Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Home again

I finally made it back home and right now I have to get used to the spanish keyboard where - for instance - the letter " y " is right above the letter " h " because it's used more often. And the spanish spellcheck marks like every word as wrong, since english words don't make any sense in spanish.

Yesterday I spent most of the day in transit and like usual it all ended with a catastrophe. Or at least a small catastrophe. Maybe I really should turn all my various travelling adventures into a comic book as somebody once told me. As in most cases when I have something important to do the next day I couldn't sleep the night before so at six o'clock in the morning I decided to go on the internet for one last time. Afterwards I showered and got dressed, not that showering helps since most often I sweat a lot when traveling but without showering it's even worse for the other people travelling with me.

As I still had a few hours to kill I went to an internet cafe where I had to print some letters for job applications I had to do. Originally I had planned to eat at the Burger King at Stuttgart airport but I was just too hungry to wait another 2 hours so I used the McDonalds coupons I got left. The others had already found it's way to the trash bin but I had saved two just in case. At the train station in Ludwigsburg I thought about getting something to read for the subway ride but bringing comics to Spain is like going to a bar with a bottle of Jack Daniels. No matter which comics they have in Germany, compared to Spain those are " aficcionados " how they call it down here.

And in any case, I spent most of the time on the subway sleeping. As well as most of the flight. What really miffed me was that no matter when you have to fly, there's always one person at the checkup right before you who slows the whole queue down. It's ten years after 9 - 11 and there's still ONE person left who doesn't know that you are not allowed to take liquids on a plane. Where do these people live ? And why do they leave their caves just when I'm traveling ? I had more than an hour left after check - in and arriving at the gate so I used the opportunity to catch up on my sleep and do a drawing of a carnivorious massage chair, an idea I had after using the massage chair at the waiting area. If I had known then that I would get a massage on the train ride home I could have saved 2 EUROS. I tried to get ice cream from a vending machine but I guess it was empty since it just kept returning my coins. Or maybe it just didn't like me.

Using the electronic self check - in machine I have nobody else to blame for the fact that I got a seat directly behind the wings of the plane. Which is good in case the plane breaks into a hundred pieces before crashing - because you are on the part that flies - but not so good if you want to have something to look at during the flight. Well, except the wings and how the different parts move, separate and connect with each other.

Flying is just not my thing. I'm not particularly fond of heigths and I also don't like to get on rollercoaster rides. I prefer to get on a plane ( where I pretend to be on a long rollercoaster ride ) than on a rollercoaster but the worst part is going up the gangway. And to pinch it, when I had finally managed to sit down at my window seat ( or better wing seat ) I wanted to take off my jacket and - ripped it ! I'm not sure but I think I ripped my last jeans jacket on the last flight I had been on. Maybe I should start taking of my jacket as soon as I'm at the airport.

The last few days it had been hot or cold in Germany with lots of downpours inbetween but as soon as stepping out from Barcelona airport I was hit by a wall of hot air. Here it's still very hot and I was sweating the whole way to Torredembarra. Originally I had planned to head into Barcelona and get something to eat but when I arrived at the train station at Barcelona Sants it was already half past seven and NORMA COMICS closes at half past eight. So I had to hurry up if I wanted to buy some comics before heading into the badlands known as La Pobla de Montornes.

I know, it sounds a bit crazy but out here you have to drive half an hour before reaching the first outpost of civilization and they have no comics there. So it's either get some comics first or read what's left to read in the house which is one volume of CLASSICOS DEL TERROR. And that's not the best thing to read when you are alone at night with a dozen of morocans whose life would be much easier if they killed you and buried your body somewhere. And out here there are hundreds of places for that.

