At some point, midnight (by some clock) was reached and it is now December 2, 2000.
8:00AM Amsterdam. Sitting in the gate (at least I hope this is the right gate…D62…there was some confusion…). The CitiHopper won’t leave until 9:30AM. Long wait. Fortunate, in retrospect, that the second flight was delayed. I am worried about the cello – it was SO cold in the air – hope I can still play it. Debating if I should walk around. My bag is really heavy and I’d just as soon not bother. I don’t want to have Guilders to deal with – though the thought of buying little cheeses is extremely tempting. BTW, feeling gypped re: airline. Northwest has been and will be the primary carrier for 2 of 3 legs of the trip. And – the “vegetarian” option sucks! They even had the nerve to serve the general passengers vegetarian pasta. Even the breakfast/snack is different – they get a yogurt and muffin, but I get a cold, dense bagel with PB&J. I have, however, eaten more fruit in the last day than I have in two weeks. Better for me, I guess.
9:05AM. Waiting to board. Watched the luggage get loaded onto the plane. Where the hell is the cello!
12:50PM. Hamburg. All went well at the airport; the cello’s case was slightly the worse for wear but the cello seems OK. Hooray for bubble-wrap! Volker Zacharias and Rodney both met me outside the baggage claim, then we went to Volker’s car and parted company with Rodney. He stayed behind to wait for Chris, whose flight was coming in about an hour later than mine. Volker and I went to Rodney and Heidi’s apartment, unloaded my stuff, then went to a grocery store to stock up for everyone. I stayed at the apartment while Volker went off to get air mattresses and his bass, which he was bringing to Rodney’s.
1:00PM. Rodney and Chris arrive. I let them in; Chris tells me he had me paged at the airport as “Admiral Mera Roberts”. He wasn’t expecting to meet Rodney. He gave me my J-Station, but it comes with 9-volt AC which is difficult to get here. I’m stinky but satisfied that all’s well so far.
8:50PM. Completely ready to go to sleep. I’ve been crashing all night. Today we went to an electronics store to get power adapters for the J-Stations and some 9-volt batteries. Later on Mindy Kumbalek, the other keyboardist, met us at Rodney’s apartment. She drove to Hamburg from Berlin with her car completely full of keyboards, rack gear and large pieces of metal she uses for drums. I’m afraid I left a poor impression with her, as it wasn’t long after she was there that I passed out with my mouth open in the living room. After that, Chris, Rodney and I watched “The Italian Job” and dined on pizza but I kept passing out. I think German pizza is even worse (if that’s possible) than California pizza. What’s so hard to get? Even I can make a better pizza than these places. I guess it takes a true Chicagoan to really know, understand, and create pizza the right way! OK – it’s off to sleep now. Rodney gave me a white sheet with some bloodstains on it. He said “oops – someone’s had a period on it. You don’t mind, do you?” Of course not. Just so long as it’s been washed.