Thursday, June 25, 2009

Strange Symmetry

Our first of many festivals began on a tattered red carpet stretched across a homemade bridge in Croatia. The carpet eventually led end to the woods and quickly gave way to dense forest. Good omens, to be sure.

Straight back to covering most of the civilized world with 3 different types of confetti.

I checked onto the traditionally hellish Euro-submarine for the next few weeks. I have never quite understood why or how buses are made to be so remarkably uncomfortable over here. It defies the laws of decency on all fronts. Either way I'll be sleeping on plywood that smells just a bit like urine as I'm gently rocked about by an irate Austrian manning a slowly dying transmission.

And another thing...

A few of us took advantage of the scarce pleasant outdoor hours before the rain, unbearable heat and carnivorous insects descended, and sat by the river.

I was entertained by all manner of watercraft that tore back and forth.

Really anything buoyant within shouting distance of a paddle was given a green light.

Seriously anything. I was five minutes from tipping a disused refrigerator into the depths and using a rolled up newspaper as an oar.

Oh do your worst, Euro food. I'll take the Zob.

This got passed around quite a bit, and ended up with my old pal Richard. It became fondly known as 'tofluenza.' I would describe both it's color and texture (as I am, and will forever be ignorant of its taste) as sickly.

Later that night we got down at a Slovenian truck stop. All of us were pretty sure that it just said hip hop. Whatever.

Apparently it's commonplace in Eastern Europe to have available, at 3 in the morning, both duct tape to be used expressly for bondage, and women's underwear in a can.

Today I'm shaking off a 14-hour bus ride in St. Galen, Switzerland. There's a good deal of sitting in the sunshine and eating bread implied.

Followed directly by a trip to the spa and several hours riding this goddamn water slide. Shazam.

maybe tomorrow

Home was short and hurty, but mostly good times. Shellac was great, and I've never had a bad time when alcoholic arnold palmers and the castro theatre are involved.

Somehow recently I have turned into a complete and total mess seemingly both inside and out. For some reason I've been more concerned with the out, as I'd turned my little part of the world into an elaborate game of desktop buckeroo. With each new day comes a fresh attempt at organization that leads, without fail to the pile shifting from desk to floor and then back again. Trauma.

So I shoved it all into a bag and flew to Croatia. That's right up there with "my dad got bit by a dog in vietnam" in the category of things that I never thought I would have occasion to say out loud.

I was bracing myself for a hellishly long flight to Frankfurt in the very last row of a 25 year-old airplane operated by a crude bunch of sadists otherwise known as Lufthansa's flight attendants. At the absolute last minute I managed some sort of 'hand of god' upgrade to business class, had a few cocktails, watched a documentary on the great barrier reef and passed the hell out for about nine hours. When I arrived in Frankfurt with a few hours to wander around before my flight to Zagreb, I deftly talked my way into the first class lounge. I say 'talked my way into' as if it involves anything other than speaking English loudly and quickly to a German. It was a nice break though, and I got to take a shower, and make use of the complimentary internet.

There was even a breakfast buffet. I figured what better way to ease myself into the rough and tumble world of European cuisine than with some white rice and water.

The flight to Zagreb was brief and utterly terrifying. The plane made those sounds like that thing from Cloverfield makes when it's eating the Brooklyn Bridge. It was mostly due to the thick and heavy clouds that seem to cover the city at all hours of the day and night.

It seemed to only get thicker and more forboding as the day went on. This is never a happy sight when you are embarking on three weeks of outdoor festivals.

I had a little walk around, and in my weary state found Zagreb to be a pretty ok place. It wasn't nearly as strange and Yugoslavian as I had imagined. It was decidedly Eastern European, but everyone seemed pretty good natured. I faded pretty early and spent the rest of the night in the hotel trying hard to avoid the two channels of televison that I got. One was a scambled version of the news, and the other was some sort of vaguely Slavic porn that seemed to involve chance encounters with the guy who works at the Kebab shop down the street.

And just like that it had all begun again. Send in the clowns.