Notes from the road: Euro edition

european vacation
So, Last week I did a bunch of shows in europe. As an ignorant american, these trips are always an experience for me. I’m a man of convenience and regiment so going out of the country to mystical far off lands definitely removes me from my comfort zone. While , in the overall scheme of things, this is a positive thing for my life, it’s still fun to keep tabs of my fish out of water experiences. So, this is that. Keep in mind, I’m openly not cultured. I mean, I’m cultured in the sense I grew up in NYC and have seen a lot of shit all over the world but I don’t know anything about anything. College drop out like Whoa. So, take all i say here with a grain of salt and understand it’s coming from a good place…well…at least an honest place.

Teen tours
My trip began with a flight to Germany. These long flights are what they are but you know what kicks them up a notch? being on an 8 hour flight with 50 midwestern teenagers. Holy shit. After this ride, I felt an urge to make an earnest plea to all people my age with no kids to continue to not have kids. Teenagers are the fucking worst. I had on headphones the entire time but it still didn’t stop me from overhearing multiple conversation that would make a fertile man forcefully remove his own testicles. What i did find interesting was to admire the high school caste system at work. The dorks, the jocks, the pretty girls, the art people. That kinda shit is fascinating. If i was a slightly more driven person I’d maybe look into studying that kinda thing but, then again, it means I’d have to be around a bunch of teenagers all the time and fuck all that noise.

German street names
Honestly, a german person telling me a street name might as well be telling me to read japanese. What’s with all the letters? Why does every street in berlin have to be a 2000 point scrabble word waiting to happen? There are only so many “Miester”, “hufffflughen” and “flurgan” suffixed names one can commit to memory. Walking around a German town , i felt very much how native american settlers must have felt in the sense that my whole way of getting around was based on sight. The same way I’d imagine an indian remembering a certain bush or tree as a marker, I was like that with bakeries and Kabab stands.

Euro people know their history
I don’t know shit about history. I took it in high school and immediately forgot about it once the test was taken. It’s clear that, in the US, knowing our history is not a top priority in education. Whether this is simply national apathy or cause our history is so , in actuality, fucked up that they don’t wan’t us to know how all this really came to be, remains to be seen.
In europe though? These people know their shit. not only that, but they talk about it…all the fucking time. Like , at bars. People get drunk and discuss history. Really makes me feel like a half wit when i consider what topics i cover with friends on any given night out. Best believe world war 1 is not on the menu.
I was in Vienna for 3 days and a common point of discussion was “Nobody here like to talk about our past cause there is so much shame about the nazis” but then that’s all we talked about. Being the ignorant person I am, I barely even connected Vienna with Nazi history outside of Hitler being Austrian but, boy did I get my learn on. Then…I forgot it all…cause I’m american and that’s what we do.

Everyone knows that , in europe, tipping is minor. 2 euro’s at most for anything. This could be for a 200 euro meal or a drink at a bar. It’s kinda nice actually cause figuring out a tip in the states can be tiresome and it always drains your wallet. That said, that whole thing where europeans come to the states and “don’t know” how to tip is bullshit. I got to europe, I knew the customs were different. But instead of just tipping like an american, I asked people…cause that’s what you do when you’re in a place where you don’t know things. So, if you’re a european and you think that it’s okay to come here and tip 2 bucks on a $100 meal, you’re a piece of shit. Just accept that.

Limp Handshakes
Do children in europe (specifically in places like Germany, Austria and Switzerland) not get taught about firm handshakes? It’s bizarre. On multiple occasions, I’d reach out to shake a dudes hand and feel like someone places a dead fish in my palm. A grip so weak it compels me to squeeze harder. The strange thing is that the girls actually give firmer handshakes then the men. Which leads me to…

Things I heard about men from Vienna
I was talking to this girl from the US who had lived in Vienna for 5 years. She was complaining about single life in austria and how hard it is to find a dude there that isn’t…well..a total pussy. This is fine and all as I’m no stranger to bitter women who can’t find a decent guy. That’s a world wide trend. But she started dropping bombs on Viennese men in particular. The best one of all? Dudes from Vienna sit down to pee. Now, this could obviously be bullshit or simply a slight generalization. But her claim was that the men there are raised by particularly feminist minded mothers. Mothers who teach them “No, you sit down when you pee. Just like me”. While i get that being a taught practice, the fact it continues into adulthood for these guys is both hilarious and wildly depressing. Take a stand guys! literally. Your dicks like a hose for reason. Just remember to put the seat up.

Romanian Airplane food
just a heads up, if you’re on a place , flying to romania, you might wanna eat before hand. Halfway through the flight I was handed a foil plate of old ass cheese, unknown meat products and wilted vegetables as my “lunch”. They also had a “cake”. A “cake” that they somehow managed to fuck up. How do you fuck up cake? It was a simple chocolate cake with frosting but it tasted more like dog food that had been run through a homeless mans lower intestine.

