The ZDay experience

The ZDay experience

ZDay, also known as The Zeitgeist Day, is an annual event organized by The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) for the past many years. For those unfamiliar, TZM started as the activism arm of The Venus Project back in 2008 I think.

Anyway, they were making these annual events where they would invite all sorts of people to give talks, mostly those active within the movement. Some talks were very interesting, some boring, a few very weird 🙂 . But overall I was always interested in this ZDay and I would watch it either live or the recordings. At least some of the interesting ones (in my view).

For the past few years I tried to get myself into these ZDay evens to present TROM. I was close to get to the Frankfurt one a few years back, but they had no more available spaces for my presentation. A few months ago I’ve red that there is a new ZDay coming in Prague, and it would be the last one because TZM wants to decentralize the movement. So, being the last one, combined with the fact that one of my best TROM friends lives in Prague,

I said that now is the time for me to invite myself to ZDay :). And make sure I go there!

I sent some 2-3 emails but got no reply. After a few weeks someone got back to me and told me that they are aware of TROM and they would like to have me there.


You see I always kept myself active with TROM, but I was never invited anywhere to present it. Maybe it is because before 2018 I was not willing to do these sort of things at all, and I would not put myself out there. But also because I am not on Facebook, Whatsapp, Telegram, Discord and all of these trade-based platforms where most activists hang out, so I did not make friends/contacts with any of them really. And I get the feeling that this is how you get into these events.

Anyway, excited to go. I had a month to prepare but I worked more than half of the month on a new big release of TROMjaro. So I had around 2 weeks left to come up with a presentation. We do so much at TROM that it is insane to try and present it all in 30-40 minutes, the time they would give me for my talk. So I had to come up with a more unique way of presenting it.

It was my first time using LibreOffice Presentation so it took a few days to get used to it, but then I LOVED it! You can easily animate stuff, create shapes, paste images, do it all!

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My talk would be called: How to Grow a Saner Society. A Lifetime Adventure!

I wanted to keep it more positive and focused on our trade-free approach. I figured that the people who were familiar with TZM are already over-saturated with the “how bad this society is” and want to hear something new. Like what we can do about it.

I bought a wireless presentation remote controller and I practiced the presentation. I was quite happy with it. Sasha and Georgi were my test subjects and they seemed to love it. That was encouraging.

I bought the tickets to Prague – expensive as fuck – and put everything I needed into one small backpack. Let me say that I LOVE the fact that now I have a proper laptop, thanks to Roma and Gui mostly who donated enough money for the campaign to buy me a new laptop. It helps a fuck ton because I do a lot on the laptop and to be able to carry it with me was a must. It is thin, metal, powerful, lots of storage, but big enough so I do not even need an external screen to do my work most of the time.

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See how happy I am because of this laptop? 🙂

All I need is my 18-buttons mouse and I am all set:

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Now I can go. I have control over all of the TROM projects thanks to the laptop and my mouse 😉

The TROM Crew!

Roma was about to host me for the entire stay, and I decided to stay for 13 days or so. Aaron, who lives in Dresden (2h away from Prague with the bus/train) would join too. But also Vicky and Rafa from Spain who came to support me, us, everyone :). I was so happy that we had a part of the TROM Crew for the ZDay!

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These people are so nice, and calm, and friendly. They are family! I don’t say it lightly.

We spent the next day together and it was relaxing. That’s the OK sign for when you dive! So you know 😉

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Roma hosted me like I was a king or something. Everything was so neat at his place, and clean, and organized.

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He even gave me his own big room and he slept on a mattress in the livingroom. You know I am not the best when it comes to go visit people and places. I would say I may be the worst. Even when I was a kid I never “slept over” to any of my friends’ places, because I feel uncomfortable. I get very easily bothered if I do not have my own kind of comfort. I struggle with the sleep (light burns me alive and I go to sleep early in the morning so if the room is not very dark the vampire in me will suffer a lot); I also struggle with eating….You know actually there are 3 essential things that put a huge toll on my life: eat, sleep, and shit. 🙂

I have a lot of digestive issues so I can only eat a few kinds of foods. Therefore I am always stressed about what I am going to eat. I need those specific foods! And because of that, the other side of the coin colon has to struggle to deliver. Ok. I’ll stop here, but these normal things are very abnormal for me and are stressful. Combine that with the fact that I struggle to fall asleep and keep myself asleep….and you get a clusterfuck of daily issues.

