On the way to Antwerp

Rose over the highway footbridge, and next to the highway police, border guards once. I was at the former border crossing Germany-Netherlands in Rastatte Bunde-rij not far from Groningen. I crossed the footbridge to the other side of highway, walked into the bistro, glanced discreetly around. At the bar sat a guy and the bartender. A total of two people. Now three people with me. I sat at the bar to the wall, put my backpack next.

– Still water please.

– Here we go – the bartender asked little of everything but kindly poured water into a glass and handed it to me. The guy next to drinking beer. Typical forty – belly, not much attractive, maybe damaged by life.

– Where are you going backpacker? – asked bartender

– For Antwerp

– Could it be hitchhiking?

– That’s right. So it shows?

– If you could work behind the bar as longI as I do you would easily be guessing travellers profiles, so to speak.

– How many years of work as a barman?

– More than nine years.

– It’s actually a lot. Soon will hit tenth anniversary. You and bar are like an old married couple.

– And you? What do you do professionally?

– I’m writing a book, traveling.

-What the book is about?

– Also about us sitting here. Travel diary.

– Whether you are traveling alone this time alone?

-Almost always travel alone. But not alone. – I do not feel lonely when I step out of the house and I am among the people. That to me is usually sufficient.

– Strong you are

– Apparently …

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