Saturday, February 6, 2010

Poland II

It is impossible to tour in Poland without coming back with some utterly bizarre stories. The country is full of wonderful, energetic, drunken, batshit insane people who seem to communicate mainly by shouting at each other. This makes it so that any problems you encounter are magnified. Times a lot.

When we think back on this particular trip years from now, one word will leap out of our memories: "cold". Europe has just experienced its worst winter in decades, with temperatures dropping to -23C in Poland itself. This normally would not be a problem, unless you are travelling in a van which has inexplicably lost its heat and also you are surrounded by people who think that a good solution for this problem is to fill the engine with bits of cardboard.

Good god, I wish I was making all of that up.

It started when the heat stopped and a little red light came on. Things got very cold, but we (somehow) made it to a gas station and warmed up with some food. We had barely turned our backs when we discovered that eight Poles (tour manager, opening band) were standing around our open engine and stuffing cardboard into it. Their theory was that the extreme cold was preventing the engine from getting hot enough to heat the van.

If you think about this for five seconds, you realize that it is completely, COMPLETELY retarded. But our brains had frostbite and we somehow allowed them to gum up all the airflow in the engine with cardboard.

We drove away. Predictably, the engine temperature shot up to 130 C, which is techincally, as a mechanic might say, "very bad". Suffice to say, we took the carboard out and continued to FREEZE OUR BLUE, ICY BALLS OFF. The engine refused to cool down. The irony of freezing our blue, icy balls off while simultaneously having panic attacks about the engine overheating was not lost on us.

Somehow, we managed to keep our spirits up:

It took a couple of days and some horrible nights to get the van fixed, and let's just say that we will probably never be that cold again. Let's also just say that we broke down some traditional gender barriers by using each other's heat to stay warm. That's all I'm going to say.

This entry will be too colossal to read if I try to tell you everything else that happened. But I can summarize: we got on a major polish TV station and screwed it up by shouting Polish obscenities too often, we lit Druzil on fire on stage, Squid Vicious gouged his head open by smashing a beer glass on his head, I nearly broke my leg in a vodka-assisted fall in Krakow, one of our shows was run by the Polish mafia who decided to take a ton of extra money from us without warning (our response: "well, your money's worthless anyway, isn't it?"), our van door fell off, and (FINALLY, on the last day), we were able to eat proper Polish pierogy:


Nonetheless, the shows were huge, incredible, and filled with excellent (and, as I've said, insane) people.

Those are just the things we remember. Multiply it all by 4 and that's pretty much what happened to us. Fuck. Kourrrrva.