Trax trip report
So Adok has asked me to write some words down about this interesting little party held in Norway. Since we didn't stay for the whole party this report will not be as complete as I would want it to be, but heck, who knows, someone might find it an interesting read. :-) Anyway, here we go...
It's 25th of February just after midnight. I met up with Breed and his girlfriend in Amsterdam. We had chosen to leave a day early because the boat trip would be half the price. Since we had no idea when we would get back, we had not yet made arrangements for the return trip, which would prove interesting. :-)
The weather couldn't be worse. It was raining, but luckily for me I had just put on some new rain-tires on my car so it was annoying but not too bad. We headed for Germany and once over the border we kicked up the throttle to a steady 150 kph. Amsterdam, Osnabruck, Bremen, finally the weather started clearing up and the rain stopped, so I kicked up the throttle to a nice fuel burning 200 kph, the max speed my car could do.... Hamburg, Flensburg, finally the Danish border. We had lost a couple of hours due to the rain but who cares. Breed's girlfriend Tamara took over the wheel cause I was exhausted. Driving a little slower, but a still good 120 kph pace got us through Denmark, Kolding, Arhus, Aalborg, and then into Fredrikshavn. I hadn't made up much time, so for the first time I had made this trip, the boat was in Fredrikshavn before we were :-)... Within 15 minutes we went into the boat and it left at 9:30..
TAX-FREE SHOPPING!! Yeah right.. Tax free shopping on a Danish boat is still twice as expensive as shopping in Holland.. rats.. oh well, off to get some food and then some well-needed rest. Almost 9 hours on the boat, 6 of which we used to sleep off our tiredness while all the Danish and Norwegian people on the boat partied the time away....
18:00 hours, we arrived. Off the boat, parking.. what now!?! We are a day early for Trax?? rats.. Didn't really matter, because my Nokia Communicator couldn't display the map to Trax and the descriptions really sucked. Off to call Jimmy, a friend of Breed's. Breed was planning to stay there anyway.. But Jimmy doesn't drive and had no idea how we could find his place... Off to call my buddy Torgman.. Ah, he's eating but he can pick us up.. Half an hour later Torgman met up with us. He had brought two friends and a really cool VW Golf V6. :-) There was snow everywhere, but all the main roads were cleared but slightly iced.. I had rain tires remember? RAIN TIRES, NOT SNOW TIRES! AARGH, those things are illegal in Holland anyway... Okay, we are slowly going to Jimmy's place, and Torgman sort of knew where we had to go.. Breed and his girlfriend wanted to sleep, I didn't.. So I left my car (which was now parked on snow, don't ask me how :-)) behind and went with Torgman.
After seeing some of Oslo, we eventually ended up at Cherox and Alan's. They were watching some Trax entries and some James bond film. We heard about this party at Jaws' place but for some weird reason we didn't go.. Big mistake. :-)
So we went back to Torgman's place, and made some in between stops at his father's place and to get some late night snacks. He lived together with some people who were in the process of moving out.. The place was a complete mess and fairly cold. :-) We went to sleep.....
26th of February, and surprisingly I slept fairly well.. Since it wasn't time to go to Trax yet I helped Torgman out by moving some stuff out. We picked up my car, and tried to get in touch with Breed but he wasn't contactable at all.. We had picked up Cherox and Alan on the way and they were pretty glad to get out of the overfull car of Torgman's and joined me in my car. The road conditions were better now so we drove towards the party place. We took a wrong turn, and got into heavy snow.. Almost didn't get out again.. Finally we got to the party place. The parking space was uphill, again a nice challenge but we made it.... The local school was used for the party place...
After getting out of the car we met Leia, Kravitz, Xhale and a couple of others I didn't know at the time outside. We went inside, and being foreign I got in cheap at 50 NOK, while the others tried their best to get cheaper tickets. I don't know how successful they were.
I met up with starfish and nogsf and checked out the place.. A staircase went up and down, and downstairs we had a big room with a video projector and all, also toilets, which was very nice to know. The ground floor where the entrance was was also the main hall. There were loads of gamers there and a stage. Upstairs was the demo place. There was a large 'hole' in the middle through which you could see all the gamers. :-) Also the organiser's PCs were upstairs. I set up my laptop next to Xhale's machine. I met up with PS (a Portuguese scener) and Bam (a German scener).
Off we went again, into the store to get the necessary amount of liquids.. Damn, the cheapest beer I found was like 4 times more expensive then I was used to.. RATS! Off to get some food. Found this really neat burger place. Torgman and his brother parted our company and went back to Oslo, and the rest of us returned to the party place. While spending some real time at the party place I noticed something I had never seen before.. Two or three security dudes nicely patrolled the grounds waving their fancy flashlights and generally looking very serious and dangerous. Sure, I had seen security people before and at TakeOver we have some firefighters walking around but these guys were pretty much overdoing it. They were even checking the sleeping rooms from time to time to see if anybody was having naughty dreams or something. Looking under tables, into open bags, to computers.. PS properly referred to them as Gestapo, and so they became known to our little group.
