I brought it along with the vision of being a better fiddler and an exciting addition to camp life. European camping grounds are very small and leave no room for piss poor fiddlers to torture the unsuspecting camper. I am not practicing for hours every day like I thought I would. As a matter of fact, I am practicing much less.
I’ve been stopped by cars driving on the road asking me to play, I’ve been invited to busk with Mexicans in Brugge, and I’ve been asked to play for children in Germany. And the entire way, people keep asking me if I am from Chicago and packing heat.
The only time I fiddle is along the road. It is the only time I feel comfortable. So I try to find time most days to stop somewhere and do a bit of fiddling. The problem is that I can remember very few tunes and all of them sound bad. This picture was taken by a very old Austrian man on the banks of the Danube as I was heading to Slovakia. He could not get over my fiddle.
I now know by memory Rabbit, Where’s Your Mammy?, Whisky, You’re the Devil, and Jubilee. That’s it. Two months of lugging this thing around and that’s all I got.
I love my fiddle. I am glad it is something to do and something that I love. It is a piece of my “normal” life and that has value when feeling lonely. That said, until I am really better, I think I am going to pack a harmonica.