Dad, I have been on a whirl wind adventure. It started, well long ago but we’ll take it from Weimar Germany. I was broke there, putting all my energy into making a short narative film with an artist, my friend, a robbin, Nele. With that done, I decided instead of going back up to Hamburg and working a music festival with Felx, that I wanted to go south and set up exhibits in different cities. I needed to make some money, I had 50 euros and I used that to print pictures and buy paper to mat them on. I got permision from a 5 start hotel in Weimar, Hotel Elephant, and “unofficial” approval, from the city, and the unesco commity to place my photos on a house that used to belong to, Joanas Sebastian Bach, tour groups stoped in front of the exhibit I put up daily. In three days I made 350 euros selling my photos, mostly to residents of Weimar. One guy walked up and started pointing at them saying “That one, that one and that one. How much?” You know, part of it for me is the narative I’m creating through this journey, but its nice also to know that my photos can stand alone on there own merrit. I ended up taking the photos to this mans house, I was nervous at first, what was this mans house going to be like? I was afraid it would be more like a storage space than anything else. I was wrong, I walked in to a space full of really impresive art work, so nice to see the future home of some of my images, safe among respectable pieces.
With money made I went to a music festival in Dresden, with my friends from Weimar, one of the performers was from Sacramento (small world), had our good byes there after living with them for almost 3 months! Dropped off on the side of a freeway, I started hitch hiking my way to Prague. I got picked up by a man from Austria, who is an enginer for a pipeline company bringing natural gas from Russia to Austria. We talked about fly fishing, he loves it and its his dream to go to Wyoming to fly fish. He hardly spoke any english but we communicated well enough as we raced along the autoban in his Mercedes to Prague.
I stayed there for two days and placed my photos on the National Museum, until wind prohibited it. I tried hitch hiking out of the Bohemian capital. Spent 6 hours in one spot, 2 in another and met a Polish kid trying to hitch as well. It got dark we decided we would try again in the morning. That night we set up his tent in field south of Prague full of wild rose bushes, he was so happy, so was I, he took a picture with, “my american friend shares a tent with me!” and laughed. The next morning we tried again, two hours and then a little old lady walks by us, she too is trying, “this is the spot,” we think but no one picks her up either. I mean all these cars with single drivers safe and consuming they dont see that there is person there smiling ready to be their friend, they only think of what they have to lose, not what they could gain.
I ended up getting a bus, it wasn’t about the money, I wanted to hitch the whole way to make a point, about our needs about sharring, if we all had cars and drove them like most the people who passed us we would need a whole lot more planets to fullfill those demands. I sat next to a couple from L.A. who after getting married quite their jobs packed up their stuff and hit the road. We talked about perception and how in our society to do something, is looked at with suspicion and concern. They where on their way to Thailand. I had dreampt of this. I haven’t heard from monk Ouy in some time and I want to send him some money but I don’t know if I can. I imagined meting someone heading down to Laos and Thailand and that I would give them a message to deliver, much like how communication was done not long ago, a hundred years or so. I wrote out a letter and gave them instructions on where monk Ouys village is in Laos.
I made it to Vienna where a hostle who I shared my website with wanted to support the arts so they let me stay for free, and helped me paste up one of my photos in the city, 2 meters by 2 meters on a wall in Vienna. The big chain print shop, the guys working there worked all day on it, getting two large prints ( I have another one which I will hopefully put up in Zagreb tonight) normally it should have cost like 75 euros or 100 for what he did, I gave him a print of mine and he charged me 10 euros “I have to put something in the cash register”. I thought it would just be a night there but it got late and its really hard to hitch when it gets dark. So one more night in Vienna. I asked about the opera. I had taken photos of the building when I first arrived, amazing building. I found out that standing room tickets are only 3 euros! So I ran up there and caught an opera by Motzart, incredible Dad, I found out I loved opera in Bangkok, when I went to a Russian one there invited by the guy who I helped make a film with, do you remember that? This was something that could only be described as a dream something that you can imagine, but then immersed in it…takes the breath away. I saw an open seat next to a woman closer to the stage and went down and asked if I could sit next to her, she said of course (during the break) so I had good seats too.
Yesterday I got up early and walked to the tram took the tram towards the freeway heading south, and waited at a gas station as it started to rain, three kids from Vienna on their way down to the Alpes gave me a ride towards Slovania. They dropped me off along the highway at a rest stop, shortly after that, a man also in a Mercedes, stoped and picked me up. The head of sales for “The East”, India, Bahrain, Isreal, for a Russian lumber company, also very nice guy, has two kids, he told me about a white wine from the south of Austria that is supposed to be very good. He dropped me off near the Slovanian boarder. I was exhausted from the late night and early morning and sleept under some pine trees for a couple hours. When woke it was about 5 and I tried again, destination Maribor, in Slovania and from there an easy ride to Zagreb, but no one stopped. I went into the restruant and ate the expessive food, and met Audrius a 23 year old truck driver from lithuania. What an amazing person. I thought he was 30 when we met, we talked for awhile, and I could tell he had been through some hard stuff, I’ll tell you about when we see eachother, what a guy. I stayed with him in his truck while we talked till 2 am. I got up at 7, had a shower in the truck stop, from Audrius I got a truckers card for Europe(free showers), and tried again. A couple kids from Austria picked me up they where on there way to Croatia to celebrate there dads 60 birthday. They where worried about the boarder and told me “sorry we dont have any more weed we ate it all.”” shit” I thought, they drove by the signs for Zagreb and soon I found that I was heading towards Italy, these two nice, stupid stonned kids where driving me in the wrong direction. We stopped and I got a map and found out I was just as far as I was earlier that morning, but now on a freeway that doesn’t even go in the direction of Zagreb, it started to rain. Here I was wind blowing in dark clouds over the Slovanian Alpes at 3 pm, and I’d have to be in Zagreb for a 9 am flight. I moddified my sign. “california to zagreb” now “california to zagreb 100 euros” I’m going to make that flight no matter what. People drove by and shook their heads, they probably just thought I was crazy. Imagine if you where driving on highway 70 from Reno towards Paradise and someone had a sign that said “Germany to New York”. Then a couple stopped, siad something in Slovak, I didn’t understand “oh you really are from California?” “yes.” They gave me a ride to the capital of Slovania, Lubtjana, just two hours north of Zagreb.
Now I’m in the bus station waiting for a bus at 515, in just 30 minutes. I’ll be on my way there, but its not over yet! I still have to leave the E.U.! From what I’ve heard though as american they just look at the passport there is no check exiting its only comming into the E.U. So keep your fingers crossed, I’ll see you soon!!!!