I have been back nearly a week now from my overland journey to Linz and Istanbul. So before my recollections are wiped from my mind by the familiar choppy rhythm of activities, concerns and associated short journeys...
Recently I have been re-earthing myself. I have had a few personal revelations which have given me much to think about. It has a lot to do with a recent death in the family, which I will not share in great detail on here if that's ok with you. These revelations are not religious at all, I have never been one for such things, but I do know that one is able to possess as much and perhaps more, spiritual wealth, connecting to one's and other people's inner depths without the aid of 'organised' mono-cultural cults or religion; for me this feels like a more authentic form of human expansion.
It's an enormous relief to be sitting on the Austrian Railjet train for Munich (the seats have power sockets!) after a thwarted attempt to enjoy myself for 8 unplanned hours in Budapest from 5 0' clock this morning.
I've been traveling alone for 41 hours now and have about another 23hrs to go if we stick to schedule.
it's a few days now since the 090909 UpStage Festival, & i've sort of recovered from the 20+ hours marathon of live online performances; however i've thrown myself into the eclectic tech carnival, & that coupled with a lingering cold means i still feel tired ... but i have no other cause for complaint. once again the UpStage festival went off without a (visible) technical hitch, & the variety of performances - style, content, technique - blew me away.
I can't remember the password for my gmail account so this is the only way I can think of passing on the bits of knowledge I've picked up on the way. Hope you get it.
If you get the same bus as I did out of Istanbul, I think it will cost about E15 from Metro whose office is really near to where we get the Dolmus to Begums place.
On Thursday morning I'm gutted that (due to the extra time taken by my overland travel plans) that I can't stay for the whole of /ETC which ends on Sunday. I'm also nervous about making the solo trip home. When I arrive at Haymatlos I am told that last night's storms have damaged the international rail lines out of Turkey so badly that trains are not expected to run for at least the next 15 days. So I am super grateful when Begum quickly finds and books me a cheap, alternative route to Sophia by bus that will allow me to catch my reserved train connection in Bucharest.
Tuesday morning we made our way through pouring rain to Haymatlos (which translates as Homeless), in the Taksik district of Istanbul, which is the bar and meeting place for this year's /ETC. Everyone is running around, busy organising things. We hear the terrible news that 40 Turkish people have died as a result of flash flooding - some not far from Istanbul.
Rob met us at Linz station on Sunday afternoon, a few minutes before our train for Vienna was due to leave. Peter took a photo of us standing on the platform. We all shared a bottle of wine in the restaurant car and enjoyed the view of the lush, green Austrian landscape. A few hours later at Vienna we changed for the Sophia train. Aileen and I shared a sleeper with three bunks and a sink covered by a hinged table top. Rob had his own compartment a few doors down.
One thing I hadn't really resolved before undertaking this overland trek (as an experimental realisation of our We Wont Fly For Art pledge) was how to keep in regular contact without buying shiny new connective consumer technology. I am carrying a recycled laptop with a battery life of about 10 minutes and a year old mobile phone with camera and video and feel that should be enough. So I have worked out a couple of techniques:-
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