Omnia vincit labor

Valeria & friends in Moscow

Moscow summer 2004

The two 22-year old friends Irina & Valeria just finished their study of economy at university and reward themselves with a trip thru Northern Europe. This one leads them to Finland, by hitchhike thru the galaxy of Sweden, by ferryboat to Hamburg and further on to a friend in Cologne. They now want to have a look at Leipzig, then go on to Dresden and via Berlin back to Moscow. The friend in Cologne prevents them from the planned hitchhiking by successfully searching for an opportunity of driving with someone. They meet with the driver at Friday, 30th July, high noon 12 o'clock at the station of Deutz. An agreement is quickly set up and those three get started. English is meanwhile the preferred language in the car. Still no one foresees that they won't reach their destination within that day.
Irina & friends in Moscow

Cologne, July 30th, 12 o'clock noon

Master Lü is sweating at work. His mind is ahead of his railway-trip to Leipzig. There he wants to prove his second mastery. He is a master of chess, but in spite of his name not one of the Chinese Xiangqi, but of the classical chess. Still two hours, until then he will have to step on it.

Wolfen, July 30th, 12 o'clock noon

In the small town in Anhalt calmness rules. Normi & KlN want to use the absence of their parents which are staying in holidays by giving a small barbecue in the garden of their house. For this they just invited those few of their chess-club which they usually meet rather seldom because of globalization reasons. The lawn is mowed and the coal is ready.
First station of the trip: St. Petersburg and the river Newa

Leipzig, July 30th, 12 o'clock noon

In the Saxon town calmness rules. The chess players of Weiß-Blau around Andree Rosenkranz meanwhile have enough routine in the realization of their annually praised tournament. Additionally the noble Renaissance hotel now proves for many years it's reliable partnership. They already know that the number of participants will again increase to a new record.

Erfurt, July 30th, 12 o'clock noon

In the capital of Thuringia calmness rules. Riker is working as usual and waiting for his lift. His soul is in conflict. On the one hand he's looking forward to the barbecue in Wolfen tonight and on the other hand he cannot explain anymore why he signed up into a tournament as a player? Watching, cultivating contacts and shooting photos are ok - but playing on his own in sight of the announced best summer weather?

Hanover, July 30th afternoon

Master Lü doesn't come off. The railway has problems. He will be late.
Irina, Valeria and the cathedral of Cologne

A5, Frankfurt-Kassel, July 30th afternoon

Driver Mikly reports to Erfurt delay while traffic jams are lasting. Further on Riker should unwrap his knowledge of Russian - it will soon be needed. He also passes the news from Hanover to Wolfen.

Erfurt, July 30th afternoon

Riker enters Total-right left the rear benches of the Cologne vehicle. Prompt he takes over the conversation with Irina & Valeria by fluently speaking Russian, which is accepted thankfully. Later the plans are changed. A call in Wolfen lets Normi & KlN react generously.

Leipzig, July 30th late afternoon

In the flat of Brain everything is steaming. He will not anymore take part at this day in this story.
Bonn: Ludwig, Valeria

Wolfen, July 30th late afternoon

KlN & Normi are on their way to the butcher. They buy two additional steaks. The announced visitors have been extended by two Moscowians.
Calmness remains as the outstanding feature. Later they will go to the municipality of Zörbig to have a playing awaiting of their guests.

A4, Erfurt-Gera, July 30th early evening

The traffic jams are not coming to an end. Hermsdorf is visited. Also here calmness is gradually developing, the Russian-English variation. It's very muggy and cool.

Zörbig, July 30th early evening

The president of the historic chess-club of Löberitz is setting off to the club house. He is expecting just a few members while vacation time has already started. However, one or two beers1) and some blitz matches should be possible. He still does not know that some of the visitors are not at all playing chess.

Leipzig, July 30th early evening

A glorious summer night is beginning. Emblazoned on below the Krochhaus bell-men is in large letters "Omnia vincit labor". They are mildly sunlit. Just a few pedestrians care of it.
At Löberitz Chess club: Irina, Konrad, balloon, Valeria, Rayk, Martin, Mikly, Heiko

Löberitz, July 30th, 8pm

A red Xantia arrives the car park in front of the sports area. The four passengers, three speaking Russian, leave the car and pay their respect to the local chess-club. Hosts and guests of this night get in touch with each other for the first time. The president remains unfazed. Beer still is available. A photo will bring the club-plate to Moscow.

Wolfen, July 30th evening

KlN & Normi present themselves well prepared. Irina & Valeria, Mikly, Riker and Henning straightaway feel calm & cool. Also cool Normi is carrying out his duty at the hot grill. Salads and bread are get a try and are declared as delicious. Normi is set off duty and dispatched towards Bitterfeld.

Bitterfeld, July 30th evening

Master Lü has survived his railway adventure and meets Normi. Without shyness he enters the car and learns about the cultured landscapes of Anhalt. Seven wheat beers are already settled in his tummy. In return his purse is empty.
Fluid an russian bred

Wolfen, July 30th evening

Henning leaves the crowd. Now Irina & Valeria are just dealing with only five men. These seven are not glorious but calm. They master all conversations and discussions unflappable or cool. The boys learn something about Moscow and Russia and other points of view. Irina & Valeria are amazed that they are located in the home region of tsar Catherine the Great, hear about local differences in their tourist destination and learn how Russian bread is tasting. But mainly it comes to cheerfull eruptions. Late in the night the circle splits up in the house. The last religious questions have dragged the day. Master Lü also has reaped heavily and is ready to drop. Appointments for the early morning have been agreed.

