Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Go bum again

I'm currently reading Vinter i Paradiset (Winter in Paradise) by Ulf Lundell. He's a Swedish writer/musician who has been compared a lot to Bruce Springsteen oddly enough. His early books are about Sweden in the 70s and deal with the hippie remnants, the drug culture, and, basically, bums.

I find these types of books dangerous reading. I'm a sucker for the romantasized road life. I read this stuff and I want to be out hitching rides, waking up on the beach in a Norwegian fjord (covered in early winter snow) and getting drunk in a bar on the Russian tundra. I start to fill with regrets. Regrets for all the trips not taken. The things I haven't seen.

Instead I shuffle in and out of Manhattan every day on a one and a half hour commute.

But I know it's not all that I make it out to be. Starving and freezing and scrounging for change. It's not cool. So I make a deal with myself. I'll read the book, maybe take a vacation. And then it's back to the job.


Philadaddy said...

I know what you mean. Here's some reality therapy for romanticizing the hippy life from the Overheard in New York blog:

Just Smear Some Deodorant on Them

Hippie guy #1: You know, I bet you could go your whole life without really needing to brush your teeth.
Hippie guy #2: Dude...totally.

--Prospect Park Bandshell

Overheard by: Dan S.

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cawshis said...

I tried the "on the road" lifestyle for about 8 weeks. Crashing on couches and park benches, hitching rides with truckers. One thing all these books seem to leave out: It's hella boring. I spent a lot of time walking, budgeting and then walking some more. There were few moments I wouldn't trade for anything like dropping acid on Monteray Beach and then being asked by some high school kids to buy them some beer or the awesome lightning storm I witnessed in SD or the two very nice girls I shared a tent with on Mt. Hood…

Hmmm. Why the hell am I working in this cubicle again? Oh. Right. Bills. :)

mumbles said...

I resent the implication that people who don't brush their teeth are hippies.

When I was a young man and carried a pack, I won a trip to Ireland, quit my job and bummed around the British Isles for a few months. I wore holes through both of my combat boots and drank way too much and met lots of cool people and heard Welsh and Irish Gaelic spoken and it was great and I never want to do it again.

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