People often ask me how I stay sane on these long drives. I've tried reading, updating my journal or even doing a watercolor, but it's too cramped in the car and I can't get comfortable, so I listening to CDs or audio books.
I usually start off optimistically each day with the radio, until I'm reminded of how awful it is. It almost seems that the authorities fear that good music can excite and incite the masses, so all state and commercial radio worldwide is only allowed to play the same 200 mind-numbingly bland songs.
There are some English-language radio channels in Germany. Near Berlin they broadcast the BBC World Service which is like a beacon of light. In other parts of the Rhine Valley you can pick up British Forces Radio or the American equivalent, but a few minutes of tub-thumping is more than enough.
Thankfully I have my ipod and thank heavens for the podcast. This is a Godsend for the long distance driver. An endless supply of interesting documentaries, comedy, etc. The days when I can't update it are long days.
The novelty of all these hours in the car finally wore off yesterday, driving 5 hours from Stuttgart to Duisburg. All my best jokes, funny voices and hilarious impressions of people we both know failed to amuse me.
Today is another three hours up to Bremerhaven in the very North. Until then I have found a nice cafe with a breakfast buffet and wifi. What more does a man need? Refining the art of eating long after you're hungry with the world at your fingertips.
Only two more shows to go. Last night's show here in Unna was OK. Only about 20 people, but it was a fixed fee and they enjoyed and most importantly the bedroom was in the same building. That's always at the top of my rider.
I met a guy called Kosta who also knows Magnifico who my friend Martin Mol knows who is helping me get some shows in Slovenia in January. Kosta was an interesting guy, also touring over here, used to run one of the most famous night clubs, and now makes guitars. He can help me get another show in his hometown so it's looking good for Slovenia.