As I mentioned before, my stay in Newcastle didn’t provide me with an infinite number of of outstanding experiences. Thus, I really did my best to enjoy every one of them ‘thoroughly’.
The one I am about to describe now started one day before my birthday, on the 14th of March, when me and my English Studies’ classmate I came here with went to an opening event at a vintage shop here in Newcastle, called Small Change. As promised in the ad of this event, they had free coffee, live music and friendly people hanging out in a creatively decorated loft-like space with plenty of fancy/hipster’ish/oldschool/vintage clothes, shoes, hats, accessories, linen bags etc.
Half an hour after we went in, we found ourselves at the hat section with 3 other people we didn’t know, trying on the most ridiculous hats, laughing, commenting and chatting like old friends for an hour or so, I think. This is something I will remember for a long time, and this experience also contributed to the wonderful image of locals I will have with me upon my departure.
But wait, the story doesn’t end here. There’s more.
A few minutes before we left the shop, I found myself at a dashboard covered in post-its. As soon as I realized there were musical band-related ads on them, I felt I could not leave that place until my ad was on there, too. Following this, I walked to the cashier, asked for a pen, and after a few minutes of impatient waiting (he was combing a chest of drawers searching for it). It turned out the shop is supporting local music bands, making it easier for them to form. So, I left a post-it with my email address on it, saying something like that:
Female drummer is looking for a band to play with! If you’re in search for some wicked beats for your songs, let me know!
Even though I didn’t feel like I could play too well anymore because I haven’t played for two years – however, before that I played a drum kit for 2 years (over 1 of which I spent playing drums in a band along with solo sessions) – I just wanted to have fun and make friends outside of university. Despite all my hopes, there was still some doubt on whether anyone was going to actually contact me about this. Long story short, I received the first invitation a week later and there were 3 of them in total, out of which I picked one since the other two bands wanted someone a bit more long-term than 2 months. The two guys, Phil and Mark, are both British and they get together as a garage band to make their own indie rhythms. Since I am leaving Newcastle tomorrow, we had to say our good-byes on our third and last rehearsal on a cozy music studio where all the local bands gather to play. Looking back at all this experience, I can surely say I made two really good friends outside of university and had some unforgettable time with them which I’m sure I’ll never forget.
To finish this up, here’s a picture of the three of us in the studio.
So, did you really think it was going to end with the five of us commenting on ridiculous hats at a vintage shop?