Guest Blog: Hobo (Minus) – “Rulez of the Road” – Pt 4
In his penultimate Juno Plus guest blog, Hobo finds himself down and out in Budapest, but, as always, comes out of the experience a little bit stronger and wiser.
It was time for me to head to the airport to meet Magda as we were headed to Bucharest. We met in the airport and seemed to be in equally bad condition. The flight was a nightmare – pretty much worst case scenario. As one could imagine, after a night like we had all just lived through in Amsterdam, my body was in bad shape. That, on top of my sickness was not a good combo and of course my condition had worsened. I was very congested, and the pressure change on the flight caused the worst possible headache I’ve ever endured. It lasted about three hours, from Amsterdam to Bucharest. I imagined it to be on par with what a migraine feels like. Landing could not have come any sooner.
We landed late, and didn’t have a lot of time before I had to get to Kristal Club. I used my time to sleep, and it was a case of deja vu. Me and Magda playing together, and me absolutely starving. I had not eaten for two days now! The difference this time was that I was sick, and in pain all over. I finally got to the club. It was interesting. The club was huge and it was packed, but the music didn’t seem to fit the scene and I don’t think anyone was dancing. There was some slow, 122 bpm deep techno being played. Usually the warm up is housey, which still doesn’t make sense, since I don’t play housey at all, but this was unexpected. I made a judgement call and decided that I could play fast and hard and they’d eat it up, based on what I’d heard of Romania. But before I played, I needed the proper cables to hook into the mixer.
“The only thing on my mind was that I was going to be killed in a remote area of Bucharest all because I didn’t bring some cables“
As I waited, I was reliving everything Barem and I had said the day before. It felt like weeks ago. I knew immediately that this would be the night I was going to be screwed over by not bringing cables, just because it would be all the more ironic. Arguing that you don’t need to bring them, and needing to have brought them more than ever. Sure enough, that was the case. The cables were not at the club, but we could get them from someone’s studio “a short drive” from the club, so I left the club with a girl and a guy and the search began.
First, we began looking for a car which we could not find. I had to play in thirty minutes and we hadn’t even left yet. We had to settle for someone else’s car, and off we went. The guy driving was certainly in a hurry and moving faster than anyone else on the road. I am used to driving fast, and I’m comfortable driving even a bit reckless, but this was just insane! We were zig-zagging between late night traffic, and when we couldn’t go between traffic, we’d go around it, by zipping off the road, onto the train tracks that separated the two directions of traffic. There were also huge poles along the tracks that meant we had to go very fast and swerve very quickly. I was freaked right out, practically gripping onto the door.
The driver was acting as calm as possible and would slowly lean over at times to say something to me. All the while, the only thing on my mind was that I was going to be killed in a remote area of Bucharest all because I didn’t bring some cables. We got further and further from the club, it was nearly time for me to play, and still we weren’t there. It wasn’t looking good. As the girl continued to give directions the driver began to driver faster and faster.
Eventually we had to slow down as we had to go off paved roads. We were in the middle of nowhere, and I was supposed to be playing. Finally we got to an apartment complex with a motorized gate. The driver decided that after coming all this way, it was the slow opening of a gate that we couldn’t wait for, so he literally drove through it. I was just thrilled to finally be at our destination, though the sound of metal scraping along the side of the car drowned out my thoughts. We went in, got the cables and were back out in seconds. As we left, I noticed that for some reason we turned right when we should have turned left. We were headed in the opposite direction that we should have been headed. I mentioned this and after a moment, it was clear that we were going in the wrong direction down a deserted dirt road. We slowed down to turn around, when the worst case scenario reared its ugly head once again. The car died. The engine beep couldn’t even hold its tone and made the most stereotypical sound when it pitched down to a stop.
