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snow-drops and mole-hills
lost in a forest
amw
I'm sitting on a rock by a brook, halfway between the Hercules and the castle. The sun is peeking through the clouds, shining down on a clearing wet with the drizzle of the day and perhaps moisture from the stream.

This has been an extremely emotional trip for me. Usually i shed some tears when i have to leave, but rarely does the place itself inspire it. I think the last time it happened might have been Vegas, driving through the desert alone... I felt like it was a spiritual home there, but here... I'm coming to the realization this is my actual home.

The clearing is dotted with spring flowers - daisies, dandelions and, i believe, snow-drops. [Bedroom addendum: On closer inspection they weren't - and it's too late in the year anyway - but the title is poetic.] It's equally dotted with mole-hills, which for years have just been part of a quaint expression to me. But now i remember - moles in our back yard, in the meadow by the woods where we played. Woods that looked just like this one. I can almost sense the young lime-green leaves maturing into that rich summer green. I can close my eyes and see them turn in the autumn.

God, i wish i could share the peaceful sounds of this babbling brook. I wish my camera could capture how perfectly it flows and eddies, the twigs being washed down toward the castle. But it probably wouldn't evoke the same things for you. This is my childhood returning - perhaps even some of my teenage years. If i lived here i wouldn't notice. If i lived here i wouldn't be here - i'd be in Amsterdam or Berlin doing the same shit i do back in Toronto.

Yesterday i met a local in a bar and he was floored when he heard i was on vacation here. "But we barely got five hours of sun yesterday! Why not Spain? Why not France? If you want to party, why not Berlin? You're crazy to come here!" I heard the same story from a Kasseler at the party. They don't understand. They don't understand what it's like to have never felt i had a home. Even in the States, where i feel so much AT home, people will ask where i'm from and i don't know. But now i do, i guess. Not any particular city, or even any particular country, but definitely from Europe. This place tugs my heartstrings in ways i never expected, never thought i would feel. Here, in the town of the brothers Grimm, looking down at a baroque castle and some highrises and chimney stacks, rolling green hills in the distance... John Denver is playing guitar in my head.

Sorry to gush, i know it sounds like hyperbole, but i honestly don't have the words to describe how i feel right now. And it's the thing least expected.

* * *

The party last night was phenomenal. Nice three room club, in some old brick buildings by the train station (i'm sensing a theme). The deepest German house in a wine cellar where the bass reverberated so much it shook your innards, an entire alleyway blocked off for outdoor shenanigans, then a three-story building with an American house room on the second floor and more "standard" German tech/deep house upstairs. Smoking inside. Pretzels on the bar. Projections, smoke machine, strobe lights, proper fucking production. There was a space rocket as tall as the building outside. And all the while keeping the underground vibe - each room had a capacity of maybe 150-200 tops. And it was packed from 1am. And it kept going hard till after 6:30 when i had to leave i was so exhausted. What a treat for me to hear some of my favorite tunes played on a good sound system, and many more i had never heard. What a special experience to see Schlepp Geist play live and to be able to give him "the nod" and a pat on the back when he was done - it was similar to seeing Alfred Heinrichs in Bad Homburg, but this time with a capacity crowd who did not want to quit.

On Saturday Dirty Doering and Britta Arnold are playing Darmstadt at Level 6 club where Martin Dacar is resident. And this is just a normal weekend in one corner of Germany. I met F [bemused student from Mainz] briefly at the Klangextase party and he was amazed i had found out about so many parties in just this short time - even stuff he hadn't heard about. It's how it is, i guess, people here don't realize how good they have it. Meanwhile on the tram this afternoon to go up to the park i saw a bunch of kids in ball caps and "thug life" shirts, no doubt longing to see all kinds of "underground" American artists who for us are nothing.

Also on the tram i'm convinced i saw one of the DJs who played last night, with his daughter. Our eyes met and i think he wanted to say something, but i wasn't sure because i tend to dance eyes closed all night, so i just smiled and gave "the nod" and he smiled and left. I wonder? Maybe i just freaked out some random German. Maybe not. Maybe the kid will grow up to be a second (or third?) generation raver. One of the kids i met in Bad Homburg said "yeah the 90s was a really good time for techno in Frankfurt, or so my mother tells me, she used to go out back then". I'm getting old, man.

Having kaffee und apfelstreusel at the castle cafe after my walk i saw two tourists i swear were from Santa Cruz or something. That fucking northern Cali accent, man, what a trip. Perhaps they were on a honeymoon, or just dating, they looked like the types who'd take a romantic trip to fairytale country. Meanwhile some birthday party or something was going on, lots of well-to-do seniors dressed in the snappiest outfits drinking aperitifs and talking about Europe. It makes me sad i didn't see my Opa before he passed away, and makes me think i should probably see my Oma as well.

Anyway, just taking it easy tonight. I kinda want to stay here one more day, but i kinda also want to go back to Frankfurt and go out with a bang. For sure i want to go to Darmstadt for the Katermukke labelnight. But then, who knows? Each day of this vacation has been completely unplanned and i've still had fun wherever i ended up. If i can stay up, perhaps i will go watch Star Trek tonight at 11pm.

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