Monthly archives: February 2009

pigs in the house

On the train back to Mainz (via Frankfurt), two uniformed ticket controllers slipped into the train before we could slip out and wanted to know where our tickets were.
“Fahrkarte, bitte.”
I opened my eyes wide in the universal sign for “What the hell did you just say?” and the man in blue repeated his request in the only word of English he knew, “Tickets?”
I nodded, looked through my wallet with a very serious expression on my face, and then handed him an unvalidated single-ride ticket from Mainz.
He looked at it, showed it to his partner, and they discussed, in German, if [...]

the meat cellar, and darmstadt

The visit to Dresden was long walks around the Neustadt. It was Katey getting over a cold and sharing a mattress in Anton’s old room. It was comfortable and cozy, and there was a party in the party cellar.
“This used to be an old meat cellar,” they had told me when I had first come to look at the place. The ceilings are low, curved, cement, and there is a row of meat hooks hanging on the far wall. I’d written my former housemates when I found out Katey was coming, to ask them if they [...]

dirty old man

I was sitting on the subway when the white-haired man sitting across from me started screaming in Czech. And, I slowly realized, he was screaming at me.
I shook my head. No, no, no. “I don’t understand,” I told him in German. “I don’t speak Czech.” I repeated myself again. He raged on. Czech beats German hands down for Meanest Sounding Language When Being Yelled at Nonspeakers. And, unlike the rest of the old men who have yelled at me in subways during my life, he wasn’t even visibly crazy.
Not getting the reaction he [...]

ain’t nothing to see here folks

It was too dark for tiny camcorders, but you can at least hear Katey Sleeveless performing The Government Seems to Have a Hard Time Passing Bills About Things that Are Free and The Acequia Song in Prague.

strc prst skrz krk*

“So you’ve been to the circus right? Well, you know the things that the circus people live in? Like little wooden houses on wheels? I live in one of those.”
“Ah, ‘maringotka.’ That’s what they’re called in Czech.” He tells me he doesn’t know much about squatting in the Czech Republic and that he doesn’t think there are any wagonplätze in Prague. He tells me, “In Holland squatters have some rights. Here they just get arrested.”
The thing about squats in places other than Holland is that they tend to lay under the general public’s [...]

all hail the hitch hiking gods

Three hours of sleep, a few rolls, a few cups of coffee, and a cardboard sign, written in thick sharpie marker: “Prague.”
We’d gotten instructions from hitch base to a spot that, a whole bunch of virtual people said, would get us out of Munich in under twenty minutes. We just had to take the U2 to Nordfriedhof, climb through some alleged bushes–”They weren’t really bushes” and “It was more like a green strip between lanes” and “I didn’t see any fucking bushes,” read the comments on the Munich thread–and our luck would find us in seconds. But the [...]

dragon slayers

Once upon a time on an Amtrak in Amieland, I got wasted sick on acrtic air conditioning and “no we don’t have any vegan food in the dining car” during the 18-hour ride to Greensboro, North Carolina. That’s when Helena taught me how to make Dragon Slayers. And I thought, you knowing so much about my life and all, that I should give you the recipe. It might sound a little gross at first, but these’ll keep you from getting sick, cure you if you already are, and wake you up quicker than a cup of joe.
Ingredients:
1/2 [...]

heading down south, end of the line

The original plan had been to take the train to Weiskirchen–a small town just outside of Frankfurt–find the gas station there, and hitch hike to Munich.
So we packed our things (guitar, change of socks, road atlas, notebook, large-tipped sharpie), giggled ourselves to sleep, and left the next morning to the tune of crisp winter air and three black crows who mirrored our flight in the sky above us.
Katey and I had been planning the trip for weeks, for months–planning that she would come to Europe to visit me, that we’d go on tour with her accoustic music, that we’d hitch [...]