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.

Films and Football (of the soccer type)

Cine-K, a small creative group that have a passion for film, were celebrating the end of their season. We thought we’d add our refreshing, international faces to all of their group photos. To lend some credibility, you know. Yes, I did photobomb a few photos. No idea where they’ll be posted, if at all. ENOUGH!
The celebration started with a short speech about the aims of the place, how people can be more active in their support and things like that. They then played several short films. Some were in English, without sub-titles, there was a Dutch film, with German sub-titles (it was one of the standout films actually), some German films and the rest didn’t really have any important spoken content. One film appeared to be a music video, for example. There wasn’t a theme connecting the films, other than the choosers enjoyed them. It was fun either way. One guy had to apologise for laughing so much at one film, which set everybody else off into fits of laughter.
Afterwards there were supposed to be DJs playing, however, the first person to play music played nothing interesting for us in the first 10-20 minutes, so we left to eat some dinner.
Our dinner was at a Persian Kebab store. Yes it’s kebabs, like the ones you get from those places at 3am after a night drinking. This place uses some pretty special herbs and spices and even cooking techniques that makes it special.
If you’re ever interested: http://www.safran-oldenburg.de/speisekarte.html

I was recruited to play some Football/Soccer on Sunday. Both of my brothers have recently had injuries from playing indoor soccer. I was a little wary of this. I’m not as young as I used to be… nor as young as some of the blokes I was playing against. I don’t find it necessary to prove myself to them, I just played as I wanted and that was good enough for me.
Ingrid watched and really enjoyed it. Colombian favourite sport you know. Bonus points for me: I scored at least 6 goals in the 2 hours that we played for.
There was only 10 of us, so we played 5 v 5 and changed the teams a few times, to mix it up and keep it interesting. The 10 of us were from all over the world, I think there was only one actual German guy there. I was, of course, the only Australian. There were some from the Middle East, Africa and the Asian area.
I cannot talk for the losers, but I enjoyed myself.
The next day I was a little sore… naturally.

Münster: Buy Our Junk

Earlier in the weekend we were asked by Stephen if we’d like to go to his favourite German City: Münster. He said there’s a great big flea market and everybody will be selling everything.
We’ve got stuff to sell, so we’d thought we’d lighten our burden upon some of the more worthy treasure hunters.
Friday came and went. I spoiled Ingrid to a dinner at Julischka’s, the newly developed favourite restaurant, we were full of meat and went to bed early.
Saturday had us rising early too. Convenient, because it’s about 2 hours driving to Münster. Traffic can be a cruel mistress at the best of times; this time she had conspired against us in the dirtiest of ways. With only about 60kms left to drive an announcement on the Radio explained that there was trouble on the very Autobahn we were driving, however, we had to wait for a more detailed update. Very quickly after (we were driving on the Autobahn, probably at a cruising speed of 150km/hr), there were flashing lights and signs saying that there was indeed a traffic issue coming and that it is advised to take the exit onto the Highway 64. I started to keep my eyes peeled. We passed the exit to 68. Should we have taken that exit? No 68 does not equal 64.
Apparently this time it did. Within a kilometer from this exit was the parking lot of traffic. We were being funneled from 3 lanes to 1 lane and off the Autobahn. Then came the radio announcement. It’s expected to drain up to an hour from your precious life. Google also advised this… now. No option of going back. We had to sit and crawl and deal with all those brainless people who try to get those few inches ahead of all the others by cutting in and out of lanes, using the shoulder, anything they can imagine that will get them one car ahead – ignoring the fact that we’re all suffering this together.
We got to Münster after something like 4-5 hours on the road. We were granted a little luck by getting an “OK” park nearish to the flea market.
We set up. Stephen went and did whatever it is he likes to do, he wasn’t obligated to help, so he didn’t. Ingrid and I took turns so we could use the toilet and get food and all those fun things that sellers do.
I found it very interesting to watch people decide that a pair of shoes for 3€ should be brand new condition. That a handbag that we had originally for 3€ and then said 1€ was ok, was still not cheap enough. They look at you like you’re really robbing them. We didn’t sell all of our stuff, but we sold enough to make us think that if there’s a local one in future, we’ll give it another go. I’ll also look into printing some of my art to sell. Although I very much doubt the logic of people in such a situation. I think we should bake cupcakes and coffee, that’d go well. People love food.