It became pretty clear we this was no party where we could bend the rules and we decided not to. Instead we headed off into the town again in search of some friends who had found a good place to kick back and drink some beers. After a long walk we met up with them. At the time the little group had no idea what was in store for them in the next few days but fate seemed to have made sure we'd all become good friends. As far as I can remember the people who where there at the time where me, Xhale, Kravitz, Leia, Phace3, Arcane, Bam, PS and some others I whose names I forgot. It was too cold to really get drunk, but we had a good laugh and eventually decided it was time to go back to the party place. At the time I had no idea what the time was and I pretty much didn't know the time for the rest of the party, so I'm sorry if I have the sequence of events a bit messed up...
Back at the party place me and PS hit the sack, and I guess the rest did as well. The next day we went looking for everyone. As it turns out some of us had found one of the classrooms which presumably was meant to be a sleeping hall, but for some reason nobody had found it yet. It became a place we sort of kept to ourselves, and one of its best features was that the Gestapo had no idea it existed. So we weren't bothered by them there and the party went on between this place and outside. Going outside to get the occasional smoke and drinks, coming back inside to chill out and relax.
I myself spend most of my time behind my laptop that day on IRC, don't ask me why. Eventually I decided to go check up on everybody and met up with some people in the classroom. Melwyn and Distance decided to go back to Oslo and left us. They were staying at Jaws' place and I guess they found it better sleeping there than at the party place.
I don't know how much time passed but we went in and out of the room and just mucked around.. At a certain time however the Gestapo found out about the room being used without their knowledge. I don't know what exactly triggered the next sequence of events but the Gestapo decided there was some illegal business going on in the classroom and decided to detain the people inside. It so happened that the people inside at that particular time were me, Leia, Phace3, Alv and her boyfriend. Not understanding Norwegian I had no idea what was going on but I eventually found out we were being held until the cops would arrive so we could be punished for being the criminals we were. I thought it would be pretty funny that I'd have to explain that I was Dutch and only knew the people in the room by their aliases and would have to refuse telling them their real name as I simply didn't know them. During our stay some more people came into the room and were also detained because of it.. Arcane, Subdrain and some others joined our little group of so called criminals..
Eventually we were lead into the security room where they very elegantly had put "You Are Bad People" on the blackboard, in Norwegian. What ever happened to "you are innocent until proven guilty"?? It still took some time until the cops arrived, so out of boredom we started making jokes, one of the more demonstrative was towards the few organisers in the room where we all stated our handle and group name and declared being guilty of being a scener and being damn proud of it! Eventually the cops arrived.. Everyone was questioned and searched. The cop examining me made a very worried expression once he found out I didn't understand Norwegian. I don't think he was prepared to interrogate someone in a different language..
Of course, the cops didn't find what they were looking for. Many people had entered that room before us and if there was someone guilty of whatever they were looking for, he/she wasn't among our little group. None the less we were still thought of as criminals and were told something along the lines that we were lucky and got away with it today. Again whatever happened to being innocent until proved guilty?!?!?
Nonetheless, this little ordeal did bring some of us together and it stayed the topic of discussion for a couple of hours still. Some of the people went away to Oslo again to go to some concert. I'm not really a concert going person but I later found out I should have gone because turned out it was fairly good. In the mean while the Trax continued. I have no idea what I actual did all that time... I mostly hung out on IRC or went for something to drink/eat with the people who also stayed at Trax.
The next two days I spend hanging out with xhale, 720, Kravitz, subdrain, arcane, leia, alv, phase3, Nogsf, starfish, walker and loads of others.. Virago, another Dutch scener dropped in for a few minutes as well. He had flown to Norway to spend some time with people he knows in Norway (hi Jenny!). Vinnii and Anvil dropped in for a couple of minutes as well. They were on their way to Oslo and decided to have a look at this party. On Tuesday I met up with Breed again who had also come to Trax to see if any of his old friends were there. Distance and Melwyn had returned to the party place and Whisker had arrived along with some of his Swedish friends. Another little sub party started somewhere outside in the cold. Someone had brought some portable one use barbecue thingy with him and we enjoyed it's worth for a little while. Breed and I however had decided to return to Oslo that same day and we said goodbye to everyone. I heard later on we should have stayed because with everyone at the party place again the atmosphere had only gotten better.
I missed the competitions so that's one thing I can say little about. None the less, even without the competitions I have no regrets of travelling such a long way and going to Trax. We enjoyed ourselves greatly and in all respects the party was well organised as far as I could tell. It's just a shame that they had to have those Gestapo people there.
Just to conclude my story I spent the next day in Oslo visiting some sites. We eventually headed out for Arendal to spend the night at Breed's father's place. We headed back to Holland the next day getting up real early. We drove to down to Kristian's and took the ferry there. Driving was no problem any more, the snow had been gone since Sunday and we only had sunshine since. We got at the ferry just before 8 am. We arrived in Denmark at 12:30 and started the trip back home. Hitting Germany we once again encountered large amounts of rain. Back in Holland the weather was still terrible and the next day we even had the first snow in a year. Fate can be ironic.
Last but not least, my apologies for all the names I got wrong, I am terrible at remembering names and handles.
Surprise ! Productions.