Ah, good. Got to Philadelphia safe. Still a couple of hours 'till my transit, so I descided to do the Watt thing; grab my 'puter and "chimp". Love all of that slang he uses. Language is such a trippy thing, I just try and pick up on all the words I like and incorporate them into my own speech and writing.
Seems like I just left, damn, these long-distance trips are starting to become easier and easier as I grow older. Even though I'm not there all the way yet, it's been a huge trip (in the metaphorical sense, mostly) so far already. Let me just give a lowdown of events so far in a more chronological manner, to let Max makes some sense.
Popped at 330, took a long, nice shower. It's getting cold in my land, I'm gonna miss it. Love them Holland winters. Spent the next couple of hours packing some misc. stuff and transfering some files to my 'puter. Gotta have 'The World According To John Coltrane' with me, for inspiration when needed. Cut up some oranges and apples and put them in the blender in order to make me some nice juice. Don't know about the chow on the plane, so the juice serves me righteous. Might be the only thing for a good 24 hours.
My pop's driving me to airport and my lil' sister is coming along cause she's gonna help him out at work today. Righteous. She's a rad little bird, that much I'll tell you. They're both rad people. We leave for the airport at 7AM. There's some plug on the way to Amsterdam, nothing unusual, but damn if I ain't gotta pee and forgot to bring a pissbottle! That's what plug's great for, though, so I get out the car and just water the grass on the side of the road. I feel a million eyes piercing my back, but I'm watching the sun break the clouds. I mean, when you gotta go you gotta go. But somehow we got ourselves stuck in cars and need bathrooms and all that uptown stuff.... Anyway, we get to the aiport exactly at our target time of 900AM, allright! My dad's allways spot-on with that kind of stuff! My sis get's me a cart for my stuff and we say our goodbyes, I hug her. Hug and give my dad a kiss, am gonna miss you guys man! The more I travel the harder it gets to leave all them folks behind, but this is my school, gotta do what I gotta do.
So I go up to the check in. Hall C, counter 29 or something like that. 29... Righteous, US Airways 'got no line! I love that! Don't mind standing in line, but it gets old quick, especially when you're still lumping all your stuff around. Check in proceeds smoothly. Got me a visa now, so I don't get the regular green I-94 Visa Waiver thingy, but a white paper. Good, variety. Hmm, it seems Denise got arranged a vegan meal when she ordered my ticket, thank you, Denise! Kind of curious as to what it is. So I check in my git'fiddle and trolleybag-o-clothes, strap on my backpack and take my clarinet and head for the waiting area. I have to go get some earbuds because my last pair died on my way back last time 'around. I gotta pee first though. Yes again, been drinking a lot of water today. It's not that urgent, but I try to find a toilet anyway. Looks like they changed stuff around, huh? Wow, that's quick, I was just here 2 months ago. Fast construction work at Schiphol Airport. Why don't downtown Amsterdam take an example from these cats?
So I go down to the rest area (never did find that toilet) and I kinda freeze as I see someone sitting there. Lo-Fi jacket.... pedal roadcase. Dude, fuckin' Brant Bjork! Now if that ain't a trip! Cortez told me he'd been traveling around Europe and he'd be going back to the states soon, but damn, same day! What are the odds of that, huh? I take it as a good sign. So we talk and spiel for a bit, I tell him what I'm gonna be doing and he's blown away. He says; see, Max, that's what happens when you start getting rad. Rad thing happen to you. He tells me a little bit about what he's been doing himself, and then he asks me; Max, what time does your flight leave? So I tell him; 1120. He's like; Philedelphia. Me; yup. "No, Shit!". No shit indeed, what are the odds of THAT. I definitly take it as a good sign man. If it weren't for this guy I wouldn't even be here. When that cat took me out on the road at 15, man, that changed my life. Been leaning towards doing music as my main gig for a while, but I was still in University, doubting. But when I met that cat, and those guys told me; dude, don't wait 'till you're older, just fucking do it now, get rad!.... I talk to him all the way untill boarding, so that's a good 2 hours. Man, I always learn loads from this cat, I feel so greatfull having met all these cats. Thanks Brant! Cortez, Dylan, Mike, Kevo-o, Boomer, Kale and all you other righteous cats. Will definitly try and come out to California, hang for a week or two. North Carolina is rad and all, but I miss So-Cal.
