June 24th to July 12th Past Tense Future Proche
Since coming into our possession a little over a month ago the Hajji has been a busy woman. This machine, a construct of steel and glass and an assortment of fluids, has the ability to bring people together, move them somewhere, and sit responsibly where she is left until needed again. Its really something. This blog has been a little stagnant lately because of my business (busy-ness), but I thought it would be good to fingerbang out some ideas surrounding her main purpose, a massive Balkan roadtrip with as many people we can carry, as many music festivals as we can find, and as many moment of absurdity we can conjure.
The Hajji chilling behind the Landbouwbelang in Maastricht
There has been a lot of collective thinking about the Hajji, and thus there is a lot which could be written about it. To start a rough itinerary is certainly in order. Where we will we go? There is so much I'll break our plans into a couple posts, to start we'll introduce the team and our journey to Serbia....
On June 24th at 10:30am my space inside the Hajji becomes a fraction of what it used to be, a half to be exact. Tannis Macdonald, a dear friend we found through Daniel during his criminal Guelph-days, flies into Amsterdam from Ottawa to spend just over a month with us. We'll take her big bag and tie it to our brand-new roof-rock (work in progress), fill our little beast with diesel and putter along the Autobahn to the harbor in Rostock, Germany where we pick up Marcus and Lauren (fresh of their 8 week Asia-Russia-Scandinavia journey) and everything begins.
Me, Tannis and Lauren partying at the legendary Loft in Guelph, 2007
June 25th - 28th - We will be attending (and hopefully working at cooks for the artists) a festival called Fusion Festival (http://www.fusion-festival.de/en/2009/home/). This festival is described as "holiday communism" and is attended each year by a large group of people from the Landbouwbelang (a squatted factory in Maastricht I have been involved with in various capacities during my time here). The music is broad from gypsy ska, to world music, to electronic, and is enthusiastically described as a special place by people who know special places.
June 28th - After the festival we will bugger over to Berlin and pick up the 5th addition to the team, Paul Walker. A friend from our Western days, Paul is an accomplished photographer (http://www.flickr.com/photos/pwalks) who will be with us for 3 weeks and will undergo a genesis of duality as both a participant and observer of our insanity. We'll spend a few days in Berlin (under the careful guidance of one of the softest men I've ever met - Arne a.k.a. Etto Kun)
Paul Walker and his Massive Unit
July 1st - Following the brief Berlin binge we cruise back to Holland where we can sign on Marcus and Lauren as official owners and insuree's on the Hajji. Here we pick up our 6th adventurer, Adam Ambrozy, a close-friend of mine from high school who joined on for some Indian adventures a couple Christmases ago.
Me, Lauren, Marcus and Adam at the Taj Mahal, Christmas 2007
Like the fully formed defender of the universe Voltron, we will be complete with 6. It promises to be a cozy berth, but we've done capacity test runs and had 12 people in the Hajji comfortably so things should be well. A couple days in Holland, a little Utrecht, Amsterdam, and definitely a stop in at the Landbouwbelang and then the journey begins
Testing the capacity of the Hajji - 12 gets a greenlight
July 4th - Our first stop is the magical city of Prague. My Spanish father, a giant man from Cordoba named Alvaro will be doing an internship here so we'll stop and spend a couple of days. There also just happens to be a rock festival called Rock for People (http://www.rockforpeople.com/) just east of the Prague, although given the wealth of gems in Prague we may only pop in for a day (to see the incredible Gogol Bordello play perhaps).
July 7th - The southern pilgrimage begins with a brief visit to Vienna where a number of friends live, and we will make final preparation for heading into the Balkans.
July 9th to 12th - Exit Festival (http://www.exitfest.org/). "Held in the picturesque setting of an eighteenth century fortress by the Danube" we've heard that this festival is a rocking good time. With many diverse and famous artists (Patti Smith, Kraftwerk, Arctic Monkeys, The Prodigy). With our van full of spirit and 6 bold Canadian adventurers, we'll find our favorite people and go crazy with them.
Picture of Exit Festival (from Google Image)
After this? More adventure! Descriptions to come, but for now I'll sink into a morphine-laden sleep and dream of sunny days on the road to come....
The Hajji quivering in anticipation with the Maas flowing behind