Sunday’s Inspiration: Why Can’t The Clocks Go Back 5 Years Tonight?

“I try to hang on to myself.
I don’t believe in no-one else.
And I’m shaking like a leaf,
As I fall into the street” – Noel Gallagher.

Sunday’s Inspiration: Why Can’t The Clocks Go Back 5 Years?

Sunday’s Inspiration: Why Can’t The Clocks Go Back 5 Years?

‘You’ll never change what’s been and gone’- Noel Gallagher.

Around 2013, Sundays became a place for me to vent my thoughts on life in genral and my journey in this series, Sunday’s Inspiration. Sadly, as I reflect on that today, I really needed to, and couldn’t even listen to my own thoughts.  I was giving out my thoughts to others but I couldn’t listen to my own thoughts or take my own advice.

Why can’t the clocks go back 5 years? (That’s not even a clock in the photo!)

You see, the clocks ‘went back’ last month in Poland, just by one hour. I wish they would go back to 9 p.m. in Romania on Saturday 15th November 2014. Then, everything in my life would be fine. But we can’t. It really would be fine.

“Ooh aah Eric CAN’Tona” – Manchester United fans.

The past is done and it started on that leg from Stansted Airport on the 10th November 2014… Here are some photos from my ill-fated journey from a favourite haunt of mine (Stansted Airport, ENGLAND) on a favourite airline of mine (Ryanair) to a brand new country for me (Romania, number 103 on my journey, though at the time I had miscounted).

Last bite in England (Stansted Airport) on 10th November 2014. Everything was fine.

Leaving Stansted Airport on 10th November 2014. Everything was fine.

Leaving Stansted Airport on 10th November 2014. Everything was fine.

Arrival and airport bus in Romania on 10th November 2014. Everything was fine.

My lovely hostel – Little Bucharest, Old Town on 10th November 2014. Everything was fine.

A great first night in Romania with Wandering Earl – Bucharest, Old Town on 10th November 2014. Everything was fine.

From the 10th – 15th November, I toured Romania and there were so many highlights, so yes life was good for those 5 days…here is a recap, or perhaps the first time I have shown these photos and told this story. I toured Bucharest for the first two days, and loved the restaurants and bars too. I stayed at the lovely (but ill-fated) Little Bucharest Hostel in the Old Town.

Touring Bucharest

Fabulous food – I was eating out in Bucharest every night

Then I took a train north where I stayed at the Dor de Bucovina Hostel in Campulung Moldovenesc.

Dor de Bucovina Hostel in Campulung Moldovenesc

Dinner at the Dor De Bucovina Hostel in Campulung Moldovenesc

Enjoying a local breakfast at Dor de Bucovina Hostel.

Staying at the Dor de Bucovina Hostel in Campulung Moldovenesc.

Then I toured the magnificent coloured churches in Sucevita and Moldovita. It was amazing – my highlights from Romania for sure.

Sucevita, Romania

Moldovita, Romania

Moldovita, Romania

After the churches, I visited the black ceramics factory in Marginea and the salt mines in Cacica. Cacica was magical as there was a football pitch in the salt mine!

Black ceramics factory in Marginea

A deep football pitch in the Salt Mine of Cacica

After my adventure up north, I took a night train back to Bucharest – again it was magical but there was something that also worked against me here – I was moved to a different dorm room in the Little Bucharest Hostel as I had been away for 2.5 days. Fate was about to blow me a nasty hook, but I didn’t know it as I innocently took this photo and set about writing about my trips.

My new dorm room. The bed to my right had me on the bottom bunk, and the unknown, nasty German-Slavic Ola Mueller on the top bunk…

I needed to move dorms, my new dorm where fate dealt a cruel blow.

Then at 3 p.m. on day 5, I met up with the GAWA (Green and White Army), the Northern Ireland fans. I hung out with fans I had known for years and years following Northern Ireland.

