Austin-Lubbock pt 2 – The most American night of all

Where were we? Ah, I arrived to Lubbock, the city of Buddy Holly.

 

I was staying with Tyler’s friend, Schmoo; and Ben, and Socorro and… guys, I think there was somebody else in the house, or am I making that up?

There they were: Socorro, the king of the comedy; Ben, an expressive Texan millenial in the heart of gay community of Lubbock; Schmoo, a gentleman hard rocker dressed in red, white and blue jeans.

We went out with a few guys to this pub, I’ve got a free diet coke.
One of our companions was Josh, a very handsome cowboy with an absolute gay appearance. His perfect blond ponytail under a cowboy hat, his elegant vest and very shiny -clean boots; he used to say all those words, like ‘howdy’, ‘y’all’, ‘ain’t’ or ‘ma’am’, with his smooth voice. And he played the banjo. He was delicate and dramatic. Very Southern and very gay. Beautiful connection that I adored.
Me and Schmoo went out on a bicycle ride.

At some point I lost Schmoo and had my not best moment of feeling dizzy in the street, so I sat down on the kerb and rested. A homeless guy came up to me:

‘Y’all feelin’ alright?’

‘Yeah, I’m just dizzy’ I said, ‘I’ll be OK in a second.’

‘Do you want some food? I can bring you food. Maybe you’ll feel better when ya eat somethin’.’

He offered me a blanket (dude, we’re in Lubbock in August, it’s rather hot!), something to drink (that’s when I realized that I’ve taken out the glass of diet coke; I’ve got a beverage for free and then I stole the glass… ehh, not proud of that one)… He really wanted to take care of me. But as my head settled down and Schmoo appeared, we continued the ride.

We stopped at a 7 eleven, had a great laugh, did shopping and … there is was, a magazine with a fat letters printed on its cover shouting something about Elvis not being dead.

‘Do you see it too?’ I asked, ‘Isn’t it 2014?’

We laughed like crazy.

Schmoo had a dog named Alpheba. I noticed how amazing vowels and their pronaunciation were. He explained a bit to me;

‘If an “E” is followed by a consonant that is followed by a vowel, then you pronaunce it “e” as in “Egypt”. If an “E” is followed by a consonant that is followed by a consonant, then you pronaunce is “eh”, as in “Elvis”; if it wasn’t like that you’d say “Eelvise”‘

We could see all the stars that night, even though the lights were strong, we were in the city. At some point of the evening, Ben said ‘I really think that there is more sky in Texas than anywhere else in America’.

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There was a reason for me to take the above picture, yet I want you to figure it out yourself.
I know you can’t see too much but that is why I chose this copy!

Early in the morning we went to eat breakfast burritos – that amazing amazing Texan thing that pretends to be inspired with Mexican cuisine, but really is stuffed tortilla flats with whatever the fuck you can think of when you think ‘breakfast’ + hot sauce.

The boy serving us had fake eyelashes and lipstick. He was so pretty, I think Ben had a crash on him or maybe the other way round? It doesn’t matter now, the thing I was trying to say is: he was a sweetheart.

There was some story to the place, something about activity of the owner and the people they hire… But I’m not gonna lie, I don’t really remember. I should have written down more things.

That is also why I’m going to stop my story right here. I do not remember the next part. Something about taking pictures of houses, tricycling, Schmoo’s band’s rehearsal, banjo playing, more of that Texas, I’ve never gone to Buddy Holly’s museum in the end. It didn’t matter, I had my ‘most American’ night.

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Ben and Schmoo leaving me on a gas station on a road to New Mexico.

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Austin-Lubbock pt 2 – The most American night of all

Nice

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I went to Nice on the 4th of August – three weeks after the terrorist attack on their promenade. That trucker had just driven for two kilometers (1.3 miles) across the crowd of people, leaving the boulevard covered with bodies.

When I arrived after my long trip through Monaco, I was hit by the fact that you couldn’t tell Nice had just been through Europe’s Katrina – I found Nice surprisingly similar to New Orleans, yet more discrete [yeah, I don’t know either, is it being French or is it being Nicean?]. In both of these cities you can hear a lot of music and see people living their lives fully, trying to make it up for the catastrophe and create a new order, based on joy and happiness. I’m not saying it works. I’m saying there are people trying to do something good and there are people, who want to be cool. Yes, there’s crime, there’s poverty, there’s desperation. Yet in these two cities you can see rise of the music scene, which helps people deal with what happened through giving them freaking loads of fun. I mean seriously, what’s better than a street brass band? Or all the jazz going on in Nice!

The only sign of anything ever happening was that every time that I tried crossing the street with an English manner, someone would stop me. At some point I said ‘hey, the car was so far away!’. My friends answer was just: ‘dude, we’re in Nice’.

It wasn’t easy to me at the beginning. My CS host, Bryce, disappeared two days before I was supposed to come to Nice (which was on the 3rd), he would not answer my calls, texts, emails… nada. I had to stay a day longer in Sanremo; I contacted Zied, another Couchsurfer who’d agreed before to host me; he said I could come to his place, just he’s got some friends visiting and I can’t tell them about CS, I need to pretend I’m his friend. Ok, Zied, not a problem. The other guy, Bryce, on the 5th he texted me something like: sorry, I forgot, bummer, it’s better you’re not staying with me. What a guy. I kept it cool and polite.

