Where did I come up with potatoes picking you might ask. Number one - it is winter. And number two - what potatoes, Klara? What has that to do with anything, especially traveling the world.
Ok, ok. Calmate.
Let me start with the description of that potatoes picking means to me and how it is basically one big methaphore. I come from the countryside. My growing up included a lot of things and among them also working on the field, mowing the lawn, digging the vineyard … All these work included potatoes picking too. I don’t know why I have this one-year event so burned in my head. Now that I am older I have even noticed that “potatoes picking” became a word combination used in other situations too.
Old tracksuits and T-shirts are called ‘those for potatoes picking’. “Have you ever even picked potatoes?” became like a test sentence for those from the city. Like, do you even know what a shovel is?
So potatoes picking kind of describes a part of our country-side identity.
As a young kid I was torn between liking the potatoes picking and being very upset, when I had to do this type of work. In last few years my family doesn’t plant our own potatoes but we help grandma on her field. And then hear beautiful and sweet-self gives as a crate or two to survive winter.
This year I was on the event after quite some time. There was a big number of us, the sun was shining and grandma had a cool stylish hat on her head. Uncle even let the music play from the car. And we had a party!
No, we really had a party!
The field was full of laughter, deep conversations, teasing, screaming … Potatoes were picked before we even knew what was going on and then of course - likof (a Slovenian word for a meal that comes after you have done work). Nobody hungry but the table was breaking from all the deliciousness on it. Aunt even prepared a vegetarian meal for me and Klemen. And all of this was topped with the feeling of connectivity. When you don’t even know who is being a bigger smart-ass. “Come on, drink another one! Stop bringing food, nobody is hungry anymore! Which neighbor died? Oh, wait - when was that? Why are you going around the world again?”
Ever since I am a bit older - I stop at this types of events. I look around. I love them, love the connection. If this is family I want to be a part of it. Those moments are priceless for me.
And if I really pay attention and try to stay in the present moment. Maybe leave my phone in a car, really listen to what my uncle is saying to me, observe how grandpa’s brother with special needs is a part of the group , how the neighbor comes for a cup of coffee - if I am really there.
I am actually traveling, in an exotic place that makes me excited and teaches me new things.
No, I haven’t gone mad! Please just read this.
Yes, I have a chance to travel. I have traveled, I travel and I will travel. But with the power to be in the moment you can make a wonderful adventure wherever you are. Otherwise the foreign countries are only an escape, which I felt like sometimes when I was younger.
But if you will notice the meadow behind the house, the way we are funny at the weddings, people on the bus, communication between old ladies on the graveyards, Sunday’s lunch and after-all also potatoes picking - we can just stare into each day with open eyes and think: “Waaaaaau!”
That’s why I can’t wait a month and a half that are waiting for me in Slovenia. It will be a new journey, new insights, new moments. Adventure.