A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: dodie.does

kimbap, NO MERCY, kewpie doll feelings

more than u ever wanted to know bout baby's first kpop concert


I'm blogging about this first so it'll be furthest toward the bottom later, hahahhaa. CUNNING AMIRITE.

So anyway, I live in Korea now. It's awesome. We'll get to that in Normal Blog Posts About Normal Things. This is not one of those though soooo yeah ITS ABOUT KPOP GET READY also there r lots of links any thing that's red click dat get into it o k


A bunch of the teachers and I were all talking about it – it being that at home we are freaky peeps who can virtually 100% guarantee that in any possible room in any building in town, we will be the only person who has any idea who, say, Choi Minho is. Here in my normal classroom day at work I’ve got 5th-grade girls reading me their worksheets on how to describe what people look like: “Minho is very handsome. He is tall. He has big eyes.” HOW DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHO HE IS.
(ex. 1A: now u know who he is too)
IDK, man. It’s like I had a super, super shady habit at home that was the kind of thing you
a. only got info about via the internet, never ever irl, and
b. switched tabs with the hypersonic speed of a cheetah made of lightning if anyone walked by while you were getting said shady internet info.

It’s not like you could just merrily browse pictures of 90-pound dudes, all jet eyeliner and feathered red extensions, dressed as gay gas station attendants from another planet and saying things like “loverholic robotronic”.
You would be, you know, a weirdo.

==S U R P R I S E== suddenly everyone from age 8 to 80 knows it upside down and backwards!!!!!
The grocery store will play it while you browse bananas. The cell phone stores (of which there are like 8 per square city block) will blast Gangnam Style out into the sidewalk when you catch the bus. The bus will play f(x) on the huge flatscreen TV that is, surreally, installed behind the driver. Your students will come to class with pencils and fans emblazoned with BAP’s heavily eyelinered faces, and ask who you think is cutest. Your co-workers will be watching T-ARA concert footage at lunch (he did look sheepish when I caught him, though).
The sweatshirt I’m wearing came with a tag of all 9 members of SNSD, my laundry detergent has a picture of Song Joongki on it, my moisturizer was on the shelf behind a life-size (INCREDIBLY CREEPY) cardboard cutout of Shinee, the chicken I had for dinner came in a paper bag emblazoned with Super Junior dressed as spies, the women on either side of me on the subway back from Myeongdong were both watching Sulli moon over Minho’s big cow eyes in To the Beautiful You…idk man, it’s almost too much for me. I’m Kpop ODing on the complete, completely public, saturation of stuff I used to be totally alone in knowing about and it's realllllllly weird

ANYWAY SO THE MORAL IS I LIKE KPOP SOMETIMES and am super embarrassed about it mostly, but apparently need not be anymore as I am in GROUND ZERO of kpop
so when I found out about a FREE concert with a whole bunch of groups, hell yeah we were going.
we being me and homegirl V, fellow ESL teacher from Canadia.

First off, you were supposed to get tickets if you were a “Foreigner Residing in Korea” by registering with your ARC number. Let’s review: ARCs are the friggin’ philosopher’s stone and/or Fountain of Youth for EPIK teachers. We HUNGER for this thing, and have to stand in 9-hour lines in the Korean DMV for them, and can’t get phone or internet without it, blah blah

Anyway we don’t have them. We are sad. V, because she is upstanding, emailed the concert ppl to ask if she could still go…I, um, skipped that step and went straight to…um, truth…stretching. AKA there were also tickets you could get for free as a “Foreign Tourist” who was visiting Korea for less than 90 days.
I…might have said that was me. Not to worry, V later got an email saying it was okay for us to come that way and we were aboveboard, but, hm, as I pressed send I was like “WOW KPOP HELLUVA DRUG already breakin the law 4 u” etc bad news etc.

SO WE GET CONFIRMATION TICKETS. For freeee. You have to bring your passport (to prove you are a tourist), and this number, and a receipt from a restaurant or attraction in Incheon.

