Monday, 23 March 2009

Mission Accomplished.

Nervous breakdown avoided.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Hello again, old friend

It's been a few weeks since we last crossed paths. I think maybe I was avoiding you. I don't want to say I missed you. That would mean I'm getting dependent and that's the last thing I need.

In any case, you're here again now, back in my life as if you never left in the first place. Your voice is hissing in my ears like static buzz. It's making me dizzy like I'm watching the test pattern on the tv at 4am. You've turned me upside down again like you always do. I can already tell that any vague ideas I had about plans for the day have gone out the window. When you're around I can't think straight. I'm just gonna sit here awhile and try to stop the edges of my world from spinning.

You're giving me a headache. I'm not stressed out, but I can't relax properly when you're around. I want to just lie and listen to music, but I can't concentrate with you there. There's a sour taste in my mouth because of you. The people in my room aren't too happy about you either. You're too disruptive.

But I can't stay mad at you. I know we're going to keep doing this to each other. Always coming and going. You're never fully here but never quite gone. I'm glad when you're not around, but I still think about you.

Maybe it won't last forever. Maybe it will. In the meantime there's nothing for it but to welcome you back into my life, old friend.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Deutsches Museum

Today I went to the Deutsches Museum, not really knowing what to expect. Museums can be hit or miss. I hadn't been to one in a long time, so I was prepared for the worst case scenario: seeing the exact same things as any other museum. Things got off to a good start when I pulled off my usual 'I'm still a student' scam, and got in for 3 euros instead of 8. I wandered inside, cheerful to be out of the bitter cold and cheerful to have enough change to catch the U-Bahn back again later.

The place was enormous. I didn't know where to start so I just walked. I found myself in a hall full of engines and motors, electrical equipment, cranks to turn, buttons to press, explosions going off in the distance, electricity dancing off coils. It was like being in a mad scientist's laboratory. I was entranced. I hadn't expected this at all. I wandered around, and gazed for a time at a massive Porsche engine that could get a 1 and a half tonne car to 100km/h in 5.9s. I stared in wonder at the poorly translated information, and I marveled at the contraption itself. It's strange metallic parts. Pistons and pumps and all things that I don't know the slightest thing about. Not for the first time in my life, I felt that strange pang, that wistful fleeting feeling, that wish that that spark of interest was just that bit bigger and I could be more like Dad and be into the car thing.

I wandered through every field of science, a new one in each room. It's easy to see why so many scientists (or 'natural philosophers' as it were) were multi-disciplinary beings, following their diverse interests to wherever they took them. The world's too damn interesting to specialise in just one thing.

Then I found the good stuff: the aviation section, and the space section. I wandered around taking photos of flying things like my life depended on it. I felt a bit giddy, and I must have been grinning like an idiot.

I don't know how many hours I wandered through that enormous place... more than 3 but I'm not sure how many more. It was a good day. After that I went walking in the soft snow-flaky air until I found myself at Odeonsplatz. I bought a hot chocolate at a Starbucks to warm my hands, and kept walking towards the hostel. In an underpass a young German-speaker approached me asking for help. He didn't know how to get to Ostbahnhof. What is it about me? I always get asked these things. Matt the Integrator. He was a cute kid, roughly my age, and I tried to help him out as best I could. I walked on, whistling to myself and passing the hot plastic cup from hand to hand.

I think the reason I enjoyed the museum so much is that it made me remember something about myself. Something I haven't thought about for a really long time: that I am such a boy sometimes. Haha.

I knew I should have got drunk last night.

Apparently some Asian dude from California got into a fight outside the hostel bar this morning at about 4am. I got up and found blood on the stairs. Apparently the cops came and hauled him away about 7am, shortly before I got up to the sound of heavy drills and Bavarian construction worker banter.

Analyse my stream-of-consciousness if you dare.

There was always going to come a time when you had to make a choice, but how could you ever expect it to be so hard? The last thing on your mind that night was the view from your bedroom window, and the first thing you remember when you woke up was the cold numbness of my hands in the soft morning. The kaleidoscope life wasn’t for you, but you couldn’t help but twist. The last time you felt this way was watching the sun rise over the bird’s flute solo, the gold light bouncing off tomorrow’s hope, the tear in your eye drying in the wind on Hobart Street. It wasn’t a beginning and it wasn’t an end but at least the sound of your heart beat in time to the steps on the asphalt.

The scarf around your neck held on for dear life, but rigor mortis had already set in on your coat. The pockets wept out your belongings. The dizzy gypsies followed your futile fluted song and wept tears of disbelief. The salesman looked on in disapproval, adjusted his tie and stepped backwards on to the train tracks. The train danced by and stole his soul. The salesman got up, dusted himself off and ran a hand through his toupee as if combing a camel. He had to get to work. Yesterday the children ran through the streets singing kindergarten songs and beating up Arabs. Tomorrow the songs will have their revenge.

The balcony crumbled inwards as I scrunched up the piece of paper. The words on the page were already sure of their fate. Theirs was a cruel life. They were born knowing. They weren’t bound for glory, weren’t bound at all. Not even stapled. Just tossed, but saved the indignity of shredding.

Blake went down to the grocery store but nobody loved him so he bought a razor sharp pineapple and sat in the aisle trying to eat it skin and all. The spines stuck into his face and he looked like a puffer fish, if puffer fish could bleed. He died there but no one noticed. The old man complained but he couldn’t get the discount he rightfully deserved. Just take my own damn money old man. Just take it and shut the hell up.