Is it clear now that I need my own comfort and control over my daily life?!

Ok. So basically Roma hosted me in a way that I felt at home. And this is quite an achievement I would say. His apartment was so nice I wouldn’t mind to sleep in the living-room on his NEW mattress that is better than my bed at home! But he insisted to give me his room.

I was happy and relaxed:

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Thank you Roma, you are the best human I swear! 🙂

Ok. Time for ZDay!

We went to the venue and I thought we would see a bunch of people outside waiting. But it was no one. I was told that some 40 people reserved a seat weeks ago and that they were reserving more. That there are some 100 seats available and I think I’ve heard that they were all booked before the event.

Anyway, I was expecting to see some people outside. One guy came to us and recognized that we were from TROM. That was nice. Likely our TROM “handprint” tshirts were a clue :).

We went inside and we saw a few people. The venue was very nice. I recognized some of the people. They were all very nice! We were in!

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The venue was a lot smaller than I thought:

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But very neat and well organized. They even had super tasty foods there:

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I wish I could fucking eat some!

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Mind you everything was free there, no one paid anything. These guys organized it all from their own money and donations. So kudos to them it was a super nice place.

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They even had live translations with live-human-flesh-and-meat translators. They gave us individual headphones:

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Am telling you they were very well organized. Well, almost.

The first hurdle was that they had a Widows laptop that was the main machine streaming the presentations to the projector, and my presentation was made in LibreOffice (LO). So it was not working…we had to install LO, then a font, then test a bit to make it work. I told them I will use LO weeks before the event, and I was told that “This should not be a problem. All of the computers will be running Linux to my knowledge.” – Well it was fine eventually. But I was a bit surprised.

I was also surprised that they did not have a remote controller for the presentation. Luckily I brought mine and everyone would eventually use it. Without one how are you going to present? Using the laptop arrow keys?…

But don’t get me wrong, these are small details. Everything else was great there. Super duper nice and organized.

At one point this guy approached me and he told me that he translated the TROM II documentary into Polish. He was “Jaro”, or “Jaromatrix”? That’s how I know him from the TROM Chats.

It was so cool to see someone in person who was part of our chats for some months now, if not longer. Such a nice guy! He wanted for us to talk more, but it was a bit too chaotic and busy for me, so we didn’t get to spend too much time together. Thank you man for coming and I hope to meet you again!

We had some interesting discussions before the event started:

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I was very surprised to see Zach and Arjang. I was aware of their youtube channels because I added them to our TROM Curated Videos a few months ago. Zach is part of this Moneyless Society project, and Arjang has his own Beyond Capitalism channel. They did not present at ZDay because there was no more space, but we got to talk a bit. Interesting people!

Ok, and so it started!

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There were not many people, but it was still exciting.

The issue with languages!

The entire presentation and the talks were in Czech. Only I did the talk in English. Most people in the audience did not understand Czech. So for the first 3 talks that were in Czech, we had to wear these headphones and listen to the live english translations:

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And it was….well….not fun! It was really difficult to focus on the presentation and listen to them. It is difficult to do live translations let’s be honest. Plus the speakers had a few slides mostly with text, in Czech, so it was basically impossible for me or anyone I talked to, to understand the talks…. It is unfortunate that we do not speak a common language and have to struggle so much.

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I appreciate very much the effort, honestly, however for us it was impossible to make sense of the presentations. I think one presentation was about a sort of credit-trade-system, and one about permaculture, but as I said it was impossible to get much out of them.

The problem with the recording.

30 people seeing my talk is very good, but it would be a shame not to record and share it with hundreds or thousands of people online. So having the recording of my talk was paramount for me.

We decided on the spot that perhaps it is a good idea for us to film too. Roma had a camera and a tripod and I am so happy that we took that decision!

You see, I asked beforehand the organizers if they would film and make the recordings available for us too. They said that of course they will. However when we were there they would stream with an ipad that was either in one corner or moving around, and Zach was also filming at times. But it didn’t look to me like they had that very organized. I later was told that the streaming was in Czech, even mine…so for those who wanted to watch the livestream (probably the vast majority of people) it was not watchable.

