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The book featured in this video is ISHMAEL AND THE RETURN OF THE DUGONGS by Michael Gerard Bauer. Buy the (HILARIOUS!) first book in the series, DON'T CALL ME ISHMAEL: The band playing the song is Gone Fishin', and most of them are seriously German doctors.

In which John describes what he did on July 24, 2010, the day of Youtube's Life In a Day project. He spent most of the day walking around Munich, Germany trying to find a watch for his wife and a present for his son, but there were side trips to bookstores, churches, and a women's soccer game. The day ended with an extraordinarily awesome concert.


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A Bunny
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Good morning Hank, it's Wednesday – office reorganization project.

I thought I would take your lead and show you my Saturday, the day that youtube asked all of us to share our life in a day. I got off around 9, it was raining in Munich and I didn't have any readings or school visits scheduled that day so I got on the train. Train's here.

And I went into the city center because there was this watch I wanted to get for Sarah and also because I wanted to get Henry a present. I got off the train in Marienplatz and looked around for the store that supposedly sold the watch I wanted but I didn't know where the place was. I don't know where the place is.

Then I found it. They were having a sale that apparently involved price reductions of undefined percentages. I got the watch, I hope she likes it.

She liked it. So then I walked around looking for a toy store for Henry. I loved Munich and I love being in cities with lots of other people because I'm reminded that there are billions of people like me, and we're each stuck inside of our minds, feverishly trying to crawl out to make connections with other people.

Also I really like umbrellas, it's like “I have a roof, I carry it with me!”. Umbrellas always amuse me. Then I came across a bookstore and I decided to go in.

They were having the same vague sale as the other place. Not only did they have my books, but while I was in the store I ran into an actual reader of my books who was there to pick and English copy of Paper Towns! I couldn't believe it, I was so excited I had to take video of us together.

I've never walked into a bookstore, even in America, and had someone recognize me when I was looking for my own books. I'm a little bit embarrassed but mostly delighted. Right now I'm looking at a taxi cab that almost hit and killed me but swerved at the last second thereby saving my life, none of which I caught on video.

So I kept looking for a toy store, which I didn't find, but I did run into this women's soccer game in downtown Munich. This guy was watching them play. I still can't tell if his facial expression is heroic or pervy.

This sign reminds us that people with legs of different lengths should stick together. Then I started to vlog about something but these church bells started up. I kept waiting for them to go away but they wouldn't.

They were so loud that I couldn't even tell where were they coming from, the bells just seemed to be... omnipresent, which on retrospect I guess is probably the point. Anyway, eventually I figured out that the bells were coming from this church, I went inside and lit up a candle for a friend of mine who's sick but I didn't film that because it felt private. And then finally I found a toy store and I bought Henry a little wooden train.

Then I got back on the real train and went to my hotel to change shirts because I had to do this tv interview, and then I walked over to White Ravens book festival which was why I was in Munich in the first place. So this whole children literature festival is at this outrageously nice castle first built in the 15th century, which is now the largest international children's literature library in the world. That night there was this hilarious reading from this book by a guy named Michael Gerard Bauer about a kid called Ishmael.

First, Michael read scenes of the book in English. And then a German actor read in German. Okay so in this very funny book, Michael wrote some song lyrics and then in the end of the night this miraculous thing happened, a German band, made up mostly of doctors, got together and made the songs from Michael's book real.

And then Michael got to sing along which was, of course, amazing because the secret dream of every novelist is to be a rock star. So the English lyrics of this Australian book come to life inside of a 15th century castle in Munich, and on this day, Hank, that's what I loved. I loved our hyper-connectedness and our ease of movement; that words written in Australia can become songs in Germany; that the little stories I write in my basement can bring me to a place like Munich, that trains and planes and Skype make us also close to each other.

And my fear? I just hope that 500 years from now the castles that we have made for ourselves will still be there and that there will still be people and music and stories to populate them. Hank, I gotta catalog these books.

I'll see you on Friday.