Incheon is a city two hours or so outside of Seoul. Concert is at 7:30 pm. Tickets start being distributed at 11am…..Guess when we got there. Yes, I awoke, on a SUNDAY, at 7am, stumbled to my metro station, and we embarked on the 2-hour metro trip to this other city with our coffee milk and strange pastries.
And we got there!! At 10:30am. And …wait a minute, a receipt from Incheon! Okay, scavenger hunt….

yeah news flash, around Munhak Sport Complex and Stadium, there are a total of NO RESTAURANTS and no attractions. We started walking…and walking…and walking…we're way off the stadium ‘hood now and we’re like “@$^$!!! WHERE IS SOME FOOD HERE HOW DO THEY EAT” like seriously, ANY place that will sell us ANYTHING so we can get these freaking tickets we just rode for two hours to this random city for…it’s, um, greenhouses?
And more greenhouses
and…a rooster …… some apartments ……..a greenhouse ……
we see ONE place that’s open, this tiny one-old-man kimbap shop way the heck in the middle of nowhere. Cue shenanigans:
Old Ahjusshi: /something in Korean, presumably ‘what kind of kimbap’
V+Dode: /can’t understand menu UMMM LITERALLY ANYTHING OKAY
Old Ahjusshi: /starts making kimbap

at this point we notice there is not a cash register in this establishment. There is literally not a receipt-making device in this place. Are you joking me.

V+Dode: /frantically flipping through Korean phrasebook
Old Ahjusshi: /something in Korean, presumably ‘Here’s your kimbap’
V+Dode: UM!! yongsujung piryoheyo??
Old Ahjusshi: /hands us random piece of paper
V+Dode: Er…dugae? Two? Hana, dul…two receipts, um dul yongsujung?
Old Ahjusshi: /look of confusion
/hands us two dollars
V+Dode: No no! Dugae, um yongsujung? Reciepts?
Old Ahjusshi: /look of confusion
/hands us two kimbap
V+Dode: Oh my god, uhhh no; yongsujung hana, yongsujung dul…

IT WAS A MESS. A HOT BILINGUAL MESS. anyway he handed us two pieces of paper…
….which were blank. like, two blank receipts. But there’s literally nowhere else to go, so we’re like WHATEVER PLEASE MAY THIS WORK O LAWD and hike the huge hike back up the hill to the stadium.

And stood in line some more. Also I didn’t bring my real passport because I was afraid they’d see the Visa that says I’m not actually a tourist, and it was really hot, and we met all these other foreigners who had really really crap assigned seats because they hadn’t, er, emailed and/or finangled and it was freaking us out, and AAAH LET ME IN PLS

and they did!!! well, they gave us tickets. at 11am. for a concert that began at 7:30pm. also the doors didn’t even open until after 4pm. KPOP FANS THY NAME IS DEDICATION
precious kimbap and sun-shy kpop fans fleeing sunburn under many umbrellas!

so long really boring story short, I asked a staff girl if there was reaaaally any benefit in us sitting there baking on the pavement for eight friggin’ hours since our tickets said we were in SECTION 4, and she said lol not really, and also there’s a Joseon Dynasty historical site a block to the north that’s cool just saying!

so we went and
it was the best

the place, an old Joseon district capital, is totally FREE, and full full full of hands-on stuff – a huge number of Korean traditional games, costumes to try on, buildings to tour…it was amazing! then there were these ahjummas under tents who called us over…to make our own Korean snacks! also for free! we tried to ask where we could donate (“where…money…put? give?”) but they were like No no no!! Learn about Korea!!
make snacks!!

Long loooong story short, we spent the day frolicking through free snacks and games and historical sites and costumes and then stopped for beer and kimbap and iced coffee and strolled around, aaaaaand
we ended up about ten full rows ahead of the people who sat in line for 8 hours. Whoooooooops.

cliffnotes: Koreans are SUPER organized. we had sections and staff guides and there were, no joke, about twenty full buses of police, and rows of ambulances, did I mention police EVERYWHERE, and we sat with a super cute girl from China who had a light-up bow that said SUNGYEOL and an Infinite lightstick and shared her tasty peanut butter cookies as we waited ANOTHER THREE HOURS because did I mention it was 4pm and it started at 7:30.

top: stadium, capacity 52,000 people, starts filling up
bottom: lots and lots of fancy cameras!!

~~fast forward three long hours of watching kpop videos on the huge screen intermixed with looooong ads about sustainable architecture in Incheon and the Incheon Asian Games (“I high-fived a flying pink seal today!”) ~~

there were also about 40 empty seats in the VIP section
that’s kind of crappy
especially since this is being filmed and also those seats are right near the front
boy, that would look bad
so we…went up to the guard guy and he…lifted up the barrier ??? so we snatched our bags and just ran on in there under his arm and the barrier
where we sat with the organizers, the sponsors, and the mayor of Incheon??

so finally, F I NA L LY (you’re like “tell me about it how long is this novel jfc”) IT STAAARTED
and the MCs came out
okay so longtime readers, my people, jog your memory to my last trip to Korea and that entry about a musical and rapturous honeymagicvoice boy I was like super jazzed about… mmhm same dude. Is hosting. With his bandmate and also some random lady?
they were rly dumb and I lurve them.
photo i took with own camera while seeing them with own eyes 1!!11!!