Weekend without Woman

Ingrid flew to Spain for a conference and to visit her Aunt.
I was left alone.
There wasn’t as great a party as you’d dare to imagine. In fact, I actually wasted more of the time ‘helping others’ than doing any of the things I should have really done.
Haitham, my work colleague, had hurt himself doing the move or cleaning of the old apartment and so I had to do his strong arm activities. This time he delivered on his promise in payment – I got some beers. It was a slack version of work, that’s the way he likes it, make it more about chilling out and occasionally do something. We lifted boxes into the attic, played playstation, built a cabinet, drank beers, cleaned out the basement, sipped cola on the balcony and appreciated the warmer weather. The downside to this method is that it does take a lot of time, time you could be doing anything else. That’s the way it is though.
One of the nights I convinced Stephen to go to a nightclub, well I wanted to watch some bands, but I sent him a bunch of choices because he’d be driving. He chose the nightclub. It opens at 11pm. We were there not long after and it was empty. Around midnight the people started to arrive and by 1am it was pack. I’m impressed with the lateness of the party. I was disappointed because the last hour was terrible music and it inspired me to want to leave. Stephen was almost falling asleep in his chair so he agree. Here’s an interesting fact, I didn’t drink any alcohol that night. Stephen thought he’d be tired and I’d have to drive. He did actually drive home, it was 1:30am, and about halfway home he started to say that maybe we could go back or maybe some other day. Typical Stephen. When we’re somewhere, he wants to leave, when we’re elsewhere he wants to have another crack at it. He’s really concerned about new things and places until pushed.
Oh! On the final night I made him eat at Julischka, a Yugoslavish (Croatian etc) restaurant. He was loath to go there and offered McDonalds and Subway as alternatives. I will never, unless forced to, eat at such an establishment – they are there for emergencies only. So yeah, Julischka, it’s cute, the food is delicious and the portions are huge. I washed it down with a Pilsner. I was only disappointed that I couldn’t get a Pilsner of the region.

Pfingsten: A Religious Windmill Holiday

50 days after we get the pleasure of eating chocolate eggs and drinking Easter beer, there’s another religious holiday, only I have never heard of it before. Pfingsten, or as it is known in England as Whitsunday/monday or in the USA as Pentecost, delivers a day of rest to contemplate Windmills in Germany. Ok, not really, but that is actually a thing here. On this holiday in Germany, many of the old grain, water or whatever other kinds of windmills that exist, are activated and visited and appreciated for all that they gave us back in ye old times.
What did we do?
We drove passed our local one. It was only a small gathering there, so we kept driving until we reached Bad Zwischenahn. This region is full of rich, old people, great looking hospitals and the very important Windmills. It also has a great big lake.
We visited 2 Windmills in BZ. The first one had made a little party out of the area with Bratwurst tents, Biers flowing, chips and fries being offered as well as some entertainment for the kids. We ate a vegetarian pita bread sandwich thingy that was available from another tent and it was delicious. This lead us to relaxing in front of a large Windmill with red sails that hypnotised us into laying around for a while.
The second Windmill was much closer to the water but, for some unknown reason, wasn’t as populated. I think it was because everybody was out on the water or in the cafe watching everybody on the water. It was quite nice, there were chairs provided and I mean like the plastic BBQ table chairs you have at every family BBQ event. People can just pick up a chair or two, pick a space near the water and sit their life away.
Nearby was a Handcraft market that we strolled through and ended up buying a gift from there for a friend of ours who has just had her 2nd marriage. Ok, not really. The first time was like a civil/paperwork wedding and this second one was the real ceremony, big deal wedding. Same people getting married at both.
We returned home but our thoughts could never leave how life would be without those graceful wings floating through the air, making bread or steam or the Amish.

An Average Beer in Salzburg

The drive to Salzburg from Nürnberg was quite easy, which was nice considering the night we had before… Salzburg was, at first, a complete let down. It looked like an uninspired town that was beginning to fall apart, it was left behind and degrading. While driving through, it made us wonder why we’d decided to visit. Had we got the town name wrong? We parked the car and walked for a bit.
Near the water, all was revealed!
It was beautiful, it was elegant, the sun shone over grandiose architecture and reflected off the water, into our eyes that were wide in disbelief. It’s like a border has been created and passed it was all the money. We were really impressed and quite quickly forgot about our impression upon arrival. Now we wanted to see and taste more.
We across the bridge infront of the castle and looked for somewhere to eat. There was a little alley with a few restaurant doors at the beginning, so we headed that way. As we neared a Beergarden was revealed to us and the decision was final. We had to eat and drink there. This would be the first Austrian Beer in Austria (it’s actually, as far as I can recall, my first Austrian beer). It was a bit of a let down. I don’t know what I was expecting but there wasn’t much flavour at all. It was still relaxing and sitting there, watching the people and enjoying our meal, we were looking forward to the rest that Austria had to offer.
I don’t think we did much else in Salzburg other than soak in the sights and sun for a while. We still had to drive the rest of the way to Vienna!