The Birthday Picnic Party

Here’s a quick recap of the dirty bits.
There were pikers, as mentioned before, that’s a bit annoying.
The first arrival was my Syrian classmate, Khaled.
The weather worked out but the park itself was soaking wet.
I got some great presents.
Sports that wetted all of our bums: Viking Chess (you throw wood sticks at the other team’s wood sticks), Football (soccer) and Cricket.
Cricket made such an impact on Haitham that he bought a cricket set not long after because it was on special.
The last arrival was Jason, the half German, half English Oldenburg guy.
Haitham stacked it spectacularly and I had to stop laughing before I could help him up.
Not much food was eaten.
All of the beer was drunk.


Just Like Every Other Country

Pikers are just as common.
We had organised a Sports Day in the local Stadtpark to celebrate my birthday and the sports of all of our cultures. The response from my friends, the ones I’d helped move house or drove around etc, they were sending ‘unable to attend’ messages just a few hours before we meet. They had 2 weeks notice, could have notified or changed plans before the day, you know, maybe a useful time before you have bought food and drinks. That is not the selfish way of a Piker though.
What do you do against Pikers?

Wedding Saga Complete!

I’ve done it! I’ve finally caught up and written about the entire wedding time (except I didn’t actually write about the wedding, because well… it’s a magical time, with love all around and you had to be there, sorry).
We had guests for 2-ish weeks and we were busy, so I couldn’t write and entertain. The return to work then meant it took even longer to write.
Sorry to all the fans who thought I was single or something like that. Now it’s official. Married. Yep.
There’s even a little boy on the way. Yep. That’s the announcement.

So, you can start here:
Early Visitors

When you get to the bottom of the post, click the next blog on the right hand corner “Stade II…” and repeat until you have read about my parents leaving.
That was the whole adventure.

I hope you enjoy the read!

Wilhelmshaven Fleamarket

Writing has a little light because the weather has been a bit wet, windy and well… good staying indoors kind of weather. I’m sure you’ve already lost interest with reading this, so I’m going to pretty much stop writing.

We did go to the Wilhelmshaven Flohmarkt. We were intending on selling there, but it seemed everyone was packing up to avoid the incoming storm. We bought a sheep skin for something really cheap. Now we have to buy something to clean it with.

Why Would You Watch Wonder Woman?

Sunday saw us at the cinema to watch Wonder Woman in the original language (Germans like to overdub their overseas films, like the Americans do – it ruins the art people! Subtitles or die!!!!).
I was surprised how terrible a film it was. Really.
My friend, who is a comic book fan, could only defend it by saying he liked it and that Wonder Woman is normally a weak, support character that has now improved because they’ve created her in this film.
You see that?
Not one mention of how well the acting is done, the plot, the camera angles, the graphics, the editing, the sound track, not even the action… it’s an action film!! If you don’t come away feeling that the action was good, then, you’ve really eaten rotten celery (which has a low calorie value). Obviously I could keep going into more detail, but I think this paragraph sums up all the weakness of this film, what more can be said?
Oh a highlight!
I thought it was amusing that an American still had to ‘save the day’. Wonder Woman is not American, you see, so she cannot really save the day in an American film, the Americans cannot fist pump and holler at the screen. He saves the day with an unnecessary suicidal sacrifice. Moments before, another character explains how this isn’t required. The bomb on the plain is set to a timer, it will explode, he has to merely get the plane high enough and bail out. Instead he has to use a gun (!!!) to set the bomb off, while he’s in the place. AMURICAH!
I hope I’ve spoiled the film for you. It’s saved you from watching a seriously terrible film.
Half a Wonder Woman Whip of Truth out of Ten.