So there were SO MANY GROUPS WOW and most of them sounded the same? Let's be real most of kpop is, ummmm super derivative sry bout it. but some were good! I was particularly happy to see Infinite because even if their new song is...kind of derivative (shockers!!!!) their first debut song was really REALLY fresh and cool when it came out, and also they are probably the sharpest group dancers
ex. 2A tashi dorawa check them moves amirite
idk dude i think you need more eyeliner maybe !!

then was IU who is very very young and really good! her stage was also super cute but not in a gross infantile-sexy way which lots of the girls are:

also good was wooyoung who just went solo like ten minutes ago and his song is called, yes, "sexy lady" but I DARE you not to want to bust out those head moves in the chorus ok catchy times there

also there was a guy in like your grandma's curtains paired with an oversize XXL cardigan and a bow tie rapping hard gangsta style NO! NO! NO! NO! NO MERRRRCY!! which was ummm surreal

also catherine!! there was 4minute whose rapper is the chick from the gangnam style video for all you 'muricans out there, at any rate when they debuted i thought they were THE WORST so I was totally happily surprised that their set was really fun and bass-boosted and rockin
who knew i would be waving a lightstick to 'hot issue' in this lifetime !??

Then the old businessman next to us in the VIP section, because he was actually a real VIP and not a, um, sneaky poser fangirl, had a schedule, and he was like HEY GIRL WITH THE BLINKING LIGHT-UP SHINEE HEADBAND, THEY ARE NEXT BTW and this of course ~spread like wildfire~ and then the MC girl appeared alone so everyone in the back stands of the stadium lost their shit, and then a huge burst of red and white fireworks shot out of the front of the stage, and then there were five dudes on the stage ….!

I cannot express to you the sound that place made.
I’ve been to big sporting events, duh, so I thought I knew what a stadium of 30,000 screaming people sounded like…HA HA NO. One forgets that Sounders fans include a lot of, um, men, and when someone scores it’s a RRROOOOAR but people are doing things like cheering, or saying ‘YESSS’ or fistpumping and making manly hooting sounds, I don’t know – all I know is the sound of 30,000 girls screaming a lung out through their larynx is like nothing I had ever heard before. We were experiencing decibel levels and ranges previously unimagined, okay. CRAZINESS. C R A Z I N E S S.

so the sound of them is all messed up (in real life they were R E AL L Y loud, but like, do you hear that roaring sound do you hear that
also do u hear that yes this concert had everyone actually have to sing live and they doon't messss uppp
also do u hear the sound of 30,000 people having a massivesingalong bc that part was kind of fun ok

So we waved our lightsticks and our balloons and people had signs and also apparent epileptic fits, and there were PYROTECHNICS and the bass boost dialed up to 11 at least, and I was comforted and also discomforted by the fact that actually these are real people who are stone-cold professionals; like, they are actually really really good
So I’d already seen their, uh, leader, as we know, and the really tan tooskinny fashionplate one who’d been MCing, but I don’t care quite so much about, but uhhhhh shhh downlow secret I’m kind of irrationally super attached to their maknae which means baby which okay kpop dynamics are complicated but he’s a boss dancer and rocks a lot of hair extensions and I have a poster of him on my apartment wall maybe??? ANYWAY THERE THEY WERE including slightly demonic maknae and their dumb lovely bro of a main singer who is nicknamed Bling Bling and dinosaur? except not their rapper who is the aforementioned Choi Minho who is busy filming aforementioned drama, so they had a random backup dancer in huge shades to dance his parts in their terribly intricate crazy dance sets
and actually had body mass beyond that of a large cat so looked kind of out of place but whatevs

ANYWAY you don’t care haha but they were the best and I was like feeling claws of mama-bear maternal instinct growing from my fingers because dang, actual professionals who do this classy and on-point for a living and I don’t know if you can see what they, um, actually look like (imagine really attractive! hahaha ahem) but this person is 19 years old and his thigh is the size of my bicep this is not hyperbole umm, UPSETTING. let me give you cupcakes

Then we saw KARA, who are very very famous and popular in Japan, and were wearing what can more accurately be described as bathing suits because they had left “shorts” territory a few inches ago, and kind of were trying slightly too hard on the sexpot front except for Nicole who seems friendly
one of these is V's cos her camera is way superior to my sadly broken dead one

and then the ended with BoA, who surprisingly was MAD popular too, I guess because she’s been around honestly FOREVER – I thought she was over 30 because she’s had such a long career, but noooope she just started hella early. She’s like 25. What have I done with my life?? haha. Anyway she was good BUT she has a couple dance in her single that she has various dudes from her same company come guest for and bawww my malnourished maknae kewpie doll came back and there was a lot of UST but they were real real good
then he left and she sang or, like, something who cares

haha no, she was really good too. Anyway but she was the end! and then 30,000 people tried to vacate through a single subway station all at once! Ha,ha,ha. That was a subway platform right there. I seriously thought we might crush someone and need one of those twenty ambulances after all.

