Hello those who care! I'm writing you from the dining room of my bizarre hotel, a former Communist retreat perched near the Czech border. As far as I can tell, the hotel is renowned for the following:
1. A disproportionately gigantic and elaborate pool, replete with slides, saunas, and some kind of a "tropical grotto," which according to the many postcards available is teeming with ruddy Bond villains and their figure skater wives. Hanging in the lobby, this seem unlikely.
2. The "Space Station," which as far as I can tell is a mid-80s relic; a series of vaguely space-themed rooms designed perhaps to mitigate the one-sided publicity the U.S. was undoubtedly getting vis-a-vis space in the hearts and minds of young East Germans.
3. Absolutely awful food. This isn't xenophobia talking. It's objectively true. Inarguable. To wit: This morning's breakfast featured a sort of a head-cheese consisting of mini-corns, bits of pimento, and carrots, congealed in a jiggly, semi-transparent gelatin. It looked pre-digested; the gastrointestinal equivalent of a half-baked pizza.
4. AOL circa-1995 internet. I'm pretty sure the new Bay Bridge looks cool now that it's open, at least it seemed that way when pixel row 23 loaded while I took a shower, got dressed, finished my book, learned conversational German, and did a Sun Salutation before my laptop battery died.
But anyway. The hotel is but a daily source of dislocated amusement. The real reason I've been here is I was invited to check out the Warwick Bass Camp and get my hang on.
Hard to encapsulate that experience. Always a blessing to coexist with some of my heroes. Got to do some fairly rad jamming. Interacted with bass players from far-flung corners of the world. Tried to both impart and intake wisdom whenever possible.
The experience was slightly soured by a bout with (self-diagnosed) strep throat upon arrival. But nevertheless, so glad I came ... I leave here inspired.
Tomorrow, off to Bangkok. I'm assuming the food will improve.