Graspop 2008 – aftermath

Hans left first from the festival as he had to get down to Charleroi for a flight to Dublin, and wanted to stop in Brussels on his way there. It was great to see him again after so long. I think we should set a rule that we never meet in the same country again!

The rest of us lazed for a while as our bus to Eindhoven wasn’t scheduled until midday. Plenty of time to mop up, finish the scraps of food, the last tins of beer and have a quick wash in the troughs. The campsite looked more like a bombsite. Discarded tents, small fires (and men zipping around on small ATVs putting them out), food flying through the air, corpses… OK, not corpses, but I’m sure the hangover some of them had made them wish they were dead.

Lunchtime approached and we picked out our coach. We had two choices – get off in Eindhoven proper or stay on to the airport. We opted for the former as we had several hours before our flight and the town offered more entertainment than the joys of a small-town airport. For food we joined the ranks in McD’s, mainly as it was easy to pick something, cheap and they’d let us sit there for hours without hassling us.

Dave tried to pick a fight with some juves who were attempting (badly) to vandalise the toilets, but otherwise lunch was uninteresting. We walked about for a bit and noticed that every pub was closed. We had a swift drink at an outdoor cafe in the sun watching some stunning women walking past. I swear, every gorgeous woman in the Netherlands must come from Eindhoven. Oh, and there was a mad man who looked like Santa on an electric trike driving round telling everyone they were going to Hell unless they repented. I refrained from letting his tyres down.

Time came for us to hop on a local bus up to the airport and a short while later we were in a massive queue of scruffy metallers waiting for the RyanAir desk to open.

Oh, and I removed my contact lenses for the last time. Ever. Historical note – my last pair of contacts were disposed of in a small bin next to the ATM in Eindhoven Airport. Well, it means something to me.

The flight back was uneventful with the only spectacular point of note being the complete lack of queue when we arrived at Stansted. A good job as our train tickets only gave us the minimum of time to whizz through. A shame our luggage took an age. Still, we made it onto the train with a minute or two (and I mean just that) before it headed off. Marina had kindly sorted my ticket for me to save me some cash and I jumped off at Cambridge as her and Dave continued on to Ely. Oh, Pete had met his dad off the flight and was getting a lift home. Alright for some.

Colin was there to meet me at the station. As ever, great to see him. The last time was just before I originally left the UK. And he’s not changed. Apart from becoming increasingly bitter about drivers trying to kill cyclists on the roads of Cambridge. He took me to a local burrito shop where they sell what he claims are the best burritos in the UK. I don’t think he’s wrong. I’d be surprised if anyone could top them, frankly. He also, very kindly, paid. Cheers, fella!

After chowing down in the park, watching some foreign kids show off at football, we hopped in a cab to a pub near his place where we met up with Damo for some beer before last orders. Then walked back to Col’s for more beer and a giggle viewing of the excellent film UHF. Monster Munch were chomped on and then bed headed for. A bed. A real bed. Yay!

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