Remember the two hour subway ride to get down to Incheon? Yes! Reprise! It was loooong.

Then I looked at my watch and…it..was…midnight……this is a salient point because THE SUBWAY STOPS RUNNING. This train stopped one stop before my house. SO CLOSE…
…..and yet so far. Definitely ended up hailing my first Korean taxi at one in the morning outside Changdong, which ended up being suuuper stressful because the taxi driver didn’t understand “subway”, “metro”, “tube”, “underground”, or “jihachul”, which is freaking KOREAN FOR SUBWAY, and took me to Ban. Junction instead of Ban. Station, and it was reallllllly stressful and also two a.m.


Posted by dodie.does 01:10 Archived in South Korea Tagged and culture also yep kpop history! Comments (0)

chillin' with principe felipe

his name rhymes! also, i have seen all the spanish royalty there is to see

semi-overcast 42 °F

The Royal Palace is a place to go in Madrid! It is a Hot Spot! You should go to there, say all the tour guides and also all the humans everywhere. You can walk there from the metro station! It's right there! Royal Palace!
So I went.
And yet again my timing defies contemplation, because the FIRST time I went, I accidentally walked in on The Solemn Changing of the Guard, which as a humongo ceremony is performed at the Royal Palace only once a month (one assumes every other changing is just a 'yo bro' high five and peace out sort of thing). I'm not sure why it's called The Solemn, because it was pretty jammin'! There was marching! and a large orchestra/band concert! and a huge and enthusiastic crowd!
Also, entrance to the palace is free for two hours once a month. Ohhhh yeaaaaaahhhhh fifteen euros unspent, thanks King Juan Carlos!

I’m not a huge fan of monarchy as a concept in general – like, oh, you have your own island and more money than any human knows what to do with, since your astonishingly inbred blood relatives a few hundred years ago subjugated, enslaved, and/or robbed millions of people for centuries! remind why you are culturally relevant again….
let me say that yes, the ~romance of it all~ can actually surprise you by being Terribly Exciting!
it’s like you live in a super-dramatic Hollywood film, all the time! when you come out to chill with your loyal subjects at the concert for the changing of your own Royal Guard, there are snipers with huge binoculars sweeping the crowd from every corner of the palace roof!
outside each door to your house stand super-buff men holding large weapons the likes of which no one but Sarah B has ever seen, let alone touched! when you go out for a drive to, you know, anywhere outside your house, you are driven by a chauffeur in a car with black windows, in a caravan of six other identical black-windowed cars as well as multiple police vehicles!
everyone getting together for a luncheon is the subject of national news and recorded by at least four different TV crews!

so the second time i decided to wander by the palace - since, you know, it's super gorgeous and in a great spot and the royal palace
except it was closed! so many disgruntled tourists. but why can't we pay the big bucks and tour the palace !! why is it closed on a random tuesday!?

porque: Los reyes don Juan Carlos y doña Sofía, acompañados por los Príncipes de Asturias, ofrecen este martes un almuerzo a los miembros del Gobierno en funciones que preside José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

Their Majesties King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, accompanied by the Prince of Asturias, on Tuesday offered a luncheon for members of the caretaker government headed by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

in addition to oodles of royals, the 14:15 luncheon was 'attended by the executive office in full'. guess who wandered by, wondering damn there are a LOT of police here, what is up at...13:55? HAHAHA I AM AWESOME.


crazy times, man. I’ve been spending vastly more time pondering the monarchies lately than I have in a realllllly long time – reading some one-euro pulpy romance about the highs and lows and ~secret romance~ of rooming with a (super-fictional) prince in college, watching blonde prince angst in awesomely-dubbed episodes of crap bbc series merlin in three different languages (german so far is the terribad favorite), strangely watching a docudrama on queen elizabeth (did this happen solely because katie mcgrath was princess margaret? no of course not shut up), and spent an evening hearing all about the romance of the current royal family past, super past, ancient, and present (present is definitely the weirdest time). royals! what are you!

anyway! this is why people love Prince Felipe, though; he comes to hang out with tourists and plebes and guard dudes! in his like Armani-lacoste uniform that probably cost more than my whole trip, but there you go. also he is not in the middle of a huge scandal, unlike his brother-in-law.

so yup then alejandro was watching his afternoon reports and hahaha there I was on the news! and I saw like every royal in spain! and felt the weirdness of royal life!

