Sara & Luke’s Visit

There was a whole potato on that stick five minutes before I snapped these pictures. I hope this wasn’t the best part of Sara and Luke’s visit to our town/region, but then again, she seemed pretty happy with that potato, so maybe it’s not such a bad thing. Or maybe the comfort-food aspect made all the trials and tribulations of the travel over here seem survivable.

Weather at the first stop on their flight itinerary prevented them from taking off on the day of departure — but only after having spent seven hours in the plane waiting for clearance and runway traffic jams to clear up. 350 flights were cancelled that evening, but Sara and Luke were lucky to have relatives in the area with whom they could spend the night and try again the next day. The next day, they did manage to get on a flight, but it too was delayed for three hours, risking a missed connection in London on their way to Munich (final destination for the first leg of their trip to Europe).

When they finally stepped through the immigration security barrier at Terminal Two in Munich, they were exhausted and dismayed to find they would be wearing the clothes they came in for at least a few more days — somewhere between their last stop in the U.S. and their arrival in Munich both of their bags got lost. Or at least delayed.

In the end, both of their bags were finally delivered to our apartment in Regensburg, but we were never sure when that would be. Sara and Luke called the airline(s) every day trying to get an estimate of when their bags would show up, because waiting around here for them was not part of the plan. So we ended spending a lot more time in Regensburg, waiting for the magical phone call with their luggage drop-off window, hanging out at the Bürgerfest. Which, by the way, was a lot of fun this year despite the weather. It was nice to see Tammy and Sarah cut loose in front of a ska-punk band shell down by the Weenie Shack.*

Maybe that downtime was for the best, since they had a very heavy itinerary — two stops in Spain and a few days in London — after their short visit to Regensburg. We sure enjoyed having them.

Bürgerfest 2009’s Best Bandnames

Now that the Bürgerfest 2009 has come and gone, I want to share with you my favorite band names and genre descriptions from the actual, official Bürgerfest 2009 program. These are all real. Even the typos, if there are any.

Band Name Genre Description
Hongkong Tits Bavarian Rock’n Roll
Midlife Crisis Rock
pet us to deeth noise pop
sullen silence Indie
Röckl Pop, Jazz und Rock mit bayerischen Texten
Senna Hoy Anarcho Deutschrock
Fanfara Kalaschnikov Balkan-Speed-Brass-Rock aus Rumänien
Chicken Shakers Rock’n Roll
Brittipoppers Britpop von Oasis bis Beatles
Coffin Factory Rock & Pop
Michael Sings for Papa Joe Joe Cocker Coverband
Motherfunkers 100 prozent Funk
VierUndOane Ü30/Oldienight, Rock, Pop, Oldies
Rockomotive Breath
Robn Roll 2 Gitarren – unzählige Hits
The All Migthy Guys Rock, Pop, Lehrerband vs. Schüler
Jearsy Bon Jovi Coverband
Sunny Bottom Boys Hilly-Billy, Bluegrass, Rockabilly

Who could resist a weekend of that? Can’t wait to see what they roll out next year.

Bürgerfest 2009 “pot”pourri

Neupfarrplatz Bierbank 1

Neupfarrplatz Bierbank 2

It’s a sunny Sunday morning (oops, it’s 13:00 now…still feels like morning at least…) and we’re enjoying the gentle waltzy bounce of horns and accordions making its way along the maze of streets to our building from the stage erected out in front of the Colosseum. Yesterday we tried to navigate the throngs of Bürgerfesters with varying degrees of success. We started off gathering on Haidplatz, collected visitors from as far away as Weiden as well as some locals and decided we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get some falafel from the Jerusalem Imbiss’ stand on Neupfarrplatz (their “restaurant” is over on Obermünsterstraße, not far from Suzie Wong’s, if that’s your scene). Seems lots of the surprisingly large group were new to the concept of Falafel. This was my first falafel since having returned from Budapest, and I wanted to compare. Sadly, I think I have to agree with Monet that the Hummous Bar in Budapest was better (of course, Obermünsterstraße is a heckuva lot more convenient…). Fortunately, I think everyone who tried it, liked it, even if it was a little drippy.

From there we marched around the Platz a bit until I spied a table with just one little old lady holding down the fort. We quickly overpowered her and set up camp, where we remained for the next four hours or so. This surprised me. I thought for sure we’d get up, mosey, wander, check out other parts of town, other stages with different music, etc.…but it was not to be. Half the group would get up for a round of beers and when they returned, the other half would seek out some snacks, and when they were done, they were thirsty, so they’d go wrangle up some more drinks, which inspired half #1 to get some more food, ad infinitum.

Or, well, about 10pm. At that point we shuffled off to Domplatz to watch a presentation of the history of the Dom projected onto the Dom with color coding used to focus our attention on the aspects verbally mentioned during the narration. Great concept, but alas, the execution was a little iffy. The text wasn’t loud enough, and it was rather heavy on the echoes, and there were tons of ecclesiastical and architectural terms being tossed around over our heads, and besides — most of the locals didn’t seem all that interested in it and they talked through most of it. I would love to see this presentation again, but on my computer, so that I can rewind and look up the words I need extra help on.

Oh, and besides the friends and coworkers new to us as of last night, we also got acquainted with a couple of little characters I like to refer to as “Groß und Klein.” See the last picture here in this post. I was pleasantly suprised to learn last night that people in Britain also know them as #1 and #2 — I didn’t know they were called that outside of the U.S.

In non-Bürgerfest news: has anyone tried that new (to us) roast of Aldi Süd Kaffee called “Gustoso?” We brewed our first batch of it today and it was really excellent. We use the French Press method. I expect it would be just as yummy used with a fancy machine to make espressos or cappucinos and stuff.

Why does the stage within earshot always suck the most?

It’s festy time again here in Regensburg. This is the second time in two weeks we’ve suffered through Sweet Home Alabama / Werewolf in London / the awful Kid Rock fusion of the two has been within earshot of our apartment.

This time it’s Bürgerfest. Coming home from work late night (it was another 10-hour day…not fond of those), I noticed a klezmery sound coming from the extreme east end of our island. Turns out it was a Shantelly-kind-of-band — lots of horns with plenty of Eastern European intricacy. They even whipped out a fancy version of Hava Nagila before I got thirsty and we headed back to the apartment through the crowds enjoying the craprock. No really, it was bad. Think Zydeco-flavored renditions of that awful Inner Circle song “Sweat” from 1992 done by dudes in Tracht but with Rasta wigs on.

Not making that up.