Friday, January 8, 2010

The Best Week of Graham's Life

So, like I said, Graham met me in Milan. He took a day to sleep off his jet lag before I dragged him to hang out with Camille. This is one of Noah's friends who hooked us up in Milan with a place to stay. We crashed for a night at his place before heading to Prague to click up with Jacline and Kevin.

They were on a European tour of their own and we managed to all be in the Czech Republic at the same time. If there was any part of my summer that was too short, it was this stint in Prague-- we barely scraped the city, only really exploring the awesome streetfood. Oh, and we got fined on the metro too-- rad. I persuaded everyone to join me on a train journey out to Sedlec Ossuary in Kutna Hora-- this is basically a church filled with the bones of 40,000 people. Amazing. After routinely traveling alone, it was nice to be surrounded by close, old friends.

Eventually, Graham and I peeled off and headed to Pardubice (note the Lone Star in that photo- thanks, Kevin!) to check out Obscene Extreme. To say the least, this was a wild journey, filled with some crazy metal heads (this story is much better when Graham tells it) and little direction. We finally gave up on sneaking in and were heading to buy wristbands when Tony drove up. We hopped in the Waste's van and stopped by their hotel before Tony scored us some wristbands. Ace. This was a pretty relaxed night-- the Waste killed it and we hung out with Rick Aistley's sound guy.

We camped with some kids from Leeds, which gave us a pretty nice base between wandering the festival. The second night featured three bands I was stoked to see-- Disfear, Napalm Death and Wolfbrigade. Graham also tried his hand at stage diving when some journalists from Terrorizer magazine convinced him and Kevin Sharp to storm the crowd.

After a long night, we woke up the next day and headed back into Prague. We blew off the rainy day in the city, then headed back to Milan-- Camille and Ania met up with us and took us out for a night on the town. We got pretty accustomed to Italian breakfasts and awesome pizza. Tough life.

Graham and I headed out to Venice to check out the Biennial and retrace a list of spots Brooke had given me from her recent visit. Venice is a pretty city, but awful touristy-- we managed to find our own niche and check out some cutty spots. After his sunburn, Graham finally relaxed a bit once we fell in with the locals.

We headed back to Milan for a couple days filled with nice dinners, relaxation and wanders in the city. We even headed out to Lake Como for a day swimming in a lake, hanging out on a boat and drinking on a mountain. Back in Milan, we spent one of our last days in Italy hanging out with my old roommate Danielle.

I had an awesome time with Graham, and tried to prepare for the tough month ahead. Being on the go for the whole month with no real place to call home was pretty tough. To be honest, it's a feeling that has grown all too familiar the past two years, and one I'm working/hoping on seeing an end to.

July 2009


Excluding April, I took more photos in July than any other month this year--I was in seven different countries, and busy as hell. Because of this, there are a lot of photos that people have asked me to send to them-- I've been so overwhelmed that I haven't really gone through many of them. I'll try to get through this one bit at a time: first, France and Italy.

With my trip to Cambodia quickly approaching, I checked in with a doctor of tropical medicine and topped up some vaccinations. I had three doctors oversee the nurse giving me my injections-- all in my own home. How is that for foreign healthcare?

My colleagues and I wrapped up some work, and I snuck away for a trip to the northern coast of France-- taking a tour of Bretagne in northern France. It was nice to spend so much time with classmates.

When my academic commitments were over, I took off to spend 2 days with Brooke and her mom in Milan. It was cool to flex the little knowledge that I have of the city-- and, also learn some new spots. While in Milan, Graham came over from Texas and we spent the first 2 weeks of my summer traveling.