Sweetlife Festival

Summer and Festival, perhaps the two most enjoyable words in the English language. Last May, a merry group of eight ventured to the Sweetlife Festival at the Merriweather Post Pavilion for some rain, music and mud. Once again I approached this excursion sleep-deprived and hungover (remarkable how often that happened in the US). That is what happens when you try to outdrink two US Navy Officers at a embassy intern party. Luckily there was coffee and excitements awaiting so I pulled myself together and seized the day

The day started off gloriously with sunshine and tailgating. However, it rather quickly became clear that Americans are not used to festivals, and as we entered the pavilion there were scores of people already passed out or vomiting at 2 pm (the gates opened at noon). There wasn’t either any of that amicable, cheerful ‘talk to random people’ atmosphere, but instead a rather uninterested and nonchalant feel to the whole thing. Perhaps it was because it was only a day festival and the majority of the crowd seemed to have just turned 18? There was simply no need for joyous frivolities with strangers. There was a strict dress code at the event: Hunter-boots, flowers in straightened hair, skimpy shorts and loose tops for the women and colourful sunglasses, tank tops with absurd messages such as YOLO, AIDS= CHOCOLATE and SWAAAAG, together with cool, floppy hair for the gents.

IMG_1549

 

Yes, me and Angelica had the appropriate foot-wear as well. After having been laughed at at the parking-lot by our sandal- and flip flop- wearing companions, it was us who managed to keep or toes dry and mud-free by the end of the evening. Less of a fashion statement, more a practical solution drawn from previous festival-escapades. As the day progressed and the ladies bathroom turned into a swamp of questionable substance, I thanked myself for the choice of footwear.

The line-up was rather good with Solange Knowles, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar and Phoenix.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs giving it all!

IMG_1557

 

Love-birds being romantic.

IMG_1554

 

Me, disturbing the love-birds. The rain-filled clouds were ominous at this point.

IMG_1555

 

Yup. It started pouring. I bought a fancy see-through-parka for $10, very good investment it turned out.

IMG_1558

 

After rain, there is sunshine! And then some more rain, and thunder, and then sun. Just general festival-schizo-weather.

IMG_1559

 

Affection and beer keeps you warm. Beer got a bit watered-down by the rain though.

IMG_1561

 

I had never heard of Kendrick Lamar before, so his gig was a great discovery. An absolutely amazing and humble performer, Kendrick engaged with his audience by being chatty and asking what everyone wanted to hear and telling little jokes and anecdotes. It was also amazing that as soon as he came on, there was a wall of weed-smoke fired up by all the people around us. Being white and middle-class in America is, after all, very tough.

IMG_1562

Passion Pit were also good, very energetic, whilst Phoenix focused mostly on their latest, rather boring album. IMG_1565

Excuse me, do yo know where I can find… No? Oh. Ok. Thanks anyways.

Standard

Take me to the Ballgame

‘It’s like cricket, only American’. I didn’t have the heart to tell Chris that I have a very limited, if any, knowledge of cricket. That all I know about it is that it takes days to play, players are dressed in white and that the audience is busy doing other stuff, such as drinking wine and admiring the birds, instead of watching the game. Me, Chris and Erin went to see The Nationals, DC’s own team, play… I don’t even remember who (it doesn’t matter, no one was watching). Official attire was: Anything in red or blue with a ‘W’ on it and baseball caps. I quickly learned that, just like cricket, this is a bat-and-ball game with nine players on either team (actually,not sure if this applies to cricket because I know very little about it), one team is ‘in’ the other one is ‘out’. So far so good. The ones with the bat tries to hit the ball as it is being pitched to them and if lucky, hits the ball and runs for his life whilst trying not to swallow the tobacco he’s chewing.

IMG_0863

The stadium. It was a perfect sunny day without being too hot.

IMG_0862

Posing like pros.

IMG_0856

Statue at the entrance. I don’t remember who it was but it was mighty fine if you ask me.

IMG_0873

What baseball is all about: Friends, drinks, hot dogs and half-attempts to watch the game. We succeeded majestically!

IMG_0861

And one more for Mum! Chris is following the strict red and blue dress code. I put on a neutral white. One is Swedish after all.

The Washington Nationals, if understand it correctly, is a team that has performed well but are at the moment not delivering as they should. However, if you’re an American that follows baseball, you support your team unconditionally. The Nationals fan base is quite large and very loyal. If you’re supporting the Nats, you have Natitude. Yes, isn’t it brilliant? What spectacular PR firm came up with that 3 am before the deadline, high on caffeine and anxiety? Natitude. Feel it.

I did actually enjoy the game of this non-sport (because let’s be honest, it’s more of a social gathering than a sport) and as soon as I had gotten the hang of things I even managed to cheer at the right moment without having the run/pitch/catch explained to me beforehand. Progress! Now, considerable baseball-hours at home later with Mike and Brian commenting/shouting abuse, I consider myself being something of a baseball aficionado. Or not.  Actually, most definitely not.

Standard

USA vs. Germany

mms_20130602

 

Over 47,000 enthusiastic supporters got together this Sunday to watch the friendly game between USA and Germany at the RFK Stadium in DC. It was a fantastic atmosphere and I must compliment the supporter-attires on both sides: Captain America and Cowboys were mixing with lederhosen-clad Germans. USA took the lead quite quickly and after ten minutes the score was 2-0, second goal being scored by the Germans themselves. 2-0 became 4-1 and it wasn’t until near the end of the game that the German machinery picked up and the score turned into 4-3. The Germans looked exhausted for most of the game and I don’t blame them. It was around 35 degrees (one million Fahrenheit) with the kind of sticky heat and pressure that usually happens before a big storm. Running up and down the field in this weather would for most of us been torture, the Germans powered on despite the heat (as they always do) but didn’t seem to get the spark going. In their defense though, they played with their second team as most of their players are tied up with the Bundesliga, and I’m pretty sure that the Americans wouldn’t have stood a chance had the German first team been on the field.

IMG_20130602_220054

As always there are dicks at sporting events like this. I was fortunate enough to sit in front of a group of young, inadequate men in US-flag mandanas (a sort of half-bandana I learnt) who screamed, whenever a German supporter walked past,: ‘WORLD WAR 2!’ or ‘WE KILLED HITLER’. We? There is no ‘We’ you insensitive, inappropriate bastard! I turned around and stared at them. Just stared. And when I had their attention I slowly removed my US-scarf and put it aside, then I turned back. I’d like to think that I made my point.

The stadium announcer had one of those American sport-announcer voices (a bit more cheerful than the guy who voices all movie trailers) and he practically had his own half-time show when he during the 15 min break  for non-stop went through all the 78 sponsors for the game without as much as a breath between: ‘Officialsponosrpepsiwelcomesyoutothegamedrinkpepsiwhenyouarethirstydrivesubaruthecarthatdrivesyouhowareyourwindowsmckellanswindowfittingisthewindowmanforyouhowaboutahotdog?’. 15. Minutes. Straight. As I was battling a hangover from the night before whilst trying to get hold of my friends on the phone, I lost it at one point and roared out: ‘SHUT UP!’. That was the moment when the mandana-men returned from their half-time beer-buying, looked at me and shook their heads.

 

Standard