OK so I thought the Messe was busy on Friday afternoon. Saturday was just so much bigger. I kicked the day off as an Erklärbär at the big Lookout stand, where Ann, Ageeth and “the two Swedish guys” (Thomas and Martin?) settled in for a game of Le Havre. I know Ann and Ageeth got a copy and I think Thomas and Martin did as well, as did the guy who came to watch. The explanation went smoothly and they all got the hang of it very quickly. My “shift” finished at 11 officially but I stuck around to keep them company. I may not have played a full game yet, but I have watched it a lot. I think Le Havre needs quite a bit less explaining than Agricola.
Birgit stopped by with a lead on a possible translating project that she had recommended me for, so we set up a meeting for noon. That sounded potentially interesting but there is still quite a bit to be sorted out. It would be OMGWAYCOOL and would also work in nicely with my plans to spend time with the girls in Germany next year, so I hope that something will come of it. Then I headed for the Neuheitenshow again (OK, this was really an indicator of the state of my bladder – any time I go there, you can bet I have an ulterior motive. OMGTooMuchInformation!).
Took a few photos of the busy halls. Wow.
Wandered around the Messe for a while, including Hall 4A, the Annexe with the bouncy castles and stuff. I liked the bouncy castle where you stand on a mushroom and hit one another with inflatable sticks. The Bigster would love this (and probably Otto would as well).
I did rather a lot of shopping on Saturday.
Saw a stall with antique games – including a copy of our favourite Plus and Minus for 15 Euros – which I would have loveed to take a better look at.
Text from Neil – they weren’t at the fair that day – to say he was outside with his luggage scales if I wanted them. I bolted for the doors, as fast as you can from Hall 5 when you are carrying THREE enormous bags of games. I cut through a courtyard and really felt like I knew what I was doing. OMGLUGGAGESCALES!
Caught up with Ann and Ageeth and Werner, who were all getting ready to head off. We went to the restaurant past the cafeteria (thankyou Rick Thornquist, who mentioned this I don’t know how long ago in an OMGESSEN! overview – these days it serves the same food as the cafeteria (for about 50 cents more) but it is quiet and offers table service. And there were lots of spare seats.
Sad to say goodbye to old friends newly met.
OMG Adlung card games were 6,50 each or 65,00 for 11. And then they had other games at 5 for 10 Euros as well. I bought 16.
The big stand was out of gummi meeples 😦
Back to Lookout Games for a while where I have the most surprising photo of the fair – the Lookout Games booth with not only NO QUEUE but also NO CUSTOMERS. I think that explains the dirty big grin on Felix’s face.
Got William to sign my copy of Caylus Magna Carta (I had been waiting to get this in OMGESSEN! so I could bully me into signing it. He warned me that he only writes his name and the place inside the box. When I looked, sure enough, he had written his name and a place: “Esztergom Goose Festival, 2008”. Hee!
Stress about ICE trains being out of commission. As far as I can tell, the company that makes the axles won’t or can’t provide the guarantee that Deutsche Bahn wants, so the trains have been taken off the rails. Especially on the Koeln to Frankfurt route. OMGGREAT. Hanno strongly recommends that I plan to take a MUCH earlier train.
Picked up some Japanese cardgames, chatted briefly with Christian Leonhard, did some more shopping. Had arranged to have dinner with Jon and John – which was confusing – Jon took his games back to his hotel while John and I struggled through the hallls with my OMGLOOT. SO MUCH STUFF. We taxied back to my hotel where I changed out of my MELISSA t-shirt while Jon and John had an orgy on my bed.
An orgy of games, that is.
John: “You have FIFTY GAMES here!”
Jon introduced me to his patented packing method, which involves first sorting the games by size, so they can be packed more easily. He is OMGAPROFESSIONAL at it. It must have been terribly frustrating for him that I didn’t follow his packing method – because I had games that I wanted to get home with me and others that were allowed to go by shipping (plane or ship). John and I had fun filling game boxes with little card games.
Noticed that my empty Agri Cola bottle was gone. Sigh. I had planned to rinse and pack it.
We headed up Ruttenscheiderstrasse (why, when I asked where I could go to wander around the shops, did the hotel send me into town instead of here?) to the U Bahn station and hopped on a train.
“Hi Melissa,” said Grzegorz.
“Melissa, can I have your L deck card and signature?” said Grzegorz’s friend.
OMG I felt like a Celebrity. Being stopped on the train for an autograph. Whee! OK, so REAL celebrities don’t catch trains. Work with me, here.
Jon took us to the Pfefferkorn, where there was a 30 minute wait at the bar for a table. To be honest, I wondered why we were bothering to wait when there were so many other restaurants around – but the company was good, so no worries. We were eventually seated just across from the Japon brand people, who couldn’t stop laughing. At everything. One of them had a luggage trolley witth some games on it and the waitress kept moving it, and every time she did they completely fell about in fits of laughter. It was all very amusing.
OMG the French Onion Soup was OUTOFTHISWORLD. My schnitzel was mediocre (I should have just followed Jon’s lead and got a Jaegerschnitzel with green beans) but then the dessert ice cream was good too. The chocolate sauce had that weird under-taste, though — I noticed it in other things too – I wonder whether it is because people are using UHT dairy products rather than fresh.
We followed John’s GPS back to the Korn, where there was gaming, but I piked and took a cab back to my hotel. I knew that packing was going to take me a while.
Chatted online briefly with a friend from Australia and with Fraser, then set to. Both suitcases open, and a big pile on the floor of things to discard. Boxes for games, too. Yikes.
Got the new suitcase packed and called it a night. Had to shuffle all the junk around on the bed to make room to sleep. Did not have time to relax with a bath, which was a shame.