Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Live with purpose. If you live with purpose, then you are exactly where you're supposed to be, walking down the streets you were supposed to walk down, meeting the people you were supposed to meet, and you aren't supposed to be anywhere else.
Live with love. The only things that matter, the only things that are real, are the things you put love into. Everything else is an artificial gesture, an imitation of reality.
Talk to people as if they're leaving for Budapest tomorrow. Don't be like me--I didn't want to invest time into people since they were leaving so soon. Remember that people are worlds of their own, try to learn about who they are, what they're about--explore them with a genuine interest, before it's too late.
If you have anything to add, feel free to message, edumacate me.
So today would be a good example of what Prague is like for me. Presently I'm sitting in a coffeeshop, listening to Bruce Springsteen, and feeling slightly homesick. If you're wanting to keep me company, then please listen to the album "The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle" while you're reading this. It's kind of a struggle to stay afloat, but this is not because of Prague. Prague is absolutely beautiful...anywhere you walk, you'll see breathtaking architecture...castles, art deco apartments, gothic cathedrals...you'll learn to hate the tourists who aren't you, with their monstrous cameras and their tourist aggression. My favorite is the young French couples (they tend to be French, I know I'm generalizing) who take artsy pictures of each other smoking in front of absintheries or statues. I've photo-bombed that more than once...
No, but it's a beautiful city...and the people fascinate me very much. I'm especially intrigued by the older generation, who seems so sad, trying to piece together all the different lives they've lived, trying to figure out where they fit in this new capitalist contraption, if they fit into it at all, or if they'll be left behind. (Prague was Communist until 89. Imagine this: your parents grew up during the Nazi era, you in Communism, your children sparked the revolution, and your grandchildren grew up under capitalism. Crazy shit.) They're very beautiful people.
But it is exhausting living in a hostel. Some people would adore it, I'm sure, but the introvert Maya and the other Maya are constantly at war with each other, clawing each other up, leaving me sleepless and contemplating too much. You meet so many people, a lot of them beautiful and very interesting. Road tripping country jumping train chasers. For example, just last night I met this Brazilian who made a shit ton of money off a website he started. He sold it, and now is just going to trek the world for an undecided amount of time. Jetsetting is never enough for these people, he intends on hitchhiking and couch surfing around, for the pleasure of it. Carlos, me fascinas.
I've met two Canadians who, like me, are staying for a long period of time here at the hostel, so we hang out when we can, and let each other know what's going on around the city. So that's nice. I just sometimes feel like I'm perpetually stuck in college orientation week--there's a script that many people stick to: where are you from, where are you going, how long are you here, what are you studying? ah, but the people who don't use that script, those are the ones you want to meet.
I'm learning a lot. Hey you. Travel to a random city, stay at a hostel for a week and see what it does to you. It'll do something to you, I promise.
PS: In case you were wondering what my future itinerary looks like...I think I'm going to Split, Croatia and possibly Budapest.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Things that are quirky about Prague so far:
-The Museum of Communism is located above a McDonald's.
I LOVE YOU BOYS. Also, dearest loves from home, please write to me. It means a lot getting yer messages...
QUOTES FROM NOWHERE: EDIZIONE ITALIA
"E'severamente vietato lavare l'acqua e pettinarse le babole calve!"
(It is PROHIBITED to wash the water and brush the hair of the bald dolls!)
Dino, asserting autostop: "That is the key. Disgust the aggressor! Disgust the aggressor!"
"We should have brought some vodka. What i wouldn't give for a cheeky swig!" (--Rachel is so British.)
"It's my alc pack. It's my alcpacca."
Thursday, July 14, 2011
He’d be just like you
if his eyes weren’t melded from fire
and his memories heaps of groaning iron,
with electric outlets for smiles
and rejected car parts for hearts.
he hears them breathing or sighing
with the weight of time.
whispering the names of women he’s forgotten.
They crawled from the back of his skull,
in the shapes of his thoughts--
and in the day,
sleeping in the sunflowers,
or patches of rosemary.
At night, they wander restlessly,
and he hears them,
how they keep him up at night,
grazing on God knows what by starlight.
He searches for their footsteps
when the sun finally rises—
they cannot possibly tread lightly—
but he never finds a print.
He invites the world into his house,
throwing parties through the night
in hopes to kill the clatter.
Oh, disfigure those beasts with something,
if the music cannot mute them!
Blind them with someone else’s memories,
the bright ,crisp colors from an Argentinean’s heart ,
the sad, murky shades from a Czech man’s brush.
But some days there is silence,
And he cannot explain the change—wine, humidity?—
when he can lie beneath the wisteria vines
watching the soft green glow of leaves
and he may finally forget
about these metal sculptures
that gnash their rusted mandibles, or gently
tap their copper tusks against his bedroom window,
waiting, loyally, patiently.
