I always swear to myself I'll be productive and record my travels, never do. I wrote a journal for about a week in Asia. 3 months later, it remained empty. Instead of spending my time writing in it in my spare time, like on overnight trains, I'd catch up on sleep, or gossip/ discuss and count up "player of the week" with tommy and Weinlich. Or make use of our iPhones to listen to Teddy Geiger with surround sound. Updating on this will not only help me to update my friends and family, it saves me from having to repeat myself and it also allows me to keep this memory for myself. Essentially, this is for my benefit more than anyone else. I regret not recording my TAB tour memories and don't want it to happen again. Fact is I don't have the discipline to write in a journal before bed every night (especially considering the state I am usually in before bed). I've always enjoyed writing, but do remember that these stories will be more exciting for myself and those that were there than for anyone else. So, I do apologize if I bore you. But i hope this will keep my parents, family and friends happy and updated :)
My last couple of days in Utrecht were not particularly good ones. I was unorganized and unproductive. I refused to sacrifice hanging out with my friends in my final days to finish my assignment, so not a lot was done. I mean, overall the last month was epic, a giant bender. I don't think I've slowed down since my birthday in Ibiza. I don't regret being more productive with organizing myself and saving myself heart ache in the last couple of days, but I do wish I'd smashed the assignment earlier so I could focus on all the other errands I needed to get done before leaving, like sending my things home, selling my bike and packing up my room. And so that I could actually afford to waste time drinking/shopping/baking with my friends - which I did anyway.
My last day was terrible! Everything ran smoothly until 2pm. In the morning, I swapped my backpack to a bigger size, and sold my bike to a Dutch guy for 20 euros (after the shop told me they wouldnt buy it back despite telling me that they would in the first place). All I had left to do was send my things home and print my eticket. Both the post office and the library are right in front of where I live, maybe acouple hundred metres away. This ended up taking a couple of hours. The luggage drama went down because I had to go back to get sticky tape, then had to sticky tape the s*** out of the suitcase/sports bag with my address and then they were overweight so had to throw things around etc. took about an hour. then I couldn't print my ticket, then I found out my ticket wasnt a ticket, it was just a receipt to say I'd paid for a ticket. This took another hour running to and from the library before realizing what I had printed wasn't actually a ticket. I was in a terrible and stressed mood running around Utrecht, worried I was making others wait to leave for Rock Werchter and ignoring everyone who tried to stop to say final byes as I had no time.The majority of my final goodbyes were rushed unfortunately, although fortunately I did say proper farewells to most of my closer friends.
Despite all the dramas, it all worked out in the end and I made it into the festival no problems (despite a mini panic attack at the camping desk where my barcode on the ticket was "not found" - I'm an idiot and didn't consider that it was trying to register for a barcode for camping and not my reservation number). Took us (Grainne, Alice, Talisa and I) 4 trains over a few hours but we eventually made it to Werchter, Belgium. We did miss the majority of the first day, the major miss being blink182 and the all american rejects but we made it to the Kooks, a little bit of Skrillex and Justice which redeemed the night. Justice dominated but I really loved both the Kooks and what I saw of Skrillex. I wasn't too worried about missing the daytime music, especially as I still had 3 more solid days of the festival ahead (29th-1st), leaving on the 2nd July in the morning.
On the 29th July (Friday), we awoke to rain, which at the time I couldn't have cared less about. I wanted to sleep all day. It wore off eventually but nobody we wanted to see was on until later so spent a lot of time hanging out/wandering. Saw Wiz Khalifa for a bit, didn't really jump up until his big songs came on. The temper trap were great. Caught the end of Pearl Jam and then went and danced to Katy B for a while. The last time I saw Deadmau5 was at Stereosonic in December 2009, my first music festival. It was pretty disappointing. his performance at Rock Werchter most definitely redeemed him for me, it was amazing! The lighting, graphics, vibe and music was epic and I had the best time.
