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Sunday, June 27, 2004

Sean Hoffman orders "Pig Beer" in Hamburg

Guten Tag. We are in Hamburg. The Hurricane Festival is just letting out. After spending the entire morning after our flight in a bar called the Lucky Star drinking Astra and Kleiner Mexicaner (hot sauce and Tequila basically) we made it to the festival an hour´s train ride away in time to miss Modest Mouse entirely. Our consolation prize? A rocking Pixies show, followed up by a wonderful Sarah Bettens. Placebo wasn't so bad either.

After drinking until 4 a.m. at the Lucky Star we slept so late Saturday we got to the festival late again, catching only Wilco's final song. Our consolation? A decent Billy Talent, a hopping Franz Ferdinand and another shitty set by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Those guys have just never done it for me and I've now given them 5 chances!

The Hives were crazy. "Germany! You LOVE the Hives!" Yes, indeed we/they do. We could not believe ourselves as we walked and then ran away from the festival to catch the last train back to Hamburg without even being able to hear a note of the Cure. Oh well, we'll see them in Ireland in two weeks.

Today? An early and short trip out to catch Mclusky. Sean had recommended them. They didn't quite do it for me. Breed 77 on the other stage drew us away with a funny remark. "We're glad to be back in Germany. We were just in Minneapolis last week. And that's really fucking far away." No shit.

Ash was heavenly. The sun came out during "Shining Star" for the first time all day as if by their will. During a nap on the bleachers at the motorcycle speedway where the Hurrican Festival takes place, I caught the entire set bz Mando Diao and really dug what I heard. Forgive me if this commentary isn't fleshed out with details, but research for more info on these bands will need to wait until I return to the States.

The funniest thing by far that has happened here was while teaching Sean German he made a small mistake at the fish and chips shop, ordering "Schwein Bier" yesterday and wondering why the dude behind the counter looked at him so funny. What he meant to say was "Zwei Bier, Bitte." Meaning "Two beers, please." But "Schwein" most definitely means "Pig," or even worse "Bastard." Maybe you had to be there but I haven't laughed so long or so hard in a long time. Sean is actually doing quite well picking up the lingo. In the meantime, with my meager 3 years of college German it's been fun trying to translate. Though to be fair, most of the younger people here speak pretty good English, and even the older folks like our first bartender may not speak much but understand pretty well.

Now that we've finally figured out how to get around Hamburg pretty easily by train, tomorrow we are off to Berlin and will have to learn our way around all over again. At least the language is the same...until Thursday that is...when we head to Denmark.


Anonymous said...

Sean Hoffman is the village bicycle of Dad's!