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Look, I understand that the event was held in the Czech Republic, and some Czech people do not understand English, but I think it would have been good to stream it in English honestly. But anyway, the streaming quality was not great for later use anyway.

Zach also filmed but for one he did so more dynamically, and he would move around quite a bit. And so he will not capture my slides many times. Tthe way that I made my presentation was to rely on the slides, make it fun, animated, interesting, funny at times. Without the slides it does not make sense. Zach also filmed with a camera in RAW format, a format that I think it is proprietary (.braw). Some 150GB in size for less than an hour of footage. Plus because it is RAW you get a washed out video that needs color grading/editing. This made it nearly impossible for us to share these files and edit them. I can’t even play these files in Linux without their proprietary/licensed codec. To edit I had to install the trade-based Davinci Resolve video editor, the editor made by the same company that made the camera that Zach was using. And the recording from Zach was missing a few bits here and there.

Look, call me crazy but I think it is insane to make the digital media so enormous. 4k, 8k, raw and whatever K, in my mind they make no sense, unless you are BBC filming a nature documentary all around the world and presenting it on large screens in cinemas… I am not trying to be mean, and Zach if you read this post please be open minded and do not take it personally. We need to be mindful about the fact that the digital too has a real impact on resources: pollution, waste. You know you have to store large files on physical hardware, and transport, and download, and backup. Energy consumption, manufacturing, waste. Multiply with billions of times and you get a massive impact. Plus it is impractical, especially when these formats are locked-down.

Anyway. Zach was very patient and shared with us the files.

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He also recorded the audio from a stage mic, separate form the one we were holding for the presentations. Because of that it recorded with a lot of echo. The audio was attached to the videos so it was again difficult to deal with them because you had to, well, extract the audio from those super massive-in-size videos.

Therefore we were left with Roma’s recording, with the mic from the camera itself. As you may imagine, a lot of echo and background noise. I really wanted to take my lavmic with me, but I was SURE they will record directly from the presentation mic itself….

I wanted to give you all of these details because the presentation that you will see has a bad audio…and we really tried to improve it but it is kinda impossible to make it sound well. I worked for the past weeks on this ZDay presentation and that’s only because I had to deal with the above issues. Else I would have made this article a lot sooner.

Basically we ended up with two presentations. One from Roma’s camera: video and audio. And one a mix between Roma’s and Zach’s footage and recordings. Whatever you like best….

Here I am on the stage:

I was not nervous really. People were asking me about that. It is because I know what I want to say and the things I was presenting are important and real. For me this is not a presentation, it is me talking to people about some really fucking important things! Why would I be nervous?

Ok here’s the Roma-based presentation:

And this is the Roma-Zach-based presentation:

I think the analogy with evolution works wonders. And it gives people a great visual of all that we are trying to say and achieve. It worked out a lot better than I expected. I thought about this analogy while we were recording for TROM II, but I didn’t include it in the documentary because it was a spontaneous thing and not so well thought as this presentation. In a way I think this presentation is a very well explanation of what we do at TROM. Maybe the best and shortest presentation about TROM.

It seems that many people really liked it. So that was super fantastic.

After my presentation there were a few video remote presentations. Basically pre-recorded videos that we would watch. I want to briefly mention this one about Humania. I’ve heard about this project a month before ZDay. Now, I cannot show you the presentation because where can I find it? But I was aware of them presenting this project before I went to Prague. Someone even sent me their slides. I looked over the project and I want to say a few things. For one I am quite sure that the people behind it are good people. One of them, Ziad, is someone I worked with on TROM for several years. I was so surprised to see him involved in this. Ziad helped me rebuild TROMsite and VideoNeat several times. We spent many nights working online on these projects. He was always so kind and very computer-smart. Anyway, I am happy to see him active because he kinda disappeared a few years ago. We haven’t talked since then.

Now, Humania….it is a project that wants to build a community, kinda like TVP. This is their “3D planning”:

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They even had to start the presentation by saying that “No, it’s not The Venus Project…” 🙂 – well if you see their presentation then this is kinda the Venus Project…but should not matter. What matters is that I’ve heard about these projects hundreds of times for the past decade. And none survived. None went beyond some Google Docs and some 3D models. And I am not saying this in a mean way, I wish these people had the resources to do something, but I am FRUSTRATED at this approach overall.

