The vacation is over! This afternoon I took a flight from Berlin to Munich. The first show of the last leg of the tour starts in Munich tomorrow. It’s a good thing I’m going back to work, I was starting to get used to the illusion of a life without a job: wake up late, go to a museum, go to grappling, lie around, write, go to bed. Not a bad life but I also miss being on the road.
People frequently ask me how I can stand to live on the road: living out of a suitcase, a different hotel everyday, 3-6 hours a day on the bus with the same guys burpin’ and fartin’ all over Europe. The truth is, I love it. It’s what I’ve always wanted (maybe not so much the burpin’ and fartin’ part).
What I have trouble understanding is how most people can stay in the same city, seeing the same people, going to the same places except for the occasional vacation. Truth be told, life on the road can be physically and psychologically exhausting but for the most part, I look forward to every new day. I love the bus rides where I hibernate in my bunk and read or listen to my favourite podcasts (shout out to Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, Quackcast, Hardcore History, Ethics Bites, and Ideas), jam in the back lounge with Jeff, watch a movie with the guys, or listen to everyone talk shit. I love having a new room everyday. I walk in, the bed’s clean and made. There are fresh towels etc… but the best part is rolling out of bed in the morning and stumbling, groggy-eyed to a breakfast buffet.
Although you’d think 2 grown men would not enjoy the experience of having to share a small room (often the beds are just a foot apart) for months on end, having a room mate is great. Your room mate is basically like a girl friend that you don’t have sex with. For some strange reason most room mates do almost every thing together. For example, if one guy’s hungry, the other goes to eat too, or comes along to get out of the room. When one guy goes to the gym, the other guy feels compelled to go too. Also maybe once or twice a tour, because of a booking error or a visiting girlfriend, guys get temporarily separated, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s felt separation anxiety! You get so used to having another person in the room to exchange anecdotes about what happened during the day for the 5 minutes you were apart!
Actually, it’s mostly laughing about mishaps from the show or the behaviour of the cast fool (there’s gotta be one in every group!) It’s the strangest thing–as a group we already eat together, travel together, rehearse together, perform together and party together, so you’d think the two guys that also sleep in the same room and share a bathroom would take any opportunity to socialize with other people. But nope, for the most part room mates stick together.
Last but not least there is catering. Every night at 6 after cleaning (choreo) and light check our cook has a smorgasbord ready for us. ( I’m just noticing a food theme…mmm…food! ) There are always 2 meat dishes, 2 or 3 vegetable dishes, salad, 2 carb dishes, bread and cheese plate, fruit plater and dessert. Our cooks are the same ones that tour with a lot of big names like Metallica, Alice Cooper, Chilli Pepper, Eric Clapton etc.. The point is, they know what they are doing. The joy doesn’t end there! We get to make a to-go plate for after the show! Woohoo!
Anyway, the part of this job I’m going to miss the most when I leave is all that comes with life on the road. If only there were a career as a travelling rock star philosopher. Wait a minute! Socrates and Plato figured this out over 2000 years ago! They knew what was up!
By the way, I have to pay by the minute for internet access at the hotel so I’ll upload the museum pix when there’s free internet.