Our Wee Country – the Green and White Army – Northern Ireland – The GAWA

Our Wee Country – the Green and White Army – Northern Ireland – The GAWA

Our Wee Country – the Green and White Army – Northern Ireland – The GAWA

Romania v Northern Ireland match ticket

We had 9 points out of 9 going into this match and a win would have seen us win 3 out of 3 aways and on 12 points. Despite conceding 2 goals in the last ten minutes and losing 2-0 to Romania, we still ended up winning the group! The match was on Friday 14th November 2014 and I will never forget it, because after a night out and having to buy a new laptop the next day, my life was about to change forever…

Our Wee Country – the Green and White Army – Northern Ireland – The GAWA

Our Wee Country – the Green and White Army – Northern Ireland – The GAWA

Our Wee Country – the Green and White Army – Northern Ireland – The GAWA

Above, the last photo of me really really happy in life. I had no idea what was to follow and yes, if I could rewind to that exact moment I would. I would do what Marty McFly did in Back to the Future and I would change my history. But I can’t. The following evening, in the kitchen of that Bucharest hostel, I had the misfortune to meet Slavic-German girl “Mueller” and her accomplice Karolina *****. I was having a cup of tea and blogging…

The ill-fated kitchen where I first met “Mueller”

The ill-fated kitchen where I first met “Mueller”

So here, in November 2019, I reflect on the exact turning point in my life, which happened exactly 5years ago this week. It’s not a good turning point. It’s a bad one . The worst moment of my life occurred at 21.58pm on Saturday 15th November 2014. This moment at the time felt just like any other cool backpacking moment of my life. In fact, at the time it felt good, it felt cool. It was at that exact time, in the kitchen of the Little Bucharest Hostel (a super hostel incidentally, I had no idea they would be the scapegoat for a downfall in my journey) where I suffered a total misfortune (or God’s punishment, or karma for my mischief aged 14-17).

At that moment, 21:58 p.m., in walked fellow tourist “Mueller”. To the hostel, to the kitchen, to my table, to my world, to my life. I had no idea that this cruel, nasty little minx could reap havoc and ruin my nice journey forever. But she did. And that will be five years ago on Friday night this week. The next morning I took some photos in Bucharest and booked a train to Chisinau in Moldova…unaware of the liar I had just encountered.

Touring Bucharest, after I had met “Mueller”

Touring Bucharest, after I had met “Mueller”

Touring Bucharest, after I had met “Mueller”

Touring Bucharest, after I had met “Mueller”

Touring Bucharest, after I had met “Mueller”

The weird thing is I look really happy in all those above photos, but this was after the meeting. The fake happiness continued through Moldova, into Transnistria and back to Romania, before I headed to Bulgaria. All four countries were new for me at the time.

Night train from Bucharest in Romania to Chisinau in Moldova

First meal in Chisinau, Moldova

Backpacking in Tiraspol, Transnistria

tiraspol food

Eating in Tiraspol, Transnistria

Again, I cannot believe my smiles here. I look unbelievably happy! Why?? Within a year of those photos, I had left my home in Asia (Hong Kong), I had finished my book “Backpacking Centurion” (still unreleased) and I had split up with my long term girlfriend and former wife to be, Panny Yu. It was over and so was my time as a long term backpacker. The smiles really are not real, in retrospect.

So I wish I could go back in time, but I cannot, how sad, life goes reluctantly on…

Back to the Future 

Jonny Blair at Don't Stop Living Archives! Back to the Future!

Back to the Future.

At 21:58 p.m. this Friday night, I will be sat at a rock concert in Warszawa in Poland and I know that this moment from 5 years ago in Bucharest, Romania will come into my mind, I cannot escape it.

Why did I have to meet such a person on that ill-fated night? Why oh why? I regret it all so so much.

“God only knows, yeah God only knows…the way it’s going to be” – Noel Gallagher.

I just pray happiness is yet to come for me because it sure is a depressing life.

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