TVP made people dream about new worlds, built almost like in parallel with this one. Dome houses, maglev transport, circle-shaped cities, automation, etc.. I am quite sure Fresco was not that naive to think that this is the future, and he said it a bunch of times actually. But people started to focus more and more on these technologies. And forgot the message: this monetary system (trade system more exactly) is the source of most problems. This is a long conversation to have and we made several TROMcasts about it, but in essence I now realize that people got the wrong message and they fantasize about building a new city to prove how a new society looks like. TVP itself jumped on this train for the past many years, to the point of sounding like a cult.

My frustration is with the fact that people focus too much on these fantasy lands that are at best some simplistic 3D models, while ignoring the real things and progress that we can do today. The volunteering, the open source, the organizations helping others, and so forth. We NEED to work with these in order to change something! TVP made people ignore these real and realistic approaches because they think that these approaches are patchworks.

Anyway watch our TROM II documentary to see what I’m talking about in terms of a realistic approach to maybe change this society.

So I was a bit concerned that after my presentation which was about real things, the Humania presentation will make people fantasize again about things that do not exist, nor will they ever exist in that manner.

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We had a Q&A where people would kind of push this sort of mentality a bit and I answered a few questions. I would love to show you that, but only Zach recorded it and I do not have the mental resources to extract all of that from the .BRAW files….maybe I’ll do it one day, but I tried to explain these things in the Q&A. There weren’t many questions tho, and not a lot of engagement.

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But after the Humania presentation I quite enjoyed the TZM Italy video presentation that was very down to earth, about sharing and communities that were real:

How they organize sharing events and stuff like that. They were a lot more in tune with TROM I would say than any other at the event.

Overall I really enjoyed it and except for the recording part, everything was really well put together.

After the event.

After the event was over we spent an hour or so at the same place and many people came to talk to me. They told me they knew about TROM and were impressed by how active we still are. It was a great feeling to meet such people. All of them were very nice, very chill, it was so cool to have important discussions with so many people. You see, I said that I was surprised to see so few people attending, but after the event was over I was so happy there weren’t more than 30 or so, because it would have been chaotic after the event. I enjoyed the after-event a lot more than the event itself, because I got to talk to these people. I talked so much that I could not even go pee haha. I was glued there.

Man….I don’t know how to put it in words, but I felt like I was part of something. Physically. These were people that I didn’t know, and yet they were very much aware of the things I was talking about for years now. We could click immediately.

This is Lenka:

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She came because she got our TROM Newsletter about the event. She is from the Czech Republic and was living in Prague. She recently watched the TROM II documentary and got to know about TROM from one of her friends, Benji. Benji follows TROM from almost the beginning of it all, but he could not come unfortunately. We clicked with Lenka within minutes, as if she was our friend for years now. From discussions to jokes, from how kind she is to how down to earth she is.

We also met Ante, from Croatia.

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His tshirt was saying “f*ck capitalism” and that made him a welcome friend in our group. haha. He was so nice, friendly, and I really enjoyed the conversations we had.

Cihan, Cliff, Kristina, and a bunch of others were such great people.

We went out to eat something after the event, and spent a few hours passionately talking to each other. I got to talk a lot with Cihan and Cliff (one of the main organizers of the event). We talked about this approach of building communities, or not building them. About TZM, activism, TROM, and more. Unfortunately there were a few people with who I did not talk much, and I thought we will the next day when we should have met again. But not all came for the next day meeting. It is unfortunate because I really wanted to talk to all of them.

I was so tired by midnight. So we headed home.

Next day, fun day.

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We went to meet for one last time with everyone else. Zach also wanted to interview me for a film/documentary he is working on. He is traveling to many places and interviews “activists” or people who have something important to say I suppose. He understands, like we do, that this is a fucked up society, and why it is fucked up; and the guy is very active trying to make people aware of this, but he’s also aware of how many good people are in the world and how we could think about change. And he wants to put these people in the spotlight.

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I had some more discussions with him and Arjang (the guy at the piano – he is good at that), but we had to say goodby. Both of these guys do their own thing and I am very happy to see that. Maybe we can collaborate in the future. Videos, projects, podcasts, discussions.

