mickdevine2007BalkanizationTour travel blog

So...here I am back in Nova Scotia, a little bit early. As in three weeks early.

It's all turned out remarkably, improbably, well.

So that wallet went a-walkin', last I talked with you. Leather on the lam. And like all truants and those fleeing from the long arm of the righteous, it got found. The chickens always come home to roost, as farm-minded people like to say. The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

Um...where was I?

Oh yeah, Wally wallet. He got found in the Ferenciek Ter Metro station; Buddy Magyar walked it over to the Canadian Embassy on Tuesday. That would be the same day that I landed in Nova Scotia. No matter. It was the right decision to come back and prepare for the next, longer, trip. My cold has cleared up, I've written preps and props (preparation for directing and project proposals) like a bat out of hell and my weight has, satisfyingly, dipped under 75 kg. (BTW, the Emb will charge you $75 to process the couriering. Plus the courier fee. Don't lose your wallet, or if you do, mug a bystander and take THEIR wallet, so you don't have to work through the Embassy.)

Buddy Magyar didn't even root out the money in the wallet. Some people are really naive, eh? Anyway, an entire week-end of wrestling with international credit companies later, I had left the sunshine and 25 degrees of Budapest for the 2 degrees and grim, Presbyterian demeanour (sorry Gary) of New Scotland. Before I left I managed to restore my slightly battered spirit with a 16 kilometre run up and down the Danube, followed by 18 kilometres of walking the next day. I love Budapest. Women sunbathers on Margits Island already had their tops off. What's not to like? I got into my favourite vego restos, spent a blissful morning at the Geraczy Cafe eating homemade olive ciabatta and swilling cappucino. My conference paper even got read, in my absence, in Romania.

Yes, it cost me a dime and two nickels to take an extra flight home early. Several dimes, actually... But after four days back I am my typical, scarily enthusiastic self. One 11 km. run along the dykes, and my first outdoor bike ride of the season are all it takes.

When I ride in early spring I wear tights and a cycling jacket that are a matching shade of aubergine. The helmet and bike (her name is Bluebelle) are blue, but I am, indeed, L'AUBERGINE VOLANT...the Flying Eggplant. Barney On Wheels. Truly one of Nova Scotia's more unique tourist sights, grinding along Highway 1 towards Windsor, a blur of purple-clad limbs a-flailing, eyes squinting through the latest in Smith shades. It's a fine feeling, rolling over hill and dale through the as-yet uncultivated orchards and fields of the Annapolis Valley. Cyclists, farmers, gawking urbanites all turn as something flashes by. Was it..? Could it be...? Who was that, humming "Spielen Wir" by Rammstein?

The sun is shining in more than a metaphoric sense, finally. The three gigs in Europe appear to be progressing: directing my play Cyrano XXI in Nis, creating a new ambient theatre piece called Hawks in southern Serbia, and doing a BoxWhatBox Gilgamesh workshop in Bulgaria...these things always shift, tectonically, but for the moment all appears stable.

I'm going to go ride - enjoy the sunshine, wherever you are.

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