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'This is our Alcohol Favorite Song'

I´m going to let things just break down now. The dates are getting messed up and I´ve lost my pedometer.

July 11th, I think. 14,936 steps - 7.05 miles

Cesky Krumlov is a beautiful little town on an island. Like most European cities, there is a museum of torture and it's not that great. I watched a lot of German satellite TV and feel bad that MTV's "Dismissed" and "Room Raiders" is being shown there.

Our first day there we just walked around a lot, a common theme, and I found a Drogerie that had Mr. Clean...but he's called "Mr. Proper". Later we went to a Chinese restaurant and after eating few vegetables in our fried vegetables dish, we paid for the 350 crown meal with two 200 crown notes. Our change: approximately 700 crowns. I said nothing and Anna and I got the fuck out. We spent some of the money on absinthe, vodka-cokes and beer at a small bar.

Thoughts:

· I keep forgetting to mention this: there are so few SUVs. Incredible!
· I looked at the sky for a while today realizing that I've hardly done so while here. There's so much else to look at. At home the sky is more interesting and changing than the landscape so I tend to look up more there.
· There are so many buildings with bricks painted on the side instead of real bricks used
· If this isn't a word yet, it's mine: Absinthusiast
· European light switches are huge, and cool.
· I need to stop worrying about life after death.

July 12th - 22695 steps - 10.72 miles

We went for lunch at a vegetarian restaurant on the river around the town. The hummos was bad but the guacamole was terrific. There was this real amateur but enduring quality about the place. We had to seat ourselves and go up to order our food. And the hostess who told us what to do was later seen floating on an innertube on the river. She passed us, then came up on land wrapped in a towel and continued to take orders and bring out food.

There was also an odd couple there; these two Englishmen. One was around 60 and white. The other was about 40 and black, he was wearing this weird red ribbon or something around his neck almost like a bowtie but not quite and had a really blank expression on his face. I wondered what the fuck was going on.

I sat in this park overlooking the city and a group of around 30 Chinese tourists were gathered there, all dressed in Medieval period clothing. I wanted a picture with them so, so badly but wondered if it would be creepy. Or exploitative like, "I want a picture of a group of people from one culture/ethnicity dressed up like another." But I think it would have been okay. They gathered for a group photo and these Spanish girls had all the tourists' cameras and was taking the pictures. I offered to help but the girls said they were fine. I was going to parlay that into jumping in with them. I need to get over my shyness.

We went back to the vegetarian place for dinner and had terrific dhal and curry. The two Englishmen were there again too! Afterwards we went back to our favorite bar, drank more and talked with these Canadian guys. Everytime I drink/talk to Canadians I mention how much I love Broken Social Scene, their comedians, their healthcare system and then I rattle off all the provinces I know. I must be annoying.

Thoughts:

· I keep seeing these shirts that say "Boys come, boys go". Worn by Czech people. Whaa?
· The now leaving a city signs are just a sign with the name of the city and a red line through it.
· A few nights before I had a good talk with some guys from Phoenix and we rambled on about immigration.

I have the dates screwed up.... I think this should be July 12th. I lost my pedometer at this point.

We left Cesky Krumlov on a bus then caught a train to Vienna. On the ride we met some Australians and their Czech friends who all missed a train and hitchhiked to there. The Czechs were playing drinking songs on a guitar and ukulele and introduced the 20 minute favorite drinking song with 'This is our Alcohol Favorite Song'.

I went to the bathroom on this train and when I "flushed" the pedal released my urine to the tracks below. I know this because I saw my urine fall to the ground below us.

On the next train we sat near some Austrian girls who got on in Linz. They started talking to us invited us/me to come to Neusiedl am See with them. It's wine country and has a beautiful lake that's no more than 2 meters deep. On the other side you can see Hungary. I eventually decided that to avenge myself for not asking to get a picture with the Chinese tourists I needed to do this. I said goodbye to Anna, whom I'll see again in Vienna on Friday, and hopped off the train. We switched to another and was scared about not having a ticket. They never checked. We frantically bought my ticket for the next one and caught it just in time.

