04.19.17 – 16.56 – Wednesday – Hotel room, Tilburg
You may or may not know this about me, but I’m a sucker for a fridge magnet with the name of a place on it. They’re renovating the hotel this year and when I got in early this afternoon, I found the above Tilburg train-sign-style magnet among the innovations brought to the customer check-in experience at the new counter and pretty much had to make it mine. Long overdue, I’d say. The magnet, not the renovation. That seems to just be for the fun of it.
My connecting flight to Toronto was bumps and bruises the whole way, but merciful in duration. Short. In the Toronto airport I ran into Philly-based photographer Dante Torrieri of Useless Rebel Imaging and Pip from Relapse Records, both of whom would be on my flight from Toronto to Amsterdam. Air Canada bringing the crowd.
I’ve never slept so well on an airplane in my life. I was next to an older Canadian woman who very clearly might’ve enjoyed chatting, especially since I booted her friend from my seat — sorry — but no way. I was right out. In the airport I ate the protein bar that served as my dinner and I guess my body decided after that it was time for bed. They had Star Trek Beyond to watch so I put that on and just kind of crumpled over and slept. Then I did the same with Rogue One and Minority Report.
Sure, I woke up and everything looked like it was straight out of sci-fi, but that’s kind of how it is when you get to the Netherlands anyway. This place, these people, have their shit together. Right down to the automatic passport readers.
I couldn’t avail myself of those for whatever reason — I’ll just assume it has something with my country’s recent dip into xenophobic and reactionary populism — and so had to talk to border security at Schiphol. The guy took my passport from me and told me to get a new one. I got that one renewed in 2013 and look much different now than I did four years ago. Short hair, trimmed beard, lost a bit of weight, etc.
He scrutinized the shit out of me. I offered to show him my driver’s license and that seemed to be enough to get him to the point of letting me screw off through the doors into the baggage claim. The guy in Canada had been really nice about it. “Keep up the good work,” and so on. Will do, sir. I had a protein bar for dinner. Would you like to know what I’ll be having when I get back to Massachusetts on Monday? Because I’ve already given it some thought, not that I fetishize my food intake in really unhealthy ways or anything.
La la la.
Speaking of next Monday: No, I haven’t solved the how-am-I-going-to-get-to-the-airport-in-time-for-my-flight issue, but I have apparently managed to successfully slough off some of my stress about it onto The Patient Mrs., who has begun an investigation of shuttle services. My only question was how long the trip would take, but beyond that, whatever, book it. If I have to go to the airport after the show the night before, I will. I’ve never done that before. Might be fun. So long as the coffee bar is open ’round the clock.
The important thing for today though is I made it to Tilburg, and when I got here, the room was miraculously ready and waiting for me to check in. Thank you Walter, Roadburn, and Mercure for making that happen. I got my key, came upstairs, immediately put on pajamas and settled into what will be my home for the next few days. Lee Edwards of the newly-reactivated UK site The Sleeping Shaman, with whom I’ll be once again working on the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch during Roadburn, and I are sharing the room once again, and he came in a short while later and we chatted a bit, about music and the surreal turns the political realities of our two nations have taken in the year since we last saw each other.
He’s a great guy and it was excellent to see him, but I was fading fast. A two-hour nap, some brushed teeth and a hobo bath later, I feel almost human. That’s fortunate, because tonight is the Hard Rock Hideout at Cul de Sac, which will start shortly and go until it’s done. It’s just three bands, but the official start of Roadburn 2017 isn’t to be missed. It simply would not do.
So here we are at the beginning. I’m a little nervous for what the next few days will bring, to be honest, but looking forward as well. The next time you hear from me it’ll be the Hard Rock Hideout review, and then we’ll get into the actual coverage of Roadburn 2017 itself tomorrow and on from there. Thanks in advance if you get the chance to check any of it out.
Okay, time to go.Tags: Roadburn 2017 Adventure, The Netherlands, Tilburg