Mardi Gras and Morcheeba

At the risk of boring you, dear reader, I shall not go into too much detail about last week. I had two midterms, got a hair cut at Supercuts, went dancing on Friday night, watched the UCSD dancing competition all day on Saturday before going dancing in the evening, worked during Sunday and went dancing in the evening…this time in my full cowboy gear. That was a good laugh!

The main interesting/different event of late was yesterday. Tuesday. Pancake Day in Britain. Shrove Tuesday to us Brits, but Fat Tuesday to Americans. And Fat Tuesday means only one thing…Mardi Gras!

It was while I was in the middle of my 1000m swim that I remembered that this was the day that Morcheeba were in town (Morcheeba being one of my favourite music groups from back home). I umm-ed and ahh-ed all though lunch and into the afternoon, and it wasn’t until just after 3pm that I finally decided to act on a whim, go for it and buy a ticket. I only had just enough time to rush off to the library to print my ticket off and get something to eat before the bus I needed to catch left.

The concert was in downtown San Diego, and I was in for a surprise when I got there. I had thought Mardi Gras was confined to the big easy, New Orleans, but apparently not. Downtown was being taken over with the carnival atmosphere. People were wearing bead necklaces everywhere , and wherever you went, the smell of Marijuana was polluting the air. Who needs New Orleans? I was early for the concert, since doors didn’t open till 7 and it wasn’t due to start until 8, so I killed some time wandering about taking the whole Mardi Gras atmosphere in.

Once in the House of Blues, it only seemed like a short wait until the supporting group came on. They were called The Mumlers, and I thought they were very good. So good in fact that I made it a special point to go and buy their album before I left. Their music was quirky and a pleasant mix between that of Elbow and Arcade Fire. While we were waiting for Morcheeba to come on, some people asked to get by where I was standing. I assumed they wanted to get back to their spots after buying drinks, but when the chap parked himself right in front of me, blocking my view, I looked at the girl next to me (who was Argentinean) with a very surprised look, and said something along the lines of “if this was back in Argentina he would have shot!” Her Swiss friend next to her raised her eyebrows. The guy behind me was French and said this space intruder was an Italian. I remarked, “I’m English, I know all about these Italians!” The Frenchman’s girlfriend was German and joined in. The Italian and his girlfriend turned around to join in our friendly conversation. The Italian’s girlfriend was Spanish. It was one of those incredibly bizarre coincidences, but looking around our circle, we nearly accounted for all of Western Europe. England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland were all represented! We had a great conversation, covering football, the quality of the premier league and the recommencing of BA flights from San Diego to Heathrow in June. It suddenly dawned on me that there were not actually many American people there…Morcheeba must appeal to the more international traveller!

I was a bit nervous that Morcheeba wouldn’t be playing too much of their old material, but these fears were immediately quashed when they began with ‘The Sea’ and continued from there. I was ecstatic. Just as a brief background, Morcheeba are from Brixton, and their music is very smooth and ever so slightly psychedelic. They were absolutely fantastic, and it was a superb decision to go!

The slightly trippy experience ended just after 11pm, now I just needed to get home. I walked along to the bus stop, but what’s this? The only bus that goes to Old Town is the #30? That stops going into downtown at 7… I was going to have to walk. No, what am I saying; I was going to have to run! Fast! I had 34 minutes to run the 3-4miles to Old Town in order to catch the last bus. I made it with 5 minutes to spare and collapsed into an empty seat, feeling very happy with all the day’s experiences. How come all my adventures seem to have to end with me frantically running a couple of miles to catch something?

I finally got back to the apartment at 1am, and fell asleep the moment my head touched the pillow. Happy days.

Categories: San Diego, USA

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