On my way to Atlanta in a pandemic… The European part

After painful years in academia, after seeing how ignorant and how infantile „professors” can get, and how the glorious academic tradition of the previous thousand years is being trivialized by infecting universities with political agenda… How the people that still theoretically wear togas are turned into large children playing forever in their kindergartens, oblivious to the external world and any fields other than their own, and with huge undeserved superiority complex… And after suffering individual narcissistic abuse from the hands of my own supervisor, who – and it’s a term used in the narcissistic abuse community – mentally murdered me, which means he started to act like I’m dead without any closure or solution… I have found my refuge in Auburn, Alabama – in the Mises Institute, where I’ve attended the Mises University twice, in 2017 and in 2018. This experience has brought me amazing friendships and support – and two years ago, when leaving Alabama, I felt that I still have something to do there. I knew about the fellowship program, but I wondered how I – a geophysicist turned political psychologist – can ever write a legitimate proposal and whether there’s something I can bring to the table. Also, my life is in Europe, and I wondered if there’s ever going to be a time in my life when I can spend full two months in the Institute, unbounded by a job or a family, but still – missing my loved ones.

My life unfolded, I have discovered what Narcissistic Personality Disorder means way too thoroughly, I am on my way of changing institutions to still obtain that long forsaken, cursed doctorate, I have finished an internship in IT, I have written two papers, one on information war, one in political psychology – dramatically inspired by what I know about objectifying a human being…

January 2020 came along, and I thought: now or never. This year is the year I want to spend in Alabama doing research. I should be looking for a job afterwards. Start a family. Live in Europe. Who knows what life brings. I have 2020. I’m not that traumatized anymore, I have enough resources from what I’ve previously done to write that research proposal, let’s do this. Let’s fly to Atlanta this year.

Mid-February, I got to know I have got my Fellowship! I was walking on air. I couldn’t be happier. Auburn is the place where I got to see how social interactions and how respect should look like. Where I’ve met one of the most curious, most genuine and supportive people of this planet. And at this time of my life, still healing from academia, I couldn’t wish for more. We all long to have our community where we belong, after all.

The mid-March came. I’m in the Schengen area. I only have a visitor visa, and no relatives in the States. The borders are getting closed. My flight is June 1st, I still hope I’m going to make it. It’s more than two months, after all… How long can the travel ban last?

Time goes on. Getting worse than better. My flight gets cancelled. I take a ferry from Poland to Sweden and I live in Malmo. I start a blog, a channel, and figure out my writing plans. We take lonely car rides to national parks and live in nature. The world is far away. No police is bothering us. But we’re stuck in Sweden, and business is not going well…

I make my peace with the fact that I won’t make it to the airport. I joke about finding an American spouse quickly. I genuinely think the US is now completely closed, and the travel ban is linked with your passport, not the place where you live in 2 weeks prior to getting to the States…

But after calling the DHS twice (not a good experience!) and reading whitehouse.gov… Wait a second! The travel ban is linked to the PLACE. So if I can get out of Sweden to Serbia or to Belarus… Stay there for two weeks… If then there’s going to be a flight to Atlanta… I could still make it…

Wait another second! Serbia just opened borders and lifted quarantine. And wizzair just resumed flights from Sweden… And the Turkish Airlines start flying internationally June 10. And they flight from Belgrade.

„Pack yourself!” I hear and I burst out crying. I haven’t made my peace with losing the Fellowship after all. New hope is just flowing through me and bringing me back to life. Packing my suitcase. Checking everything three times. Not sleeping for 2 nights in a row – because OH MY GOD.

And here it is, June 2nd. I’m taking one of the first wizzair flights from Goteborg to Belgrade. A train from Malmo… The waters of Kattegat from the window… An EMPTY airport bus. There’s just me. Apocalyptically empty GOT airport soon fills with Serbs that rush to get home after the borders opened. Nobody’s taking temperatures or forcing you to wear a mask, but I have mine prepared. The only difference is queue spacing at the luggage and border control, and the unwizzair-like pricing. The mask regime starts inside the aircraft. And we’re delayed due to disinfection. And that’s all. The plane is full. No spacing between passengers. And the lakes of Sweden in almost-midnight sun when we take off after 10 PM… This is happening. I will spend 2 weeks in Serbia. So that the travel ban doesn’t apply to me. I’ll ask for all the letters I may need, and then I’ll take my Turkish Airlines ATL flight. Because I can. Did you really think a travel ban is going to stop me? Nice going, Donald.

The waters of Kattegat from the train window:undefined

I’m the only person on the airport bus:undefined

Have you ever seen an airport so crowded…undefined

All the flights leaving from GOT that day: undefined

I get to wear my FMRS mask from Vienna!undefined

Goodbye, Sweden…undefined

We land in Belgrade midnight sharp. I thought (wrongly!) the buses don’t go anymore, so I take out some dinars and find an (official!) taxi driver (beware of taxis in Belgrade – always ask for the price before you jump in!). He’s cheerful and helpful, and has a mustache, but gets lost in the city and after 1 AM asks strangers for GPS.

After the first night I ask the cleaning-and-doing-all-around amazing lady for a confirmation that I’m registered in Serbia. She understands me instantly and says her landlord knows people at the police. And that I’m going to get a stamp. They sure know the deal!

And now I’m in Belgrade – and I’m spending here two weeks, of course it has to be two weeks. And I’m filled with hope and joy, and I’m in a lively city with people sitting in cafes, restaurant owners giving you palinka shots as compliments, and I’m feeding stray cats and strolling at the Danube banks…

Next leg – mid-June! I’ll keep you posted on how far I can get!

Belgrade is alive!undefined

I live at the Danube banks… undefined

No, I couldn’t eat it all… undefined

I have to keep up with my crazy cat lady reputation… undefined

My love letter to Donald Trump… The things I’m doing for you! Although it’s not really for you, you’re just on the way… undefined

Opublikowane przez agnieszkakonstancja

Freedom, not manipulation.

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