Te nonāk viss, kam vairs nav vietas Helsas galvā

One night in Charleroi

I wrote this with a pen on a paper at 2 am in the morning sitting legs crossed on a bus-stop stool in the Charleroi central station and there were no lights on. As I’m too lazy to correct mistakes or rewrite sentences in correct order, I’ll just copy-paste it from my notes. If you don’t believe me, you can either ask me for the notes so you can see them yourself, ask anyone of the Bulgarian team for approval or you can try to persuade rats in the Charleroi Central Station to talk, but I don’t think you’ll succeed if you ask for information to rats, those sneaky little creatures.

As I wanted to visit my friends and father in Luxembourg just as much as I wanted to find some geocaches in Charleroi I decided that I would take a train to the city ine night before going to Luxembourg so I could do both of my interests. By coincidence Bulgarian team had to go to the Charleroi the same night I did so they could catch a bus to the airport and spend the night there before their plain departs in early morning, therefore we traveled together.

As funny the life can be they missed their last bust just because Jim Beam (Jean – Baptiste) told them that buses to airport go all night long when actually the last one leaves at 22.30 but the first one comes at 5.30. Sadly for them but luckily for me ’cause now I had someone to keep an eye on my luggage while I’m looking for some adventures in the second most dangerous city in Belgium all alone but a GPS with me.

In Charleroi central station there are loads of rats running around carelessly, so I bet their sleep was nothing but fun compared with the night in open tents during the Youth Exchange camping event about which everybody complained about during the final assessments. Whereas my night in Charleroi was pure joy. ‘Cause for first – I didn’t have to carry my luggage around the city as I had planned to do before, and for second.. running around the town that you don’t really know at the nighttime and I can keep repeating myself like this all the time but fairly enough – it’s the best and the worst thing a girl like myself could do.

My first cache was about 1.16km away from me if you’re a ghost or a bird to travel trough/over buildings as I’m somewhat human I cannot do so therefore it took just a little bit longer for me to get there than it would. As I am a speed-walker it still was nothing, but this is not a happy story ’cause when I finally got to the Caserne Tresignes there was a homeless man sleeping and even I’m not that crazy to disturb someone who’s sleeping in misery. (The difference between bums in Latvia and bums in Belgium is that.. Belgium bums have sleeping bags) Therefore I could not scrutinize  the structure of the armory machines so I walked another 400 meters to look at a beautiful building called La maison des medicins or the house of doctors. The hint said I have to look for a letter box, the gps wronged me and I tried to find a cache in the wrong place. Luckily again.. I thought that it would be a good idea to read the description , even if it’s in French. Blessfully there was the number of the house I have to look for ’cause you can’t really notice the beauty of the architecture in the dark, so I couldn’t see the different colored bricks, the vegetable decorations and whatnot. When I finally found the house.. I couldn’t find the letterbox ’cause.. well how should I put this again?.. it looked like there were none! But I do not give up that easily so I checked the building one more time and then one more time till.. well would you ever expect to look for a letter box lower than your knees, in the window and behind the bars? Well.. good for you! ‘Cause yeah, it was there, so I checked it out and found a lot of nothing, then I inspected the bars and found the treasure box that was smaller than the last knuckle of my little finger. I do love nano containers, I really do. There were no space for logging in my visit ’cause the logbook was full already, but I somehow managed to squeeze my name in it. So.. I was happy. As there was a tobacco shop and Finland embassy nearby I felt safe enough to read the description of the other 2 caches I wanted to take. At first I looked up the Forbidden Place: R9 and as the description said that the only way to get the cache is to walk through a pedestrian path.. my stomach said that it wouldn’t be a very smart decision to go there by any means. Another instant pass for geocaching without weapons to defend yourself.

Then I looked at La maison “la fleur”, it looked easily accessable and so I went to take it. By the house of flowers (there were no flowers) stood a young man. So I waited for him to go away ’cause as geocaching is a secret for most of the society you cannot really look for the cache while someone you don’t know is watching you. Well this young man didn’t watch me.. he stared at me without blinking his eyes.. kinda creepy. When the garbage man came, my stalker loosed his attention just enough so I could grab the cache. Of course out of blue skies and thin air appeared another man who wanted to borrow a cigarette from me. Well… I had some spare ones, so I didn’t really mind to give him a fag and to light it up too.  You have to be friendly with the locals otherwise you’ll be dead.. that’s something I’ve learned from my geocaching experience. Sadly I did not have enough time to sign the once again full logbook secretly as my everlasting stalker came to talk to me. He wanted to know why did I look at the building for so long and so I explained him that this was a marvelous building with a beautiful architecture. He told me that one man gave this house to his wife as a present. Also he told me that he’s from Romania, 21 years old and on dope. He was really nice and friendly , he even left me alone when I had to go and gave me his best wishes ’cause as he told me I was walking around in a really dangerous city.

After the flower power visit I came back to the central station to see how my Bulgarian friends were doing. Well.. they slept in really uncomfortable positions and looked awkwardly tired… then I got to look for my train to Luxembourg, helped a french lady to find her black cat, came back to Bulgarians to take my bag and started to write this blog entry in my notebook ’cause I had to keep my mind occupied for about 2 hours. My train is coming in 20 minutes so.. I’ll have to stop.

So.. as I said my goodbyes to Iva, Anton and other Bulgarians who were asleep and got into a train to Namur. It took only 20 minutes to fall asleep. Sadly that didn’t help me to catch the first train to Luxembourg as it was departing the same time as my train arrived, so I have to wait for another hour (yei, waiting is fun!) in Namur train station to go. When you’re half asleep time passes by faster, but you have to be awake if you want to keep you’re bags. As I’m no longer in Charleroi this post is officially over. It’ll take only 22 hours to be in the Kings’ Charles airport to meet my latvian friends and to fly home. I can’t believe I have to go to the University on Monday.



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