Unintentional Hipster

I just like wearing women's jeans, not eating animal products and writing shit nobody cares about. It was an accident, I swear

Archive for the tag “Madrid”

Madrid Riots-Changing the World

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One of my friends took this photo from the balcony in my room at the hostel we stayed at in Madrid. This was later in the night, around 11:30. It’s just off of the Grand Via and, although the photo quality is a little poor (my bad, still learning to set the camera up properly), you can see riot police speckled everywhere and people running about. Earlier in the evening, all you could see were tens of thousands of people running to and fro-there were enough people to fill a football stadium with ease!

I’m considering creating a new category for my blogs after this and the last blog. If I did, it would be called, “The Wrong Life Lessons I Learned in the Right Places to Learn Life Lessons,” because that’s what I’m doing.

A quick little pre-cursor for anybody who may be viewing this blog under a different impression of what it will be-it’s not so much to do with the riots because realistically, we kept completely out of them. It’s about what they got me thinking about. Cool? Sweet. I’ll hop on with it.

Obviously, I’m one confused little boy. My life is awash with indecision and unmade judgements of things. The reason I’ve been overseas is to try and piece together the little puzzle pieces that is my future. Not the distant future, things slightly closer at hand. Though despite how much closer they may be, they’re still as difficult to figure out.

The main thing that’s been tugging on me isn’t love, because that’s just something I gotta leave alone for it to sort itself out. There are far, far more intelligent and emotionally mature men and women out there getting destroyed by the concept, so I’ma dust my hands and have none of it! And the “where” of everything hasn’t been a problem either-I figured that out over the last three months that I know where my home is-at least my home right now-the sunny and gorgeous Sydney. And I wanna be back there to get sorted on the thing that has been really grindin’ my gears…

What am I going to be when I grow up??

There are so many options and I definitely don’t want what I want two years ago (I guess it’s kind of good that I dropped out of university huh?). Two years ago, I wanted to work strictly in the music industry, although my path was undecided. I absolutely love and adore music in near all its forms, and the music that I don’t like I adore the fact that somewhere, people out there are adoring it, just adorable. And I still want to work in music I guess, it’s just I got thinking about something else.

The riots in Madrid occurred because the Spanish government passed a bill that would see huge and sweeping cuts to public funding all across the country, affecting most, if not all, public services. And the people were, quite obviously, a little bit unhappy about the whole ordeal. So all across Spain, people lined the streets to shout their protests. They weren’t having any of it for themselves or their fellow men and, in their seemingly infinite Spanish passion, they tried to change the world.

Change the world.

So the riots really got me thinking about the world-about how big and how small it is. About what the world actually is, how do we define it? And then once we’ve defined it, what do we do with it?

I would love to grow up and play guitar in a rock’n’roll or blues band. That would just be the coolest thing ever in ever. I’d just have such a whale of time-and one of the cute whales, like a killer whale! Ohh I feel a bit tingly just thinking about how awesome that would be!

But then I step back and think hey-I wanna have a wife and kids one day-I really want to actually be there for all of it, which I can’t do if I’m on the road all the time.

And then I step back even further and think, “Oi, Toby. Why are you looking at so much of this as just yourself? Isn’t there kind of like…a bigger picture at hand? Like the sort of thing that a-hundred thousand people line the streets to kick up their feet at?”

So I think about myself a little bit…I’m a pretty smart guy, truth be told. I always have been. This isn’t me being conceited, just honest. I try and do most things (if you barre anything post-2am on Oxford Street…) with the absolute best intentions for everybody in mind, whether they be friends or complete strangers.

So um…why aren’t I trying to do this with my life as a whole? No no, refocus. Why aren’t I trying to do this with my career? It’s very difficult for me to put this in a way that doesn’t just sound wildly, in every sense of the world, condescending to other people but right now, I don’t think I want to spend my time working towards a career that won’t help other people. Now, this isn’t to say that music doesn’t help people but I really don’t think, unless I were to become a music teacher, that I would have the ability to impact on anybody’s world. Maybe my own, maybe it’d help me write a song to make a girl fall in love with me or help a student to do the same thing but it won’t change anybody’s world.