My preconceived notions of who likes and dislikes each other is way off
My girlfriend is Serbian/Bosnian so I’m more aware of the weird beefs between former Yugoslavian countries than I should be. Because of this, when I was in Slovenia, I kinda assumed that even saying the word “serbia” might be a bad move. Well, turns out no one gives a shit. At least no one I spoke to. That kinda surprised me cause , earlier in the week, I had seen news updates about a pending soccer game between Croatia and Serbia that was a riot waiting to happen. They apparently had like 1,500 extra security guards there to keep the peace. Granted, I was nowhere near either of those places but i kinda assumed the other countries might take sides. I mean, if the yankees and red sox can’t get along, imagine how bad a place where legit conflict took place would be But, as far as I could tell, not a fuck is given either way in Slovenia. So, that’s nice.

Europeans who don’t speak fluent english are blunt.
It’s kinda great. The amount of conversations I had with people who were huge fans of mine but still found a way to tell me which of my albums sucked was incredible. I know they don’t mean anything bad by it and I’m never offended but it’s always hilarious. I suppose tact is something you pick up after years and years of perfecting a language. It’s was a constant barrage of well intentioned shots fired for me to endure. But, like I said, i actually kinda like that it’s like that.

Romanian women are surprising
So, I’ve been all over the Us and Europe. I’ve seen most major cities. I’ve been in model filled bars in NYC and clubs in Miami full of nothing but 9’s and 10’s.Montreal, Paris, L.a. ect…However, NO PLACE i’ve ever been had a higher percentage of beautiful women than my show in Cluj, Romania. This blew my mind for many reasons Firstly, I had no idea Romanian women had it like that. For some reason i was imagining uni-browed , middle aged looking house cleaning types with faces littered with hairy moles. No clue where that stereotype came from but , hey, it was there. Secondly, this was at my show. A weird, underground, niche instrumental hip hop artist. If that’s what my show was like, I can’t even fathom what a place where actual hot people go to would be like. Like, what’s the most exclusive high end club in Cluj looking like? I’d imagine It’s enough to make a dude consider just throwing his life away and moving to Romania for a year. The craziest thing about it was the variety. You had the expected beautiful eastern european girls with dark hair, you had hot ass blonde girls and then, outta nowhere you had some Lisa Bonet looking ladies who turned out to be part gypsy. Just fantastic.So, to all single men out there, you might wanna plan a trip. Just saying. I’d say the only downside of it all would be if you’re one of those creeps who only dates asian women. If that’s your bag then you might just wanna avoid most of Eastern Europe all together (russia got some asians though…). Also, you’re a loser creep.

Swiss people with their power outlets and money
For some reason, I forgot that Switzerland not only didn’t use the euro (Swiss francs) but they also have their own plugs for power outlets. This may not seem like a big deal but , considering EVERY other country in europe (aside from the UK) works with the same outlets, it’s mildly infuriating. Like i said earlier, I know nothing about history and I’m sure there is some sort of valid explanation but what gives, Switzerland? You too good for for regular european power outlets? Your power grid is soooooo fucking special you need to complicate things for every person that comes to your country? I mean, the whole “Not using the euro” thing is annoying considering your location but , at least, you’re not the only european country on that “I got my own type of currency” shit. But power outlets? Now you’re just being a dick.

Fuckin’ up the wake up call
This really has nothing to do with europe in particular. It’s a trend I’ve noticed with hotels who offer wake up calls (though it’s happened to me in europe more often). It’s that thing where they don’t give you a fucking wake up call that you asked for. My last night there, I had just done a show in Wil, Switzerland (I haven’t heard of it either , bro). I had to catch a train to Zurich to catch my plane. Basically, i had to be up a 6:45 AM after getting back from the venue at 3. I’m a terrible sleeper and , when it comes to having to wake up for things like this, I tend to opt for the allnighter simply because trying to fall asleep for an hour gives me anxiety. So, I told them to give me the wake up call the prior day. I shut my eyes for a second but never fully fell asleep. 6:45 rolls around and I’m awake. No call. 7 am. No call. I bounce five minutes after that but…jesus…if I had not pulled the allnighter I woulda missed my flight back to the states. They would have truly fucked my shit up. The crazy thing is that’s the third time this has happened to me and each time I eked it out cause I was too nervous to sleep over the possibility of missing a flight. So, my advice to all of you who ever plan on relying on hotel wake up calls…Don’t. Especially in Europe. Placing an order for a wake up call in europe is like asking a waiter to make sure your french fires are “Extra crispy”. He hears you but he’s not listening.

So, yeah, those are all my worthless musings on this trip. All these things aside, I had a great time and shows were awesome. Especially the Eastern Europe dates. I continue to sleep on these places and they continue to blow me away with support and just genuinely good people. So, yeah…hopefully I’ll be out there again real soon. Till then, stand up when you pee. Always.