Thursday, 11 March 2010

Back in the US of A

A genuine American bar

It's strange that it doesn't feel strange to be here. It feels very
familiar now after so many visits. That's the downside of travelling a
lot, the magic wears off.

Philadelphia is quite rough. It's nice in the old historic centre but
the rest is quite beaten up. Not anywhere near as bad as lots of other
US cities, but it just reminds you that America is a poor country,
with wealth concentrated in small areas.

I went out for a bit last night to get in sync with the new timezone.
There was Phili's weekly couchsurfing meetup in a nearby bar. Instant

I got a fantastic response to the last mail. I think putting the route
map in helped. I have 4500 people on the mailing list now - more by
the end of this trip I'm sure- but don't usually get many responses.
This captured peoples imaginations a bit more.

It may look smooth and well organized to the casual observer, but
there's a lot of chaos. Mostly because I have too much to take care
of. The long term booking, advancing (checking with venues two weeks
before), working out somewhere to stay every night a week in advance,
promotion, flyers and stickers to print, flights and cars to book, it
goes on and on. And because it's so annoying when something goes wrong
(only last night i arrived in the hotel to find i'd booked the night
before by mistake - $100 gone) you keep having to devote more time to
planning and less to actually doing something nice. It really wears a
groove in your brain playing over the same records, from the moment
you get up in the morning. In the end you have to accept the chaos and
that a whole lot of things will go wrong. Money will be lost, shows
will be cancelled, there will be many empty venues, and last-minute
panics. There just aren't enough hours in the day when it's just me
and I have to eat, sleep and travel. The picture is more beautiful the
further away you stand.

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