Posted by dodie.does 12:01 Archived in Spain Comments (1)

la vida madrileña

hola y adventures en el parque

sunny 40 °F

so! I live in Barrio del Pilar
(google map me, yo!)

Until literally yesterday I hadn't actually seen much - if you're alone and have to be back by 4:30 every night it's hard to get tourism on (constant theme of mi vida - be home before anything starts).
My family's parents (who are such cool, weirdly out-of-a-tv-drama people) were really surprised that I spend so much time with the kids "instead of always being on the computer like the other one" (what now, padre!!), but it's like - I'm in Spain, I have to be alive and home 4:30-10pm; I'm here really for the kids, not for me time/vacation. It's cool I get to see some of Madrid and the Prado and Spain, but I'm getting free room and board for being with the kids, so that's my priority. Which everyone finds shocking, haha.

anyway, the other day we decorated the house with snowflakes (whoo!), and ate pizza with barbacoa for dinner. Ordering pizza - haha Catherine you know how I can't even do that in English, lol. also in america do you usually tell them on the phone specifically how much cash/what bills you will pay with? Because that threw me, man. First I made the five year old talk but they kept asking "Where's your mom?" and then told her not to prank call and hung up !! so, I had to man up.

Then we sat on the couch and drank homemade fresh orange juice and watched Mari and Nuri's flamenco and rumba recitals and school plays. So cute !! They go to a British school, which means spelling lists are hilarious (this week we have 'colour' and 'flavour', ahaha don't ask me kiddo I don't speak your weird English).

View out our window:

Spain is hot! and Spanish! I'm really happy I got to come here (it was a major weird last-minute random desperate see-what-happens seat-of-pants leap, but I'm so glad I did!!)

so, madrid. one of my favorite places is the lovely parque de buen retiro , basically the Central Park of madrid. it is HUGE!! I've been at least six times, and yesterday while walking through got lost again and saw whole new areas. love it!

there is always a TON of stuff going on there, too. on any given random day you may find:

a hundred buskers playing a whole orchestra's worth of different instruments - here we have a trumpeter blasting some christmas carols on one of the main streets through the center, but in the course of this particular day there were also three accordions, a flute, two guitars, and a violin at various points in the park. festive !

roller-blading lessons! hordes of children, teens, adults of all ages...there are a lot of paved trails through the park, and the spaniards looove them some inline skating (they don't bike at all, weirdly - but they looove skating). there is also a constant presence from roving bands of tai chi practitioners and their slow-mo followers.

a gothic lolita photo shoot (have now run through two of these...okay then)

people trying to entice the HUMONGO red squirrels down out of trees with a variety of snack foods. they are so big!! and they have bushy bushy tails! and tufted ears! i am fan of spanish squirrels.

the weirdest, weirdest thing is the herds of semi-feral cats who inhabit the park. there are gajillions of them! just wandering around! I....totally don't understand.
why are you here? where did you come from? what do you eat? who feeds you? what the heck?
there were a couple of disturbingly adorable kittens over in another corner, though...this one had a bumblebee on its nose, like some sort of twee children's book illustration. tiny wild spanish kitten who are you !!

aso, there is a big, square pond in the middle where you can rent a rowboat -seems to be the hot date ticket/meeting ticket/tourist ticket/what have you; anyway there are a lot of tiny rowboats dinking about on the mini square concrete pond like bumper cars. it is super fun to watch the little stories happening with the characters in each boat - for example the other evening we had things like
'boat 96: dude races to impress double date'
and 'boat 70: robust padre in blue checks hauls three sheepish children, avoids crashing into mom shouting from shore'
or 'boat 92: two chicas in matching white puffy jackets and silver headbands each take one oar' etc etc etc. there was also a three-boat drinking party and a cute adolescent date of a queer nature and a pair of what looked like toddlers staging a mutiny against their parents and basically it is a good evening just hanging around on the fancy statue steps with a drink watching the action.

another lovely spot is the palacio de cristal aka crystal palace which is purdy on the outside as well as interior, where there is an art installation that looks like a starry night - but the stars are actually little punctuation marks ! me gusta.