An hour later we were at the town and wondering how we'd get to the lake itself. The girls started trying to hitchhike but we found a bus that took us there. I learned how friendly Austrians are when we got near the lake. The girls were talking to nearly every stranger and having fun conversations with them all. Everyone was willing to help and try to find us a grocery store or hostel that was still open.

We had dinner in Wine garden and then had lots of wine at a restaurant where we met a drunk old man trying to ride his bike but who kept falling over and a hairdresser who offered to cut my hair and give me a palm reading. I got approximately 50 mosquito bites on my legs and feet and it is, well, annoying. Eventually one of the girls' brother and his friend came and when the restaurant closed we went to the night club next door.


The plan was this:
1. Dance, drink at night club until it closes at 4am
2. Sneak onto beach and sleep
3. Wake up, drink more wine, swim, sleep

We drank lots of wine at the club and the brother and his friend, who both work for Caterpillar, kept getting slightly upset when I'd try to buy a round. We sang along to Austrian karaoke and I avoided dancing and finding girls, though the guys were trying hard to get me to, because of the language barrier. I did have a lot of fun at dinner and at the restaurant barely making out what they were saying but understanding from the context of a few words and gestures. I feel like anyone could learn any language in 2 weeks from this. It was really nice.

The bar closed and we setup a blanket on the beach and slept side by side by side by side by side by side to stay warm. Eventually the brother went to his car and then we followed. I slept in the most awkward position then decided it was too hot and slept on the ground beside the car.

When we left the beach I jumped the turnstyle but fell over, bleeding all over my left elbow and twisting my right ankle. I later noticed that I got blood on a couple people from sleeping next to them. (Don't worry: no funny business)

· When people are traveling and have books with them, those books are almost always near page one.
· It seems like I always just make the train...

July 13

I swam in the piss-warm lake for a while and lay out but felt more and more awkward as I didn't know these people, didn't speak their language and felt like these aren't the type of people I'd hang out with normally anyway. We all piled into the brother's car and I slipped on something causing me to twist my ankle again.

At the small train station they dropped me off at we all did the Euro cheek kiss and they made another guy look after me on the train so I got where I needed to go. I couldn't buy a ticket from that station but supposedly could from a controller on the train. They never came by to check for tickets so I got an hour train ride for free. I felt marginally guilty and was constantly paranoid someone would ask me for a ticket and I'd say my rehearsed, "Ich mochte nach Wien Westbanhof gehen. Ein Person hat mir gedacht das ich konne einen Ticket kauffen hier." Knowing my German was off, but hoping for sympathy. Instead: free ride.

I had incredible falafel at the train station then took off, looking for a park to sleep in. I slept beside a statue of Mozart where a woman was full on breast feeding her child and I kept fighting to both catch a glimpse and try not to stare. I began walking again, finding the better looking buildings and then this refuge, an internet cafe. I made reservations at a hostel and needed to see if it's still valid but I have a feeling it's not so I'm being irresponsible and hoping to sleep outside again. I have no idea what I'll be doing in this city. I'd really like to stumble upon all the museums and great buildings than plan anything out.

I'm really tired and somewhat ready to come home. Only because I didn't plan anything and am a bit frustrated with myself. I'm enjoying the hell out of this continent, don't get me wrong. I just think I did this a bit wrong. I keep telling myself that I'll be back so I can have a proper vacay then.

Now I'm off to hobble around and see if I can get a place to stay or see some nice buildings I won't be able to take pictures of...well, I can get another disposable camera. Seriously, this place is great. You all should come here...now even! I've filled my 4 water bottles so I'll have a good time.

Thoughts:

· I think ESL is the most commonly spoken language in the world. Does this mean native English speakers should learn ESL? I had to reconfigure what I was saying around the Austrians and even started speaking with an accent so I could be understood better. I wonder if this is a way I can get rid of my Michigan accent that was mocked by a girl from Virginia. Or will I just sound stupider?
· I've had two people ask me "Excuse me. Sprechen-Sie Englisch?...Where is the @ on the keyboard?"

Comments

At the MCA, about a year ago, there was this photographic exhibition about a festival in germany or denmakr or someplace similar where all these caucasians dress as neative americans and paint themselves. You should have take pictures, kevin, you might have earned a solo show at the UICA.

I love this blog. It's very exciting! I hope you are enjoying your trip as much as I am.

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