So we board the plane and go our seperate ways, he's 10 seats ahead of me and I just let him do his thing. 8 hour flight huh? Decent. I finish reading the last 100 pages of Miles' (Davis) Autobiography. Konk some. Get hot water during the drink-handhouts on all occasions, getting a side of orange juice just once (They forgot my water initially). The Vegan meal was pretty righteous, especially for airplane chow. Tomato-sauce and sweet potatoes, some rye bread and a salad. Lil' starchier stuff than I would normally take, but a righteous gesture all the same. Konk some more, or more so, nod in and out of sleep for the entirety of the flight. When they hand out sandwiches to the other folks a couple of hours later I wondered what they had in store for me. More Rye bread, allright! Salad, cucumber, and some flavoured tofu. Not the biggest Tofu fan (makes everything flat and 2D) but this one doesn't seem to bother me all that much. Read some stuff on Stevie Ray Vaughan (the booklet that comes with that 3CD 4DVD boxset), nod in and out of sleep some more. Mediatate some with the beads Kate gave me back in 'Frisco, and damn if that eight hour flight didn't just fly by like it was nothing!
So I get out and go through customs. Turn out, because of the visa, I have to go through 'Secondary Inspection'. So I head over there and the guy tells me to go pickup my other stuff, so I do and spiel with Brant some more. Damn if U.S. Customs and immigration ain't a bitch, we both agree on that. I tell him I'll write him up and let him know when I'm coming down to Cali. Looking forward of that more than anything else on this trip, to be honest. So I take my baggage and head back to the 'Secondary Inspection' office. The dude asks me all sort of questions, and goes to every single thing in my pockets and bags, reading all my notes and letters, a little surprised by the odd situation he's got. 17 year old cat, with a college degree he got at 10, traveling to the US and he's already been here for a good 5 months. He told me we have a little situation but doesn't tell me anything untill he's gone through _every single piece_ of my stuff. Damn. No 'tude from him though, gotta give him that. He's just doing his job. He asks me all sorts of questions and I try to answer them to the best of my ability, trying to not give off a too-inimidated aura, because I'm not. Being interrogated and searching is just a drag. Him having no 'tude whatsoever helps tons, though. The entire procedure takes about 45 minutes, after which he tells me I can go ahead and repack my stuff. He says he'll give me the benefit of the doubt and let me in. Because of my previous trips I've almost overstayed the maximum allowed amount. More than 180 a year. But he tells me I seem like a good, intelligent kid, and impressed by my academic background, he is confident that I will abide by the laws (no paid work, etc, etc) so he admits me till April 25th of 2007. He ask me; any questions? I tell him; no, just a thank you." Staying polite with the authorities is always a good thing, but I'm honestly thankfull. He goes on and tells me that because my visa is valid up untill October 10th of 2007, I can file for an extension with the CIS, and it's up to them wether or not to grant it. He also states that next time I leave the US, I'd best stay out for 6 months or so, to make a so called 'meaningfull departure'. He also tells me, in case I should find a band and want to work legally, it might take a few months to get the proper documents together, but given my acedemic background, he so no reason why the procedure shouldn't be a smooth one. Last thing he tells me is basicly comes down to; stay out of trouble, kid, and have a good time. But ofcourse he picks different words. He gives me a cart to carry my luggage, thoug, allright! These things cost like 3 bucks, and you don't get that kind of money back, so that alone is worth the trouble of that inspection. Wasn't too bad, but that entire bureaucracy stuff is just meant to scare the shit out of people, if you ask me. Go on my way through local customs and head for gate B4, where my flight leaves in two hours. Which leaves me at where I started chimpin' this thing an hour ago. Righteous. Now all that's left is a good hour of waiting. Will put more 'spiel up later. Take care.