We met with the few rest again and went to eat something. Unfortunately only a few were present this second day, because the rest had to leave. But overall lengthy, funny, interesting discussions that lasted for hours at this Indian restaurant that could have killed me if I were to touch any of their foods, even if only with my bare hands.

The less hectic and more calm parts of my journey were here. Aaron had to go home unfortunately, and I, Rafa, Vicky, Roma and Ante, went to Roma’s place for some chill time. We ordered some pizza and had lenghty and really interesting discussions.

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I hope to meet Ante again because I really liked the guy. We exchanged contacts and I will for sure contact Ante at some point.

Vicky and Rafa had to leave the next day. These guys were the glue for all of us because they are kind and hug everyone.

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Vicky is so funny with her “custom” English, she makes us all laugh so hard. She says “Fucking shit!” so many times, and with her Spanish accent it is hilarious.

One time we were talking about Rafa’s parents and I ask her “How do you get along with Rafa’s father?” and she said, in a cute and spanglish-voice “Oh I love your father!”. hahahah. She always mistakes the mine, yours, their, he, she. And that’s so funny. One time she showed us a butterfly, because she is studying about insects, and she said “This boterfly es dangeros.”. And I was like “Hmm….doesn’t look like it.”. “No, she is dangeros!” – she said, and she quickly pulls up the translation app on her phone to make sure she said it right, and while typing I see the translation “This butterfly is in danger of extinction.”. hahahah

She is so funny. And Rafa too. And so homie. Chill. Nice. Always lovely to meet them!

The next fun and awesome days.

I already feel nostalgia while writing about this, and that’s a good sign that I enjoyed it so much. The next days we met with Lenka, and we had such a nice time together.

We went to the Illusions museum.

And it was very confusing and fun.

I want to emphasize on how well we got along with Lenka because it was so surprising to feel so comfortable with someone that you just met. And the wonderful message I got from her friend Benji. It would be a great shame if we were not to meet again, Lenka, and I cannot accept not meeting you Benji. We have to!

Lenka took us to some nice places outside the city center, because she also hates these crowded places and she likes the nature more. I think the saner you are, the more you gravitate towards this, because crows usually means tourists and consumption. Also pollution, waste, concrete jungles.

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We talked a lot lot, and we laughed a bunch 🙂

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I spent my days relaxing and working on my laptop from the great comfort of Roma’s apartment. Unfortunately Roma had to work every day. That made me quite angry because this guy should not be forced to work on things that he does not want to work on. No one should! I fantasize about him being able to take his skills and come join TROM fully….and who knows maybe it can happen. This guy works so hard to take care of his parents, it is quite inspiring. And he had to come alone to Europe from Russia, and create a life for himself and manage a lot of things. He got his shit together believe me! Down to earth, organized, calm and sticking to his plans!

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My friendship with Roma got really strong and real. We are not friends anymore, we are brothers. We have so many things in common. On top of our TROM-Discussions I can talk for hours with Roma about tech, because we are equally fascinated by it.

Let’s visit Aaron!

Believe it or not but I’ve never traveled with a train. And Aaron was 2h away with the train….2 plus 2 equals Dresden. Let’s take the train to Aaron!

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I honestly very much enjoyed the train ride. It was quite nice inside and the ride is so smooth I never felt like I was going somewhere. In the car or the bus you can get sick pretty easily (at least I do) if you stay on your laptop, or talk to people and not pay attention to the road. Because it is too snakey….But with the train it’s so much nicer!

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We stayed at Aaron’s nice place, in the attic basically. And I’ve said it so many times but Aaron is one of the most chill and nice dudes I know.

