Budapest / Istanbul
Stuck on the highway in Hungary. With a trailer, all our equipment. On Alises birthday. Happy birthday. I was too shocked to feel anything.
ADAC, my car insurance, saved what was left of the day. After waiting for hours, we were picked up by a tow truck. Gildo, Timon, Alise and I were dropped of at a cheap hotel, the van and trailer were brought to a workshop. We spent the night drinking our sorrows away in a park and I painted my nails yellow. I got up early the next morning to go to the workshop to find out what was wrong with my beloved home on wheels. Gildo joined while Timon and Alise spent some time in the city, trying to figure out next steps. The others had made it to a stopover at a hostel and had a much more comfortable time. It took me hours to get one of the mechanics to have a look at the engine. He said only a few words:
“Transmission dead. No repair”.
Stuck on a parking lot. With a trailer, all our equipment. I was close to tears. We spent the whole day figuring out what to do. Finding a van that can pull a trailer to rent in Budapest turns out impossible. With a lot of help from friends, we ended up settling on the following: Timon and Alise picked up a van from a shady rental place with the help of Ian, who provided the necessary Hungarian drivers license. Gildo took the train as the rental had only three seats.
We managed to squeeze our equipment, Timon, Alise and me into the rental van and convince the owners of the workshop that we can leave Flipper and the trailer there.
We made it to Wonderest very late and absolutely destroyed. Somewhere in all the chaos, Gildo overwrote the SD card with most of the footage of this day. I can only laugh about that now. And our bad luck continued. Over the next days, first our accommodation in Istanbul got cancelled, so we found a new one. Then the festival we were supposed to play at an hour outside Istanbul got cancelled due to some dangerous bacteria in the lake next to the location. Cancellation policy for the new accommodation didn´t allow us to cancel. Then Gildo left the key to the rental van in the van and the van locked itself. What the actual ….. . When he came to me after my solo set on the forest stage, he looked miserable and sad and guilty. It wasn´t his fault though. We tried to break into the car with no success but the ADAC came to our rescue once again.
It was like we were being tested by the universe.
Will we be strong enough to push through?
In the meantime, Wonderest treated us well! We were set up in cabins and met the most wonderful and talented musicians. We were scheduled to play both solo gigs and a big show with the collective and guest musicians as the headliner on Sunday. The festival had a free and open creative concept so everyone came up with collaboration ideas and we ended up providing equipment, musicians and expertise for sessions and amazing shows. The highlight was our combined jam session with visual artist and legend Vincent Moon (Blogoteque). We brought all the instruments we could find and Vincent projected his magic on a big screen. Around 20 musicians jammed their hearts out until late at night. Magic.
The thing about this group is, that we had each others back. And we were not ready to give up.
Alise managed to get us an alternative small show, Robine found new accommodation and Joe had the idea to go to Istanbul by train via Bukarest. My van and trailer were going to get picked up by the ADAC and brought back to Germany for repairs. And off we went on yet another adventure.
We said goodbye to Axel and Luke and the other artists at Wonderest, made our ways back to the workshop were Flipper was parked and started to gather our things. We had to pack light and leave the rest of the equipment in the trailer.
We spent 48hours on trains. Night train from Budapest to Bukarest. A stay in a sketchy hostel in Bukarest and another night train to Istanbul. We made the best of it and actually had a lot of fun. In Bucarest, I took a long walk by myself to process things but without much success. My mind was spinning. I was worried, excited and just really tired. With every mile on the tracks, my mind cleared a little and once we arrived in Istanbul, the mood was ecstatic. The feeling of accomplishment was met with a welcoming and fascinating city. We took our time exploring and taking it easy.
We got very lucky with our sleeping arrangement and Eric came to visit to celebrate the end of the tour with us. We got tattoos and spent nights on the rooftop of our building, looking back at all the adventures we had and challenges we overcame. Istanbul is a city that felt exciting and strange and interesting. The history of this place is intense and diverse and it shows at every corner. The little show at a hostel in town was emotional. I cried. We all felt an incredible sense of relief and gratefulness. We had had the most amazing adventure that rewarded us with the deepest friendships, experiences we will never forget.
All of it and more was captured on camera and I can´t wait to get into the editing.
I just need a little break first.
I love you all Dave, Joe, Robine, Timon, Gildo, Alise, Luke, Axel, Anastina, Ian, Hannah and everyone else who made this possible, traveled with us or supported us one way or another. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.