April, 2001

Here I am again, on another plane. Today has been spent with the common sunup to sundown exercise of having luggage weighed, inspected, labeled, moved by hand at least a mile through a huge Hong Kong airport complex, and finally put on the conveyor. This time, I get all the proper paperwork for my hand carry luggage and sail through the 1 hour of lines for immigration, x rays, and of course, the hand checking of most of our stuff. We spent part of the afternoon in Thailand, on the ground with some weather and refueling going on. What was not going on was the air conditioning. They (all airliners) can afford to fly the weight of numerous silverware items, but seem to scrimp on the comfort on the ground. Saw Vietnam through the window, it was green, just like anywhere else. Our journey to our ultimate destination in India will actually have us arriving on the third day of travelling there. I guess that proves that not every city has good airline connections.

After the last time in India, I am very wary of anything that might get me as sick, or worse, than last time. I've decided to live on my dried noodles and peanut butter if I can stand it. Our gigs have been going very well, but they fade to a much more distant importance than everything else on my mind. How would I feel being gone and having my family go through something like a tornado hitting the homeplace? Well, now I know what that would feel like, and I don't like it. Thank God nobody was hurt, but I wish I was there to explain to my kids that things like that just don't happen very often at all, and how I can somehow magically protect them from all things bad......A daily extra thanks to the angels that watch over kids is in order. No, music is the relief, the thing we occasionally do on these overly extended tests. Music is something that would be great to do for a living, but I wonder how one does. We do almost everything but music....In the three day period, I will have spent a minimum of 12 hours a day in a fairly easy travel mode, compared to the 2 day long, no break return. Then after each 12 hour day comes the paperwork of getting local currency, finding power adapters from the bottom of an unorganized suitcase, finding the unique phone particulars for a possible deathly slow modem connection, unearthing the access numbers, assessing the food possibilities, unpacking enough stuff to take a shower, sleeping.......Oops, I guess I left out music. That's because there is no time for that. If I stay up to do that, I skip breakfast and unhurried packing, a fair trade-off. But, during these times, the only reminder that I play music for a living is that I'm carrying a guitar. Of course, when there is a chance to, I can, and do, pull out the guitar to practice moving my fingers. But, that's not really music, just sort of like staying in shape. So, if anyone reading this ever wonders why I dislike long trips so much, there are reasons. The helpless feeling of being away from the family, the senseless filling out of paperwork for beaurocratic reasons...(like answering a health questionaire just to play a concert in Australia....me, who doesn't cancel gigs, by the way, for health reasons...), and such things.

On the other hand, the nomadic, adventurous lifestyle is attractive. Mostly when it's not done on a strict schedule, unfortunately. Still, all in all, 90% of the time, it's better than the alternatives. Ask me when we're on stage and I'll tell you that it's the greatest job in the world.

stevemorse.com 2001