[NetBehaviour] Overland: Neccessary improvisation->survivableunpleasantness

manik manik at sbb.rs
Mon Sep 14 01:01:21 CEST 2009

"All very welcome comforts for this exhausted lone traveler."

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ruth Catlow 
  To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity 
  Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2009 9:20 PM
  Subject: [NetBehaviour] Overland: Neccessary improvisation->survivableunpleasantness

  Overland: Neccessary improvisation->survivable unpleasantness
  Back-blogging Sunday 13th September
  (or read with links here http://blog.furtherfield.org/?q=node/308 )

  It's an enormous relief to be sitting on the Austrian Railjet train for Munich (the seats have power sockets!) after a thwarted attempt to enjoy myself for 8 unplanned hours in Budapest from 5 0' clock this morning. I've been traveling alone for 41 hours now and have about another 23hrs to go if we stick to schedule. Traveling is much harder work when you're alone; without another person to look out for, or to point out the foolishness of certain plans, or to help you make meaningful connections between various new experiences. Yes, I am missing my loved ones and especially Aileen's company!

  But lets track back.

  One feels safe traveling at speed in a sleeping compartment with a lock on the door even if you do start to imagine that the trees are alive and reaching out to slap your face through the open window as you pass.

  My early arrival in Budapest is not pleasant. After depositing my luggage I wander out into the still-dark streets which seemed to be populated by friendly enough, singing drunks and scary, barking dogs chained to lamp posts. I encounter an unlikely series of shops selling body building dietary supplements in huge tubs, some good looking lingerie, and sports trophies for roller-blading, wrestling and horse-riding. Eventually I surrender and enter a fast food restaurant (whose name must never be spoken) for a plastic breakfast and Internet access. I discovered that Budapest's media arts lab, Kitchen was just about within walkable distance and at about 8.30 a I set out to try and conjure a repeat of the serendipity of my Sophia experience of unplanned fun.

  I was tired, The walk was desolate. I kept going in the wrong direction. People seemed poor and unhappy (and drunk). Things seemed not to have edges where they should. The roads merged with building works, paving gave way to sand and gravel. When I got to Kitchen 50 minutes later I was met by a friendly American artist in residence who gave me a free catalogue. But there was nothing to see, (ironically I had missed their big exhibition of device art at Ars Electronica last week) he had things to do and I was even tireder and hot and sweaty and feeling pointless.

  There are no cafes in view and I wander for a long while, wondering whether I will make it back to the station without refreshments. Eventually I come to a marquee. A huge tourist market full of Hungarian meats, cheeses and cloths and scarfs and dolls and caricature American tourists impressively hungry for bargains. I think I should eat but all the savoury dishes look intimidatingly meaty and fatty so I try the pancake trick again, ordering something involving nuts called 'the squirrel'. But this time I just feel sick and woozey from all the sugar. I think about what would happen if I were to pass out here.

  Blah, blah! It was unpleasant but due to a kind bus driver who was imaginative enough to interpret my choo-choo train impression and forgive my lack of correct ticket, I get back to the station and make it onto the 13.10 Munich bound train. It has an electricity socket (so I can rejuice my mobile and text again) and air conditioning. It moves smoothly along and announcements inform me, in many languages including English, of progress towards our destination. All very welcome comforts for this exhausted lone traveler.

  We Won't Fly For Art!

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