March 13, 2008

12:24 PM
BUDAPEST!! Here we come. First contact for us, so yipee! Can't wait to explore the city and see the architecture. Hungarian? I don't think I know one word....? Is GHOULOSH Hungarian? Like the food. Yeah, I'm a real buff when it comes to that stuff. Not really, but I do really love the look of Europe and the old buildings that still remain intact through years and years of history.

I've eaten 3 falafel's in the last 18 hours. 2 out of 3 were quite good and for just under 3 euros, that's a deal. Sundowner and I were craving sushi, so we hopped up to the fifth floor of this shopping mall and checked out the menu of this one Japanese restaurant. No dice. For a cucumber roll with 12 pieces, it was 6.5 EUROS. So that's why we ended up eating falafel. But within two minutes we came upon a sign for half price sushi for a happy hour type of deal, so we thought it was destiny calling. Instead we ate the worst sushi of our lives. We should have stuck with the vegetarian rolls, but we did get one tekka maki(tuna) which was so far from being sushi grade that it's a small miracle we both aren't keeled over in pain from eating raw fish. Luckily the tape worm deep inside me is working overtime and perhaps ate it all up. I'm hoping that's the case.
Sundowner and I managed about an hours worth of walking. We didn't dive deep into the city like my last visit, but being outside with the warm sun on my face felt invigorating. We didn't need to be at the club til' 8 PM, I took a hot bath while drinking a huge cup of tea. The hotel was located directly across the street from the train station. I'm guessing it was built in the early 1900's and everyone who worked there had a kind smile for us. The TV even had CNN, so we finally got to catch up on the happenings in the US. Obama wins MISSISSIPPI!!

A taxi came to the hotel we were staying at and picked us up at 7:45. Hiro again stayed behind, hoping this last night of rest would do the trick. Again, I'm just glad we've been able to stay in these comfortable and convenient places as to give him a chance to recover. Earlier in the day I had called the promoter to just make sure I got all the info. for the evening. He had said the word HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS somewhere in conversation. After a minute or so, I said "Ummmm... Did you just say you are working for the Harlem Globetrotters?" He verified that YES he indeed said Harlem Globetrotters and so of course I asked if he could hook us up with tickets. The game started at 8 PM, so we did the fastest sound check ever and then headed off to the game. After struggling to find the place, we find our comped tickets landing us in the first row. But this must have been the B team for the GLOBETROTTERS. Albeit, I haven't known anything about the players since I was a young kid and names like CURLY NEAL, GEESE AUSBIE, and MEADOWLARK LEMON ran the floor. This time it was THE BIG EASY, AIRPORT, and of course the WASHINGTON GENERALS on the opposing side. SUNDOWNER and I just so badly wanted a piece of AMERICANA and how much more AMERICANA can you get than the RED, WHITE, AND BLUE of the HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS.

The event was at the CITY HALL where around 2,000 people filled the seats. The court was marked by yellow tape and there was no scoreboard. Just a wireless microphone hooked up to the hype man and lots of crowd interaction. Unfortunately we could only stay for about 40 minutes, but we got a quick fix and it was back to the club.

We met some folks who drove 400 KM from SLOVENIA to see the show. There was also the #1 LAWRENCE ARMS fan who came all the way from Japan just to see SUNDOWNER. My guess is that she likes SUNDOWNER quite a lot to make such a journey.

The show was a lot of fun. Perhaps my favorite so far in EUROPE. I felt a bit more at ease last night. For some reason it's been difficult for me to get into any kind of comfort zone on this tour, but I guess that's ok. People still seem to enjoy themselves and I've been selling lots of cd's. I sold 24 last night. So that means something right?

Well, only 1.5 hrs left til' we hit BUDAPEST. Be well.
Mike Park