Thursday, September 20, 2007

spinal tap 1 nourallah 0

Day 4

we got up early and left Gunther’s house
so that we could make it to Dusseldorf by 1:30
we thought we were supposed to be on a German television show
i was sad to leave Gunther’s
we'd had such a great time there
we arrived in Dusseldorf about 45 minutes early
parked the car and started walking around looking for the building
our GPS system had said we were “there”
but we thought we had seen the television station about a mile earlier
so we called our contact at the station nadine
who informed us that
A. we were not close to the station at all
B. we were almost an hour early and
C. the show was not until tomorrow
spinal tap 1
nourallahs 0
i said "so sorry to scare you nadine we will come back tomorrow..."
so we had lunch at mongo's and headed to Bonn
where i was playing that night
we made it to Bonn around four o’clock and stayed in the same hotel
we stayed in last time
the hotel is great on the outside
on a little residential street filled with Victorian houses
but a bit grotty on the inside
after one look at the matted and stained carpet
i pledged never to remove my shoes
we decided to have a little look around Bonn and chose Beethoven’s House
as our destination
since Gavin is such a huge fan
we managed to drive there and then walk through the little town square
to find it without incident
when we went inside we were greeted by a surly woman
who told us with much sneering and hand-gesturing
that we would have to leave our stroller
bag and cameras
ok, nice lady
settle down
when we asked her the price in broken German
she pointed to a sign that said 4 Euros
so jayme gave her 8 for the two of us
since children are free
she haughtily insisted jayme did not give her enough
jayme insisted that she knew how to count but finally gave her two more Euros
just to get her blood pressure back down
she then pointed in the general direction
of the gift shop and that was that
so we wandered around the first floor of this house
which appeared to be all gift shop and exit doors
for 5 minutes trying to find someone
other than Leona Von Helmsley
to show us where to start
we finally saw a tiny sign outside
across the courtyard on another house that said museum
when we got to the door
we were shoved aside by some rude Americans
(ha! rude Americans? never!)
who were shouting something about having to turn in their headsets
because the place was about to close
good thing to know – there are headsets
that we obviously were not offered
and the place was about to close!
we decided to just stay and walk through it anyway
rather than returning the next day
there was a ton of fascinating information on the walls - all in German
sadly, everything in the place was in German
except the huge signs on Beethoven’s pianos that said
we were followed nervously by a woman with a cell phone
who was either trying to hurry us along
or who was afraid we could not read the sign that said
just when we thought it was uncomfortable
we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by literally a hundred students
from, possibly, Turkey
were all perhaps 18 and had the manners that I had at 18 – none
we got in the most awkward traffic jam trying to scurry quickly downstairs
and out an exit to avoid the human wave that was hurling us from room to room
in a cloud of loud chatter and hormones
traffic on the stairs was definitely one direction only
and there was a stream of sweaty bodies coming up that i thought would never end
the cell phone woman was nervously plastering her phone to her ear
while trying in vain to keep the giant children from trampling her
it was more than annoying
it was almost stroke-inducing
just when we realized we were running out of air there was a break in the crowd
and we leapt down the stairs
now we were irritated and extremely thirsty
we walked aimlessly in search of water
through seedy looking shopping streets with stores that sold winning combinations of items like batteries and pantyhose
or children’s clothing from Korea and kitchen utensils
Beethoven would not have been proud
after 20 minutes we gave up and headed for the car
with the plan that we would stop at a gas station on the way back to the hotel
we finally managed to navigate back through the parking garage
that had broken elevators
(i assumed they were broken from the wires that were shooting out of the hole where the button was supposed to be)
and no actual walking space for humans – just enough room for cars driving 40 mph to scrape you with their side mirrors as they squealed around blind corners
when we got to the safety of our electric car that would not start
we discovered that our GPS system had DIED!!!
now "the terror" is our background musak
there we were in the middle of the city
with 20 minutes to get back to the hotel so i could leave for soundcheck
and we had no GPS system and only a map the size of a postage stamp
to steer us back
oh, and Gavin was begging us for food
no food or water in our electric microwave car
nice parenting on our be-half
we tried to coax our Japanese electric back-up GPS system into working
but after 15 minutes of talking nicely to her in German
and prodding her buttons angrily with my index finger
we gave up
we then decided to try to vector our way out with jayme's tiny little Barbie map
within 5 minutes we were hopelessly lost and parked illegally in an alley
desperately, we called Gunther
who had to guide us back via cell phone while he looked at a map of Bonn on his computer
we now call him the GBS system
we made it back eventually and had to hurry to club mausefalle
after a sound check that could barely be heard over the growling of our stomachs
we were told where our dinner would be served
some of the clubs give us free dinner at a nearby restaurant along with hotel accommodations
anyway, i only halfway listened to what the bar owner told me about the restaurant
because i assumed it would be the same place we had eaten at last year
after going inside and being yelled at by the raving lunatic behind the counter
who made questionable remarks about Schnitzel
i realized i might have made a mistake and that there was an apparent feud between the bar owner and the enraged restaurateur
we eventually made it to the correct restaurant
which was a pub with no English on the menu
we tried in vain for 30 minutes to both decipher our food options
“hey, i think this one might say cheese and i am pretty sure that word right there means pickle” and to get someone to serve us
after partially translating the menu we ordered
and left
the first show of the tour was somewhat unremarkable
a small group gathered in the mousetrap's basement
george the owner is a sweetheart
and i worked him into my set by reading his direction's to find a GPS in town
it had kind of been a bad day…
hopefully our only one


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you wouldn't want to peak on the first show. and what is "pickle" in german?

you all are missed.

dave little

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't but smile at all your mishaps. Thank you for the chuckle. I needed it.

6:43 PM  

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