I want to change the world, whichever world that may be. I’d love to be a writer maybe, but I’m not sure how I could use that to help the world-maybe a generous reader could tell me what to do? I’ve been toying around with the idea of going to law school and working for Legal Aid, helping those who are unable to help themselves. I considered social work or psychology and in all honesty, I just don’t think that that’s what I want to be doing with myself.

Truth be told, I don’t think I’m strong enough to do that. And that’s okay, at least I realize that.

Thanks to anybody who stuck around long enough to read all of this! Not sure if anybody noticed really, but I talked about sort of defining what the world was. I learned a fantastic lesson about that from one of my friends, without her even knowing I pinched this knowledge ;D So my next blog is going to be about that.

It’s 5am and I’m not sure if I should bother getting some sleep or just rolling through the day and crashing early. Ehh, that’s a decision in my life that is, most definitely, unimportant.

Toby Fredkin

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What I learned in Madrid

On Monday evening just passed, me and one of my friends from home hopped on a plane from London to Madrid to go and meet other friends from home, who we had(for the most part) not seen in months. Five nights and, by a rough calculation, seventeen hours of sleep later, I was back in sunny ole’ London! (Sarcasm aside, the weather this week is actually amaaazing[for London standards…twenty-seven degrees whoop!)

It’s the sort of place you go to and come home from rethinking-why on Earth have I been living my life this way?

Madrid was the first time in my life I’ve ever been to a place where the dominant language spoken was not English. Although I had briefly holidayed in Fiji when I was younger with the family, Madrid was my first real experience of being in a place that wasn’t strictly under an American/British influence. And really, although I know Madrid doesn’t stand up to other places in the world like India or Brazil, it was the first time that I had ever actually been anywhere so influenced by poverty. And it wasn’t a rampant or sweeping poverty but just hundreds upon hundreds of beggars and buskers lining the street.

In the main plaza, the Puerto de Sol, every day from around eight in the morning until the wee hours of the morning, there would be a group of ten buskers dressed head to toe in thick Sesame Street and Disney outfits. This is how these people made a living-they hung out in the square in these huge costumes all day and had tourists and kids take photos with them in exchange for some loose change. On my last morning, I sat in the plaza, eating breakfast and just soaking in a bit more of the beauty of the city before I left. I was there for about an hour and not a single one of these buskers had any success.
It was around 11am at this point. And, at a rough estimate, I’d say it was thirty-three degrees. Easily that hot.

And I know that almost nobody at home I know would ever, EVER even dream of doing a job like that without any certainty of payment. And these guys were doing it day in, day out, every single night and day I was there, they were there.

Then on the train to the airport, a guy who would have been no older than my brother hops on with an accordion and a little set of speakers and tears into some Ray Charles, Hit the Road Jack. He took a full blasted solo in the middle of it and holy shit, this guy was like Chick Corea on a keytar except he was playing the accordion. And he probably had no job-this was how he made a living. He would’ve made about 4 or 5 euros on that train trip. If anybody even remotely as talented as him was busking on Pitt St Mall, they’d have pulled in hundreds of dollars. It was strange to see, I suppose. I could never imagine putting myself out there like that.
Then again, I guess that’s why I’m not Spanish.

Money aside, there was the most amazing energy! (Except during siesta when everybody slept) Yet the whole place was so calm and relaxed. Energetic, bustling but without stress. And everybody so cheerful and in each others faces, but not in at all of a bad way. When people would come up to you and talk to you, they would be fully in your face but terribly polite about the whole ordeal.

Walking through the streets and parks, listening to the language with the superb backdrop that is the architecture of Madrid, it felt like I was in some sort of musical…or dream. Everything and everyone was just bouncy and charming and ahh!

These locals wondering the streets seemed to be living life in a way that almost nobody I’ve ever met has before: for the sake of living it. I saw it, I soaked it in and I questioned why I hadn’t been following suit.

So now, I’m trying to. A genuine, conceited effort.

I’ve spent so much time in my life fucking about and it’s cause I feel like I don’t know what the meaning of my life is yet, what the fuck am I meant to be doing with myself? Where am I meant to be doing it? Who am I meant to be doing it with? And I’ve spent so much time over so many years trying to figure this out and on that sleepy Saturday morning just before I hopped a train to the airport, it sort of hit me.
“Hey bro, you’ve been doing this shit all wrong.” None of that junk really matters that much. Gotta stop being such a self-entwined little bitch and just enjoy myself. Do things with my life of course-but stop worrying too much over the who, the what and the where and more on the how.

