My first Reallife Adventure
Finally, after 3 weeks, I'm back home from the Flatlands (aka Netherlands) and at a lack of words. But, I really feel like I should share my experience there, so ... here I go!
You went where?!
Let me tell you the story of how I went to the WuppDays. Once upon a time, little old me was tired of our money-based society, and I was told by a little fairy to look up the two mystical people whose names were Heidemarie Schwermer (who sadly passed away in March) and Raphael Fellmer. They both managed to live without money for some time. Now, they both lived interesting lives and how they managed to achieve getting around without money and such is certainly interesting, and I recommend you looking into it, but this post is about my experience!
So, through Raphael I quickly found myself on the website of a group/project/platform called yunity. To give you a quick run-down, yunity was created after the huge success of foodsharing.de, which managed to rescue about 4000 tons of food in Germany that would otherwise have been thrown away over the course of 3 years. yunity the project, started by the same people, aims to create an even better platform for sharing food and eventually more things, like cars, living spaces, skills, ...
Now I guess is a good time to talk about my vision, as it will explain my motivation to join this group. As you might know, if you're in my circle of close internet friends, I've been dreaming about creating a physical (as opposed to virtual) space for my friends and me to live, create and make the world a better place. That is, without having to worry about silly stuff like having to earn money. This grew more and more important for me from seeing said friends often hurting, being worried and generally unsure about the future.
In yunity, specifically their proposal for a "WuppHouse", I saw the opportunity to make that dream a reality, whether through being provided with help and resources or learning how and getting inspired to do it myself.
So, I relatively quickly decided to go to the WuppDays #6 in Rotterdam, to an old school building very generously provided by the Meesteren foundation.
Stop teasing me! How was it?
The WuppDays were, in one word, amazing! I mean ... I don't even know where to start!
I took the opportunity of introducing myself as "Tess", the name I chose for myself after deciding to put my feet in the cold water of dealing with my whole genderqueer / transgender side. That alone was a neat feeling.
The people there were fantastic. Everyone was in a great mood, excited to share their excitement for the project with everyone. Not to mention we weren't the only ones there: We joined United Earth, which aims to bring all the "unifiers" together, and Noomap, which is a project in beta stage providing a technical implementation of that vision.
Now, I had my share of feeling slightly uncomfortable as well, because the two aforementioned groups as well as a few people from yunity are quite spiritual, while I see myself as an atheist. Fortunately, yunity is agnostic and there was never a focus on this spirituality, you merely had the option of joining activities that were related to that.
One of those activities, that I was surprisingly invited to, was a "women's circle". It created a quiet, safe space for the people that joined to share experiences and stories, without the fear of being judged, or being told what to do. I decided to leave after the second meeting, which was quite spiritually focused, unlike the first one. I'm still glad I joined though.
So ... no money?
Yup, besides traveling there and back, I didn't have to spend a single cent! In general, we managed pretty well with very little money. On the top of my head, I can only think of us needing to buy toilet paper.
Something really neat that was going on was the food rescuing we did and the great meals we cooked from that. We were getting a lot of vegetables and fruit from the markets and some baked goods and sweets from some turkish stores. At first I thought I was going to lose weight because of all the healthy food, but I ate so much because it was so great, that I probably gained some instead!
A bunch of us slept in what might've been an old class or gym room. We were using a few mattresses that were already there, as well as some we found on the street that people just wanted to throw away! Aside from the one night where I had people snoring right next to me on both sides, I very much enjoyed it!
What did you actually do?
The first week I was still very shy and sat alone on my laptop a bunch. Eventually, some programmer people showed up and I was able to get an overview of what frameworks they were using and such.
At first I didn't quite feel motivated / inspired, and definitely felt like I'm not the right person for the job. But after having chatted to some people, and especially after seeing some of the mockups the design team did of what the application could look like, I managed to throw out some code. I was working on the frontend, making pretty stuff happen. Here's the result (no, that's not me).
Other than that, I helped with cooking a few times, went out to collect some food and probably a bunch of other things I can't currently thing of.
Any last words?
Let's see... I learned how to enjoy hugging people without feeling awkward - best thing to come from the whole trip imo - and generally managed to open up a little bit.
Now my current plan is to invite my group of internet friends over to the WuppDays #9 that's going to happen in Kirchheim unter Teck during summer vacation. Hopefully, after we met and some time's gone by, I can persue my dream of making the #obsidian place real.
If any of this has spiked some interest, I'd recommend you look into yunity, food sharing, living without money, and other such topics. If enough people share the same dream and try to make it reality, it'll happen in no time!
And with that, I hope all you beautiful people have a wonderful time. Thanks for reading and enjoy your life to the fullest! ❤️