I never travel. Like ever. In fact, I can easily say that since Apocalipse was born in 2010, I have not missed a single day in his life. Hell, since I got my first horse in 1994 (I was 12, btw), I have been in Denmark, going to the stable at least once a day to hug my best friends.
I am not quite sure why I decided to go with two of my friends to Germany for the only Pokemon Go event in Europe, but I did. I guess I could write a lot about that, but lets just say, these guys have to be something quite special.
I counted on the boyfriend taking care of the horses, but of course he was at work one of the days, so I even had to ask my only remaining equestrian friend if she would look after my babies Saturday morning. I never do that. Like, ever. She nearly had a heart attack. (Thank you thank you thank you, btw ❤ )
So, anyway, we decided to go. We even had t-shirts made. That was actually one of the best ideas ever.
Pokemon Go is always split into the three teams, and since one of us were on the wrong team, we couldn’t just go as Team Instinct. We had to make our own team. So we did. The Pokemon Mafia. Actually, we have been called that a lot by some of the players around our town so it felt quite natural. For this trip, we added G & S to the Pokemon Mafia, and wrote Gay and Single on our shirts.
I know. I’m not single. I am sure my boyfriend did not find it entirely amusing. Anyway. We had the best time with it, and we even found the ugliest orange half hoodies ever, to write it on. I LOVE them!
Actually, it was quite an amazing social experiment for me. Just to see how different people treated us once they read the message.
First off, everyone were laughing and smiling when they read Pokemon Mafia, most people we came across read it aloud to their friends with a smile on their faces. That was super fun.
Second, the Gay part brought some reactions as well. Some didn’t flinch. Some instantly avoided eye contact. Some started talking to me, and while I could tell that they were reading it, lost interest, and even looked slightly scared when their eyes reached our male friend.
Anyway. We had a blast being the gay and single pokemon mafia for a weekend.
So, it was a 7 hour drive to Dortmund, and since I don’t have a drivers licence, and S didn’t wanna drive, the task fell on L. I can easily say, it was unfair, but she was amazing.
We had planned on sleeping in the car the first night, and arriving early on Saturday, because we didn’t really know when the event started. As a matter of fact, this event was colored by its astonishing lack of information right from the start.
Anyway, we parked on a truck stop about half an hour from Dortmund, because by then, it was 1 am and L could not drive anymore.
It was warm. Like, hot, disgustingly summer night warm. Three people in a car. One who was very tired, two who wasn’t.
By 3 am, L had had enough of us and left the car to sleep on the grass outside. S and I decided to drink some of our wine instead of sleeping. Good decisions.
We arrived by the park at 6 am, to find people already standing in line. By 7 am, it was crazy. Thousands of people were gathering. Cars were blocking the roads. The line was impossibly long. And no one informed us when and what might happen.
This is the public street where we stood in line. For 4 hours.
In the shadow.
By talking to some of the locals, we learned that the park did not open until 9. That would have been nice info to have known in advance, but okay. Also, since it was burning hot, none of us were wearing too much clothes, because we did not expect to stand in the shadow like that. I was so cold and tired and pretty much ready to go home already before we got in.
By 9 am, when the park should open, it did not. The line did not move. The police came by though, a lot, escorting ambulances by, because we were blocking the roads and people were clearly already in trouble. And still, we had no info. No one told us what was happening or why we were not let in.
I believe that there were too many of us and that they dared not just open the gates. But not expecting all of Europe to show up, was kind of stupid. This is the only event we get, of course there will be thousands and thousands of people. And even so, TELL us why we are standing in line on the sidewalk. Tell us that there is a 3 hour waiting time so we can go away, stop blocking the road and maybe have fun somewhere else. INFORM people, please.
Once we finally got in, the servers crashed. None of the games would start, the internet were so overloaded that no one had connection.
Inside the park, they had set up free Wi Fi, but they had done it so we had to find 3 spots and connect through a code. EVERYONE were there, trying to get a glimpse of the code, and once you connected, you walked two steps and were off line again. It was so ridiculously amazingly unplanned, I have no words.
On Sunday, they fixed it with a free Wi Fi and no code, but all of Saturday, it did not work at all.
So, instead of really playing, we kind of crashed on the grass at a spot where we had connection once in a while.
Did I mention that we did not really sleep at all the night before?
