Yet again we failed to post in time. Well, when life throws us around like a three-year-old kid his rubber ball it’s really difficult to find time, energy and motivation to sit down and write. On the other side, the amount of adventures and events tends to pile up really fast and each day we put off our post writing… Well, you know. So, let’s go and tell you a bit what happened since we left travelling again. This time we introduce to you the motorcycle convention, soap making and the word of the day: Zuendkerzenleitung!
Pre season in Switzerland
Let’s do it chronologically, though. When we sat on Gaia to leave to Germany to fulfil this year goals we had to choose the direction. We knew that by the end of June there will be a Polish Motorcycle convention near Cologne so we decided to spend three weeks in that area preceded by a short trip to Switzerland. Visit old friends, earn some money with Fire Shows and all that jazz. We dropped by to Winterthur to say hi to Anna (a friend! XD) and tried to perform in cold evenings around Zurich, Konstanz and Winterthur itself. I must say, even though days were pretty warm and nice (except occasional downpours that modified drastically our plans for the evening), the evenings were still coldish. Niki wasn’t very happy to perform with such temperature but we had not much of a choice.
On the safe side, it was worth it. Undoubtedly, performing in Konstanz was out of the question – it’s a holiday town, however Switzerland… Well, it was a different story. Winterthur is a student city and do you know what is a difference between Swiss students and all the other students in the world? Well, the latter has no money most of the time and Swiss. Oh my, oh my. Performing in a student city provided us with a very decent income.
Cologne sparks and Bayer soap
After that we dropped by to our place in Leipzig to repack and swoosh! We drove to Cologne. We stayed for a few nights in a tent we borrowed from Manu and Hennie. It was a different type than our beloved igloo one, it’s called a tunnel and we hated it more than we hate Brussels sprouts, traffic jams and bad drivers combined.
The next day Niki remembered – her cousin, Agatha, offered us her summer house when we are around. We decided to take on the invitation and shortly, thanks to her generosity, we had a nice small place with a beautiful garden where we could relax. And run naked. It was really nice and warm there, moderately quiet – the summer house was next to a train junction so we had trains pass by every 10 minutes even at night, but we were happy to be there.
In the meantime we have found a host on Couch Surfing – Maraike and her family. She lives together with her husband and her four children in a nice house in Leverkusen. We had nice talks, played card games and we learned a new impressive skill – they taught us how to make soap! It’s amazing how much fun it brings. Soap making is very similar to cooking, all you have to do is to stir proper ingredients (some of them a bit dangerous but so is a Fugu fish :D ), add colourings, aromas, decorate it and voila! Like baking a cake.
Unfortunately, not everything went so smoothly. Gaia, our beloved motorcycle, started to act a tad weirdly recently, losing a sparkle as some may say – only one cylinder of her twin boxer engine worked. At first, it happened only during rain but then, soon enough, the problem started to persist more and more often. When something like that happens you must start from the most probable and the easiest solutions – we thought the spark plugs were to blame. We bought new ones in the bike shop and Niki was more than eager to try her luck with changing them. So, with a small guidance and help from Nick she managed to do it almost completely by herself! Wow.
After spark plugs removal we saw that it was definitely high time we changed them, it looked like they have never been replaced, you can take a guess which one is the new one:
Unfortunately, the problem was definitely not them. After the replacement nothing had changed whatsoever so the problem was somewhere else. The next probable cause were the ignition coil and the cables. Nick tried a few tricks to determine if and which of them was at fault and it turned out that the ignition coil cable was busted – the infamous Zuendkerzenleitung. Well, nothing major fortunately, something that we could fix fast and easy.
Miss Fortune didn’t forget about us, though. We had to order the original cable from BMW retailer which was for… 60€! A little cable, what the Hell!? But well, we couldn’t travel like that so we ordered it and… The next day the lady at the counter told us that it was “impossible to deliver”. The BMW wholesaler said not possible, so bugger off, think of better options.
I must tell you, it’s good to have friends. We talked with Beata and Paweł, fellow bikers and travellers, and they told us to give them the item number on ebay so they could order it. We ended up with buying a knock-off for half the price and Gaia was good to go. Yay!
Friends and motorcycles
Before going to the Motorcycle Convention we did laundry, Niki was mesmerized by the washing machine, and shortly we left to visit Beata and Paweł to catch up on our stories as we see them once a year. We stayed at their lovely flat in Aachen, where our friends suggested a great ice cream place. It was said to be so popular that once they ran out of the creamy delicacy they simply shat down and there was no business until the next day. We were lucky to get vanilla and chocolate as the other taste (banana!) was sold out. The dessert was delicious but eating it in 30 degrees was a challenge of strategy and pace as it kept melting faster than we could eat it. :)
Two days later we left Aachen in a not so small group to the motorcycle convention to entertain people there with our Fire performances.
The convention was as always – full of Polish bike enthusiasts. We made shows there and it was quite fun, however with our skills and show the payout wasn’t that great. We have much better income when we work on the street. However, there is no price for meeting friends so it was still very, very nice. The only drawback was that some smartass booked a stripper for the convention and she performed BEFORE our show so actually when the children still ran around. Well, dumb people are everywhere. We still enjoyed our Fire Show, though. We have heard a lot of praise and people said they could see our huge improvement over the years which skyrocketed our egos beyond the reason.
The convention ended two days later and after saying our goodbyes we left to Dresden. But it’s a story for our next post. Too many things happened so we have to divide them. :)
And again, a small surprise – Nick has no dreadlocks any more! Looks funny!
Stay tuned, the next post will bring us more to the present and we will introduce to you our new friend – Wolfgang the Gadabus.
P.S. And here is a sign we encountered in Cologne. Do you think that Fire Shows, street performances, music and busking die out? It was sad to see a sign like that in front of the restaurant. O_o