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Blog: The Road To Moers
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The getting there was mostly dead easy, not least because I was going from City Airport which is about 3 seconds from my house. I arrived in Dusseldorf Airport and then got the VERY EXCITING SkyTrain, which is one of those upside down suspended monorails that they have over there. Apart from me everyone else was not grinning like a LOOON, as if to them this was nothing special. Perhaps they live on THE MOON or something where this is normal?
At the main railway station I bought my ticket to Moers, where the conference was, and was most impressed by the fact that they printed me out an actual itinerary. I then very determinedly sought out a VALIDATING machine - the time the band went to Germany and did NOT do this still weighs heavy on my mind - and caught a train to Druisberg (which is pronounced more like "Doosberg" and not like on League Of Gentlemen, it turns outs). This was all fine and dandy and, as I boarded my last train to Moers, I was full of delight at how easy it had all been.
Then the train stopped. And continued to stop. Eventually a man came down the carriage saying something in German which I had no idea what it was. Luckily for me someone else noted my confusion and told me that we were being kicked off the train, and so we disembarked at a place called TROMPET. The other passengers lurked about a bit then headed for the underpass. I thought we were off to another platform but they all kept walking out of the tiny little station (which was barely a station at all, more of a bus stop for trains) and away. I found my friendly person again who told me there were no trains into Moers now and we all had to either call a taxi or walk. I was very surprised by this - surely this was Germany, land of Things Actually Working? Surely we weren't just being left to fend for ourselves?
It turns out we were, and so I got out my phone and saw that it was a one hour twenty minute walk to my hotel, and set off. I stomped through the small town, along a VERY long road through various fields and then onto another VERY long road which was basically The Moers Ringroad. It was a BIG walk but wasn't too bad as it was gently drizzling the whole way, which kept me fairly cool, although it was a very strange place to be when I looked at my phone and found out that the Queen had died.
This had clearly been coming all day, but it was still a massive shock. It reminded me of the MANY dreams I used to have growing up about NUCLEAR WAR. Again and again I'd dream of seeing a mushroom cloud on the horizon and think "It's finally actually happened" and that was how I felt in that moment. It didn't last long, and did not lead to EITHER waking up in a cold sweat OR further narrative about trying to find a shelter but it WAS a bit weird.
Twenty minutes later I was finally in my hotel, which did not have a NAME on the front but was otherwise LOVELY. I had a much needed shower and then put BBC World on, where the weirdness continued, as they started talking about "King Charles". This time it felt like being in one of those NEAR FUTURE MILD SCI-FI TV shows, particularly British ones where it's not really very science fiction at all but they all have slightly different mobile phones and there is a KING now. It's going to take a while to get used to that!
I soothed my weary brow with an EVEN MORE NEEDED beer and then headed to bed. It had been a BIG day, and the conference had not even begun yet!
posted 12/9/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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Surely you were walking to find the shelter which was your hotel? And also, trying to find it? And there was a continuing nuclear explosion overhead in the sky, shining down, so it all fits. Fear the sunburn.
posted 19/9/2022 by justpicky
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