May 31, 2008
Mirko and Katy -- Global Travelers
Here are Katy and Miroslav -- the two most amazing people I met during my travels in Mexico and Cuba:
Mirko (age 35) grew up in the Czech Republic, and Katy (30) grew up in Slovenia. They met seven years ago while traveling in India, and they've been together ever since -- earning their living by making jewelry and selling on the streets.
Mirko and I had a nice chat about things, and I was just so pleased to meet two people who had such a sense of freedom and peace. Here are some of his unedited comments, which I was scribbling in the margins of a newspaper while we talked:
[On being a beggar for a year in Japan] Begging is an excellent school. You have a lot of time to observe the world. It can teach you to trust. But you have to be a person to learn. Many beggars are stuck. It should be a station to move from.
Fear is a powerful thing. If you give up, it will completely consume you. But if you trust... If you give yourself to Nature, which is like our mother... Even if I didn't have food for 2 days, I take it as a fast.
We trust. We wish to go somewhere so we believe and then it will come. We don't lose the trust.
Japan was nice. We go to the convenience stores to use the toilet - no charge. They have hot water that people use for ramen - no charge. They don't mind. It's not just that they don't complain. I think it their pleasure to give you the hot water (Katy: I never had the feeling they were unhappy for us to be there (but were quiet to be polite). But they do have signs: "do not sleep" in stores. The workers are exhausted.
In communist time in Czechoslovakia it was illegal to have no work or accommodation.
In Isla Holbox [Mexico] we sold for several days. The police did not mind. But one day the police said, "excuse us -- we don't mind, but some of the other stores here are complaining that you are taking their business, so we need to ask you to quit selling in the park." But then another artist -- an artisan with a store, said, "you can use the sidewalk in front of our place to sell."
I cannot visit the US because the US requires a Visa. And I haven't been documented for years.
[talking about Spartans and the way they raised kids through violent training that was sometimes fatal]. You know, the Spartans and the Mayans and some other people -- they were just making sure that the bodies were strong enough to live a tough life. If they weren't, then it was OK for them to die. Maybe they'd get better bodies the next time.
Katy and Mirko have slept with a monkey.