Day 39: Curry and punk rock and mustaches, oh my!

Trip Start Dec 14, 2011
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Trip End Aug 16, 2013


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Flag of Germany  , Rhineland-Palatinate,
Saturday, January 21, 2012

I knew today was going to be a good day. Yes, I knew, because I was going to a concert tonight that one of the couchsurfers I met told me about at the Flammkuchen night! Yay, live music!

I also knew because the first thing that happened when I woke up was me looking at the clock and seeing that it was past 3:00 pm. SaWEET! If I had been in a city where I had limited time, I might have been freaking out right at this point, but I've come to realize that I need to give myself time to do things that I enjoy. And I reeeeally enjoy sleeping. So I wandered through the house in my pajamas, likely with a stupidly sleepy look on my face, and it didn’t take me long to realize that I was alone. I also realized that the noise following me that I had thought was Hugo having some majorly aggressive dreams was actually my all-day-neglected, growling stomach.

When I was dressed and ready to hit the town, it didn’t take me long to find the restaurant of my dreams. It was almost like there was a magnetic pull, I found it so fast: Yam Yam Thai Bistro. I walked right in, knowing without checking the menu that there’d be more than enough choices on the menu for a vegetarian like myself. I actually felt more comfortable reading the menu here than I have at any German restaurant – after all, I’ve been fluent in Thai (menu) for almost my whole life. I got yellow curry with vegetables and tofu, a Thai iced tea, and a Singha. The vegetarian part of the menu alone was huge, so as guilty as it might make me feel to waste my opportunity getting to know German cuisine, I’ll probably be back. Several times. As I sat there eating, I was thinking that my German was getting really good, because I was easily understanding all of what the people at tables around me were saying. Then I realized that no, it wasn’t my German that was good, it was my English! I guess I found the American ex-pat community tonight. I don’t think there was a single person who wasn’t from the United States eating there.

I got out of what will from now on be lovingly referred to as "Little America" and walked towards the concert venue, a pub called Die Kneip. The first thing that I saw upon entering the place was a lot of pretty glorious mustaches!! HALLELUJAH! I have found my people! It was quite a mix, everyone who was there – mostly around my age but certainly not without older exceptions and occasional regular looking folks that I saw everywhere around Worms intermixed with a lot of pierced, tattooed, dyed, and gussied up types. I didn’t even know what kind of concert I was going to, and now I was interested in it more than just a means to get out of the house! And before you call me judgmental, I probably would have been almost as excited to see a large group of anyone near my age. I was starting to think that Worms was almost completely inhabited by the elderly and families with little kids. Therefore, everyone there was a total sight for sore eyes, and the mustaches, oh the mustaches, were just the facial-hair-icing on the cake. (Hah, if you didn’t think I was weird before…)

I finally got my hands on a flier for the night’s show, titled Low Tune: Live, Loud, and Raw, to see what exactly I had showed up for after getting my hands on a beer. It told me that three bands would be playing – Minusmen (Post Hardcore/Noise Rock) from Koln, Torpedohead (Rock n’ Roll) from Frankfurt, and Swedish Surprise Act (Punk Rock) from… no way, Worms?! Okay, now how the people looked and whether or not they had hair growing above their lips and how cheap the beers were definitely played second fiddle to the fact that I was at a concert I actually would like to be at!

I wandered around the room and outside onto the patio, getting a feel for the place and the people who were there. I’m afraid I’m not quite sure what to do to make conversation here yet, because what I normally would do wasn’t working. Every time I made eye contact with someone and started to say something, they’d turn away and I burrow a little deeper in my foreigner isolation, constantly looking over my shoulder to see if Raphael, the guy who told me about the show, was there yet. Finally the opening band, Swedish Surprise Act, climbed up on stage and started tuning up and getting ready to play, so I felt relieved to make my way forward and direct my attention towards them. And by the time they started playing, I was pretty stoked on the whole night. They had kind of a rockabilly-esque sound and were really good, and not just “I’m tolerating this because it’s the only show I’ve been to in months” good. Check 'em out! Afterwards, I was talking to some of the guys in the band and they told me it was their first show! So my review needs to be much more emphatic when I say that they were great and I am totally a fan now.

While there was a break in the music, I was heading towards the bar with thoughts of another beer completely taking my attention, and I almost walked right into Raphael! I met his girlfriend and thanked him for telling me about this night, and the man is wonderful because he told me that there were three more shows next week! Yusssss! I walked out to the patio again and I don’t know what happened, perhaps my guard was just finally down, but suddenly I was chatting with people and having a totally easy time with it. I met some people from Worms and even more from the surrounding area, and just like the music, they weren’t people who I was only talking to because I was desperate for conversation. Maybe everyone just wanted to talk to the weirdo with the huge grin on her face, or maybe word was spreading that there was a Californian in their midst, because that was the main topic that we were covering (although I think my accent mighta just given me away – one guy told me it was cute to hear my bad German accent... uh, thanks?) So the second band, Torpedohead, played and though they were less of my style of music, they had a really captivating stage presence that made me like them a lot. And everybody started dancing during their set, while I had been the only one even nodding my head while the openers played. The headliners, Minusmen, were great. Their performance was slick and a kind of really interesting hardcore/noise that was foreign to what I was used to in California. All in all, I had an excellent time.

After the show, I hung around for a while because Raphael told me that the bands would want to give me their contact information since I had naturally been taking pictures the whole time. We stood and talked for a bit and I bought a shirt from the Worms band, then they gave me some merch as a trade (best souvenir evar!) for the photos and some tips on where to hear music around here. I realized as I was walking, or maybe stumbling, home that I am only located maybe three blocks from this place! What a find! I think that going to that Couchsurfing event will prove to be the best choice I almost didn’t make while I’m here.

Something I learned today: My city is a little cooler than I previously misjudged, shyeah!
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