At the airport I had already bought two tickets, one for the train to Torredembarra and one for the metro ( which set me back 13 bucks from my already tiny comic spending budget ) but it involved a lot of walking from the train station to the metro station and then to the comicshop. The subway thankfully had air condition but between rides ( you have to use to different lines to reach Arc de Triompf ) it was still hot and I was pretty exhausted. At the airport I hadn't bought anything cold to drink ( because at that time I still thought I would have the chance to get something to eat and drink at Kentucky Fried Chicken which has no chain stores around Stuttgart ) so out of fear I could end up dehydrated I bought a coke zero from a vending machine which was really, really hot.

Since I was really thirsty I drank it anyway but only in small sips all through the train ride to Torredembarra. I finally arrived at the NORMA COMICS store a few minutes after eight ( just after getting of at Arc de Triompf I had a sudden panic attack because I realized I wasn't sure if the comic shop was really at that station ) and was looking for some comics but there were just a lot of mangas and art books there.

One of the clerks told me that all the superhero stuff was downstairs so I went one level below - well, it was like coming home. All the comics you can think of, all the stuff that comes out in german ( but at a lower price, so you have to at least take 5 bucks off the german price ), the american series and some editions that aren't even published in America. Or at least not collected into new volumes.

They had some nice hardcovers but as they were around 30 bucks I couldn't get more than two. The first thing I looked for - of course - was the CLASSICOS DC edition by Planeta DeAgostini of Norm Breyfogle's Batman comics. I wrote about this collection in March but I didn't think that they had already finished the five volumes. I also found a compilation of Gene Colan's JEMM - SON OF SATURN series

and also two hardcovers of Marv Wolfman and George Perez' first 28 issues of NEW TEEN TITANS. And also tons of other cool comics. The hard part in german comicshop for me is to find something to buy that I haven't already read or that you can't get at a better price and with better quality in the original american version. My biggest problem in spanish comicshops is narrowing it down to the few comics I can afford.

As I could only buy two of those nice hardcovers ( and the shop was also five minutes away from closing ) I bought the first volume of Norm Breyfogle's Batman at a whopping 352 pages for 30 bucks and the first volume of NUEVOS TITANES. I had thought about getting the american edition of the NEW TEEN TITANS omnibus through amazon since they only charge 50 bucks for the 75 dollar hardcover. But having the chance to get it for 35 EUROS ( 464 pages !!! ) with the second volume already out, well I just couldn't pass that up. For a quick moment I thought about getting the second volume since the only copy of the first volume had a slight crack but I think I already have most of the issues contained. The first volume has issues 1 to 16 and I think my collection starts with issue 20.

I also wanted to buy some issues of DOLMEN but the newest issue wasn't out yet and apparently they had no back issues. I probably could have gotten some at the FREAKIS comicshop but by the time I would have gotten there they would already be closed.

So now I had two thick volumes to read, I had my bottle of hot coke and I even managed to get the last train to Torredembarra for the day. But because it was already a quarter to eleven there were no cabs at Torredembarra station and I had to find a cab to take me to la pobla. After waiting for ten minutes to see if all the cabs had just gone out I walked around a bit and found an open chinese restaurant where I could convince one of the waiters to phone me up a cab but he couldn't get a connection. At least I got a cold can of Fanta at the restaurant but aftwerwards when I was looking for a cab, walking towards the centre of Torredembarra I realized that spending my last coins hadn't been such a great idea. I think it was the moment when I finally found a public phone that I came to that realisation.

While I was still walking towards Torredembarra I asked two guys where I could find a cab and they kindly drove me all the way out past la pobla to where my mother lives. I still think it's one of my greatest achievements to direct the car through the labyrinth of streets in the dark and in my exhausted state. Finally I had arrived at my destination and since my t - shirt was soaking wet all I wanted was a cold beer and a shower and not necessarily in that order. As luck would have it beer was one of the few things the almost empty refrigerator contained so after one of the best showers of my life ever I could lie back with a cold one.

I guess not even Marco Polo had that much fun on his travels.

Since Today's post has been about traveling ( and alcoholic beverages ) and not so much about comics......sorry...... here's one of the best commercials I've seen. The man who walked around the world.

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