As I snaked through Graz today from the airport to Temp Home No 5, sweating in the sun and carrying luggage and my heavy guitar in its hard case, I walked past a pub full of merrymakers sitting outside. I struggled past, attempting to see my GPS directions. I looked up for a second at the drinkers; a man with sprinkled grey hair in a long ponytail spied me and smiled the gentlest, wisest welcome: I see you, travelling musician.
I am welcome here, in this strange place.
Once again, I found myself climbing 8 flights of steps to the top of an apartment building.
My Georgian hostess plied me with glasses of water and apples then offered me her bike for the duration of my stay. I am grateful for this offer! She left and I turned the radio on, flipping through a mix of Austrian and Slovene stations. I stopped. Willie Nelson. On the Road Again:
'The life I love is makin' music with my friends.'
Here's to Graz and thunder cracks across the sky with new heart holders!