Saturday, April 08, 2006

Max travels back in time

Xavier Baumaxa

It started on Tuesday when I ran into a boy from my days in Ústí nad Labem (1992-1994). I didn’t even recognise Marek, but he recognised me. I went to lunch late that day and, although I was craving a Lebanese salad, I knew I didn’t have time to go to Anděl. Going local to my work, the choices are Czech, Chinese or Italian, none of which I wanted. I settled for Chinese and given the choice of four restaurants, I randomly decided on the only one I had never been to. Marek accosted me as soon as I walked in the door. And the next day I ran into someone else I hadn’t seen for years and years.

But last night was the kicker. I went with Petr to a bar in my neighbourhood to see another boy from the Ústí days who was performing there. I recognised Lubina when I saw him, but that was only because I knew I was going to see him. Lubina performs under the name Xavier Baumaxa, and he is a one-man show of really good music and really funny comedy. It was an intimate venue and the show was great. Lubina even called Petr up to the stage at one point to sing a song that they had sung together in their band when they were in high school.

But the thing about travelling back in time was that it had been so long since I had been anywhere where there were no other foreigners, and so long since I had had an evening during which all of my conversations were in Czech. For me, it really was like being back in Ústí all those years ago.

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