So I’ma try.

Next blog will probably be about how that’s all going. Truly ravishing stuff huh?

Peace out, have a good week everybody!
Toby

Flamenco!

Hola everybody! How´s we all doing?

 

So I´m in Spain, Madrid at the moment, chilling with Muffy, Miffy, Ricki and Nicole and it´s just a swell old time. I´m not going to write too much about the city now, or about how stupid it is that I just became legally allowed to drink in the United States of America (also, this keyboard as a right bloody hassle to figure out how to actually use it properly) so I´m just going to write about the evening I had last night on my birthday (but again, not the actualy birthday).

Last night, as a complete and wonderful surprise, my friends took me to go see an authentic Flamenco show in the heart of Madrid, at a little, apparently very famous (I feel awful in myself now for not even remembering the name-but I´ll explain that in a tick) Flamenco bar. Now, I´ve been to see some very moving and personally important concerts in my time. To say yesterday that Flamenco was close to my heart would be a lie-I mean, I liked the recordings I´d heard on record and youtube, but I really knew very little about it all except how to file your nails for it. Never, until last night, had I experienced love at first sight.

So we started the evening by leaving the hostel at around 11 and went walking through the centre of the city for fifteen minutes till we got to a little out of the way bar. We went in, I closed my eyes whilst the girls (so wonderfully and thankingyou’ly!) paid for it all so I wouldn´t know how much it was and we grabbed a seat. After my first glass of Sangria in Madrid (good God, no wonder people in this part of the world drink so much!), three very serious looking guitarists with deadly nails walked up onto stage, grabbed three chairs and sat themselves in a line. They then started the most technically proficient tune up I have ever heard in my life and then without warning, suddenly all kicked into it. It was, for lack of any better term, chaos. There was just the most beautiful music emananting out of these three men-not plugged into anything but just sitting there with their guitars playing away and for all I knew, they were all just playing their own little things, till every so often without warning, there´d be the quickest snap you´d ever heard and perfectly timed 32nd notes in unison then back into chaos. Sitting there watching that, it was almost like imagining the hypothetical of God creating the world. All of a sudden, wild chaos, everything is happening and everything is crazy, then perfect and beautiful order before he/she would tear off into another chaotic bit of creation, seemingly unrelated but perfectly fitting with its predecessor until it would snap into perfection and continue on and on.

These were then followed by a group three very Spanish looking men and three of the most beautiful women I´ve seen in my life. Wait, let me rephrase-one woman was gorgeous and the other two seemed nothing special from the outset-nothing to drive me into a stupor certainly.

Then, the clapping began. The dancers faces lit up and you could see them driving into the groove.
Then, the guitars set the backdrop. Sitting so strongly against yet perfectly with the stomp claps of the dancers and singers.
Then the singers, singing the most desperate yet beautiful songs you´ll ever began (still, nobody has been amplified) and the dancers smiled.
And the dancers danced.
Holy mother of…I don´t even have swear words to use.

This show really let me understand how beautiful sexuality truly is. Not how I´ve always seemed to perceive it before, as something almost wrong and dirty, that is to be enjoyed only in ostensibly appropriate company or in private. I saw and heard passion. I can´t describe it…I spent the entire night in a total and utter state of wild infatuation. I was entranced, I felt things deep in me in places that I never even knew I could feel things, let alone that I could feel those things. Extraordinary is the most incorrect word I could possibly use, because it was so far beyond the ordinary.

The way they moved. The way they expressed these things that nobody can without using a single word (at the very least, a word I understood), it was…ahhhh. It was sexy! I ain´t got nothing else I can say about it. It was just so sexy.

My God, whoever you are, how on Earth have you not spread this culture everywhere?! I can´t understand it. It was just the most wonderful thing ever.

I sat down to write this thinking that I would have something far more incredulous and dramatic to write, something more…fitting on something so beautiful. But again, I simply don´t feel I possess the talent to do any such thing. I really wish that I did, but I just don´t.

I´m totally head over heels in love…

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