Words and photos by Ana Rumiha
For the last seven weeks I have been on a holiday marathon. I guess I have too many holidays during the year so I have decided to make it feel more stressful, like having a job. My job, actually, is being on a holiday. And just so you know, it’s as hard as any other job. So where to start?
At the end of July Nikita sent Sabrina (Kusar), Cecilia (Larsen) and I for the Kumi Yama 2011 event in Les2Alpes. The whole trip started pretty funny because me and five other Japanese people with seven boardbags and few extra bags were picked up by one old limo. I know they are used to being squeezed in all sorts of vehicles but I wasn’t. Turned out that was the first part of the Jap tour and they were about to share the whole Japanese culture in a week. That’s when my working time started.
The sketchy part about this work holiday is that you don’t have 9 to 5 working hours, you just work 24/7 and it’s exhausting. So in one week I had to go up the mountain every day, snowboard, snake on the lift, talk to people… Even after I’d get down I couldn’t rest because I had to make sushi or, even worse, test all the food other people made. Anyways, I somehow lived through that week but I knew the moment I came home I would have just seven hours to repack my stuff, upload important footage for our movie to Conny (Bleicher / Lipstick Productions), get a bit of sleep and drive to another airport because, guess what, there was another job ahead of me.
I won’t refer it as a holiday from now on, it’s just gonna be a job. (Short intermezzo: all the footage arrived on USB stick and my mom really needed to put her five photos somewhere so she formatted it and used it as it was her own, all the footage gone. No big deal though, she said she can easily go to Helsinki and film my part again, nobody will notice).
Back to my next job; this one was much more exhausting then the last one, mostly because my mom is a sightseeing terminator = Sightminator! Two of us flew to Holland to visit family, and I have to admit I loved it for the first day but after that I couldn’t walk anymore, or cycle although it’s all so beautiful for cyclers, or sit in the boat in Amsterdam canals, or go downtown for the fifth time. Any spare time I used to stretch my tired body while my mom was taking pictures of me and laughing. She found it funny; it didn’t occur to her that her only child might be working a bit too much. I survived the week but there was more to come.
I had another flight scheduled in three days times to France and my birthday was in-between, so I decided not to spend a second at home but go straight to my country house and work a bit in the field. I guess I’m a workaholic; you just can’t help it once you get used work that much. It was also a good way to celebrate my birthday in the woods with the squirrels. They don’t talk much or make me walk long distances. Although I hid pretty well, my best friends did find me so we went to the abandoned stadium in Tito’s home town and ran the circuit 25 times just like pioneers. There is something scary and interesting about abandoned places. Maybe that’s the only place I don’t have to work.
After taking care of my garden and dad’s vineyard, I got on another flight for my last and longest job; surfing France. Things started to look better at that point. I had to spend a night at a London airport waiting for my connecting flight when they called my name on the speaker and said I was awarded with the best bench for sleeping because I was the most frequent low budget flyer (I flew a few thousand kilometers in one month for 100 Euros total so I guess I deserved it).As soon as I arrived in France I was quickly reminded this wasn’t a holiday but work again. Teaching French people English, painting halls, being a love councilor, explaining to French guys how Balkan girls are not as romantic as them, giving other people all the good waves, even letting poor junkies steal all my lovely Nikita clothes, money and wetsuits. At that point I realized that from being a business woman I evolved into a humanitarian. Spending days on the beach in my regular underwear, skating in socks and living in the van were just few things I enjoyed doing so other people could be happier.
Obviously, I was slowly turning into a monk so I decided not to luxuriously fly over London and sleep on my comfy bench, but choose another route and help some more people who really needed me. Naturally, I chose to go via Italy. Since the ratio of normal person to crazy/junkie/weirdo is 1:5 I realized it was too much work for me in such a short time so I stayed on my last Italian stop, Trieste, another day. Not because there’s no bus or train to Croatia during the weekend (although the border is 5km away) but because I wanted to spend a full day with homeless drunks on the station, understand them and help them. Soon it occurred to me that they were no lazy jobless people. They are just like me. They are even better than me. They are volunteers. Pointing people where to go on the station, giving lessons about life in general, taking care of the rubbish, traffic controlling…they are just a few things they do for free. After I realized how happy they all were I could peacefully go home.
If the world is OK with it, I think it’s time for me to take a break and finally go on a holiday. Island Hvar awaits; empty beach, hammock and book.