my own language

This outfit is a little Betsey Johnson combo I picked up in San Francisco last September. The dress was made for me. It is cut in at the waist and everything. The coat is a medium because I like oversized. Splendid yes?

So as you all know last weekend was my birthday. As a gift Patrick took me on an all expense paid weekend to the Leeds Festival in Leeds, England. The real gift was that he made all the arrangements. I usually play ‘Julie the Cruise Director’ and he did it all himself this time instead. He did a great job too.

First let me start by saying they play much better music in the UK in public than in either US or Germany. In the elevator of the Crowne Plaza where we were staying, they were playing Gangster’s Paradise over the sound system. And it wasn’t even Muzak! Gotta love that.

The lovely town of Leeds has some very interesting stores. We saw these as we were on the bus going to the festival site so weren’t able to get pictures (we tried). The first was a place called “The Murder Shop”. No idea what that was. The next, and by far the most amusing thing I saw the entire weekend, was the hair salon called “Kurl up and Dye”. On Saturday morning the place was packed. I would have loved to say to my friends, after getting a nice new coif, “Oy ye, got it done at Kurl up and Dye, luv”

So the crowd was mixed. It ran the gamut from 50-something burn-outs that looked like they probably had a tree house with Iggy Pop when they were kids to “relatively” normal looking 5 year-olds. Mom and Dad had weird hair and were smoking weird cigs but the kids seemed happy and the parents were paying a lot of attention to them. Then there were the 2 naked program selling guys. Yep, naked. They were wearing the neon pink smocks that identified them as program sellers, but that was it. They did have a bunch the program necklaces hanging around their necks, but it didn’t hide much. We got a picture of them which is on our travel page for this trip. The one on the page has a censor tag over their “manly” parts, but if you click on the picture you can look at the original.

The best bands were, in order of greatness ascending: Run DMC, The Cult, PJ Harvey, Green Day and Iggy Pop. It was just cool seeing Run DMC after all these years and they sounded great. The Cult had not played together in England (they are English) in 7 years and just seemed to be really happy to be there. PJ Harvey is just cool. Patrick was pretty smitten. She was wearing these amazingly high heels too. Like they were nothing! Green Day is always fun. They played all the classics and then invited 3 people from the audience to come up and play their instruments as Billie Joe sang a song by Operation Ivy. Then later the drummer trashed his set, stuck the bass drum through the cymbal stand and lit the whole thing on fire. He poured on some liquid and lit it up! They played 2 more songs with it burning in the background. Everyone in the audience knew all the songs and had a great time jumping around. Iggy Pop was the most impressive though. He sounded great and jumped around like he was 20, not 57! He sang “The Passenger” which I hadn’t realized he did first. I am so glad I got to see him (a)live.

Eminem and Marilyn Manson sounded really good but didn’t really seem to be into the show. They both sound great live. Still great quality singers, but they lacked the enthusiasm of the best bands. One thing they both have in common is lawsuits. They are both being sued by a bunch of people so perhaps that is why they weren’t as enthusiastic.

On Saturday afternoon it got rather warm and I was dancing around quite a bit so I took my shirt off. I was, of course, wearing a bra, that covers more than many tank tops and bikinis. It made me real popular though. Lots of staring and nonchalant picture taking. This 5 year-old little girl sitting near us with her parents was just in awe. It wasn’t a disapproving look but like “wow, that girl is brave!”. Now there were LOTS of people with LOTS of facial piercings and visible tattoos (let’s not forget the naked program guys either) but they weren’t getting even a second look. I asked my buddy Basil from the UK and he said piercing yes, taking your shirt off no. Strange people the British. Patrick said part of the reason men stare at me is the way I move. I look uninhibited and um..talented? I take that as a compliment and sign of good qualities. It doesn’t bother me when people stare at me. I think it would be rather naive and unfair of me to get angry at people for staring at me when I have purple coloured hair and all. Anyhow…

So the females in Leeds are a tad on the plump side. Make me feel a bit anorexic. They don’t seem to be self-conscious about it at all though. This is a totally great thing. We saw lots of girls out in their Saturday night finest strutting about confidently. Too many men peeing in public though.

The difference between the UK and Germany was so obvious and loud. The customer service was great, the people were nice and I felt a sense of freedom in the UK I don’t feel in Germany. On the other hand, I didn’t feel as safe, it was much more dirty and there were all the men peeing in public. In Germany the culture is so regimen that though I can’t get any decent help at a store, the streets are clean and I feel safe walking anywhere late at night. I must say I think I prefer the UK though. Customer service rocks!

Oh and as far as the title of this page goes…I thought to myself before leaving Germany how nice it would be to get to a country where I will understand the language being spoken around me. WRONG! It was hard in London but virtually impossible in Leeds. I was asking the taxi driver some questions and only understood about half the answers. Oh well.

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