September 19, 2006

4:18 PM
We rose early to check out Berlin, hoping we could find remnants of the wall and to see Checkpoint Charlie. The sidewalk gives a historic timeline from the early 40's to present day Germany, but unfortunately I could not get through all the literature as my time was limited. We found a long stretch of the Berlin Wall and visions of the media coverage from 1989 filled my head.

The parallels of divide in Korea and Germany are/were so similar. I wonder what people think of all this now? The city is so vibrant, with no hints of the past, but the reminder of Charlie and the thousands of tourists that flood the city weekly must be strange or even bothersome to the locals. What about Korea? Can it be possible for this country to live peacefully as one? Definitely not in the near future, but you never know what the future will bring. Well, we opted against going to the museum due to the cost(9.5 E) and the lack of time we'd have to truly enjoy the contents. It would be nice to come back in the future and spend a few days to be a tourist.

We had arrived in Berlin fairly early. 3 PM ish and my friend Kai came to the main station to meet us. We took a local train and then a subway down to his office. Actually, Kai is my booking agent in Europe. The agency is called MUTTIS booking and they do mostly punk and ska bands. Bands like ANTI FLAG, THE CASUALTIES, THE SLACKERS, and a slew of European bands. They have a small sleeping quarter at the office for their bands and that is where we stayed. We had a few hours to kill, so I spent it changing my guitar strings and then doing some laundry. At 6 PM, the owner(MUTTI) would take us to an Italian restaurant called IL DUE FORNI. Some of the best Italian food ever. 4 courses, starting with Pizza, followed by a pasta dish, and then a meat dish of lamb, potatoes, spinach, and green beans. An alcohol of some sort accompanied every course, but it just doesn't taste good to me. Only once in my life has wine ever complimented a meal and I was so high on drugs that I could have drank gasoline and it would have been ok.

My gut was hard as a rock, but I couldn't stop eating. A final course of mousse, tiramasou, custard, and a dairy kind of thing with strawberries came. Amazingly, I couldn't finish it all, which hopefully gives an example of how much food was there, Only an hour to digest all this food and play. For the first time on tour I wore long pants and how I wish I wore shorts of all nights. The reason? The long pants are a bit tight on me and after that meal I was sticking out all over the place. Anyways, we take a cab down to the venue. It was a free show inside a placed called TWH, which is technically a squat for the last 25 years. WIth no time to kill, I set up, drank some bubbly water and got on stage. Fortunately the food stayed down, though I could stil taste the garlic between versus and found myself burping between breaths. But it turned out to be an amazing show. I feel these Europe dates are some of the best shows I've ever played in my life. It's hard to explain the transformation of performing solo, but I truly believe this to be the best I've ever played. It's become joyful to be on stage singing and being able to relax and really enjoy music. FUN FUN...

We finished up at 11 PM. As is the norm, we sold merchandise after the set and then packed up. A cab ride back to our home base and time to relax. Why is it that I don't like going out afterwards? Kai wanted to take us to a bar for drinks, but I just don't like bars. I had to deny and sat alone in my underwear still perspiring from the performance of nearly an hour previous. Kai let me use the office phone and it was the first time I was able to talk to Monica for an extended period of time. It was nice as I lay in the dark relaxing on a bed talking to the woman I love. It made for a peaceful and relaxing sleep. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ......
Mike Park