Well, it took a while. And sure, although I’m at an odd-numbered age (gah, pet peeve) that’s synonymous with the term ‘quarter century crisis’, I think I did pretty okay to get to this point. Are there things I could be better at? Heeeeeaaaps. Do I regret certain decisions and events? Yes. But are there things I’m pretty happy with? Most definitely. Among those are the wonderful people I had the chance to celebrate early with, two weekends ago. Sooyeon and I had a joint birthday bash and hung out with a bunch of our pals; it was a great night but a necessary reminder for me to never mix beer, wine, and vodka in one night. Literally getting too old for that shit.
My actual birthday weekend was spent Doing Nothing for the most part, which was exactly what I wanted 😂 Saturday comprised hanging out in the big bookstore in town followed by a birthday burger at Der Daddy (where else?), while aggressive relaxation and a chilly walk in the park took place on Sunday. Honestly though, and I know this sounds humblebraggy, I’m lucky to be surrounded by and to know some really, truly wonderful people. My birthday (both the early celebration and the weekend of) was more than I’d ever thought it would be and far more than anything I deserved. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For the well wishes in person/text/over the phone, the hugs, the company, the thoughtful gifts. You guys made turning 25 one of the most enjoyable experiences ever.
Sometimes, you just have to take a YOLO trip to Frankfurt to attend a gig by one of your favourite bands. It’ll be jarring to have to take public transport in an unfamiliar city; this is one of your small phobias. You’ll get the hang of it in no time, though. You’ll wander around and marvel at the skyscrapers around you; there aren’t any in Trier (and you’ll take note of how you felt the same way in Sydney and compared that to the lack of skyscrapers in Tassie). You’ll rock up at the concert venue and be pleasantly surprised by the mean age of your fellow concertgoers — about 50. You’ll wait in line for what feels like a lifetime before entering the venue, but it’ll be worth it because you’ll eventually score a spot in the standing pitch right by the sound and light engineers’ booth.
Sigur Rós will only take to the stage about 40 minutes after their scheduled start, but the ripple of excitement that goes through the crowd is palpable and instantly, you dismiss the band’s tardiness. The concert will be a slow burn, with a short intermission between sets. Wave after wave of goosebumps will echo through your body. You will feel relaxed and charged simultaneously. You’ll look around and witness the other concertgoers expressing the same emotions in different ways, some slowly headbanging, some hugging each other with their eyes closed, but most of them just standing still with their mouths slightly ajar. You’ll tear up a few times, especially during Sæglópur and Vaka — and you’ll mentally pat yourself on the back for choosing not to wear eyeliner.
You’ll leave the concert in a bit of a daze, but with a cocktail of emotions bubbling under your skin. The predominant one will be utter disbelief that you just witnessed pure magic, followed by bliss. It’ll take some time before that high ebbs away. Enjoy it while you can.
Takk, Sigur Rós. What a wonderful evening it was.
Amidst the tears and crumpled-up balls of tissue,
Down in Tasmania
Where the devil’s jaws are far too weak
To tear you away
I wish you well
I wish you well.
A lesson in independence and exploring unfamiliar places on my own. Unexpected surprises, hidden gems, museum-hopping, getting my long overdue doses of Starbucks, and having fireworks explode at my feet along the streets of Kreuzberg when the clock struck midnight. Being thrown into a city of >6 million people was a small shock to the system at first (Trier has just under 120k people), but it quickly proved to be a lot less intimidating than I had expected. A good start to the year?
Yes. Yes indeed.