Monday, 14 April 2014

13th April, 2014. The Story of the Geeks.

There are some things people don't know about going to architecture school. The most important being on good nights you will have 6 hours of sleep and all-nighters will become a weekly habit. It is a nightmare but on this day I was grateful for my three years of training.

Three hours sleep before catching the bus in a country where all I can say is hello and thank you and the energy was still springing. Perhaps it was the adrenaline. The bus from Budapest to Bratislava was three hours but it came with big leather chairs, our own tv screen with an assortment of entertainment, newspapers and tea and coffee services. All four the wonderful price of 8 euros. With so many things to do how could I fall asleep?

Nothing describes Marek, my host in Bratislava, better than his apartment. In his living room there are busts of Strauss and Elvis surrounded by seas of bells. In one corner is a piano, and in another my bag rests against a musical organ. His bedroom is Lego heaven. Four shelves are reserved only for Star Wars, next to his Mac, a tiny Doc in a devorlean with a cheering Marty from Back to the Future, another shelf houses rows of Marvel and DC, and behind a glass casing is a full replica of Bilbo Baggins' Bag End.

I didn't see much of Bratislava as I spent the day nerding out with Marek. He is only 7 years older than me but when it comes to games and the internet, that is an entire world. Very few people of his age have seen Star Wars, and games were impossible to get. When someone got their hand on a copy from the Austrian or German border, everyone would copy it. No one cared that the entire underground geek market were pirates. In fact, piracy was state funded. "You had to really love the geekverse to be a geek back then," he told me.

After a meal of dumplings, cheese and bacon, we played some Scott Pilgrim. For the first time ever I started to question how much of my own fandoms were handed to me on a platter, sprinkled with marketing and niche talk. Whatever the answer, I still can't wait to watch the next episode of game of thrones tomorrow!

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