And so the day started…

I’m in the plane now. Off to AMS. I was woken at 2:45 from nerves, I guess. Anyway, I picked up my phone and my sister Casey had written how excited she is that I’m on my way. Then she wrote:

My sister is my emergency contact. That’s why she received a phone call!

Instead of Amsterdam to sfo, Amsterdam to Seattle than sfo and not with KLM but DELTA!!! Agh.

1. I fly with KLM / Air France because the attendants are cool and the food is good.

2. delta sucks!

My thought: oh not again! 4 hour delay. This has happened before. God! But wait- I get a refund! 400€ for the delay! Next flight payed for. Haha! It’s about 100€ an hour! Maybe I’ll go to Corfu and visit my friends from work in January, but I digress.

So, there is good in the bad.

I tried to sleep after- no doing. I woke, showered, brushed my teeth and grabbed a sweater that wasn’t offensive (was going to wear a nomeansno sweatshirt with a cartoon of a smiling man hanging him self next to a confused cat on the front, but realized that might mark me on customs).

I made coffee and put it in a jam jar so I could leave it at the airport (no time to take my time) than went outside for my morning cigarette… and last for 24 hours.

Oh god! I’m going to be traveling for 24 hours. Agh! I need a cigarette…

So I was now mentally preparing for this long trip, sitting outside on my front porch in Bremen, drinking my coffee and smoking and the taxi driver drives up very slowly. He is 10 minutes early. He looks like skin and bones and definitely a grandpa. I wave I’ll be right there and smoke the rest of my cigarette quickly, grab my bags ad head out. He meets me at the front gate. He is my height and definitely appears to be in his 70’s… but slow. As he walks towards me he walks through a huge puddle, smiling, shoulders hunched, and grabs my 20klo bag… he can barely carry it.

He seems kind. A very sweet disposition. He has an accent.

He gives me the option of sitting in the front or back. I choose the front. I ask to open the window, he opens it for me, than puts the radio on a young station. He was listening to Turkish music before – I liked that better.

As we drive he asks if the temperature is to warm in the car. I tell him:

„Oh no! I need the window open, because I’m afraid of flying. It helps me to calm and convince myself it will be ok.” Then he says in a strong accent “it doesn’t matter what you say, sometimes you’re head decides for you.”

He tells me he was a flight engineer from turkey and emigrated to Germany in 1973, but couldn’t get work because of his strong accent. So he became a taxi driver and is now 80! He drove ever so slowly and I was comforted by his stories. I felt this was a good start. We arrived slowly at the airport and he told me how nice it was to meet me. The bill was 14€. I gave him 20€. He wished me a lovely trip and shook my hand. I got his taxi card.

I then wrote my friend Ed to pick me up in SFO later than planned. After going through customs and that very strange non-X-ray machine, I fixed my bag after customs took it apart, because of deodorant. I asked the lady who was checking it if Setareh was there. “Who?” I spelled the name and said – “she is a very good friend of mine.” Ah! She is at the end of the scanners. I walked over and there she was (my friend,my hairdresser & style guru). She wasn’t allowed to walk up to me, but smiled and said hi from afar. She then made the shape of a heart with her blue rubber gloved hands and smiled. That comforted me too. Slowly but surely.

Everything else went smoothly… Now I’m flying! A scheißegal Tablet and I’m flying too. Amsterdam,here I come!

The night before

It’s 20:41 (European time) and I’m getting ready to sleep… super excited about tomorrow… I have to wake at 3:45, though! The adrenaline is rushing… this is why I never sleep before a flight. Agh! I hate 6 am flights.

I am also not a fan of flying – unlike my sister, Casey: “I love how the food trays are partitioned!”

I just think how this box is carrying me through the air – really, really fast! My brain cannot compute this bizarreness. Thank god (if there is one) for travel sickness pills. Aka: Scheißegal Tabletten… later!

From the „far side“… look him up!

Before the journey: preface

First I need to say: if you know me than you know I am an American artist living in Bremen, Germany since 1999. If you don’t, than I’ll tell you I came here as a hopeless romantic for love. A love that lasted 14 years… and than some. Anyway, I’m here, and now divorced living a life I had always hoped for, but never expected.

For years, after my marriage ended (having spent a stint in berlin and a longer one in Edinburgh) I’ve been searching for a job that made sense. I tried bars (16 years), in music – production management, tour management and I even managed a Café. I gave it all up to make art… and it worked out for my soul, but not always my pocket.

In June of 2019 I was broke. Being the starving artist and devoting my life to it, wasn’t paying out (that’s why „starving“). I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay my rent let alone food. Fortunately, one of my 7 housemates said “Maggie, don’t worry! It’s ok if you can’t pay for food for a while. It will be fine” I was worried, though. I had moved into an amazing home with adults who were doctors, professors – professionals. They wanted a life of sharing and being together and took me „the Artist“ in their world. I wanted to equally share in my new home – with my new family. I didn’t want to take advantage of the Solidarity… I was frustrated and scared. But in me I believed strongly a good job will come along… everyone thought that was crazy until my friend Tobi visited with his amazingly intellectual und witty girlfriend and changed everything.

“The toilets are disgusting, the food is shit and the work can be stressful, but the boss is cool and the coworkers are great” (not an exact quote, but you get the idea). What did I have to lose?

1 month later I started making little bushes and ducks for what is to be the largest model train in its size in the world. It was stressful, but paid well… and the boss was cool! I took my time getting to know the colleagues, but now I have another family!

A duck

Finally out of debt and enough savings I can travel properly! Car rentals and staying in a b&b. Honestly, I Have no problems with traveling with 0 money on my account. Life is short and I want to experience it. If I want to go somewhere, I’ll find people to stay with… I’m rarely a „tourist“. I follow the locals. I like to see where they go, what they do. Old man bars are usually the best to understand the social history and culture… plus, old men can be loads of fun!

This blog is about sharing my trips and my experiences on my travels. I’m not a journalist and as you see, I’m grammatically a disaster (comes from living in another country for 20 years) … but I like sharing and it makes it easier when I return to avoid telling the same stories over and over – which can become quite boring.

I’ve been all over Europe and North America, next year will be Vietnam and Japan. Right now I’m heading back home to the states. I’m going to travel through Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Texas and California… We’ll see what happens – what strange creatures and situations I will encounter… I’ll add photos and write when I find it noteworthy and find the time. See you later in the netherworld!

Around and around we go, where we stop, nobody knows.