September 24, 2006

3:39 PM
It seemed like a perfect situation as the weather was beautiful and the train ride was a direct route taking just over 3 hrs. What a blessing. Our last train ride will be our best. But oh no...

The train is overflowing with passengers. I am camped out in the hallway between the cars in lieu of the comfort of first class seating. Almost three hours have passed in these conditions. Even the dining cart is packed. I would have gladly paid 20 EUROS for a baguette if I could sit comfortably somewhere. UGGHHH!!!! This feels like I'm on a cross country flight, so a comfortable train journey before my flight home was so badly desired. What is going on? Why the chaos on this train? Every train ride has been more than spacious, excluding the short ride from Munich to Buchloe yesterday. Anyways, the train is now delayed almost 50 minutes, so I still have 2 hours to go before I can get out of this pretzeled position I reside in.

My mind is distraught due to this current situation. Breathe...... No more writing.
Peace, mike park

4:10 PM
Ahhhhh... I have a seat now, but it's not much better. Actually, I might go back to sitting on the floor as I'm sandwiched in a small space with my guitar hanging next to my head, positioned on my left knee next to the window. Oh, it hurts just to type. Be strong Mike, be strong.

I am hauling an AM PAN MAN change purse with nearly 100 Euros in coins and it weighs a ton. Hopefully I can exchange them at the airport for bills. I have to leave at 6:30 AM tomorrow. Taking two local trains to the Airport in Zurich. When will technology develop the next step in speedy travel. Space Shuttle Airlines could probably put us in different continents pretty quickly.

I like to plan trips in my head. Trips that will alleviate long plane rides. Traveling to NYC, playing a show and then heading to England to play a weeks worth of shows. On the flight back, play another show and then head back home. If done correctly, this could be a tentative schedule:

Wenesday: Early flight out of San Francisco, arriving in NYC at around 5 PM. Play a show that night.
Thursday:Leave NY as early as humanly possible. 6 AM? Arrive at London Heathrow at around 6 PM. Play a show in London that night and then start a tour that routes you around England. Something like this:
Sunday:Fly back to NYC, play a show in New Jersey somewhere
Monday:Fly back to San Francisco.

Again, if done correctly, you will play 12 shows in 12 days in two different countries. It's probably impossible and you'd be insanely tired, but it seems like a fun thing to try and do. Make the most out of every second of your day. Actually, this is a terrible idea. I'm crazy from the train. forgive me. I'll write more later.
peace, mike
by the way it's now 4:47 PM

The realization that I had no idea how to get to the show in Buchloe was of little concern. I would simply call the promoter when I got into town. But to my surprise, the promoter(Thorsten) was there waiting for us when we got off the train. How did he know?? Magic?? It surely made things easy for us. Just 5 minutes from the club, we headed inside and had dinner at the adjoining Italian restaurant. Pizza and Greek salad. I love pizza. And feta cheese is delicioso...Si Si...Yah yah...

They asked if I wanted to do a soundcheck and I passed, opting to go to the hotel to relax a bit. The hotel was exactly 2.7 kilometers away as I watched the odometer, hoping it was close enough to walk to and from the club. It was only 7:30 PM and I didn't go on til' 10:30, so we had a few hours to just relax. Hiro and I lay 2 feet apart watching KILL BILL in Deutsch. Even in a different language, the movie is kick ass. At 9:30 PM, the promoter came to pick us up. We probably could have walked, but it was getting a bit chilly and was glad to have a ride. The owner of the club let us hang out in his flat above to avoid the cigarette smoke. And then 30 minutes later it was time to play. Avoid the smoke until I have to play. It's the only way. I feel bad missing the other bands/artists, but I can't deal with smoke anymore.

I belted out almost every song I knew and hopped up and down to show my approval. The crowd banter in mainland Europe is really loud when I play. At first it was a bit distracting, but I just zone out and do my thing. There's no way to really guage whether or not they like you except for how many cd's you sell and how many people talk to you afterwards. I ended up selling around 200 cd's on this tour and most importantly have discovered many new facets to touring Europe effectively in the future. I've also realized that I enjoy headlining shows. It's nice to know that the people at the show are in attendance to see you and that you aren't just a distraction for the main act they are waiting for. There are perks to opening for a big band, but for now it's not what I want to do. I finished up at around 11:30 PM, packed up, said my goodbyes and headed back to the hotel. Since I'm not a big fan of bars, the invitations by people to have a drink with them are always a bit awkward. I hate to offend them, but at the same time I'd much rather go to the hotel and relax.

The tour is officially over, now hopefully I can get off this hell train to Zurich. I'll write more on the plane tomorrow. Be well.
Peace, mike park