Zagreb, Do or Die! or Wait! or Die Waiting!

So, today I’m not going to take it: I’m getting up, I’m walking around and seeing some stuff. I don’t care if it’s a plastic baby jesus wearing mickey mouse ears and advising me to “take a trip to Tripoli!” Ljubljana is a very nice little town, at least the old part, and from what I can see, which is nothing because of the fog, it’s quite promising. The old town is cool and I hike up to the top of the hill to see the old castle, now a museum and then take the funicular back down, looking at the beautiful fog. Nice fog in this town. Ok, town, check, let’s hit the road.
Zagreb is calling and despite our fear of crossing the Croatian border, we are excited to play in Zagreb because usually the shows are great and our friend Mate is fantastic.
Well, sadly, we hit the border and rendezvous with an extremely truculent border guard (editors note: redundant). He asks for various paperwork, is not satisfied and points to where we came from. See ya! Crap. We need to play this show as all tours hinge on tight budgets-any disruption in income equals immediate financial catastrophe). We sit in our van, freezing, between Croatia and Slovenia and wait 3 hours. Mate shows up, works some magic and we are ushered in, all smiles and nods and good wishes. Phew, that would have been very bad news.
What’s funny about so many of these tours is the scrutiny from police and border guards and so on (much, much better than it used to be), but in a sense, we are just couriers: we come to a town, people of the town come out, donate their own money and we immediately turn around and give it to Exxon or BP or Holiday Inn or Les Autoroutes de France or some other big conglomerate. I mean, we aren’t keeping it, we are just a redistribution vehicle. My dreams of buying a house in Tuscany are a long way off now-you listening, Sting?
The show tonight is one of the best we’ve played in a while-Mate does an excellent job, the place is packed and everyone seems rapt with attention. Very satisfying end to what could have been a very miserable day. Zagreb, te amo!

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