Tuesday, June 23, 2009

bratislava, slovakia

slept until 3 p.m. the first day in slovakia...the end of the jetlag that i had not been able to give in to the previous day as i had traveled across germany, austria, and slovakia...the sleep was great, but then i got up and took a taxi to bratislava`s old town center, where there were no cars allowed and people wandered the streets, checking out the baroque architecture.

sitting in restaurants and cafes, watching the people go by, is a favorite hobby of mine, and i enjoyed myself quite a bit that afternoon. also, ate some delicious slovak style dumplings. the perfect afternoon gave way to a lovely evening as i sat on a fountain in the old town square and watched and listened to an orchestra performing classical music.

the next day, monday, i was going to go walk around more, but it was pouring when i woke up at noon, so i just kicked it indoors until it was time to leave for Slovakia Inter Stadia to see depeche mode! it was raining on the way over, drizzling as i stood in line outside the stadium, and finally stopped during one of the two opening bands. i hoped it would be dry for the rest of the evening, but it was not to be.

depeche mode came on at about 2030. the sun may have been down for all i know, but i could not tell owing to the serious cloud cover. the show itself was great: songs from the new album played well, with some taking on life that had been missing on the album versions. the chestnuts whipped the crowd into a tizzy: i had always heard that eastern europeans were goo goo for depeche mode, and i found it to be true, thanks to the volume and conviction with which everyone sang along.

everyone was reallz into it. of course, they could be, as they could afford to be. you see, the rains had returned with a vengeance and i found myself, covered in a sweat shirt and a baseball cap, feeling more and more miserable as each song went on. enjoy the silence and never let me down again brought me no joy as i sat there, head down, rain pelting me. i started getting really cold during the first encore, so i heard, but did not see, the band plazing strangelove and master and servant. i was out in the parking lot, hailing a cab, as the grand finale of personal jesus and waiting for the night capped the evening for 20,000 ecstatic slovakians.

i waded through the flooded parking lot to the taxi lineup, shoes and socks filled with water, and hurried back to the hotel. i could not remember the last time i had been so cold. the concert was great, as is alwazs the case with depeche mode, but the elements, to me, were brutal...


  1. ahhh... Ben, I miss you already.

    Stay high and Dry and Warm...

  2. dammit! i know you were really looking forward to that. i'm sorry it wasn't all you had hoped. the day preceding sounds amazing, though!