Flying over the ocean, or any long distance, is connected with an unpleasant legacy – jet lag. It is sickness caused by traveling too quickly through too many time zones – in brief, the clock in your head will overturn, especially when you are flying against the clock. Thus, when everyone else has experiences the night, you are still in daytime. The most awful time is the afternoon, because everywhere around you the daily life goes on, but you desperately need to sleep. In this condition, deeply affected by a too fast change from continent to continent, I went to work the day after my arrival. Everything was all right, but on the way from my laboratory to home I made a short stop at the main office of our Science Institute. It was a timely visit as a colleague was having a small celebration. So we sat for a while, chatted a bit. I had two glasses of wine and then in a good mood I left the party to catch a tram. I got into the right tram with the sign RAČA, which is the last stop and we live three stops before it. I sat close to the window, looked out – and everything went black. Just in my head, but completely. Modern biology states that even when we sleep, we have four points in our head, like bulbs always on as emergency lights. I am afraid that some of them switched off in that moment. Total darkness and silence like in a grave surrounded me…

I do not know what you believe about life after life. It was never an actual daily topic for me, not even a perspective one. Nothing that could be put into a weekly agenda and at the end of a week marked off as done. Anyway, these kinds of thoughts are not for me. There is no time for them.

Električka do raja, ilustr. Vanek

Električka do raja, ilustr. Vanek

So, I was not psychologically ready for my entrance to another world. And thus I was surprised how quickly I was able to adapt to this leap into another league. It came almost as a matter of course. I was only a bit curious. So, this is the end of all ends? Just imagine, from total emptiness you suddenly open your eyes and do not know where you are. And a strange woman stands over you and says something like:

“This is the end…”

End? End of life? Real end? So soon? And if so, I did not expect the image of an angel who looked like this one! In the narrowed vision sight of my scarcely open eyes there were just two beings at this second world – she and me. Well, this should be acceptable, since I always believed that women lead us to Paradise. Some of them I met down on Earth and a trip with them to temporary Paradise was always pleasurable. But this woman was really strange. Certainly not a beauty, official looking rather than angelic. For all these doubts there is only one control question:

“But why? And why so soon?”

Instead of answering me, that weird creature started laughing, or rather guffawing loudly with her mouth wide open, so I could see her definitely un-angel-like imperfect teeth. When she finished guffawing, she said with self-confidence:

“Because we are in Rača.”

This was a solid point. Rača; I know. And this angel? Well, perhaps it is a Slovak Paradise! Lowest quality without services. I looked around. She was right. It is hard to get to Paradise by tram. Trams have a last stop. Then they turn back, to earthly life. So I got out…

 

From a book (see in E-book form here) by Gustáv Murín: Svet je malý/The World is Small – collection of travel stories in bilingual Slovak–English edition, SPN Publ., 2012.