Walking along the water in Florence. Maya has spent the last couple hours with an old Florentine artist and a girl from Arizona.
[A couple hours into conversation.
Characters: Maya and artist]
“What is your name?”
“Ah, like the Inca, Azteca…Some say they came from the stars”.
“Yes…” [insert joke about aliens]
“You’re one of those, you came from a flying saucer”.
I laughed. I usually feel that way. It has been somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster here in Cortona. Sorry for the random fragment of playwright-wannabe, the original journal entry was really lame. I sometimes wish I could just slap a piece of film from my head onto the computer so that you could see the memories the way I did. Anyway, my new home is at an artist collective, decorated with bright paintings and crazy sculptures. Dino studied medicine and I guess he decided he was finished with that field, so now he nurtures the organic and arts communities of Tuscany. We collaborated and named his hoe “Frank Zappa”. I don’t have much to say, as everything changes on a day to day basis. I was unhappy when the vegans were here, but I’m happy now, cleaning wine bottles while listening to the Stones, or watching people dance to tarantellas in Arezzo. It is time to leave though. Sorry Italy, of 89 cent box wines, expresso, and exceptionally forward young Italian men, but we must part soon. Jess, myself, and our new buddy from Bristol, Rachel, who is a female sheep, and an exceptionally edible piece of meat for mosquitos, are making a stop in Cinque Terre, where we will take over its beaches for a couple nights, then we all part our separate ways. Jess to Germany, myself to Prague, and Rachel will stay in Italy. I’m trying to get rid of my suitcase.
A literature pause.
So as a lot of my friends and family know, I was originally going to go to Chile to soak up the greatness of all the Southamerican writers I’m obsessed with. Obviously I’m no longer headed to South America. This is the new literature sketch of my travels:
I read One Hundred Years of Solitude through Spain and Italy (slow read, right? I slept more then I read whenever I had a moment to spare), and of course I absolutely loved it. García Márquez, I love you dearly. Now, as I prepare for Prague, I’ve started reading a novel by Milan Kundera (author of one of my favorite novels, The Unbearable Lightness of Being), a book given to me by a hostile vegan who hated it. I love Kundera. Every few pages I sigh to myself and say, “O, Milan!”
I don’t know what the remainder of my trip will look like, as I can’t think past Italy, but hey man. You just gotsta go with it. Nothing has been as expected. I’m nervous, surprised, pleased, disappointed, I ain’t got much control nah nah nah.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
(7/2) Last night we decided to sleep in the Pisa airport to save money. We thought we’d hit the jackpot because we found a room that was completely empty with giant comfy massage chairs, but of course it was too good to be true. We were kicked out when the airport closed at midnight by a very sweet Italian who didn't speak a lick of English. So we moved to the lawn and tried sleeping on stone hippos, where there were other sleepy travelers, and we were very comfy on our stone hippos until the sprinklers went off and soaked us. So we moved again to the terrace of a café, bundled in a sleeping bag and jackets (we weren’t in Spain anymore, it was cold at night!) We rolled a cigarette to keep the hunger at bay since we didn’t have any food, and it was the best cigarette I’ve ever smoked in my life good God it was amazing. So we, along with others, were curled up in these bamboo chairs, until the airport reopened at four in the morning, moved back into the warmth, and slept some more. When we woke up, we rubbed our eyes and realized we were in Italy.
Accompanying music: Anywhere I lay My Head, Tom Waits
(Actually writing this in Florence, since I haven’t had time to write until now)
Spent a week in El Paraiso (located in Aroche, Spain), where the people are nomads or yesmads or absolutemads. I love it, I love the mads. For once I didn’t sing the blues off cliffs alone. We sang the blues into the hills of Southern Spain with guitar, banjo, accordion, harmonica, and even a “no”. (Get ready for Amelie and Ana’s hit song, “Sleepy Sun”.)
Met a butterfly who lived in a pumpkin and longed for Istanbul. Met people who’ve got pieces of sun in their lips—spreads light when they smile.
I was baked in sweat, lime, and clay, soon to be sacrificed for the foundation of unbreakable walls.
Every glass of Cruzcampo I drank was the best glass of Cruzcampo I’d ever had, after working for hours in 40 degree Celsius weather.
Also, the Belgians adored that I was a color-changing Virgo who learned how to eat properly before their very eyes. But actually. They took note of both my eating habits and my Virgo habits (unrelated) on a daily basis. “You’re such a Virgo!”
…And when the mads look you in the eye with their crazy mad eyes and call you beautiful, you know there’s no use hiding it.
MC Solar (sp)
Or, ask me to play you my soon to be hit songs, “Riverboat Man” and “Bluesman with the broken Fender”.
(The "no". Mark made it himself. Part sitar part beast.)