Wolfen, July 31st morning

On their round the joggers Riker & KlN have picked some rolls. The picking habits in the region are trashed out during the sunlit breakfast. After the exchange of addresses the Cologne car, extended by Master Lü, leaves for Leipzig. Whereas for the hosts clubfeet are waiting. They will not anymore step into this day in Leipzig.
Ira and Normi at barbecue

Leipzig, July 31st morning

After Apollo440 the international group just in time reaches the Renaissance, the initial destination. While Irina & Valeria leave towards the city, Master Lü, Riker and Mikly start in the competition.

Leipzig, July 31st daytime

Already in the second round Riker keeps the masterplayer Rabiega from Berlin busy by passive resistance. Rabiega will finally win the tournament. Soon after that Riker succeeds to play a match for the homepage. Master Lü still is heavily loaded down by the previous day fights – he keeps distance to the top rankings. After the final dismissal of Irina & Valeria and a stated moderate result in the competition the protagonists exhausted scatter to the four winds and resign themselves to the thundery shower.

Leipzig, August 1st daytime

Breakfast at ... Master Lü and Riker improve their ranking to the top where Slob is defeated by Lothar V. and Robert R. leaves not a chance to Daniel D. and his delighted court.
Mikly stays mediocre. The encouraging visit of College-Brain only has a short effect. On their way to Zörbig they discover the inscription on the Krochhaus. Master Lü translates: "Work overcomes everything". No one in the car believes in this. However they suspect it to be maybe valid in some way. In fact they know that this has nothing at all to do with this weekend.

Zörbig, August 1st evening

Flagging-Uwe again has invited into the backyard of the owners of his flat. Delicious dishes and drinks are offered. The latest chronicles find multiple appealings. At 8.30 pm the Cologne vehicle leaves that street. Under darkly heavens soon the Ibykus is sparkling. At 1.30 am it arrives at the rings of Cologne. The streets are very busy.


The story of the flowerpot and the beer

When things become more and more difficult in your life, when 24 hours a day are not enough, then remember the "Flowerpot and the beer"

With some objects a professor stood in front of his philosophy class.
Starting with his lessons silently he took a very big flowerpot and filled it up with golf balls.

He asked his students whether the pot was full now.

They answered yes.

Then the professor took a box with pebbles and poured them into the pot.
He moved the pot softly and the pebbles rolled into the hollow spaces between the golf balls.

He again asked his students whether the pot was full now.

They agreed.

Next the professor took a tin with sand and poured it into the pot. Of course the sand filled a smallest remaining spaces. Again he asked whether the pot was full now.

The students with one voice answered "Yes".

The professor fetched two cans of beer from under the table and poured the whole contents into the pot and therefore filled the last rooms between the grains of sand.

The students were laughing.

"Well", the professor said as the laughing slowly diminished, "I want you to regard this pot as a representative of your life. The golf balls are the important things in your life: your family, your children, your health, your friends, the preferred, even passionate aspects of your life, which would still keep your life fulfilled if everything else would get lost."
"The pebbles symbolize the other things in life as work, your house, your car. The sand is everything else, the little things. If you put at first the sand into the pot", the professor continued, "it has no more place neither for pebbles nor for golf balls. The same is valid for your life. If you invest all of your time and energy to little things, you will never have room for the important things. Care of the things which threaten your happiness.

Play with the children. Take some time to do healthcare. Go out for diner with your partner. There will still be enough time to clean the house or to get through with the tasks.

First care of the golf balls, the things which are really important. Set priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of students raised his hand and wanted to know, what he beer should represent.

The professor smiled: "I'm glad that you ask. It's there to show you, that, however difficult your life might be, there is always place for one or two beers."

Author unknown

Reactions by Irina and Valeria

Hallo Mikly! :)

Dresden Sorry for our silence - there were too many affairs to be put in order. Yeah, we arrived back in Moscow well. We went from Berlin to Moscow by bus for 34 hours, it wasn't pleasant journey..
but, you know, we used to travel this way. :)

About the comparison between Leipzig & Dresden.
In our opinion, both cities are to be seen!!! In Dresden I met my brother and we spent good time there. But, in the whole, we agree with the idea, that it is better to live in Leipzig, than in Dresden.

As for photos.. We have the only 2 from that evening. As compensation you will find other our photos from different cities & countries attached.

We like your site, and especially your kolumne ;) Excellent photos of cities!!!
Cool!!! but unfortunately can hardly understand the text :-( However, we've translated the report about us. And had real fun while reading it. And sometimes even confusion!.. :))

We were lucky to meet you. Many thanks!

Hello to Martin, Norman, Henny, Rayk, Jens (not sure about spelling :-\ )



Hi Mikly!

Berlin, Reichstag So, finally, we got to our place luckily. Irina sent yesterday a letter to Rayk with photos and a letter to you coz thought that to your address letter would not go. So enjoy our photos and show them to our new friends in Wolfen :) Ok, so I will write about Drezden and Leipzig :) We both with Ira liked very much Leipzig and if we had a choice where to live we would choose Leipzig. In my opinion Drezden is some slow and "grey" city, life there seemed to be some lazy and boring ..
maybe it's not so but it's first impression. On the other hand, Leipzig is so vivid and bright so just I fell in love with it as well as with Bonn and Bremen. :)

Now when we are at home we meet our friends and tell them about our great impressions about all: autostop, countries, interesting people...:) I am writing my report about our trip. And we've read your report on your webpage :) We translated it with web-translator so it's not so perfect in translation so that it sounded funny :) And I liked very much the story about a flowerpot and beer!

Ira and I are so glad that we met you and spent such a nice time with you all! Remember us to Martin, Norman, Rayk, Jens, Henning! You all are welcome to Moscow, we will show you the city with pleasure.

Best regards and good luck,