Saturday (30th June) was a quality day in terms of the music. We saw wolfmother, kasabian followed by M83, Paul kelkanbranner (can't spell) and the last part of Chase and Status. Wolfmother was alright, loved kasabian. The beginning of M83 was only affected because of an average crowd. What I've come to notice from European crowds is that they are a lot more tame than Australians. Theres no mad rush when the bands/Djs come out and there's actually room to dance. However at M83, it was pretty packed in and difficult to get into the tent, yet where we were standing there was no vibe. While we wanted to dance, people around us preferred to just stand idly - yet they wouldn't let us into the more dancey crowd in front of them. So first half of the set, we were the pests dancing around boring people, but it cleared out towards the end and we relocated much closer, it made a huge difference and I loved the rest of the show. Paul kelkanbranner was a dj that Dom recommended to us, and he certainly delivered. We left part of the way through to go check out Chase and Status at the main stage, I love them and they were insane, although so were all the annoying males I thought might crush me when they make those ridiculous circles and run into each other for fun.. Cool?
On the final day (Sunday 1st July), we saw Florence and the Machine, Die Antworth, Knife Party, bit of Snow Patrol and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Florence looked super old. I'm not a huge fan so I was like.. meh. It was alright. Saw a bit of Mumford and sons which was pretty good. I walked over to Die Antworth saying to the others, if it's boring we can go get some fries to kill time... Ended up staying the whole set and loving it. Probably the act I most under-rated. A friend had raved to me about them, threatening to punish me if I didn't see them - however her singing of their lyrics did make me skeptical about my desire to see them (if you know them, you'll understand). The only song I knew of theirs was Enter the Ninja. Regardless, the crowd (like me) went from awkward standing around, not quite knowing how to react, to full blown moshing and dancing. They really put on a great performance, it was fantastic. Now having seen them live, I can understand their music is a complete pisstake, it's awesome. The red hot chilli peppers were great too, although I did expect more craziness from them having read 'Scar Tissue' by Anthony Keidis.
In between all the music, there was copious amounts of haribo candy, waffles, fries, beers, red bulls, and general hanging out, mostly making Dom tower jokes or creating terrible nicknames for Talisa that shall not be repeated- often within the general area of our convoy of orange tents. One particular story deserves a story. On the last night, sometime around 3am.. There was a bit of yelling and laughing and running around in the general vicinity of our tents. I mentioned it to Talisa, making clear I was a bit unsure as to whether I was making it all up in my head. I hit the side of the tent on which Dom in an inebriated state had written "2 BJ for 1" on our tent in permanent market on the first night. There were cheers and more yelling. Andrew and Ashley have opened up their tents and informed us a large group of 16 year olds were there, interested in our offer. We yelled that it was for Ben and Jerry's which encouraged more chanting, but eventually they ran off. Talisa and I remained safe, no profits were made.
In the morning, we all packed up, leaving our tents and blankets behind. Grainne, Talisa and I were taking the train back to Bruseels while Ashley, Dom, Alice and Andrew were taking the car, and heading their separate ways later on. So we said more farewells and such and continued on to Brussels.
Not much is to be said about my time is Brussels. Had some waffles and chocolate, something that is traditionally Belgian of course. That afternoon, Grainne took the train to London. Talisa and I got steak for dinner, had some hot chocolate and she head off to take her overnight bus to London. These goodbyes were not so sad as luckily they are both from Melbourne! In October we shall be reunited.
I had scored the last bed in a hostel not too far from the centre of town, so I head back there. I had a looooong shower, I needed to feel clean after having camped for the last 4 nights! Spent the night packing my bag, writing a lot of this and on wifi sorting out my life. I also had a long conversation with this woman from Cameroon in Africa, a lot of it misunderstood, but interesting.
On Tuesday 3rd July, I didn't achieve much. By the time I had (free) breakfast, had a sleep in, printed off my ticket/worked out how to get to the airport which is an hour out of brussels and checked out, I basically just stored my luggage in a locker, met up with Samy for a little bit who was visiting Brussels with his parents, did some wandering around and then just made my way to the airport. On the way, I met a guy from Costa Rica who has been studying in Barcelona for 2 years, he was a good value bus friend coz he gave me some insider tips for when I head there after Italy. As a whole, Brussels was nothing special. I'm glad I made the appearance there, but there's something a bit ghetto about it. At the same time, it's small and doesn't feel so touristy which is a nice escape.
Now I'm on the plane, gonna sleep and reply to messages. Hope I haven't bored you and if I have, nobody is stopping you from going and doing something more productive haha. Hope I can keep this up from now. For now, it's naptime xxx