Today we have part one of a series on a fans journey to see NECRONOMIDOL in Metz, France. Never had a guest writer (besides Terry) so I thought I would give it a shot. So without further babbling from me I will let Lou from Twitter tell you his story. Here we go with part one. (we will get more photos in the next part)
I had been saving for quite a while to somehow go to Japan, and check out the entire scene there. Honestly, just reading some people’s blogs or tweets about going overseas made it seem like a really slim possibility for me. It always burned in the back of my mind. (It burns in my mind, now more than ever.)
The reality is not many people can afford time away from family or work, and I took the first step of getting a Passport long before the first NECRONOMIDOL show was announced for Metz, France (which actually proved to be the Euro-Tour Finale)
I really wanted to go to this show, and knew that I could, I just didn’t know if I Should. I’m not really the sort of person who makes fun, adventurous choices alone. I’m up for anything with a good friend by my side, but this was to be a Pilgrimage. A mysterious quest to a mythical land, to pay tribute. Maybe nothing that dramatic but it was going to be a learning experience, and hopefully a whole lot of fun.
Boring bits: I spent hours finding out the cheapest way to get to that show. and reserved the Air Travel and Train Tickets. I was now committed. Fuck. More boring research about charger adapters, a French Language guide, tourist type-shit pretty much. I’ve visited family all over the US, but was never once a tourist. Meh. Even the word tourist sounds ugly to my ears. Tourist.
So Necroma was meeting me half-way from Japan. Cool. So where will I stay? Will my phone work? What the hell is France like?
I managed to find a hotel for a good price. If I knew French, I could of rented a studio apartment for short money. Any GSM phone will work, but the 2G, 3G, 4G frequencies aren’t all the same between continents, so between that and a regional SIM card to avoid INSANE roaming charges on data, you may want to rent a portable WiFi hotspot.
What is France like? The train coming in was great, picturesque I guess.
BAM! It’s Hot mid 80’s and muggy 70% plus. I hope the rumors I heard about Europe not being air-conditioned weren’t all true. I found my way down the platform stairs, and with a few feeble pardons and excuse’ moi’s realized everybody in the crowded station was not only walking a relatively slow pace to mine, but they walked towards left in passing, even though they drive on the right side of the road. I googled it RIGHT SIDE, damn it.
Fun, right? Looking back it really was. This is the sort of thing I’d like to find out about beforehand if I ever make it to Japan. Dumb shit that doesn’t really matter.
As I stood with my back to a nearby column, trying to figure what all the signs I walked right past pointed to (Fuck. A War Memorial with wreaths around the base) four soldiers patrolling nearby made me “just nervous enough” to look around and make me feel like James Dean In Rebel Without A Cause. The part where he walked on the High School Logo, and didn’t know, because he was the new kid. It wasn’t the best first impression I could make. Sigh. I started having serious doubts. This may have been a very bad Idea after all.
Something else didn’t feel right. My lucky hat, I wasn’t wearing it. My security blanket. That’s the ticket. (pun intended because train station)
I pulled my faded baseball cap from my back pocket, and put it on. Right away I think everyone knew I was American and either froze or slowed as I approached. (I was rushing quickly towards the wide-open front doors at this point.) As a matter of fact, The teens skating in the main station hall were the only other people I saw wearing hats my entire time in Metz. But that’s not really important.
It was mid-afternoon, and I figured might as well see this “Porte Des Allemans” place, right off the bat. I spent the last month mentally walking the streets of Metz, so walk over cobblestones North-ish for a block until I see a divided Boulevard, and turn right. Right off the bat, I’m impressed with the architecture. The Plaza was massive and there’s big planters with stubby palm trees everywhere.
I figured out really quickly this wasn’t a tiny village, and decided to turn around, get a bottle of water, and use the bathroom. I find a bottle of water inside one of the stores in the station, get my change, check it out because I’m not familiar with Euros and the clerk says something to me because I’m just staring at the change, and I rush off a “No, Merci” stow the water, and head to the head, as it were.
W/C is water closet I remembered reading somewhere. There’s a turnstile on my left and there’s some amount like 1.80 in Euro by the slot. At that point there is an attendant who says something and I see him gesture to the left. I put a 2 euro coin in the slot, go through, walk to the left and I’m standing in the coolest Public Restroom I have ever seen in my life. Those are words I never thought I’d say, and I’m not going to elaborate.
I readily TCB and washed up, gave the attendant a confident nod and came to a sudden stop at the hinged crossbar I thought was an exit. The attendant points to the turnstile says something, and that’s when I realized that’s probably the Wheelchair access.
I start heading out towards where I know the Porte des Allemans should be. Some construction is going on and some sidewalks are Impassable. I don’t die walking in traffic and I see a NECRONOMIDOL Poster. It has been confirmed. I’m the wrong guy in the right town.
This city is much larger scale than I thought. I want to take a sip of water, but decide to wait until I get to the “castle”. I see a Quite a few more Necroma posters and other sorts of posters as well. I round a curve and see I should probably cross the street to get to it. Well dressed people are walking around like it’s not hot and humid. Not many people are wearing shorts. I’m not wearing shorts. I figure that carrying my travel bag is probably what’s making this more miserable for me. Maybe I should of went to the hotel first? Oh well.
I rush up to the intersection and realize there is no way for me to cross straight ahead. This is a major road so I wait, cross left, cross strait, cross right. I waited for the little green man because I don’t want to die without seeing Necroma. My soul won’t be ferried to the Underworld with dignity, if the queens of Koenji are 500 miles away.
I snap a few pictures, which on one hand is kind of corny because it’s like saying “First!” but on the other hand, people who aren’t there can get a feel for the place better. This is a Pilgrimage for more than a few people I assume so it’s a rallying point?
There’s a car in the road in the middle of this thing (The whole thing is a river crossing fortress, pretty much) I’m curious and go check it out.
It’s a familiar face which really doesn’t make sense, so I’m trying to figure who this person is. He’s moving stuff into the only enclosed part of this thing besides the towers. He’s moving some 48 packs of something into this place and then I realize it’s Beer. Asahi Beer. My super-intelligent brain puts two-and-two together as I realize this is the guy saving me tons of money by hosting a free NECRONOMIDOL show. I stumble out something saying “NECRONOMIDOL preperations ?” with a real terrible fake-accent, which my guidebook actually suggested was a good idea. So I receive a slightly confused look because the grammar sucks, and he replied in French to me. Shit. I still cant remember his name because why should I break this winning streak I’m having so far on this Fantastic French Idol Adventure, right?
…….. Part two coming soon