Friday, August 26, 2011

Suomi Finland Tourkele part 9: Die With A Beer In Your Hand

8/10 - Bitterfeld

Getting the time and energy to write this all up from the past few days took till the outbound train; Schlotheim is a little further from the main centers of Thuringia, so I need to stay awake. The changes between trains are extremely tight, but as long as we don't get delayed, I should be in Mühlhausen no problem around 1 PM, then over to Schlotheim before the rain gets too bad.


As it happened, I got in to Party.San, period, by about 1, and with the help of Roger got my tent up. This would've been very difficult to pull off alone; the wind blows constantly from west to east across the airfield, and the ground is hard and dry. This leaves some hope that we'll be able to escape what looks like inevitable state-wide rain tomorrow, but regardless, enemy #1 this year will almost surely be the wind.

405. Hike up to hell.

406. Customizations. This obviously weakens the tent against water, but allows the wind to go right through without the threat of snapping the poles, which was a real danger beforehand, at least early on Wednesday before the campground filled up.

I also customized my tent with some stickers, since the cuts obviously condemned it to the bin once this trip was over, but they blew off almost immediately. This was some hardcore wind. A few of them got salvaged for Müller to paste on the tablecloth protecting the picnic table, but not many.

I ended up tenting on the edge of a larger campsite, which provides greatly enhanced party opportunities. Cheers to Dennis and crew for the hospitality, as well as taking a bunch of promo stuff; I'm still going to have to take time and pass stuff out manually as well as at breakfast and in the infield.

In the afternoon, Roger, Sven and I made an expedition into Schlotheim proper in search of beer and other necessities; we ended up hiking all through this small, cool town, vainly searching for a supermarket that hadn't been plundered of its can beer. After coming up dry at the Netto (they had "Schloss" brand "beer", but the similarity of that name to the "Schlitz" that Americans will recognize is truly serendipitous; Roger I think boosted a can by accident and later gave the verdict "well, it has alcohol in it"), we ended up back at the Edeka across from the bus stop, waiting for 1700 and the truck to get in with the beer. The celebrations when that occurred, and the staff finally wheeled the pallets of 29 in to the store, were a sight to behold.

On the bus back, we gave away a few beers to people who weren't carrying their own slabs, and I gave away a Forced Asphyxiation CD to this guy from Melbourne. I tried to also move the BCS split, but he already had it -- Boston's own Wren had sent it out to him earlier due to a prior acquaintance. Small world -- or maybe just that this is the magnet festival for those with itchy feet and hardened eardrums.

8/11 - Schlotheim

407. This doesn't look good. Walls of gray clouds from horizon to horizon; there's light in the west, but more clouds behind it. Not a good omen for the day.

I'm feeling much better than in Berlin, if a little chilly; we'll see if things pick up after breakfast.

408. View back from the breakfast tent.

Things did pick up; it somehow didn't rain, and over beer after breakfast, Roger introduced me to Mitzi and to Alex (from last year), again, by weird accident, and from there things snowballed. Between the "beergarden" and two campsites, I spent the day drinking with old friends and new, moved damn near everything from the promo stacks, and took part in a couple weird adventures, including holding a sign -- on the back of the sign that moved all those Boarcorpse and Forced Asphyxiation CDs -- for Mitzi's Aktion Rausziehung that was probably an active discouragement to the cause. When a cute girl is going around with a sign advertising free beer for bare tits, it's a lot more effective than when it's carried by a hairy auld kuttenträger. Hitrate was about 2%, not including dudes, most of whom did not meet the mass requirements for "tits" (the one or two who did, of course, did get beer for it, because otherwise it would've been gender discrimination), for anyone planning to try this in the future. Despite being hairy drunk dudes, we had more absolute success with Aktion Lächeln later in the weekend, but any time you sit on a bench and wander in the road drinking beer and barking up spontaneous social interactions with passers-by, it's a success. But especially if there's tits.

409. View up into the east at sunset -- Hammer!

The party later got even more chaotic; it's difficult to have ten people thrashing out in a VW van without it getting to that level. It was probably here that I got that burn putting out someone's cigarette with my palm by accident, but I'm not completely sure I remember. Party fuckin' San.

There were, of course, bands playing on Thursday night, but we weren't keeping track of time, and we didn't hear any bands start, which is normally the trigger to go inside the festival grounds. This was because, as I found out later, the roof blew off the main stage due to the winds, and the Thursday night bands got moved inside to the beertent. I was a little bummed at missing Negura Bunget and Aborted, not to mention how Decapitated was going to work as a revived band, but the sound was allegedly kind of crap -- understandable, since the PA in there was only set up for this roots-rock band Cashley who were supposed to play Saturday morning. Win some, lose some.

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