cash only basis
August 5, 2010, 1:00 am
Filed under: nomadisms, overtly political, runaway, voyageur

This city is overrun with gypsies!

I am starting to savour possible lasts, just a bit. This kicked in mid last weekend, at my first bar. The first bar I ever attended where they stopped checking my ID and free drinks were possible (alas both of those privileges have faded with time). So much insanity. Think a dance floor unexplainably full of dudes, mass shuffling to a Thriller remix (which was the point where I told E that it was clear, God Loves Her), and some guy who do-see-do’ed around me in odd concentric circles as I laughed hysterically. Words don’t do the scene justice, the universe conspiring for a memorable goodbye. We were in the bathroom and I was looking in a mirror I’ve examined myself in a hundred times or more and I needed to take a picture, of us, looking in that mirror. Something to remember this place by.

I don’t know I’ll ever make it back there.

Of course, we don’t make it back a lot of places. But there are some where so much has happened that it takes on a certain kind of personal sacredness. Two of the trashy bars from my trashed out youth have been disassembled and rebranded this year.*

Random thoughts pop up constantly. Like: I should get all my change together to make sure I use it up. Everything inconsequential; some form of processing above ground.

My new passport arrived. Thanks to the awkward lighting and three retakes, I look more like a terrorist than ever, and will continue to look as such until 2015. I used the old one to get the new one and the post office lady remarked it had gotten a lot of use, hers was mostly blank. And yet in comparison to everyone I judge mine against, I feel like I haven’t been anywhere, even though of the four and a half years the passport was in operation I’ve spent at least eleven months out of the country, probably closer to twelve. That’s about 1/5 days, stats masters.

As I write this an obscure song I listened to daily in one of those places pipes in over the coffee shop speakers. Believe.

Because I read too much WSJ, NYTimes and G&M, sometimes paranoia sets in about what’s a good and bad idea before thirty. But, one of the radical things that happens on going to far flung places is that you realize the media is severely, seriously wrong about a lot of objective things taken for granted (politics, geography, you name it), and much is not to be believed.

Someone asked me about going to the “safe, Southern part” of Africa. This made me laugh because only a few years ago, the Southern portion of Africa had a rap for being the belly of hell. Apparently a month of FIFA without any massacres (save a bombing in Uganda that probably didn’t register and certainly didn’t drive any of the foreigners I know personally out) a safe place makes. I’m not saying it’s safe, or unsafe, but if anyone was wondering if the PR job that was FIFA 2010 was effective, at least temporarily, I’m going to venture a yes.

*I promise all my favorite spots aren’t watering holes – they tend to be socialization hubs. I still miss my favorite apartment and various houses my friends lived in during college but, oddly, am probably not permitted to rampage through them years later in search of nostalgia


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