Let’s just start with that word Scheeßel... The letter 'ß' - that’s not a 'B' … it may look like one, but then again, looks may be deceiving. We were getting that word wrong for hours until a friendly German told us that the 'ß' is pronounced as a long 's'. No one could understand me. I felt helpless, until I thought of writing it down and showing them how it’s spelt, and that’s when the 'ah ha' moment struck this German Women. She said, “ahhhhh, you want to go to Schessel” (que German ascent). I looked at her and said, ' oh, is that how you pronounce it... that explains everything'.
My friend and I were standing at the ticket machine in Hamburg train station trying to figure out how to buy tickets for this train to Schessel and there was this French girl standing at the other ticket machine also trying to purchase tickets. I looked at her and said, 'We have no idea what we’re doing, could you help us?' We assumed she was also going to the festival, turns out she also had no idea what she was doing. I could see that there was this impatient German women behind us so she just advised us to buy tickets together as it would be cheaper. This French girl, Isabelle, purchased the tickets for all of us. It came to about 27 euro for the three of us. When we got to the train we saw hundreds of young folks going to the festival. A German guy could see I was holding my ticket for the train and he asked me, well… it felt like a rhetorical question. He asked why did I had bought a ticket. I said, 'Why? Is the train free in Germany?’ He went on to explain that if you have a ticket to the festival, the train was free'. I looked at my friend with that face of disappointment, as if we had just failed a subject miserably. It’s the little things like that when you’re backpacking through Europe. You just start to think, ‘Shit, I could have had a Starbucks and a Burger King and even potentially that extra beer with the money I just wasted.’ Alas, you live and learn as my Dad always says. School Fee’s.
It only took 45 minutes to get to Schessel. I was expecting a huge town, shops, cafes, you know the whole shabang. We left the train and we basically walked to the festival which was 3km's away. It was literally just a farm, huge open fields with massive trees. Try walking 3km's with a tent, 20kg backpack, 6 x 2 litre) bottles of water, 6 x 1 litre Cokes) and more food in packets.
I wanted to collapse. I thank God that we met Isabelle and her friends. Tomer and Nadav from Israe,l and Patty from Sweden, they helped us carry all our shit. #lifesaver
I felt this instant connection to the Israeli boys as we got on very well, we all spoke Hebrew and well, because we were Jewish. They honestly felt like my long lost brothers.
We set up camp next door to them and over the next 4 days we would bond like a family. Oh yes, we also camped next to these Canadians who were really super weird, so I’ll leave them out for now.
Let me put it in perspective for you, imagine going to a huge festival in South Africa and the whole of South Africa joins you at the festival. Okay, not the whole of SA but all the young ladies and gents. Imagine people from Brakpan to Mafokeng, all partying with you and no one spoke a word of English. Ya, you heard me, most didn’t speak a word. Some had broken English, guessing American T.V.
Let me cut my very long story short. Germans love to drink and… Germans are crazy. They burnt down the porter potties… like that can’t be a thing, can it?
Wait there’s more. I loaded 50 euro into a chip, there is no cash at the festival. You pay for everything off this chip that’s attached to your bracelet. I remember my friend said to me, "Keep your slip" I looked at him, thought 'naaaaaaaaa' and remember so vividly flicking it into a bin.
Are you ready for the best part? Well you’ve read all of this up until now so I guess you’re ready.
We set a meeting spot, just in case you we got lost. I turned my head for one minute and the entire crew has disappeared. I frantically ran after them but couldn’t find them. Honestly I was actually a touch drunk and forgot about our meeting spot. I was by myself the entire night. I was listening to Deadmau5 and Madeon by myself, hoping I would bump into the crew and never did. Definitely a sad face.
Eventually I knew I had to head back to my tent. Rule 1: Always make sure you know your bearings before it gets dark. All I knew is that I was in Kampsite vier (4). I was lost for hours, it was raining and I was starting to think hyperthermia might hit me. I was sour, moody, annoyed and I could keep going, but I’m sure you get the point. The medics gave me one of those emergency blankets because I was freezing cold.
I found my tent at 3am, at this point I had been by myself since 6pm. A very sad night for me, no one was even back at the tent area which was even more upsetting.
When you think things can’t get any worse...
Woke up in the morning... waited in line for an hour to get fresh orange juice because that would cheer me up. After ordering, I tried to pay and it tuned me ‘not enough credit.’ I nearly vomited after seeing that. I did not spend one cent the entire night and now what? “They’re never going to believe me” I was just thinking... “Shit that’s 750 bucks'. I went in with such a sob story, that I'm South African and that I had no money left for the festival. They asked, "Where is your slip?" I wanted to hit myself. I told them I threw it away and that out of goodwill they had to believe me. The nicest lady was so understanding that she credited my account with another 50 Euro. #bestdayever.
Met up with the crew later that morning. I knew after that whole story, my festival could only get better. Sho-wee, the next three days were the best three days of my life. I met the most amazing and interesting people that I will never forget.
Thanks to the Hurricane Festival, but for now it’s time for Berlin.