Saturday, October 18, 2008

hungary pangs and watching the debates

the fall european tour has commenced.

our travels began a few days ago in budapest, hungary. the flight itinerary was not any more complicated than usual - nashville to detroit, detroit to schiphol, schiphol to budapest. a thin man greeted us with a huge smile that revealed the most interesting set of teeth i've seen in quite some time. andras halmos, the trusty tour guide. i later found out he was an accomplished drummer who has worked with john zorn and many others. he was instrumental in bringing us there, a process that took an entire year.

after sleeping off a little bit of jet lag, we spent the evening wining, dining, laughing, stumbling, and drinking apricot polinkas that evaporated upon contact with the tongue.

the majority of the next day was spent rehearsing and getting ready for our show at the trafo club. after waiting around for hours, we played. blistering energy. nervous excitement. a positive experience. the obligatory post show autograph session. julie decided to use her permanent marker as a tattoo needle. our arms were covered with ink by the end of the night.

we got a few drinks and i tried to sleep, but the final debates came on BBC World. i had missed most of the previous debates. my knowledge of obama's policies was non-existent until this particular event. perhaps it was so moving because i felt as if he was using the camera as a vessel to talk to us. calming and reassuring, like a real president.

mccain was as hostile and agitated as ever and it was painful to hear his small business healthcare plans. idealistic and downright regressive. can you imagine trying to sleep after that?

on our final day in the marvelous city, andras graciously took us over the blue danube via the freedom bridge, which leads to buda (the western part). i had no idea that budapest was divided into two parts (buda and pest). then again, i'm glad i know that hungary is a country (i.e. this awful video)

an observation: the foundation of european culture must be art. the architecture and city design is aesthetically pleasing. streets and buildings intertwine to create a heavy cobblestone labyrinth. underground tunnels take the place of ordinary sidewalks and in the subterranean world avant-garde violinists violently screech for forints. it's culture shock but i'll take the jolt, because i've never been so dissatisfied with the american mainstream until this moment.

do i associate myself with the european way of life? not always, but i know that the U.S.A. would benefit greatly from their philosophies.

hopefully i can post some videos from our stay...
but for now, off to lugano, switzerland.

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