On Friday, the 11th of July, CHZK embarked on an epic journey across half of Europe together with two of his british friends. Their goal: the transport of a IIDX and a pop’n music cabinet all the way from Sweden to Southend-on-Sea in the UK. Their tools: A Vauxhall transporter, 500 Liters of fuel, a bag full of long-lasting foodstuffs, and 4 days for the entire job.
This is their story.
I stand by an unnamed fuel station, somewhere in western germany. They said they’d be here one hour ago, but the european road systems seem to have confused them to the point where they took the same wrong turn 4 times in a row. Even though I can’t really blame them, because I’d probably do even worse if asked to do the same in England, I’m impatient and slightly annoyed.
Finally, I get a message. “Should be there any minute now.” Some more lines about the drive being horrible and the roads confusing to follow. A few more minutes pass, and then, finally, the van turns up around the corner. The realization suddenly hits me – we’re really doing this. 3000 kilometers in 4 days. London, Hamburg, Stockholm. And at the end of it, we’ll be returning back to Southend with a IIDX and a pop’n cab in the back. This is absolutely insane.
As the van pulls up in front of me, I notice the tired smiles on the two drivers’ faces. Even though ZAaron and Mercury are completely exhausted from the 7 hours of driving that it took only to get to Germany, they jump out of the van almost immediately and greet me. It feels good seeing them again – last time I’ve seen them, we were playing DDR 2013 in Astro City, and now we’re on our way to carry two more BEMANI machines halfway across Europe. It’s weird, really.
I get in, and the other two join me as we pull out of the fuel station and continue northward. The road flies away underneath the two-ton transporter as we make our way towards Hamburg, the last rays of light slowly vanishing behind us.
By the time we reach Bremen, it’s 11PM, and the two brits are tired beyond belief. I could still keep going myself, but according to our timeplan, we need to wake up at 6AM the next day, so we end up spending the night at an ordinary parking space next to the highway between Bremen and Hamburg. With around 700 kilometers underneath our belt, we spread out our sleeping bags in the back of the van for the night and lie down to rest. Mercury gets the front seats, since he’ll be the one to start driving tomorrow morning. It takes a while, but eventually, we fall asleep, despite the noise still coming from the highway next to us.
The next part of our story will be posted tomorrow! We’re driving the largest leg of our journey (almost 1000km in just one day), pick up the BEMANI machines in Stockholm, and crash at the previous owner’s place!