Travel

Belgium Travels; The Downside Of Touring

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Belgium

The thing about being on tour is you pretty much get less than 24 hours in each city when on the road. Most of your sight seeing is done in the wee hours driving between countries through the window of the bus, or in a cab when running late to an interview.

 

Antwerpen, Belgium was no exception to this. We rolled into the city around 10am and immediately ran into the venue to get ready for the day. This meant a quick shower in the locker rooms that are normally used for athletes which still had an awful smell from the prior days game. Or maybe that’s just the way they smelled all the time. Let’s not dwell on that one for too long..

Once ready, we caught a cab into town to grab some much needed supplies at a local market. Lunch meats, fresh bread, and all the sweets you could ever want were readily available at what seemed to be the only market open in town that day. We stuffed our cart full of fresh produce and wines, as if we were a child who was given control of a shopping basket.

Most people romanticize the idea of being backstage on a tour. But in reality, a lot of it is just sitting in your dressing room trying to get in touch with press outlets, finalizing details for interviews and meetings, and reconnecting with your office in another timezone.

Belgium

A lot of the time, your view pretty much looks like. Getting an internet connection so slow that you can’t even send a 2MB email to a coworker who is still in LA. So you run around trying to find the router or get closer to it. And once you find it, you see something like this and can’t help but wonder if it’s a joke or if that’s where all the bandwidth really is allocated.

Security also gets tight backstage the closer it gets to show time. It’s encouraged you stay in your dressing room just to make things easier. That doesn’t mean you can’t leave for whatever reason, but sometimes going 30 feet through a hallway of security can be an event in itself where it’s just easier to stay put until you’re needed for something.

As the day went on, it was time for the interviews to start rolling in. A full day of press means less time to enjoy the city. And even more so when you aren’t catching a cab to the city to meet with everyone. This definitely was one of those days. I felt like a prisoner on the bus. Having security escort me to the gate to get the journalist, then being escorted to the bus while they stood guard. And then once it was done, they were escorted directly back to the gate by security.

Tour busses are totally glamorous when you get to see them passing by, but when you are living on one and sleeping with your duffle bag in a bunk bed barely larger than you, that becomes the last place you want to be. At least the last interview of the day at least got us into the venue and off the bus for a bit. We went and met with MNM Radio who had a station inside the venue and were broadcasting the “official” preshow. They were very nice and accommodating, and definitely gave some insights to the Belgium culture. They definitely gave some great ideas for food after the show to satisfy our late night munchies.

Belgian Beer Post-show, we enjoyed some local beer as we waited for it to be time to go. Unfortunately, leaving was not an option as the venue decided it was best to drop the gates and let every man fend for themselves. This made it nearly impossible to get back to the tour bus in one piece. As the crowds slowly died out, we hung out with some of the people still hanging out outside the venue.

A local street vendor had the most delicious smelling frites. Apparently these baked, then fried fries are a delicacy, even with being from a street vendor. It’s almost the equivalent of a bacon wrapped hot dog when you are super drunk, running around Hollywood. Except these were fries, with a sweet, mayo and ketchup curry piled on top. Absolute heaven.

We finally got on the road around 3am that night. There’s something completely exhilarating and exhausting about the lifestyle. I couldn’t imagine keeping this pace up for a full month, and I was only a few days in at this point. As I drifted off into an alcohol induced nap, it finally felt like things were falling into place. Onto the next show.

Boston based writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Founder & Editor in Chief of NotACleverGirl.com and KeepItNerdy.com.