28/07/09 The american at the music festival

There is always something that goes wrong but it almost always turns out that it was good for something. You can plan as much as you can and in such details but there is always room for improvements. As a sporadical traveler and a travel listener I should know. And nobody knows more about it than a young californian on his trip around Europe. Looking for adventurous local people to socialize with, absorbing impressions like a sponge and smiling all the way through. From the first two messages I could say he had nothing really planned and was flexible  about everything, leaving me, the host, the choices. On his way from the Alps in Switzerland he got stuck in Italy, especially because it was followed by theft of his Europass train card.His traveling spirit was on the verge of being completelly broken.  Enough that I felt it was up to me to lift him back up again. It wasn’t easy but finnaly I made all his trouble dissapear with tasty dinner and some beer. Listening to this guy talking about his amazing 3-months trip around Europe aand watching his two humble backpacks, I simply had to ask.. how does one pack 3-months worth of clother in these two? As he took all of his clothes from manualy wacuumed plastic bags, it grew into a big pile. I recall saying to myself: Eva, take a mental picture of this, you need to remember this. No matter how great the evening is going and is really difficult to slow it down by basics you should establish, you need to establish them. Things like the sleeping arrangement, how things work or operate, like faucets, the stow or microwave, which remote controls what, what’s near and what would be good to see, etc.etc. It is definitelly better to  have this off the way before you get drunk. So after a beer or two I asked the californian about his plans. He told me that he wanted to stay for two or three days so he can organize stuff ahead. And I said: Great! ‘Cause I got all the time in the world untill the weekend when I’m leaving on Friday for this small music festival.. and as I was saying this I could see the sparkles lightning up his face: Could I come? Well, sure you can. It’s a deal! When we finally finished making lists of absolute esentials, we were yawning our guts out. After work the next day we had lunch with my folks, who didn’t understand much but could see the positivity in his eyes and told him he can pick a fresh pear. I think he warmed my parents hearts saying he had never ever had a fruit directly from the tree except oranges, as a proper californian. Thinking long and hard on a pleasantly full stomac brought results. Tickets, man, we need tickets! I had bought mine months ago but you’re gonna need one, too.. With this guy even a small task as getting tickets at a petrol station, had a potential to be adventorous so we decided to go with my motorcycle and take a little »Ptuj as the oldest slovenian town seight-seeing opportunity« out of it, ice-cream included. Seeing his big-haired head squished in a small sized helmet was an icing on the cake. Later on I got to know about semi-contemporary american comedy, namely Mitch Hedberg and co., while checking the tent, wiping my tears of laughter.

  We put all our possesions into my small red car. The adventure began! I should’ve known that with such company, nothing will go as planned, everything could go wrong and we are gonna have a blast all the way,  the broken exhaust exactly when we arrived on destination  as a start. It got fixed without any hastle, I got a number of a local repairman, he came, got the car, brought the car and it was done.

  Always on camping, dear reader, there is one thing that is most important of them all. Never forget to put up the tent first! After a really long drive to the other side of Slovenia, carrying all our possesions to camp side on a hot summer day a beer sounds really lovely but opening one would be a rookie mistake.  You could never stop at one at that point, so remember children, a tent first! After it was done,  all we had to do was sit down and figure out how to smoke if none of us knew how to roll or had anything to roll it in. Luckily there was a bag of pears, first aid at this kind of a situation.You know what I’m talking about, you’ve been there. And if you haven’t, maybe someday you will. Let me just say that we were a big hit amongst highscool  kids wanting to borrow papers.   

  The next morning we discovered that even such idilic circumstances don’t provide safety and security for music festival goers. My huge inflatable matrasse which we just had to bring with us because you never know when an opportunity for sleeping under the stars might occure, was malicioucly stolen. It was left outside the tent. There simply was no place in it anymore, especially since we bought a pack of beer cans that had to be inside the tent. What if someone stole them? The morning after we also discover our two folding chairs have gone missing, too. It was by pure chance we were able to retrieve them from the other side of the camp, the californian carrying them back and me yelling at inocent by-standers. Both thefts left a mark on my otherwise naive soul which could only be erased by a fresh morning semi-cold beer. Once we realized how quickly beers are getting warm it has come to light that we have picked out the camping place perfectly. The bar was near enough to fetch lots of ice and a borrowed bucket as many times as needed. A warm beer is not a good company while waiting for evening concerts to begin, I tell you that. In a state of mind as we were in later that night, the biggest challenge was trying to translate songs from slovenian rock bands into english as trey were playing, a mission doomed to fail but it brought a lot of laughter on both sides. Everytime I was getting a hang of it, a teenage girl would come up to him, asking if she could take a picture with him, an exotic looking guy as he is. I guessed I was a bit to ordinary for a photo shoot but a young fellow did ask me if I would take a walk with him. He got a bit confused when I said that maybe, when he was out of school someday. As the party continued and rock music was nicely vibrating in my ears, I went to the tent, sat in my folding chair and took a long breath and decided there and then, I will write a story about this someday. It was an experience worthy of being written down even though I don’t have the proper ability to do it justice. The whole time we hang out I felt so damn proud of myself that I decided to join this weird and awesome community and was able to meet such weird and awesome people. My fragile little soul was a bit more fullfilled.

 

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