He arrived at the main bus terminal several minutes before the bus took off. The ride was nothing special. Immediately when they arrived at the Polish border things already went wrong, a clear sign that they had reached the eastern block. The bus had to wait for four hours for no apparent reason, and when the guards finally boarded the bus, they were simply told that they didn’t want to control them and that they had to go to another border crossing an hour away. So the trip had barely begun and already it was six hours late. This was one of those things that would never happen in the west. In the West everything is rational and functional. In the East it’s unpredictable and incoherent. But it is in this way that time gets immediately transformed. One might conclude that in the West, since things run smoothly, that there would be more time which was free and that life would expand. In fact it’s quite the opposite. In the West time moves quicker and therefore life gets shorter also as a result. It’s in the East where time goes more slowly that time expands with moments of stillness. In the West people were over concerned with prolonging and extending life, but in here was a secret of how to extend life internally rather than externally.
On the bus he was looking out the window and thinking about bridges. He was thinking about how making bridges was the whole point of his life. Bridges between his life now and his childhood, between the holy and the profane, between beauty and ugliness. Without these bridges, he felt, life became trivial.