Three digit days. I feel insane writing "Day 100." It is the first time I have done so in my life. I have often started things (running logs, journals, routines, etc.) with the idea that I will do them for years. Somehow I always get bored or decide to do something new before the two week mark rolls around. It isn't so much that I don't stick to my goals, but more that I find better and more interesting goals along the way. On this run, I have thought up so many other goals that I want to accomplish, and often times I just want to be in the studio putting out projects...but this time I'm forcing myself to wait. I want to get as much as I can from this thing before I return to my regular life...and for me, that means pressing on to Athens.
In the past couple years, I have dried to push my own philosophy of living: I call it the "Burn Out" philosophy. Basically, I find something that I love to do (architecture, running, whatever) and I do it as much as I can as often as I can. I work through the nights and don't sleep, doing exactly that thing over and over every day. I'll do it either forever (until I reach my goal) or until I break. The idea is that if you love something enough, you should be able to tolerate it indefinitely. I push myself to find those limits of toleration, and in turn I find the things that are truly meant for me. It has been 100 days and around 3,000 kilometers since I arrived in Amsterdam, and this trip hasn't burned me out yet. I am still sucking in every minute like a fresh lemon granita on a hot Italian day, and day 100 made no exceptions.
Dave woke me up a little before ten, and we spent an hour and a half having breakfast and talking with his German neighbors (who had just had their house broken into). Around noon I got ready to leave, and so did Dave (who had decided to run with me for a couple kilometers).
We set out running through the city, down a pretty huge number of stairs and through some bustling streets until we got to the road that runs parallel to the ocean. When we were about thirty minutes in, Dave resolved that he was past the point of turning around and running home. For most people, this would indicate getting on the next train and going home, but for Dave it meant running with me all the way to Pompeii...the longest run he had ever done by 4 miles or so. I have to give the guy some serious props. He set out the door intending to run 5 kilometers, and ended up running 6 times that. When we got into Pompeii we sat down to grab a huge amount of drink and food before I said goodbye and headed into the ruins, leaving Dave to finally catch his train back home.
Pompeii is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I don't really believe that there is anything you HAVE to see before you die (except for the back of your eyelids), but if you are ever in the area, I would really highly recommend Pompeii. I thought before going there that it would be just a few stubby walls and some couple-thousand-year-old stone dead people...but it was so much more. It is an entire city. The place is massive, and in amazing condition. Stepping through the doorways I felt like I was stepping into someones home. The architectural detailing and the colors of the frescoes are so detailed and vibrant...the place seems like it was abandoned yesterday. I was a video game character in one of those new complicated games where you can enter any building and do whatever you want. There is an excitement, like you are finding something that nobody knows about. I kept expecting to find little buried treasures lying in the dirt, despite the millions of people that have passed through before me. "Grand Theft Pompeii" was my game.
As clouds broke out in the sky and a storm headed my way, I had to start thinking about where I would sleep. I briefly contemplated painting myself grey and lying down somewhere in the ruins...but thought it might be a little difficult to sleep in a "I am getting hit by a volcano" position all night.
Instead, I headed back into town in the pouring rain (the first rain I have seen for a while) and tried to work something out. I had thought that I had a place to stay, as two people had given me contacts in Pompeii...but they both turned out to be out of town at the last minute, and I found myself in the dark with nowhere to stay. After talking to a few people in town, someone suggested that I try checking out a campsite. I said "why not" and walked back towards the ruins, where I found the office of "Camping Spartacus." There, I met the manager of the office, Orlando...and after telling him my story, he gave me a place in a camping trailer. A really nice guy who made the offer no questions asked. So ended day 100.
02 September 2009