As a serious chemical engineer that builds plants in Europe and Africa, I am not supposed to fool around with teddy bears. Yet, Sapuś (or Sapush) is my travel companion. He always smiles, never complains and neatly fits into my rucksack.
Sapuś is a token of gratitude my friend Adam received from one of his little patients. Adam thought someone had to protect me and keep me from going astray when I travel. Sapuś landed in my luggage next to toiletries, change of clothes, passport and an iPhone.
Airport shopping malls is what teddy bears like a lot and Sapuś is no exception. As opposed to other teddy bears, though, Sapuś always pays with his own credit card. He does not buy too much, either. He is aware that all goodies have to fit into hand luggage so there could be very little space left for him.
Planes are second home for Sapuś. Although he does not mind dusty roads and crowded buses while backpacking, as a jetsetter he likes sipping on Turkish coffee in the comfort of his seat. He always gets very excited as we touch down in yet another exotic destination.
We have something in common: rail is our favourite means of transportation. Nowhere is train travel more exciting than in India. As a polar bear, Sapuś attracts quite some attention. As a polar bear sipping on tea and munching Digestives, he quickly becomes Indian Railways celebrity. All in all, he is exempt from paying his fares.
My friend Adam is always worried that something bad can happen to me as I travel. Fear no evil when Sapuś is around. He can easily tame any wild animal, even the most scary looking stuffed leopard at the maharaja palace where we last time stayed together.
Sapuś is the first polar bear that has ever visited remote salt flats at the border with Pakistan. This is what border officials told us. Moreover, he is the only polar bear that could travel to this volatile area without a passport, visa and special entry permit while mine were scrupulously checked at every crossroad.
Home sweet home: no matter how exciting the trip was, Sapuś enjoys gentle wash and spin in the washing machine after getting back from the airport. He then sits with his friends and they all enjoy espresso with honey and listen to his travel stories.