there's also a groovy stone grotto/waterfall thing happening, huge weird white ducks and black geese with electric-orange beaks...nice stuff! my first time there i did get annoyingly hit on by some dude who started screaming 'GUAPA !! GUAPA!! WHY DON'T YOU WANNA KISS ME !?!' as i walked away (after he told me i should 'date him for protection' since i was 'asking for it with your face and your hair and your cuerpo'...um, W O W no gracias), which was...less lovely. spanish dudes, what is your deal?!

anyway, i have a bajillion more pictures of this place since it is like the size of seattle or some nonsense; i mean there is just LOADS OF STUFF IN THERE from manicured versailles-style gardens to statues of the devil (one of the few huge public statues to...lucifer! go spain) to 'memory forests' to stationary bikes constantly manned by elderly dudes to little japanese pagoda buildings to ancient ruins. woo!

but, ending on a positive: parque de buen retiro! you are awesome.

Posted by dodie.does 04:02 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

berlin du bist so wunderbar

- said by booze wearing headphones on billboard


saturday the 29th october i went to the reichstag, and ate nutella ice cream, and played in the leaves,
and saw two documentaries on korean adoption that were SO GOOD - check out In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee, it blew my mind:

Her passport said she was Cha Jung Hee. She knew she was not.
So began a 40-year deception for a Korean adoptee who came to the United States in 1966.
Told to keep her true identity secret from her new American family, the 8-year-old girl quickly
forgot she had ever been anyone else. But why had her identity been switched?
And who was the real Cha Jung Hee? In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee is the search to find the answers, as acclaimed filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem returns to Korea to find her “double,” the mysterious girl whose place she took in America

Dude! What! a crazy, fascinating story. Junghee was supposed to be adopted and grow up in America, but this girl went instead, and was literally told that she was now Junghee...but what happened to the real Junghee? If her place was taken, whose life was the American adoptee living? Who is she, if not Junghee? WHAT EVEN.


also there was an exhibit called floating food, that was super fun, about how we use waterways around the world in relation to our food. there was a big carpet ocean where you took off your shoes and lay around watching mongolian ladies skewer cow, and finnish dudes herd reindeer.

then on the walk back to the haupbanhof, on the banks of the river a large number of high schoolers had sent up GIANT SPEAKERS and were doing the famous german industrial dance (with those weird huge pants, and the hair falls, and the...whaaaaat) and were, er, 'dancing' to industrial goth dance metal remixes of johnny cash. righteous!

Posted by dodie.does 12:03 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

six gay fairygodfathers, my idols, a red fur room, 3am

a gigantic, massive, wordvomit feelings fest

If you know me, you likely know that I am in a long-term relationship with patrick wolf music. Long ago in my formative youthful days, I downloaded one song and, with mind-boggling restraint, abstained from listening to even five seconds more until I had the entire CD, at which point I put it in my superclassy Walkman cd player, turned the volume up in my uber ghetto headphones, aaaand burst into spontaneous tears in my kitchen.
With the beautiful clarity of hindsight we know these years involved actual chemical imbalances in my brain, but that doesn’t change the fact that I have never had such a visceral, instant reaction to anything before or since. Music is, of course, something so…much for me that words always will fail, and I have Intense Feelings about all sorts of songs and music, but always with this longing for an imaginary perfect genre, which would not be classical but star strings fundamentally, have intense driving bass-boost-ready primal drum action, be full of deep poetry lyrics and give you All of the Feelings. It was always imaginary. It did not exist. Except then I was listening to it, and that is why I became instantly, intensely attached.
Then of course during formative mental imbalance times I listened to these three albums basically non-stop for about two solid years (so everything else seems foreign and ‘new’ to me, even if Bachelor is itself years old)

so i almost didn't even go to this concert. was expecting nothing.

Also, the venue was...guys, it was insane. WHERE WAS THIS SERIOUSLY
yes, the little red heart. yes, you can only reach it by greeting a number of bums and drug dealers in crumbling doorways.
my rape mugging and murder senses were tingling mightily, let me tell you. as i descended the stairs a RAT THE SIZE OF MY DOG ran across my boot.

Out he comes and, not expecting anything – jaw.on.the.floor.
He’s all in classy tailored black, his arms aren’t going to impale you with anorexic elbows, and he is glowing. The man is G L O W I N G and he’s playing the viola and this super-shiny gold ring is glinting all over the place and, wow, just, I guess I won’t kill myself just yet if someone can go from Pigeon Song to looking like this.

