All the bitterness of crying my lost homeland. It would be inhuman, on the other hand, not to mourn, be it for a week, the loss of a homeland.
But what the lion said? The end of mourning is when your stuffed animals open wide their glass eyes and start telling you things.
But what the lion said? That soon we will be there, in Amsterdam, and we will rent a small student's room, hopefully near the Vondel Park. And with 50 euro there will be unlimited annual access to the Rijks Museum, so we will go there often, and stare to painted flowers, and to that peculiar antique chair, with the cushion padding the seat, that has always epitomised the Dutch freedom for me. The freedom situated at the rear.
So I will sit down on my freedom and think what to do next. I have my money carefully counted, all prices checked and calculated, and very clear upon my decision that I want to spend my economies on buying myself freedom.
I've always lived very modestly, and now, that I have my 3 000 euro very easily gained every month, it had never crossed my mind to spend it recklessly. Reckless, for me, it means just to buy a couple of notebooks and pens that I don't actually need... For people like me, there is always a big question, on what we would finally spend that money, and it often leads to great absurdities. I do have my project. I want to buy myself freedom, and I want to buy myself more time. To make order in my thinking, my writing, to grow up to the western academic standards. I calculate it could even take two years. But I have reserves that, in case of extreme necessity, might even last for a decade. Nonetheless I suppose the new fellowship will come after three or four months and all this drama will prove to be a mere thought experiment.
And I've decided I would stick to Amsterdam, to my first choice. Even if I got a fellowship in Germany (they offer two or even five years to combat the often criticised precarious academic contracts), I will still buy an apartment in Amsterdam, and I will put my books there. Even if I had to come only on weekends or for the feasts. But I will make my new headquarters there for a life that surely will remain itinerant for many years to come. The advantage of the city is also an excellent airport very close at hand.
I only regret there is no affordable annual access to Artis, at least I didn't find this information. But hopefully later on I will manage to scrooge those 21 euro for the entry, as easily as I could afford the 18 zloty for the zoo in Kraków. Truly it is a beautiful garden, of course much bigger and richer, and so lavish as to its vegetation, with so many places to get attached to. I love the aquariums, and I can easily imagine many new ideas of mine to be born there. And the Buddha statue surrounded with cherry blossom...
Certainly, there would be many people both in Poland and Europe to consider my decision of abandoning a permanent university employment as suicidal. Yet I have it carefully calculated, and I'm persuaded it's an important step out of mediocrity and stagnation into a true academic career of great seriousness and value. The very sensation how far I am now in relation to my old reality -- not only the reality of my old institution, but of me in it -- proves how long is the way I've managed to cover in these last few months. And I have only one real worry: to live up to my own standards and expectations. To truly become the scholar I imagine and believe myself to be.
Things slowly fall out, like old clothes I've worn out and gone on throwing, and there is something new slowly getting out of the humid earth. But I've bought myself more time.