Once Zied opened his door, we became friends. Such a great feeling! And he seemed so active – he cooked, we played music, we spoke about deep stuff, then we went out to the beach, met his friend on the way, I visited a night club for a loo, we played some music on the beach, he went into the water, I just sang even more, we tried finding a place for a beer, yet all of them were serving shitty shitty French bear, so every time we smiled and continued the search; finally we found an interesting one and got kicked out of it, then we sang in the streets and walked home. All of that after 6:30 pm, when I arrived to his place. Awesome, I love active people!

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We both loved ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’ and I think we played it so well. I had fun. So much fun.

And then one night out in the city, with his girlfriends and some ice cream, we bumped onto that CS dude, Bryce. He didn’t recognize me first, when I told him he did not apologize. All he did was being a dickhead and hitting on the most lawyer-looking of the girls.

The next day Zied dropped me off on a gas station and I went off to Marseille. Well, not that fast. Actually it was tragic. But I met a Peruvian guy called Genghis Khan. Very handsome. Didn’t speak English at all.

The history of my trip to Marseille will be a separate post, for now I’ll just finish Bryce story. I decided I should have left him a reference and so I did. I wrote that maybe he’s great, I don’t know, yet my experience with him was shitty, I was feeling insecure, stood up, ignored and surprised he didn’t even say sorry when we met’. A month later motherfucker gives me negative reference saying stuff like ‘it was a personal emergency, I explained it to her in advance, she behaved demanding, as if I was a free hostel, she was rude blah blah blah blah’. WTF Bryce? I was extreme angry, that was just so not fair!

The moral is: some people are assholes and some are less.

Check it out:

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Nice

Everything is… Paolo

*Zajebiscie – (adverb) ‘fucking awesome’ (rude but positive)*

When I went to Charlottesville, VA in July, my friend Lawrence gave me that shirt saying ‘everything is zajebiscie’ (as an inside joke). I promised I’d take a picture of me in that shirt in every place I go to. Of course I haven’t done it so instead I’ve started recording my drivers saying ‘everything is zajebiscie’ behind the wheel. Later on – just some people.

Here’s what I missed in the Italy post. Paolo, my host from Sanremo, saying the magic words:

And you know what? At that particular moment, everything was.

 

 

 

Everything is… Paolo

Quick update from the road – Italy

I’m alive!

I have been traveling for three weeks now and just now got a chance of sharing some of my stories with you.

First of all – I knew it’d be a chalenge to travel Italy, France and Spain without knowing the language, yet sometimes it was just too much. On the other hand it gives you so much crazy satisfaction once you get across the language barrier!

My first ride from Milano to somewhere 1/3-way to Sanremo was a truck driver Tony who in English knew only ‘hello’. Yet we spend a whole hour talking, playing the music together and sharing our stories; somehow. We WANTED to communicate and so we did. If I try describing Italy in one phrase it will be: Italy is very humid, the people don’t know English, yet want to tell you a lot so they try, the women are loud and tabacchi bars are much better than pizzerias.

My first host, Alex, was a … special person. This time CouchSurfing didn’t go crazy. Yet I have met somebody else (in a way through CS, really – just by an accident), a very special person I believe. Hoomam.

He decided to leave Siria after a bomb had exploded next to him. He’d escaped to Sweden where he’s spent half a year living in a refugee camp and learning Swedish; he’s been doing so well that not only after being given residency he became a Swedish teacher, but also speaking English he had Swedish accent. Very lingo-talented, whatever I told him in Polish, he’d repeat with a perfect pronaunciation. Apart of that a very very very amazing person. I had so much fun with him. Serious, so much fun!

Here is us and some canals of Milano:

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And then we met in a Craft Beer Pub Michele – a guy who were supposed to be my CS host but I never requested him. But yeah, the universe brought us together so we could sing ‘Feeling Good’ in the rain of Milano and then take separate ways.

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What else happened in Milano.. I went to the Sforza Castle and found that amazing spot I was not allowed to enter.

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And I climbed (yoged!) that monument in order to take a picture of the Duomo. Faces of the guys having food downstairs, as I pull myself up in my mini dress and of course nearly show my butt – priceless.

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*****

Next step was Sanremo. Apart of my first amazing Tony ride, I drove with an English teacher who just did not know English. I’m being super serious here. Very sad.

Sanremo… very nice. I stayed with Paolo, had a little chill, rode around on his Vespa and checked out the nearby cities and beaches (including the beautiful Busana Vecchia, a true reason for me to come to Liguria), crossed some other language barriers… pretty satisfying. Apart of two things.

  1. my Nice (not so nice) host, Bryce, decided to just disappear two days before I was supposed to stay with him. That story will return in the France part.
  2. Paolo did me some fixing as a physiotherapist and osteopath and something very weird happened to my salivary glands. That’ll will return in the Monaco story, for which I need separate post.

Sanremo had amazing visual side. I mean… just check it out.

 

And so Busana Vecchia. One day in Cracow, years ago, out of nowwhere Jimi jumps on me and Pawel and he starts telling us we have to visit Busana. That amazing place, which was deserted after an earthquake in the end of XIXth century and then, almost a hundret year ago populated again by artists and hippies moving into the ruins and taking care of them. When I found out it was on my way from Milano to France, I had to go there. The reason I went to Sanremo was there was no CouchSurfing in Busana. I felt like there would be a few places to stay there, yet wanted to have the comfort of knowing I wouldn’t be homeless 😉

And so from there I hitch to Monaco. To be continued…

 

 

Quick update from the road – Italy