One week before Mary and I leave for England. We'll be there for two weeks before my tour actually starts. A chance to visit friends and family and explore some. I've been working on my sets for the tour. It's going well. I'm excited about sharing the music!
SWITZERLAND, PART 2, WINTERTHUR - "Find the gig!"
Sorry I've written so little, but this is worth reporting. I played in Frutigen the night before and took the train to Bern and then the train to Winterthur. That's were everything got interesting. I was to play at the EsseMusic-Bar there.
I got off at Winterthur at 14:29. it took me almost 40 minutes to get to the hotel "across the street". It took about 30 minutes to find my way out of the train station. It's all in disarray from construction and there are no signs. I went up and down the elevator three times getting off at different floors and wandering around parking garage floors. I finally found someone who spoke English and who directed me to a very nondescript door on one side of the parking lot, unmarked, that was the way into the actual train station!
Then I tried to find the hotel with the iPhone Maps app, but it's across from the BACK of the station, I was at the front. Maps was as confused as I was and kept just spinning around. I finally called the hotel who told me to go back through the station. That took forever and wasn't much easier. I had to ask people twice how to get out of the station on the other side from the same parking garage level. they pointed me to a corner with three flights of stairs down and a broken elevator. I made may way with all the stuff down the stairs -- this involved putting my guitar down and taking my suitcase to the first staircase landing then going back and taking my guitar to the next landing, the getting my suitcase, etc. -- and found the hotel, which actually was across the street once you find the right street.
Kay at the desk helped to give me directions to get back to the trains tomorrow, of course there is a ramp that I can use but no way to find it if you don't know where it is! she also gave me a bus pass for my bus trip to the venue in a little while and told gave me a bus schedule with a map showing how to walk to the busses. I was skeptical because I had already found the busses on the front side of the station and her map didn't show me crossing the tracks anywhere, but I didn't say anything.
I went to the room and settled. I really wasn't upset, it's just a traveling thing, another problem to solve, and I had time.
it was 3:30 by then. I took an hour to set up and dress. then headed out with guitar, stage shoes, and CDs. I followed Kay's directions and sure enough, not happening. I asked someone and she directed me down steps to take me under the train tracks and to the busses. I was looking for bus stall A, couldn't find it, asked a couple of young local guys were it was, and they said there aren't any lettered stalls. Of course they were standing right under a stall that said D on it, which they were surprised to see. About this time I spotted stall A across the street, said goodbye to the clueless and headed for it.
It was simple on the bus. I got my pass stamped by a machine at the stop and just got on. My stop, Zeughaus, was clearly indicated on the monitor. I helped a man with a stroller with child get off before my stop.
I got off about 5P, but no clue where to walk from there, no instructions, no signs, no street markings. I assumed that ZeughausStr. would be a cross street. It was dark and lonely, but I spotted another person (who didn't run from me) to ask about Zeughausstr and she confirmed I was ON it (!) but still no clue which way to go. I was looking for number 52 and saw that the building near me was number 56. I was close!
I finally saw a sign across and down the lane that said "to Zeughaus". From experience, I knew that a street named ZeughausStr that goes to Zeughaus will have numbers getting larger in that direction, So I walked in the other direction. I walked probably a quarter of a mile with guitar and bag without seeing another street number on any of the really derelict looking buildings. I was obviously walking the wrong way!
I turned around and walked back to the bus stop and surveyed the possibilities in the other direction. It wasn't promising. It looked like a soon-to-be strip mall under construction with a side road/parking area running in front. But there was no other option.
As I crossed the street and walked into the forbidding proto strip mall, I saw #50 on a sign. Rather demoralizing as that implied that between 56 and 50, my desired #52 was somewhere in the middle of the street I had just crossed, but I persevered.
I encountered another person walking in the dark, who also didn't run from me (obviously I'm not in Boston anymore), who had never heard of the EsseMusic-Bar, but suggested I ask at the storefront just over there. No lights, no signs, but yes there was a storefront a few yards away that was actually a shop. Would have been great if it had been open.
Next door however, was another small storefront with some lights on. In small letters in the bottom of the window it said "EsseMusic-Bar". I had found it!
I felt like I'd been on a TV reality show called something like "Find the Gig!"
I met Thomas and his partner Thomas (yes, I know). They were very nice, and a beautiful club inside, if only people can find it.
Thomas 1 made a wonderful 4 course vegetarian dinner for me. Thomas 2 did the sound check, all OK.
I waited about an hour and some people came in, Thomas 1 did an intro and I did the show. It went really well. Only about 15 people, but rapt and very appreciative. I did two encores. there were three young guys who stumbled in upon us about halfway through the 1st set and they stayed and listened too. It was wonderful, they spoke to me after and felt they'd really discovered something.
See my photos in the photo section.
bus back to hotel was easy and uneventful now that I'm initiated. As for the suspected reality TV show, I hope I got some votes.