now to tell the world about our positive experiences;
to fight against intolerance, prejudices and the hysterical polarisation
the ”war against terrorism” brings.
But the question still is: Why are these
two people doing this?
Looking forward we are dreaming of the
day we arrive in Germany on our bikes, when we finally let our memories
pass by, memories of all the people with their different cultures
and living conditions, but also the effects of globalisation and
the efforts this journey demanded.
I personally don’t like to be stuck
in daily routine in front of the TV with the same little problems
every day. We are now looking forward to leaving all this behind
us. Some of these every day life things will be forgotten very quickly,
for example the far going coverage of soccer games on TV. I might
be an outsider concerning this question. But our home will be in
our hearts and minds every day. I often hear Jutta speak out loud:
”I am looking forward to that moment when we turn around the
corner and see our house again”.
Every good wish coming from Germany, from
friends and people we have got to know on our journey makes us happy.
We appreciate it and we are very grateful. We wish everyone who
reads this ”Merry Christmas” and a ”Happy New
Year”. We ourselves are going to have a peaceful Christmas
Eve before starting off into a new age on our second trip around
the world on January 1st – then at the age of 130. It feels
good to know that many good wishes accompany us on our way.
Jutta and Gerhard Krauss