Two Turkish Metal Bands

There’s a record store in Oldenburg that I regularly visit. Not because they have any CDs or Vinyl that I want to buy. No, no, no, young bucky, I go there because they appear to be ‘in the know’ about ‘the haps’ when it comes to gigs. The big concerts everybody knows about, there are posters, there are newspaper write-ups, there are fans with tattoos running around, not believing that their band is finally coming to town. That stuff is of little interest to me. It’s the local shows, the local bands, the bands that aren’t spoken about, except when it’s followed by, “and how do you even hear about these kinds of things? Man you always talk about weird stuff!”
Those are the kinds of gigs that such a man, as myself, can find out about at this particular record store.
I decided that seeing two Turkish metal bands was a bit of a must. I know, I know, you’re thinking “he’s never even heard a Turkish band before”. Oh how wrong you are. My favourite Death Metal band from Turkey is called Cenotaph. That’s right, I know enough about their metal scene to even have a favourite. I thought it was a bit of a must because I like the Turkish style that I’ve heard applied to metal, the rhythmic accents in odd places, the technicality of the musicianship, the sometimes present mistakes in English lyrics.
I conned a friend of mine, from Oldenburg, to come along. He’s not really into metal, but he does enjoy different things. That’s good enough for me!
First up was Hellsodomy. They were kind of death metal with a huge basis in thrash metal, which doesn’t really interest me. They played well, the bald guitarist being the energetic one of the group. I don’t ever really like it when the vocalist also does most or all of the solos, just seems to much to me like they want all the focus, all of the time. His solos should have been boosted though, they didn’t really cut through the mix, which could be what they intended, but the style of playing made me think that it was more of a Slayer style solo, that’s meant to melt your face as opposed to a solo that adds texture to the quick riffs.
The second and final band for the evening was Engulfed. They were following the Left Hand Path in a very strong way, with the same distortion sound as Entombed and similar playing style to those Swedish death metallers. The vocalist/guitarist from Hellsdomoy was the rhythm guitarist in Engulfed. I’m not sure if 2 sets on one night was too much for him, or if, because he didn’t do vocals and solos in this band, he’s not interested, but he really didn’t seem interested at all in playing this second time. There was an interesting moment for me when the 2 guitarists and the bass player/vocalist were all nodding their heads but at different tempos. Seemed odd. Engulfed also played well, this time their solos seemed more in the place they were supposed to me. I thought that they were the better band of the two, although the competition is unnecessary, it just appeared they were a bit more “with it”. They did, however, really kill the atmosphere at least twice by stopping for a very awkward amount of time to discuss what to play… or tune up. That’d be something I’d look to fix, if I were them.
Overall a decent night. Neither of these bands really did what I expected, which shuts me up.

Wet Wochenende An Der Jade

Once a year the town holds ‘Wochenende an der Jade’, a celebration of and a welcoming to the harbour. They have stages with music and dancers, food stalls, games of chance, rides and all that kind of jolly stuff. The weather did not want to cooperate. Probably similar to last year, I’ll have to check what I wrote then…
Friday was a disaster. It was so wet, we forced ourselves to go out. Nobody else did. Most of the stalls were in the process of closing due to lack of people and bad weather or were already closed because they didn’t see things getting better. It was a little bit shit, to say the least. Ingrid bought a pair of pants and we went home, planning to return on the Saturday, assuming the rain would abate.
It did. Although only after giving it a good go until around 1pm.
The place packed out! Everything was open, people were getting drunk already, there were kids having a crack at all manner of games and the food smelled good.
We watched a Spanish Community Group – not necessarily Spanish people, just a community group who enjoy the culture – do a few dances. It was pretty good, although the prime interest for me was to see the expressions each of the dances had while performing. Some smiled, which made it nice, others looked bored and even worse were these kinds of sour faces from upset to angry or something. I don’t know if they thought it was being funny or sexy, but it didn’t suit the dances at all. Almost all the dancers were tapping their feet, but not to the rhythm of the music that the dance was to. Good effort.
After that, we journeyed to another stage and were a part of a learn to salsa lesson. Not many participated. Ingrid is obviously a veteran of her national dance, so it was down to me to battle with the simple maneuvers. That made us thirsty, I went to order Ingrid a Apple juice drink with gassy mineral water and instead got some kind of strawberry cocktail. I also ordered a glass of water and never got that. I eventually got the apple drink for Ingrid, I drank the cocktail and everything was merry.
We then started to run into many of the people we know. There was one of Ingrid’s friends with her husband, they had just married recently and were showing us videos of their honeymoon. The husband doesn’t talk German nor much English, which made it funny to try to communicate. A few of my Syrian pals were wandering around. There were some other colleagues. It felt like we were constantly greeting people, talking a bit, taking a few steps and repeating. There are worse things to do though.

Ok, I just checked, and I did write about this last year.