January 12, 2006

7:23 AM
I am in Berlin. It has been impossible to connect to the internet with my laptop. Though I've written pages upon pages of material, it will sit in anonymity until a wireless signal graces my little computer. So much to say, so much on my mind. And here I am in an internet cafe with a foreign keyboard. The y and z are in different places and all the good stuff we in the US take for granted like ?/': are not where I'm used to them being. I'll get used to it though. Just be easy on me when I make a mistake.

I made in to Frankfurt on Wednesday morning. After our plane was in a 40 minute holding pattern, I surely thought I would lose it. Though I managed to get an exit row, the 2 foot proximity to the restroom had fumes of horridness filling my nostrils and therefore my brain started dancing the dance of death. You have no idea how excited I was to finally touch ground.

Customs in Germany rules! No questions, just a stamp on my passport and I was in the country. Woohoo. The plan was to wait for ANTI FLAG at baggage claim, but with them nowhere in sight I pass through the final customs door into GERMANY and take a seat. Then I hear my name being paged. "MIKE PARK PLEASE REPORT TO ......" I couldn't understand, but they were obviouslz looking for me. I strolled through the airport and within a few minutes I see Pat, the drummer for AF and he escorts me through my legions of fans to a safe haven in the ROCK N ROLL bus. Beautiful!! I meet the driver ELMAR and pick my bed on the bus. I take the rear left bottom bunk and make myself acquainted with my new surroundings. Yes, the goosebumps of excitement overwhelm me. The 30 minutes of sleep the past 24 hours don't matter at this point. I'm on tour and excited about everything. Myself and the AF crew chat in the back lounge while we get ready to depart for HAMBURG. I finally pass out at around 2PM and awake at 6PM.

Most are still asleep, but Alex the merchandise dude for AF is up, so I sit with him and talk a bit before taking a seat up front to see the city lights. We are just a few miles from town and I notice the plethora of sex shops. Looks like Amsterdam. I later find out prostitution is legal here. So strange, but anyways......the city is beautiful otherwise. Tito the road manager for the band and an old dear friend of mine gets up and we check into the hotel. A place called IBIS. Room 172 is mine and Titos. We hold fort for a bit, flipping through German television before meeting in the lobby with the rest of the crew for dinner. We walk for what seems forever. And though I love walking, I was wondering why we were going so far?

We finally decided on Japanese food. I looked in and didn't see any Japanese people though. Is that a good sign. Hmmmm.... Even the staff weren't Japanese. The food was ok. A bit pricey, but hey I'm on tour and having fun, so it's ok. I get a couple veggie rolls and soba. It filled the belly and that is all that matters.

On the way back to the hotel we break up in different groups. Myself, Tito, and Neil(AF drum tech) go for a walk. Past the seedy areas we get some much needed exercise. I don't even mind the freezing cold. Back to the hotel, Tito and I talk until a bit past midnight and pass out.

4:20 AM I wake up and being the expert of jet lag I knew there was no chance of going back to sleep. I headed straight downstairs to the hotel lobby. They had a computer there, but it wouldn't let me log onto my blog update. So I just caught up on email. The hotel was dimly lit at this time of morning and doh!!! Somebody was at the computer. WAH... So I sat next to him, so he could see me and after 10 minutes he left. YAY.

I caught up on email and then PJ(AF GUITAR TECH) comes downstairs at around 6 AM, he says he can't sleep. We decide on getting breakfast, so I run back up to my room to get my heavy coat. Friggin A... TITO is wide awake watching TV. JET LAG is fun. He heads out with us and we brave the cold. Nothing is open. Not even McDonalds, so we head back to the hotel and opt for the all you can eat buffet for 9 euros. No hot foods, just deli meats, fruit, yogurt, cereal, and hard boiled eggs. But I manage to eat my share of 9 euros worth of food.

Back to the hotel room, I try to fall asleep before our 12 noon check out time. I manage an hour or so of sleep. Too bad we had to check out at noon. At that point, I was so tired I could have slept through til' who knows when, but we had to leave.

The bus is parked 3 blocks away at the club. I put my stuff away and just go for a massive walk. 3 hours later, my legs are cramping up due to a lack of liquids. As I refuel at the club. I meet up with a pen pal named JAN and he helps me find some ear muffs. I get some hair wax too. Haven't used that in a long time, but my hair is doing some funny things lately. And finally back to the club I go to set up for the show. I feel delirious all the way up to showtime.

I played well. At least I think I did. It was hard to tell what the crowd thought. Not an overwhelming boost of confidence from them and cd sales were small only 11 sold, so it's a bit hard to gauge whether or not they liked me. BOOHOO! It doesn't matter. My new motto is to just have fun and enjoy the moment, so that's what I did. Met some great people at the show, sold 11 cd's that I wouldn't have sold otherwise, and I'm in friggin Germany!! How could it get any better. The show lets out and I pack up. Bus call is 2 AM, so Neil and I head out looking for food. I eat the worst DONNER KEBAB of my life and we head back to home base. I eat some TOBLERONE chocolate to wash away the horrid taste in my mouth and then crash out at a bit past 2AM.

And this puts me here in this internet cafe far far far from home. This is exciting. Can't wait for what the day offers.
Peace always,
Mike Park