September 18, 2006

1:47 PM
It's the first day in Europe that the sun isn't shining bright. The rain started last night in Cologne and now it's dark and wet as I peer out the window of the train. It feels nice being warm and safe inside It's a strange feeling to be honest. Kind of like curling up next to the fire on a rainy winter day. But I'm on a train and there's no fire, so this really makes no sense. Anyways, I woke up early to the sounds of traffic and rustling going on outside of our sleeping quarters. The club I played at last night has a flat that provides lodging for touring bands. I slept with the window open and it provided me an early alarm of around 7:45 AM. Not the best night of sleep for me. It was a strange feeling going to sleep in this place. There were 10 camp style bunk beds that were littered with random colored sheets, pillow covers, and blankets. The night before, a Finnish metal band played/stayed there and I wasn't sure which beds were not slept in. I could only do a smelling test and pick the best out of the bunch. Just feet from my head read the following grafitti: THE JOKE IS IN YOUR HANDS. And then a couple of inches away read:RX BANDITS/DESA 2004. Along with a hundreds of stickers piled on each other and the thought of who else had slept in my bed flood my thoughts. Maybe Adam Davis slept in this very bed??

We had zero idea how to get to the show yesterday?? My email request for directions garnered a simple resopnse of get off at Bahn station and if you miss this, get off at the Koln HBF and take a taxi. Ok, good enough. Luckily, I met some people the previous night in Bochum whom lived close by and gave me directions and then said ask anyone outside the station and they should know where the club is. And that is what happened. We had checked out of our hotel at noon and had so much time to kill. We stayed in the lobby for almost two hours. Relaxing in big chairs whilst checking email. Then we walked 50 minutes to the main station in Dortmund. The train ride was only one hour, so we took an easy stroll to the station. With a map in hand, I was an easy target for a tourist. People were so helpful. Even though I knew where I was going, they would always come up and ask if I needed help finding where I want to go.

The club I played at was called THE UNDERGROUND. We strolled in at a bit before 6 PM. We were greeted with pleasant smiles and offered beverages. Hiro smiled loudly and said VASSA. More eager to see if he can understand what he is saying. And the bartender said really? Most people want a beer or juice or something more substantial. I think the excitement of HIRO saying VASSA is what confused him. Water is free and here is a stranger offering you any beverage and you want water. We had orange juice instead. I did a quick sound check and plugged in my projector to see what was wrong. Hmmmm... Worked fine? Not sure what the deal was in Bochum, but I was back in visual business. We then headed out to go for a walk and get some food. We went to good ol' SUBWAY and got a veggie delite for 4.50. We split the footlong with the idea that we would eat at another place too. I've got to admit that I love SUBWAY. It's so good. Maybe I'm crazy. Then we tried falafel in a Turkish restaurant. And that was delicious too. It only cost us 5 EURO. And we got 20 EUROS from the club for dinner. We profited from dinner and were completely stuffed and why something so trivial makes me happy is beyond comprehension.

Back to the club, it was just before 8 PM. No opening act tonight, just me. At 9 PM, I started playing to a small but enthused audience. There was no real stage, so opted for a long microphone cable and a long guitar cable. And I just kept moving around the room, giving different vantage points for the live show. Whether this was something viewed as interesting or not is another question, but I did it anyways. And during my last stretch of songs, my low E string broke. I managed 4 songs under these conditions and then called it quits. Hung out for a good hour afterwards talking to different people and drinking COLO WEITZAN. Llistened to Kelly Clarkson over and over again before falling asleep at a bit past 2 AM.

Now we are less than an hour from BERLIN. The sun is breaking through hoooray!! Perahps we'll get that sun after all.
Peace, mike