This last weekend I had the joy of heading back up to Belgium for a few days, up on the Saturday afternoon, and back this Tuesday morning. A lot of you will ask, why in god’s name would I do that? submit myself to flights, all for 2 days of Belgium. Well the reason is very simple, but I’m not going to talk about that, but I will say. Totally worth it, 100%
Now of course it wasn’t all plain sailing, the car journey to the airport was dire, traffic everywhere, arrived far too late, stressed running through Zurich airport meaning you arrive at the gate looking vaguely like some sort of rabid dog struggling to muster any form of oxygen out of the air.
Flight was shit, sorry but it was. A certain Swiss airline, who shall remain nameless…except that they are Swiss, and the official airline of Switzerland…and are called Swiss, have introduced a new fare rate, basically meaning for very little money you can travel between Zurich and Brussels, something that until about a month ago, was reserved for people flying on their company-amex-card. No seriously, it was about €800 return…yea, so about 8 flights with a competing low-cost airline, also to remain nameless…just think of the colour orange…and hidden fees…and not Ryanair…yep. Now whilst this new fare range is rang is brilliant for people like me, it does come with some hitches…namely the baggage allowance. No check-in luggage, but that’s not an issue, it was only 3 nights, just one piece of hand luggage, perfect. A few months back I got myself a new suitcase that fitted cabin regulations, so this bag made the trip with me, and I must add I did very well. The bag was packed with everything I needed for the 4 days, plus my laptop, iPad, headphones and all sorts of chargers, plus a few bits and bobs that needed to stay in Belgium, all in all, 13kg. 13kg is not a lot, this is perfectly liftable, even for the smallest, weakest person. I was proud of myself, first time in my life that I am not packing enough clothes to survive an artic winter or a sahara summer all in one weekend.
Back to the baggage allowance. Here is me walking up to the gate when I am stopped by check in…I’m only allowed 8kg on the plane…
It all went downhill from there, but I will explain the whole trip, I might add this in at a later point, but I want to talk about the weekend, not the crap journeys either way. The main reason I wanted to go to Belgium was because I had the chance to hear someone I know sing in a small festival in Oostende. For those of you who don’t know Oostende, next time you are in Brussels, just head west and keep going till you can’t understand a single syllable that anyone says, and it starts to smell like the sea…just make sure you stop before you fall in the water.
This isn’t the first time that I have been here apparently. My aunt told me that I have been here when I was younger…something that I don’t remotely remember. But anyway, I enjoyed being back, it is a very pretty city. You have cute little streets running between the building, a beautiful church in the evening light, and a fantastic old train station currently undergoing renovation, much like the rest of the country. All in all, I was quite taken.
Now the festival, that is another story. When I first arrived there was some local celebrity singing her heart…and lungs out down her microphone, and in the meantime there was a band behind her playing…neither of the two seemed to be the slightest bit aware of the other’s existence, but hey, why not. Plenty of covers, mainly songs that I very much love, individually being slaughtered by this lady, I was not pleased to say the least. This continued for about an hour or so, with tiny breaks whilst I went off in search for toilets, food and basically anything that would get me away from my eardrums slowly bleeding.
Now after this hour of… wel pain is the only way to put it, the real act came on. Well to be honest, I say real act, basically the act with the person who was the sole reason for my making myself put up with multiple crying babies on a plan for an hour and travelling 800km on various methods of transport. I was actually a little nervous, I was not sure what to expect, I had never really heard this person sing properly, just heard many good reviews. To sum up what I thought of it all? Really fucking impressed, that’s what I was…
Now not to get ahead of myself, it was still a cover band so it was shaky at moments, the guitarist wasn’t exactly amazing, the sound guy was a right bellend, but the raw talent of some of these people, the drummer for instance was a god, the pianist also amazing, and the singer? Well lets just say it was like being hit by a truck…in a good way.
After gathering my jaw off the ground for the 2nd time…first time being when I saw her walk out looking all fabulous 😉 (this isn’t remotely creepy implied, she just happened to look amazing), I settled in for the 2 hour set that was to come. A mixture of modern music that I knew, mixed with typical local songs that basically could have been summed up in 2 lines by some farmer randomly burping on a slight beat.
I fell in love with a new song that day, Skinny Love by Birdy. I have heard the song in the past, but never really thought much of it, mainly because it is very simple, and on the radio this doesn’t really work, but live, with a nice tonne of echo (thank you sound guy, but we aren’t in a church), then I was really blown away. Piano plus a single voice…only thing that would’ve topped it was if she was playing the piano herself…but then I think I would have heard all the hearts breaking around the market square that this was taking place, I already heard a lot of this before!
It was during this song when I turned around and took this photo:
Just awesome, with the music in the background…it made the trip worth it.
Anyway fast forward a few songs, and we get to Frozen, Let it Go. Now I will admit, when I found out that this song was going to show its ugly face that evening, I was sceptical, I have never heard someone pull off this song…ever. Now I’ve always been told that I have to be 100% honest, so I will say it wasn’t 100% perfect, but its a stupidly hard song, so I will say it was 95% perfect, with a little blip at the end. The 95% though? I would take that over the original any day. Any singer can just regurgitate a song exactly like the original, but it is only the few amazing singers that can make it their own. Challenge passed!
The evening went on, lots of singing, lots of my jaw hitting the ground in amazement, and generally a lot of drinking going around…including the one guy standing next to me, who I was pretty sure was going to wake up in a bin the next day.
2 hours later and it was done…and I had to rush to get a train, which I found disappointing because it didn’t give me a chance to properly round off my evening and get a good chance to talk with the person I came to see. None the less, I was blown away.
Copyright for both photos? Well I took them, so whatever.
The following day was a date, so basically I am going to sum it up in a list of words, because that is all you get to know about it.
7:30am, Breakfast, Running for train, confusing, tired, Brugge,
rather good-looking beautiful date, saying hello, (fast forward 11 and a half hours), saying goodbye, waiting for my train, thinking, train, taxi, home, bed, dead, then getting up 5 hours later to catch my flight home.
I am not going to say anything about the date because it isn’t fair on me, my date, or you. I also hope I havent stepped over a boundary for even bringing it up. I also am aware of who reads this thing, so I won’t say a lot. I will just say it was worthwhile, not that I was trying to achieve anything.
And so we get to today, or yesterday really as it’s past midnight. Getting up at 6:30 to go to the airport, nearly missing the plane, and a good 4 hours later I was back home in Switzerland, and now I should head off to bed because my thought process has just departed.
All in all, I am a very happy bunny, not for any reason, but purely because this is the weekend I needed, to get away from the stress 😉 of Switzerland. No, there is no stress, it was just a very lovely weekend.
Anyway, I hope to write again soon, off to Sri Lanka in a few days, so this should be interesting! Which brings me to a point I mentioned in my last post…about a bike. The bike isn’t happening anymore, so don’t get annoyed with it doesn’t come!
Please like, share, comment, throw away, eat a Pringle, enjoy life, and most of all…take a chance. I learnt a lot this weekend, I was blown away by a voice on one day, and the next I learnt a lot about horses, and about myself, and about a very, very interesting person, who shall remain namely…I’ll just call her shorty for purposes of this blog in the future 😉 I’m kidding, I’m not that much of a nob….
Till next time!
(for the people who know who I am talking about, keep it to yourself, this is not aimed at her or anyone, and it this is no trick, this is my blog and I can write what I want. oh and if you have an issue with anything written here, send me a message, the last thing that I’m here to do is offend anyone)