It was during a summertime I was wandering around Romania on my bicycle. I had spent those last weeks in deep isolation: the days pedaling across a broad field or another, or up and down some lofty mountain; the nights in the reclusion of my tent, pitched in the middle of some vacant field or deep woods. That feeling of isolation of mine had become further intensified throughout the last week I’d spent up on the high ridge of the Transylvanian Carpathians. Humans, lately, had become for me quite an alienated notion. That’s why an intense desire to see and speak with some of them had taken over me while, toilsomely pedaling through a violent storm, I was approaching the town of Sibiu in Transylvania, that day.
Water dripping down from all over me, I finally made it to the town and settled in a hostel in the center. I remained there for about a week and took advantage in plenty of the amenities I’d lacked recently: mattress, shower, kitchen, internet… Most of all, however, that brief sojourn in civilization was a great opportunity to see and socialize with my homogeneous species afresh.
Every day, unremittingly, I indulged in extensive walks around the town and long sessions of people-watching. The town was abundantly vivified by a sundry agglomeration of folks, varying from begging gypsies to high-class international tourists.
Out of all, there was that one individual who made a notable exception from the general commonplaceness of the crowd and particularly ignited my curiosity. Right there, on the exact same spot, on the most frequented part of the city’s most frequented pedestrian street, from early morning to late night, he always was there. He always was there, dressed in hippie clothes, sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, fondling the surface of his hang drum.
Music-wise, the bloke wasn’t a genius. He was always playing the same one-minute-long tune, round and round in endless repetition, only the tempo being gradually made faster as the day progressed. As long as the value of a street musician is measured by the volume of dough coming into his pocket, however… phew, he was a tremendous success! I don’t know what he did – he did nothing basically; he was rarely even opening his eyes at all – but something in his calm, meditative demeanor, perhaps, attracted people to him like mice to a cheese bit. A large assemblage of people would always be formed before him, and coins were flowing in his hang case in constant stream.
Even more astonishing than that he could attract people’s attention by doing nothing was the very fact that he could bear being stationed there the whole day doing nothing: nothing other than sitting in the same still, meditative pose, only moving his arms in the same repetitive pattern. That’s definitely quite an extraordinary skill which requires patience, strong nerves, and supernatural composure. Though his body was there, his mind was evidently absent, sailing through some far-flung, extradimensional cosmos of his own. I doubt whether he was able to register anything at all of what happened in our world during his performances. He was in a deep, abysmal, unfathomable trance. It seemed to me quite impossible that someone could achieve such a state of trance by meditation or any natural means alone. He must have been tripping on acid recurrently, day after day. Or if not, his brain must have remained imbued by LSD after some past trip, in pretty much the same way it happened with Obelix after he fell into the cauldron with the magic potion when he was a baby.
The principal reason which had brought me to the city of Sibiu was the Transylvania Calling Psytrance Festival which was to take place inside a secluded gorge of the nearby Apuseni Mountains. During the time I was at the festival, that Japanese guy, together with everything related to the world outside of the festival, were temporarily erased from my mind. But then, on one day of the festival, somewhere near the main stage, there he asudden appeared in front of my sight, his eyes wide-open, a joyous flare being emitted out of them, oscillating between this and another world, and he beckoned to me a cordial greeting as if we had known each other ever since forever, perhaps from the other world.