Questions I Can Possibly Answer

Why was the Marks & Spencer parking lot completely, two-days-to-Christmas full on a Tuesday noon in mid-November?

Why do I dislike Amsterdam so much right now? Maybe because someone broke into our van during the show there, and took Eric’s winter coat, his bag, a tiny red vintage purse with nothing in it. They probably took a few tea bags too, but I hadn’t done a count beforehand so I’m not sure. Then as we tried to get the van out with its broken window obscured by a Melkweg plastic bag, a group of drunks found it hilarious when I tried to lift a bike out of the way, knocking over three other bikes in the process. Damn you and your healthiness!

Why does our van become a mobile recycling unit on tour? The next person to break in will find dozens of water bottles, various old copies of the Guardian, cardboard boxes and even Eric’s mother’s last months’ recycling.

Why do I love Eric even more after spending two days with his mother?

Why won’t the British border control accept that I DO NOT want to live in the UK and stop interrogating me every time we go there? This time they even took us out of the car and into a special room for “high risk” visitors. But it was more Monty Python than the Prisoner. Pointless!

Why is Germany one of the best places to play in the world? Great venues, good food, open-minded and interested audiences. Respect for artists? It doesn’t hurt to play with Yo La Tengo – they begin their show with at least ten minutes of guitar mayhem and the people are with them every step of the way. A club manager wouldn’t think of coming onstage to tell them to turn down, a la the loathesome Rams Head in the US.

Why am I sitting here typing when I could be availing myself of the plentiful breakfast buffet? No limp “Continental” breakfast in Germany – just a table heaving with muesli, fruit, various yogurts, fresh butter, ham, cheese, the most beautiful bread in the world…

What will it be like in Berlin tonight?

9 thoughts on “Questions I Can Possibly Answer

  1. KudzuCarl

    German breakfasts! The best in all the world. Meat sliced thick, boiled eggs, several cheeses, fresh bread and rolls, slabs of butter and then yogurt for dessert. These are people who know how to get the day off to a right start.

  2. amy

    Wow, I just realized (having not had time to proofread my post) that it may read that Eric's bag was a tiny red vintage purse with nothing in it! Lindsay, Berlin was indeed fab. A strange, graffiti covered hangar of a building in what was the east…Wondering what part you lived in there Ed – what an odd, sprawling, completely fascinating place. But surely a hard place to live too?Carl you and I both forgot to mention the wonderful fish – salmon smoked with dill, and even rare roast beef with horseradish. Looking forward to Polish breakfast tomorrow!

  3. Ed Ward

    I lived in the east, too; 11 years in Mitte, and one in Prenzlauer Berg. But I have no idea where the place you played was. A friend was at the gig, though, so I'll find out.

  4. Peter

    When I played Amsterdam in the 1980s, I had to sleep in the van (in December…) as the band's gear was in it – I was woken twice by people trying to break in.No problems in Germany, and the beer is far superior….

  5. Non Je Ne Regrette Rien

    gahhh, a break-in! that sucks! well, at least it sounds like the thieves had good taste (vintage all the way!) … but you're in an area I've yet to explore so hope you tell more in the next update. I remember a breakfast in Spain at an int'l hotel where they catered to the Germans amongst us! I couldn't believe the spread … how do they eat for the rest of the day?!

  6. amy

    Ed, it was on Revelerstrasse, in the east I think – a new venue called Astra (possibly in the old Postbahnhof?) I think the Mitte is where the Mudd Club was/is – I liked that neighborhood a lot!I laughed out loud at that story Peter – even though it's not funny. Just heard of a band on tour in Poland whose entire bus was stolen – and then sold back to them.Kim you must go to Vienna! Or anywhere in Germany or Austria. And Poland…wow, there is so much to explore out there.

  7. Rosie

    I think the only way to go to amsterdam is with everything chained to you. I played some dates there and the first thing that happened was that as a band member was getting money out of a cash point, someone on roller skates skated past and whipped the money out of his hand.Then we followed the promoter (who was on a bicycle) to the gig. He told us to be very careful of our belongings when we arrived, he turned round, and someone had stolen his bike! Goddammit these junkies are very enterprising…

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