Every time I do the Trans-Atlantic thing, it's like I've tuned in to the 11pm reruns of Seinfeld. All the bits are familiar, the friendliness is standard, I know when the coffee is coming around just like I know Kramer will be busting through the door. I go through the same feelings of excitement, I project some expectations. I watch a ton of movies because I can't ever sleep on planes and, what's even better, is that I can watch TV, and sometimes it IS Seinfeld.
So, I have landed after seven and a half hours, got my stuff together, walked out for the semi-wintry weather, boarded the S train to Munich, checked into the AO Hostel on Bayerstrasse, and laid low for a few hours. Basically, I woke up, had to sort out my phone service (which, mysteriously, wasn't activated by Verizon Wireless even though I was on the phone with them when they supposedly did), get my WIFI office running, eat a big bratwurst, order a coffee, and realize that once again, I am far from home.
I'll be honest with you, readers, flying off to another country far away, all alone, to make little concerts in unfamiliar towns and cities to strangers can be a little daunting. I try never to mention the fear that surfaces every time I do this. Instead, I'll put on the bold face and charge on through regardless of how it may be looking to me. Sometimes, I'll be saying to myself, on the way to the airport, "you don't have to do this, no one will hold it against you if you change your mind." Is that why I do this? To keep appearances up? I push through the fears of doing it all alone just so I don't lose face with people? Who knows? The important thing, I guess, is that I DO do it, I do walk through security with all my stuff, belts off, shoes off, lap tops out, "yes, the bag looks strange, it's fifteen harmonicas, yes". The whole thing.
I've got my first show tomorrow night, at a vegetarian cafe in Ingolstadt, somewhere I've never been, booked by someone I've never met, attended by people I probably don't know. I've gotten on a plane and flew over the ocean, for some reason, to perform, to make little concerts, to build an audience, to build this thing all of us call a "career".
It's too bad I am not going to have as much time in Munich as I'd like. I'd been here years back and it's beautiful, and haunting. One can walk around here marvel at the cleanliness, the first world attitude and peacefulness, but then one can remember that a young Adolf Hitler was in the pool halls and on the steps leaving behind an art career to energize the Germans into something terrible.
So, there you have it. I hope to keep this up, every day, post something.
I've got a few pictures to add, too, of my arrival to my room (with a balcony!) at the AO and the happiness that was granted to me from sleep deprivation and little Saltlett pretzels I was chomping on before I conked out. Oh, Brooklyn! My escape from you seemed so much work, from the car service to Pacific Street, the D train to Herald Square small talking with washboard player Dirty Red, Jersey Transit from Penn Station to Newark Airport, Airtran to Terminal B, Lufthansa to Munich International and the S train to Munich Hauptbanhof.
Let my "Back to Europe Tour" begin...