|First we met a friendly cat or two and then a woman crossing the street
with flowers for her neighbor. I'm just dropping these off, she said, but
we hightailed it out of there not wanting to commit to a conversation. We
chanced upon a ballfield where a man twirled a stick. An alumnus of Two Cranes,
he was working on his behind-the-back akido stick passes. He showed us how
to make our arms turgid with blood, stronger than muscle and bone alone.
||I was in line at the bar (that's the
way they do it out here instead of the usual free-for-all) to liquidate my
free Slivovitz drink ticket. The self-described gipsy ahead of me was cleancut
in black leather, there to enjoy a show with his 30-year-old son. "How do
you support the nomadic lifestyle?" I asked. "A pyramid scheme!" he replied
without a hint of irony. "It's bottled holy water with curative properties.
The first month I made $600, last month it was 27,000."