He says people are always judging him now, like, ‘why aren’t you as depressed anymore? Why aren’t you as young?” and tbqh, I was one of those people. Wind in the Wires and Lycanthropy are two of my favorite albums of all time, ever.
I watched the video for The City with complete bewilderment, with Antos and I going bwuhuh? Happy Patrick? Sunny? I…don’t quite know how to process this
I’m standing there gaping up at the stage going This is the person who wrote The Childcatcher ?! (which, do I have a word doc about how bril that thing is? PERHAPS but it is, bluntly, messed up)

But hey yo, he sold that shit. It’s hard to resist someone who’s one step short of physically radiating happiness.

so on the left is his friend gwen christie, who is lit er a ly 6'4", and he's like "oh man she's been learning swordfighting, and horseback riding - do you guys know game of thrones? so this is going to be theseus featuring brienne of tarth" and i died slightly

SO MORAL of this portion of Giant Freakout Essay is this show itself was astoundingly brilliant and also, weirdly, in a good way, full circle – I thought ah remember when you were why I didn’t totally despair, mr day-to-day inspiration for living mr mirror of my grey rainy lonely soul? I’ve moved on, but I will see you for nostalgia’s sake, in memorial to this sealed chapter of my life of my life I can’t and don’t intend to revisit; I will go to this concert and it will be a little time capsule museum piece of my past, and I’ll nod at it from this detached place and then leave.
well obviously I had crazy (no, actually crazy) adventures which were astounding and which we will get to BUT better than any of it
I felt, if just for the night, this amazing full-body hope for my own future; thinking, If you can have years and years of Paris and Childcatcher and Wind in the Wires, grey skies and bare landscapes and seeing your bones alone, and have years and years where everything is firing people and failing, heartbreak heckling, lop off your hair, electric guitar screeching, and all of them seem like forever,
and then you end up here, looking like that…
then I should embrace all my grey skies and not be so terrified of the firing and failing because it might actually be all right in the end

bear with me for one more pw cheesy hallmark moment when I confess that I seldom, seldom look forward to the future with anything not found on the spectrum between worry and outright terror. I had twelve hours where not only was I not worried, I had this physical sensation of complete, fundamental reassurance. it was worth twice what I paid to have something inside me just…shut off. Like, he’s playing leipzig (two hours away) on Friday and I was legitimately considering it just for the feeling ha THIS IS WHY I DON’T DO DRUGS GUYS anyway now of course it’s all back on, but I can kind of remember the sensation and it was amazing.


Sooooo the part everyone wants to hear about commenced afterwards; I had been watching Gwendolyn as she partied down in the wings like the most enthusiastic and delightful intense pw fangirl and, if there’s anything that will make you instantly great in my books, it’s doing all the hand motions and knowing all the words to patrick wolf singles
So I had originally intended to just leave afterwards, since I was totally Over Him, only then HA HA I wasn’t, and unsure how creepy stalker weirdo it would be to be like I AM SO HAPPY YOU ARE SO HAPPY IT’S AMAZING CONGRATULAAAAAATIONS, I still resolved to do it if I could, except then actually I wanted to find this amazing Gwen person and be like WOW YOU WILL BE IN GAME OF THRONES AND YOU SING LOUDLY TO PW I LOVE YOU POSSIBLY
So like a total freaking creeper I…hung out by the merch table
because I know his merch guy is actually his fiancé
because I am a creep like that
and i was betting he wouldn't leave without him
and somehow i ended up buying a tea towel (?!?) and i'm pretty sure William thinks i'm an illiterate jerk creeper because HIS HANDWRITING IS SO TERRIBLE OKAY but whatever I have a nice tea towel now. . .
and then suddenly Gwen was there! and talking to some guy in ENGLISH and I just got up and ...sidled over... and she was like Are you a Thrones fan too? Then you'll die when you hear who I've got with me! and rattles off all these names and I basically blacked out after Jon Snow and Theon Greyjoy and then when I actually got introduced to some other dudes I had no idea who they were (Hil says Gendry, but otherwise mysterious?) ANYWAY she goes
"We're going to this bar after, you should come with! We're on holiday !!"
are you new to being famous gurl because you just met us ten minutes ago and we are civilians potentially serial killer stalker fans what are you doing

but then we got kicked out without gettting the address, just a name, and no one (NO ONE) knew where it was, so I went with the guy and his fellow amazing gay irish buddies to this bombed-out wreck of a creepy graffittied ruin and had glog (ja!) and then
he remembered he'd bought a pw cd but forgotten it back at the concert
so we went back, but it was all closed, so we had to use the back stage door, which was behind a MASSIVE metal gate, and the security guards actually would let NO ONE in and got Will to come out like 'Is this guy legit and not a stalker?' and luckily Will remembered and went back to get the CD and so we got let in