They can’t do this to me. They can’t do this to us. We have rights and we will march into the streets and shout It in the faces of the clocks. The babies will be peeled from the prams and shaken, shaken, shaken, not stirred. Fuck the hell off with your headscarf. Go back to your own goddamn country and just shut the fuck up. Circumcise your women and sacrifice your lives for nothing. Live in fear and ignorance, just stay the hell away from us. We’re innocent.

Power to the people. Power to the masses. Power to the dangerous lunatics. March on. Don’t let the dogs catch our heels. Gas them, shoot them, hit them with your riot shields. We’re not stopping for anyone.

Billy fell in love. He couldn’t believe she felt the same way. He didn’t know what he had done to deserve someone so precious but he couldn’t waste time thinking about that. They ran away and got married. She was unfaithful and he knew but he loved her so he learned to deal with it. Once he was unfaithful too and then she left him.

Why can’t I write anything happy tonight? What the fuck is wrong with me? Why can’t I get my head on straight?


Just writing a 4 letter word and my heart goes bang bang bang like it’s trying to escape. Pericardium. What are the odds of two best friends from Perth both falling for girls from the Midwest that they met in Europe? I’m not copying him.

Why is she different to the rest of the Americans I’ve met?
She seems honest. She laughs at me but in a good way.
I can be myself around her.
When I talk to her I feel good about being Australian.
She listens and pays attention far more than most people.
She is so sexy. It’s like a crazy energy field I can almost see in a glow or taste in the electricity in the air. It’s something about the way she carries herself. She exudes… something.
She’s passionate about life.
She’s confident but not at the expense of other people.

But what do I really know? Julia thinks I’m crazy to have feelings for people I barely know. But how the fuck else do you ever get anywhere with people if you don’t start somewhere?

Keep your mouth shut. Keep your chin up. Take heart. Smile more. Don’t be afraid of getting hurt. Take more chances. Don’t take risks. Keep a regular diary. Have a plan. Have goals. Have a Career. Check that you have your wallet and credit card. Don’t look at anyone the wrong way. Don’t look at maps. Don’t look lost. Don’t start trouble. Watch out for dog shit in the street. Don’t fall for the scams. Don’t admit you can speak English to anyone in a train station. Don’t get too involved. Don’t let it get you down. Take deep breaths. Take time to yourself. Take care. Mind the gap. Don’t have hurt feelings. Don’t worry.

Will this clear my head, focus my thoughts, level my head, ease my mind? Maybe I should have just got drunk tonight.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Mood Swings and Angry Cooking

I don't know what my problem is today. I think the sleep deprivation might have finally pushed me over the edge. I've been sitting around rainy, depressing Zagreb doing nothing and hating on myself.

I managed to get real sleep last night, which is perhaps why I'm really annoyed now. I thought I'd feel better, but apparently the sleep debt still has a few repayments due. It might even have accrued interest. In any case, I got up determined to do something with myself, so I ate 4 bananas (the only thing I had that resembled a breakfast) and disappeared into the city streets. I should have known right away that something was wrong, but I still had residual happiness lingering in my psyche. I thought it'd be enough to get me through.

So I'm walking down the street and I'm thinking about throwing myself in front of a speeding tram. Then I'm thinking about beating the hell out of a gyspy in the street, crying out for change. Then I'm drifting through history thinking about the violence in human nature. Then I realise I'm lost. How did this happen? I only took one turn and yet I'm hopelessly awash at sea. The rain is in my hair and in my shoes. I feel like shit. I hate Zagreb and I can't be fucked with any of this tourist shit any more.

So I rally. I go through the motions of all the things that usually cheer me up. I pick a goal and follow it through: get something to eat and get back to the hostel. I do this, but it isn't enough. I hit the computer and I want to write something but I'm just so damn sick of myself that I sit impotently at the blank screen.

I get on the internet and talk to pretty much every friend I have in this world on a combination of Skype, MSN and Facebook chat, and impossibly, I still hate myself. What is going on here? I try another walk and nothing. I start stewing in it. I think awful thoughts, and I think them real loud. I want to get back, get on the blog and just rip myself apart for everyone to see. I guess in a way that's what I'm doing now, even though I no longer intend it.

I realise that I need to get some dinner so I go out to find something. I don't want to eat out, I don't want to be around people I don't want anyone looking at me. Somehow I can't find the supermarkets, even though I've been to two just the day before. I'm getting really worked up. There's a storm inside me that's far worse than the weather outside.

Eventually I find the stores and I calm down enough to walk inside in a composed way. Inside a crazy woman is wreaking havoc with the staff, making outrageous demands in Croatian, scratching her hands, her string-hair shaking. I want to just snap her neck.

Later I've calmed down. I'm in the hostel chatting with a nice Canadian guy with a cool sense of humour. We seem to 'get' each other. After a chat I decide to make myself dinner. I've picked up some rice, some frozen vegetables and some kind of Asian mystery sauce. (I can't read the label). For some reason whenever I'm feeling angry, sad, self-pitying or self-destructive I end up attempting to cook. So far everything I've made is edible. It shits me not being able to make anything decent. I hate having to buy minimal and shitty quality things. I have no choice. No storage space, can't take things with me, can't trust people not to steal my shit.

This day was a mess. When I get back I'm going to cook something real.