“I was lucky that in Romania, and unlike in Germany, when you ask a cab driver to go fast, they actually do”
I should mention that the whole time we were speeding around Bucharest, the speedometer did not work, but rather would make a ticking noise that increased in frequency with the speed. It was maxed out in a high pitched buzz the entire ride. So what do we do, thirty minutes in the middle of nowhere with a dead car in the middle of the night? We get out and walk back the way we came. The girl and I walked along a dirt road that had no end in sight. I was lugging my gear the whole time. This walk was going to take about thirty minutes in itself, and even then, we’d just be at the apartment where we got the cables, so that we could call someone. About five minutes later, I was happy to hear a car speeding in the distance. By some miracle, the guy got the car running again, and we were off.
Of course this time we were going even faster than before. If the speedometer worked, I’m sure it would have been maxed out at around 150km/h. The whole ride back, I could hear Barem laughing at me, wherever he was that night. We got to the club, I set up and went on nearly an hour late. I played hard, vented my frustration, and it went over well. It was perhaps the only positive moment of the night. After I played, Magda went on. I wanted nothing more than to go to the hotel, and collapse. Unfortunately, none of my hosts wanted to leave and told me to stay and party. So I curled up on a couch and wished I was elsewhere.
Nine hours later, Magda finished, and finally… finally, I could go and get some rest. For some reason, everyone was surprised I was still there, even though I had no means of leaving. agda and I hopped in a car and were off. I was told we were going to the hotel, and I was thrilled. It all came crashing down, however, when we rolled up to the after party. This time, I was not having it. I got into an actual heated argument about not going to the after party. I was told it would only be for twenty minutes. I absolutely knew that was not the case. The argument went on across the street from the club, and finally I won. I was paid, and tossed in a cab to the hotel. I set my alarm, and collapsed. I woke up about two hours later, and it was time to be picked up to go the airport. The thing is, no one was there to pick me up. I had one hour to get to the airport, and I could not get a hold of anyone. I called four numbers and no one was answering. I had had enough, and took matters into my own hands I went to reception to have them order me a cab. I was told by the hotel employees that Magda had extended her stay a whole night. I was so not going to do the same. The cab arrived and I had about forty minutes until the flight left. I just wanted to be airborne with the events of the last night behind me.
I was lucky that in Romania, and unlike in Germany, when you ask a cab driver to go fast, they actually do. We were driving so fast that the big antenna attached to the cab disconnected at full speed making a loud banging noise. I looked around, thinking that maybe we were nicked by another car or something, until I saw the antenna bouncing around the road behind us, still attached to the dashboard by a cable. The driver didn’t even flinch, opened the window, grabbed the cable and pulled in the antenna, all while zipping in and out of traffic. I got to the airport very quickly, tipped my driver handsomely, and caught my flight. What a relief. Of course, finally stopping and sitting down allowed me to realize that my last meal was three days ago. What’s worse is that it wasn’t really by choice. I simply just never had a chance to eat. Rule number one was haunting me again.
I got off my flight in Budapest, Hungary of all places, where I’d be connecting to Berlin. I chuckled to myself, cracking maybe the only smile of the past two days when I realized that I’d never been more hungry, than I was then, in Hungary. I had time between my flights though, so I ordered thirty euros worth of airport food and crushed it all in a matter of minutes. Finally I felt that my ordeal was over. I caught the flight to Berlin and rolled into my apartment pretty late at night. It was over! I had never been more happy to be home. As I retold my story I couldn’t decide what my new rule was going to be. I probably could have come up with ten new ones. I decided in the end to go with just one, and that it would be the only one that I had drilled into me by Barem and by fear of dying in a car crash in remote Bucharest.
Rule #3 – bring your own cables, and ignore the technical rider because everyone else is going to ignore it anyway. This was a lesson I will never forget. Of course I had to tell Barem about my ordeal in Romania. I got in touch with him as soon as I could and regaled him with the story of my ordeal. He laughed at me, and I let him.
Next week, we’re off to Padova and Brussels.
Picture credits: Huybert van de Stadt