Rip Tide (Days 17-19)

It’s amazing how much can happen in three days. Do people live in fast-forward here in Germany, or…?

Anyway, I’m so thrilled and proud to announce that my sweet Jacco has accepted a new orchestra position, on top of which, our trio has two new concerts to add to our schedule! Our first is at the Palais Sommer festival in Dresden, which consists of a string of outdoor music performances by the Elbe, and our second is a castle concert in The Netherlands! I’ve never seen Jacco’s motherland, so I’m especially excited for that one.

I’ve spent the majority of the past few days watching the Chemnitz Philharmonie rehearse and perform Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9, which Jacco told me was composed in hopes of converting atheists into believers — it’s really an astounding piece to listen to, and after the hour-and-a-half run time, it left me feeling a little emotionally strung-out  — but after hearing three complete run-throughs, I got used to it. I can’t say for sure if the symphony succeeds in converting people since I already believe in God as it is, but I can say that the second movement is really fun, like watching Pirates of the Caribbean, except the video doesn’t work so you just listen to the audio. Anyway, I was very impressed by the performance and decided I was a fan of the work.

I don’t know if it was the German-sized (read: generous) glass of wine I chugged in the ten minutes before the concert started, or if generously large glasses of wine make me feel a little snarky or whatever, but I compiled a mental list of concert etiquette *OFFENSES* that I spotted last night, and if I don’t vent them out here, I might implode.


1. Wearing large, fancy hats to a symphony concert. This is not so hard to comprehend. Hat-wearing-lady sitting toward the front of the stage = three rows of people who can’t see Scheiße. For the love of all that is good and decent… save the headwear for the Kentucky Derby or Prince George’s christening.

2. Candy wrappers. If you think you might need to pop something sweet in your mouth during the softest (or even loudest, actually, because it’s all distracting) part of the concert, just…. don’t. Unwrap that mess before the concert or something. I have to admit, I am really skilled and well-practiced in making facial expressions to let someone know I disapprove of their concert etiquette (a.k.a., I’m kind of a snob, sorry), but I always feel a really guilty when that person is over the 75 y/o age bracket (and I’ll probably upset someone by saying this, but candy-wrapper perpetrators seem to populate that generation…). But ok, I digress… Just don’t do candy.

3. LEAVING DURING BOWS. I can’t even. This goes for curtain calls at the ends of operas, as well, and it’s the etiquette breech that offends me most. Applause is a way for an audience to say THANK YOU to the performers, and unless you totally hated the music and don’t want to say ‘thank you,’ then please stay in your seat (or stand if you feel compelled) and give the musicians an extra two minutes of your life since they just worked really hard for you. Bows are also a way for performers to say ‘thank you’ to the audience in return, and would you disregard someone’s ‘thank you’ in everyday life? Probably not. Also, clapping isn’t hard. It’s possibly the easiest thing you’ll do all day.

And that’s all I have to say about that. *drops mic*

So today, Jacco and I visited the office that tells all the foreigners what to do, and we got some good information on visas and such for when I come back in August — my options include applying for either a freelance artist visa, which enables me to stay in the country for a year, a language course visa, which extends until the end of my German studies, or a job search visa, which lasts for three months. The freelance visa and the job search visa require me to have a solid knowledge of the German language before I’m approved…. so, uh…. I’m hitting the books for the rest of the summer.

I named this post ‘Rip Tide’ after the song by Vance Joy that I’ve listened to on loop this evening… It’s so catchy, it will have you singing about rip tides and cowboys running from themselves. Disregard any and all misspellings of ‘you’re’ in this lyric video. Enjoy!


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