I'm going to post a few short updates so I can get caught up. Mary told me my entries were too long anyway, so I've stripped the words and put in lots of purty pictures for those short on time and/or brains. (Hi Mary... get back in the van? Tell Josh his shelf is waiting?)
We spent an entire week in Romania. I have never so thoroughly disliked a place or so desperately wanted to leave. In general the country was unfriendly, the towns uninteresting, and the shows a combination of the two.
(Despite that though, we did meet a few really rad kids, and we did appreciate the shows people set up for us there, the homes that were opened to us, and the food that was given to us!)
Day 1 and 2- Timisoara- Independent Voices Fest.
We played day one of this two day fest. The roster of bands was diverse- from hardcore to crust to punk to grind, including but not limited to bands like Fist A Ferret from Austria, and Rise and Fall from Belgium. The crowd was mostly crust punk and almost entirely drunk. (Beer was free at the bar, but soda or water cost 1 Euro.) The promoter and a few of his friends seemed to be the only kids who knew who we were or had any interest in hardcore. Our set took place very late in the night so I was surprised by the amount of people who stayed for us. We realized later that our set just fell at a good time- right before the band that everyone had come to see, a political punk band called Aktivna Propaganda. (The next night there was maybe half the crowd as day 1 at the fest and by the time Shipwreck and Have Heart played at 2 and 3 am only about 30 people remained, about 2 or 3 that cared, the rest who would have been equally as happy jumping around to a British girl-pop group or an Indonesian Judas Priest cover band.)
After the show someone yelled "The Nazis are here!", and people quickly filtered outside and stood in a chatty crowd, no one exactly sure where the Nazis were or what was going on, and before anything got cleared up (as far as I knew) another person yelled, his fist in the air, "Come on! We're all or none!" With that, the crowd marched together down the dark street, ready to meet the Nazis face to face. I lingered by the venue, thinking.
See, something had dawned on me. In Finland when there had been "nazis" I had run outside ready to "escort" them away, and in Moscow when I was told there may be fights with Nazis at the show we had said they could count on us. But in Timisoara I realized that if cops came to the fight and arrested us, we could get deported. That would end tour. So I weighed what would do more to fight Nazis in the long run- my inexperienced fists or our (anti-fascist) message, 60 something nights in a row in however many countries. The choice was obvious to me. I am self aware enough to know that my talent lies more in my words than my bulging biceps, so I resigned myself to the van.
A few minutes later everyone came back. I'm not quite clear on what happened, I heard various stories about everyone making a retreat while a few young girls stayed to try to fight the nazis themselves (or maybe they didn't realize others had left?), and the Nazis threw glass bottles at their faces. 2 girls came back bloody and went into the venue to get the shards pulled from their heads.
The next day we went to a chinese restaurant and everyone working there was a white Romanian. This was very strange to us. Over the course of our week in Romania, we did not see a single Asian person and in no "ethnic" restaurant of any type was there anyone on staff but Romanians.
Day 3- Brasov
Brasov had flooded the day before we got there so our show was moved to a tiny, and mean T-I-N-Y, basement bar. This was probably my least favorite show of tour. It was cramped, smokey, people spilled beer on everything. I could barely make it through a song without a coughing fit, we couldn't move without slipping on the beer on the floor. After the show Dave and I met a guy who said he had come just to check us out. He explained the he liked Korn and all sorts of nu metal, but that he had seen Madball once and had his life altered, and now he loved hardcore, too.
Brasov's slogan is "Probably the best city in the world" (they sound confident huh?) and the city sports a Hollywood-esque sign that reads BRASOV. It was a really old and beautiful city. Oh! And the one chinese restaurant I went into was staffed, predictably, by white Romanians.
notice the satellite coming out of the windows? gotta get that HBO...