By 4 pm, we had had enough of internet connections and server errors, and we decided to to to the hotel we had booked for a night, and find something to eat.
Oh yeah. That was another thing. We were not allowed to bring food or cola into the park. Clearly we had to buy stuff in there. Free event, huh? Not so much. Also, none of the food stands accepted credit cards and none of the park guides spoke a lick of English, so finding a place where we could withdraw money from our bank accounts were not easy. Again, “we dont take cards” would have been pretty awesome info to have had in advance…
The hotel was great though. Our internet worked again, the game servers stabilized once we were away from the park, and the spawning spot in our room was amazing. We had much more fun catching pokemon in our beds, than we had had all day in the park. As it turned out, the event was all over city, not just in the park.
Nice info to have had in advance… No?
We explored the city instead of going back to the park, for the rest of the day.
The next morning, we went back to the park for a quick trade. Oh, yes, the first day we had run into a guy from Australia, and he had traded me this;
Since you can only make one special trade a day, my friends could not trade with him until next day, so we had to go back to the park and meet him again. S got it from him as well, and he had gotten the log in for his girlfriends account in the meantime, so L could do the trade too. This pretty much made it worth the trip 🙂
The park was much better Sunday though. The Wi Fi sort of worked, there was no line at the gate. Much fewer people. So we had fun taking pictures.
Team Mystic, S’s team leader;
Team Instinct, L and my team;
And Team Valor. No one likes them very much, but she is kinda cute…
The G & SPokemon Mafia..
Oh yeah, people loved my Dashie socks… They were warm, but worth it 😛
The park were beautiful as well, now that we were not too tired and too frustrated.
Oh yes, we met the sweetest trainer from Holland, and became friends with him. He spoke better English than most of the Germans we met… 😛
And then we went playing around the city. Again, I was amazed that all the stores were closed. It felt like no one had told them that on this weekend, they should stay open, because the city would be swarming with people. Info, much?
It was amazing though, to walk the streets of Dortmund, with your phone, seeing EVERYONE playing. Normally, we are the weird ones, when we play, and people in Denmark even get angry when they see us with our phones, shouting at us, or refusing to take a step aside on the side walk, because “look up, bitch.” You have no idea how intolerant people are when it comes to Pokemon Go. But this weekend, was OUR world. The weird ones, were the very few who did not play. Everyone walked with their heads down, everyone were yelling “SHINY” and jumping for joy… It was sooooo cool!
And yes, I played both of my big accounts. Half of the time, I had the others on hot spot anyway, because for some reason my internet was better than theirs. (Well played You See and 3) and I got a shiny on both at the same time. Epic.
At the park they had set up those phone displays where you could take your picture with a pokemon and look like a real trainer. It was a fun idea, but it did not really work because everything was reflected in the glass. Note, Niantic. UV filter would have been nice.
A trading station where you could meet people who wanted to trade would have been amazing too.
And in general… Info… In English… Or just at all…
We had fun though, but most of all, because we are such a good group. I really love these guys ❤ And for me to say that about some one who is not my horses, that is pretty special.
We caught a ton of shiny, I FINALLY got a magicarp. And 17 others…
S caught his last shiny just as the event ended… It was shiny when he clicked it, and then the event ended and once it was in his ball… it wasn’t anymore. Really Niantic? (L and I were kinda laughing, but it was a horrible glitch.)
Going home was a loong way, especially for L, who had to drive again. Even S crashed, looking like a little angel… 😛
We ended up at the border of Denmark, and L could not drive anymore, so we parked and S and I left the car to go roaming the streets at 1 pm in the night.
We ended up on the free way. S suddenly asked me if we were allowed down there and I looked up and was kind of terrified. I have no idea how we were suddenly walking there, I could have sworn it was a bike lane…
We made it home though.
To find that Corsola is now spawning all over Europe as an apology for the log in issues. So basically, we drove for 7 hours, stood in line in the freezing shadow for 4 hours, suffered through server and net work errors, spend quite a bit of money, just to get a pokemon we could have caught comfortably at home.
Well done Niantic. As apologies go, this is a lousy one. Try harder. No wonder, when someone really fucks up, we call it “a Niantic”…
No, I love this game, I love these people, and my horses survived. It was a super fun trip. I would be up for doing it again some other time, but I am NEVER standing in line to get in again. We learned a lot at this event.
Thank you guys! It was grrrrrreat!