Sonntag, 13. November 2005

Working at the fair

Recently I worked at a big consumer fair for 9 days in a row. The regional (or local) radio and TV broadcaster I work for had a sort of “fair studio” there, i.e. a stage for quizzes and performances for the audience and a kitchen on a smaller stage next to it where chefs from local restaurants cooked a meal twice a day and people who had won tickets from local newspapers or our TV and radio shows could eat for free. It was pretty much like those numerous TV cook shows. There were also several camera men who filmed what was going on on the 2 stages and it was shown on one big screen at the side of the big stage and several TV screens all over our “area” at the fair so everyone in the audience could get a good view.

My job was to put up posters with the programme for the day in the audience area and backstage, fill balloons with helium for decoration and to give to visitors, put flyers on chairs and tables or hand them out to visitors, take pictures of the performing groups and interview guests and the chefs for our website (although the stupid webmasters used photos from last year mostly, which I wasn’t happy about cos I tried hard to get good photos and not being in the way of the camera men / staying “off screen” at the same time), help carry equipment and props on stage (tables and chairs, Aufsteller – no idea what that is in English), etc. etc..

What was hard for me to take, especially on the first few days, was the smell of different food wafting over our “area”. Sometimes it smelled like a fish restaurant, sometimes like at a fun fair (various candy smells) and so on. My feet hurt at the end of each day, too. I liked being allowed to walk in doors that had “Authorized personnel only” (Zutritt nur für Befugte) signs on them. One of the hosts was great. He’s a radio presenter/reporter and I’d worked with him before. He talked to everyone backstage and showed genuine interest in his interview guests and the cooking. The other host wasn’t very popular with basically everyone working backstage. He didn’t say hi to anyone, didn’t ask our names and once just shrugged his shoulders when I told him about the arrival of some guests. Pfft. After all, he needed to know who had arrived cos he needed to talk to the guests before their appearance on stage so he’d know what to ask them or what they wanted to talk about. He seemed so arrogant. And when he was the host for the day, we could never keep up with the schedule cos he kept blathering on for ages. He’s a TV presenter, of course. Only proves once again that radio people are nicer and more down to earth than TV people. I didn’t want to believe that when I first heard it, but it really seems to be true. Fortunately, the department I work for (public relations, press or marketing or whatever you want to call it) is in the radio building.

On the 9 days, I went by public transport. Normally, I go to work by car, but the fair center is in a part of town that I don’t know very well. I don’t like driving to places I haven’t been before and I don’t like driving in the dark. Okay, I had been there before, but my last visit to the fair with my parents was years ago so I didn’t remember how to get there. Going by train was easy cos there was an underground station just outside the main entrance and the train connection was okay (I had to change trains once). The train station is about 5 km (3 miles) from where I live. On the first day it was so foggy that I still don’t know how I got to the train station safely. Sitting on the train for about 30 minutes gave me the chance to listen to some of the CDs that I’ve bought lately but haven’t really had a chance to listen to. One of them was Coldplay’s “X & Y” album. It’s very, very good, but what I don’t like about them (and the same goes for R.E.M.) is that their CD booklets don’t include the song lyrics. So don’t ask me what their songs mean cos I have no idea. Okay, I admit that knowing the lyrics doesn’t necessarily mean understanding them, but it would make it a bit easier. And yes, I know that I can find all the lyrics on the internet, but I don’t have a printer connected to my computer at the moment, and it would take a while to find the lyrics, copy and paste them into MS Word, format them the way I want them, save them on a disc, go into the other room where my old laptop computer is (to which the printer is connected) etc. etc. Sorry, rambling mode … Anyways, Coldplay are great.
I also listened to the new Robbie Williams CD, “Intensive Care”. It’s not as bad as some reviews said, but I haven’t quite got used to it yet. Don’t have a favourite song yet and still like his other albums better. And I still haven’t watched my tape with his live performance in Berlin, which was the world-exclusive CD launch concert or something. But then, I still haven’t watched the tape with the concert in Knebworth (England) from the Escapology open air tour 2003 either although I did go to one of the German gigs of that tour and totally loved it.
Another CD I listened to was “Chariot” by Gavin DeGraw. I read about him in Zach Braff’s wonderful blog, but didn’t know any of his songs. At least I think I didn’t, although “I don’t want to be” apparently is the theme song to the WB show One Tree Hill and I think I’ve seen the pilot episode of it, so I must have heard it before, but I didn’t remember it. Then I heard “Chariot” and “I don’t want to be” on the radio and was hooked. The album is great. He does sound like Maroon 5, but I don’t mind cos I like them as well.
And then there was Nek’s latest album. It’s called “Una Parte Di Me” (a part of me). He’s an Italian singer. I think he says he’s the Sting of Italy, but I don’t think he sounds a lot like Sting (although I wouldn’t mind that). His real name is Filippo Neviani, I think. Don’t know why he calls himself Nek. K is not a common letter in Italian. Anyway, he’s got dark hair and blue or green eyes, which is often a sexy combination, and very much so in his case. His albums sound very much alike (i.e. he doesn’t re-invent himself with almost every album like Robbie Williams or Madonna), but I don’t mind. “Miss California” by Dante Thomas was just on the radio. He did a duet with Nek on the “Le Cose Da Diffendere” album and both my sister and I love this song very, very much. It’s called “Cielo e Terra” (Heaven and Earth, although it could be sky and earth as well cos most languages don’t make a difference between sky and heaven, i.e. have just one word for it) and I could listen to it all day.

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