so later once we left and then I came back again (it was a weird night yo), allllll the other twenty girls waiting outside the gate were staring enviously at me as I just got to bust back in through the gate since they had recognized me as someone who'd been let in before aaaaah i'm a stalker
but anyway
met the drummer Ben who is UNFATHOMABLY GORGEOUS and super, super nice, and Welsh, and also gorgeous? and so nice?
anyway, then everyone else came out
and Patrick was like ‘hey will are we going to roses let me just get my big puffy jacket and my wallet and we’ll go” and kissed him and I had to be like I’ll be over here in the dark corner pretending not to be here because like, shit is real THEY ARE SO PERFECT TOGETHER LET ME DIE ahem so they got a taxi and harhar let me in your taxi like i was going to roll that that LOL NO
so I ask these biker dudes uh where actually is roses and they’re like yeah walk 5 minutes that way
so I start walking
and who is in front of me just leaving the bar but my four irish fairy godfathers so I go Oi! In case your stalker/fanboy desires are still activated, they said they’re going to someplace called Roses that’s this way? And Vincent, who looks like a Botticelli who’s just bitten a particularly potent lemon, goes OH ROSES HA it’s a gay bar. And it’s not that way, and it’s not 5 minutes walk
you need a taxi
should we do it
oh look here’s a taxi
and my bro the fanboy said in his irish way ACH FOOK IT, IT’S FATE, IT MUST BE FATE, LET’S GO

and so I got in a strange vehicle at 2am with four strange men, headed for a completely unknown destination in a foreign city ! and I did not wear a seatbelt. Safety first, guys.

we race (far) across the city as part of me is thinking hmmm I only have 5 euro to my name…the metro’s stopped running…my hostel is 15 minutes by taxi somewhere in that direction…I may potentially meet with challenges here welp whatever here we are

it was…a wall in a street, that said ‘bar’ in small letters over one door. ? ? ? wooow I would never, NEVER have found it without people who’d been before.
and we went in
and Lo, Behold
who was there

end tally: 2 mixed hot wines
3 jack and diet cokes
half a vodka and coke
and a bailey’s with whiskey
also, they made ‘em STRONG, people. I haven’t been that drunk in probably a year; it’s a miracle I was functioning. Two of the fairy godfathers hadn’t eaten since 3pm, and they went down fast, obviously, and Patrick was only there like 15 minutes before us but was thoroughly hammered, and Will disappeared? And I talked to the saxophonist whose name was emma ! and also played flute, and I was glad because I had wanted to say how great it was to have two ladies in the band now, you could tell Victoria had fun with it, and she was all yeah, girl powaaah and short? haha but lovely
and Patrick was wearing another of his impressive collection of knit sweaters (with skiiers, this time) and told us about his twelve (ten? man I thought I would have the whole night burnt into my conscious but oh hello vodka okay then) cousins (I can still hear the inflection on it) and his uncle who teaches physics at…trinity college? And then the most drunk of the fairy godfathers sort of yelled at Patrick and somehow kissing was involved, and then kissing of various persons, I don’t really know, we were complaining about the heteronormativity on display at what was ostensibly a gay bar, or something, and six degrees of kevin bacon of kissing (or something) and at any rate it was basically

external: yeah hey casual times we’re all super drunk this is no big deal just some spit-swapping whatever

but that was kind of the theme of the night, externally oh jon snow, kit, cool, yeah, and theon greyjoy, whatever while internally screaming HOLY HELL IT’S JON FREAKING SNOW

and jon snow has shiny hair and I somehow had good, meaningful conversations for like four hours about all sorts of things (even politics, lawd) and I never told anyone ‘I REFER TO YOUR CHARACTER AS ‘UGLY HOSTAGE !’ or anything so, yeah, success there
and I met other really lovely and brilliant people, like these two guys from London who were so great (and bought me flipping tons of alcohol, crikey) while we debated the best cellists of all time
I talked to guys and girls about guys and girls and everyone was blissed out and friendly and didn’t have to apologize for anything and

heaven is a gay bar where you can talk about embroidery and elgar and swap spit with genius and fall in love with girls fourteen inches taller than you

and they paid for my cab fare home
and i made it to a bed (astounding)
and then i worked off a mild hangover in a room full of botticellis the next morning
basically berlin is flawless and my life is disgusting
the end

Posted by dodie.does 11:22 Comments (0)

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