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We would spend only 2 days in Dresden but it felt like 4 to me. Aaron took us around to visit the place. We went to a nice park and we played table tennis:

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And saw some weird places…

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I was surprised to see how in Germany people are very keen to share, to do open source projects, and so on. Look at this place:

Places like these should be everywhere. You would also see cardboard boxes with stuff all around the city, where people would put stuff for others to grab. I love this mentality. And the icing on the cake was when Aaron took us to this Hackerspace. These spaces are basically, from what I understand, meant to allow anyone to come there for free and work on their projects. Take a sit, connect to the internet, grab a drink, even cook some fucking food….all for free. They even had lots of tools to repair your devices:

I talked to one of the guys “in charge” of the place and he was so nice and down to earth. They were working on some software to help the refugees/ukrainians find a place to stay in Germany, and on other projects too. The guy never had a job and he was saying “If you take care of your mother, is that a job?”. I immediately loved it. They get it. We should not have “jobs” but focus on the things that we consider as important and not expect anything in return for that. Enjoy the things that we do. As simple as that! I talked to them about TROM too.

It was such a cozy place. I am grateful to Aaron for taking us there. I loved it. And there are hundreds, if not thousands of such spaces in the world. Here’s a map:

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We even worked a bit to fix Aaron’s laptop. Glue, tools, space. No one asks you anything. Go do it!

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You know there are so many people around the world that understand we should take care of each other and be good humans, and fuck this consumerism! That gives me some hope. We need to find them, tell them about TROM too, share the views, discuss, promote, and scream louder together.

The next day Aaron took us around some nice, more nature-oriented places. We had something good to eat, then we headed back to Prague.

I spent 2 more days with the awesome Roma and I really felt relaxed and unusually for me, at home.

I really enjoyed it. The ZDay was well organized and I met new wonderful people, my best friends came with me for the event and I made new friends there. I was treated so well by Roma that I cannot thank him enough. And we visited some very cool places too.

I hope that at least some people got curious about what we do at TROM, and who knows maybe join us, even invite me to other events to present it. If I have the money and means I will go. I am fearless 🙂 I go anywhere now haha.


I am however extremely happy to be back home. I was missing Sasha and she is still my wonderful-one. It is such a shame she could not come. Work, papers…bullshit. I hope if there is a next time we will go together. I hope Georgi can also come, and other TROM friends!

You know, I am happy to live in a very small town….

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I went at the beach the next day, and I was reflecting back at how big cities are not meant for humans. Both Prague and Dresden are too big….You want go meet your friends? 30-40 minutes with the public transport. Wanna go to a park/forest? You have to cross many streets and walk for quite a bit, or take again the public transport for half an hour. Cars, trams, buses, subways….many people, all busy. A huge rush. A lot of buildings, a lot of concrete. I was missing the quietness, the nature, the calmness, the fucking trees, the fucking sea. HELLO fucking NATURE!

And it is so expensive in big cities. I spent so much money. Here I never spend money when I go out. Here, when I go out, I go directly into he “out” where I want to go. The beach is 5 minutes away, the mountain is 10. Forest is 20. And that’s barely crossing any streets. And it is so empty and quiet when it is off season. I was missing that a lot. I got so tired in Prague because of so many people, all almost running somewhere. I do not think humans should live like this. Luckily Roma stays outside of Prague a bit. And it is calm there. Thank fuck! I am happy for him!

Maybe it’s just me but I could never live in a big city.

This was the first time I went somewhere to present TROM and I will not forget this experience for a long long time. But trust me when I say this, 70% of the success of this experience (for me) is because of how well Roma treated me. If I were to feel uncomfortable, and it doesn’t take much to make me very uncomfortable, then everything else would have been a painful experience. Thank you man!

This event inspired me to think about creating our own yearly event, like the Trade-Free Yearly Event where we invite many organizations and people from around the world to give speeches/lectures, even have some workshops to for example showcase TROMjaro and so on. Wild ideas for now….but making a 14 hours documentary in 2011 was also a wild idea. Even doing the TROM Meeting, or TROMjaro…. So maybe, maybe we will do this….

Stay tuned! Follow our work at because we are hellishly active!

Thank you again to everyone who organized this ZDay, overall I loved it! Any sort of criticism I said in this article is in fact not that important, and at the end of the day the overall experience matters and that was fantastic!

Thank you!

4 Replies to “The ZDay experience”

  1. Wow, great article, my friend! Thank you very much for all the kind words 🙂
    I am so happy you get such a satisfying experience with ZDay and visiting me as well. I want to just say it once again – you are always welcome at my place, wherever I will be in the world 😀

    Big hugs, amigo!

  2. What a fantastic article! Was great to be at the event and it was so nice to spend some really cool days with you 🙂

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