There are very few bands I like, even less that I’d care to go see live, but Caravan Palace is definitely high on my list. I remember hearing about nearly 5 years ago during my first trip up to NYC to see Emilie Simon. I pocketed one of the flyers littering the venue with other upcoming French acts I found at the bar. “Caravan Palace eh? Maybe I’ll give em a listen” I thought to myself.
When I got home, I listened to one song of theirs “Suzy” and was instantly hooked! What an incredible, unique sound! I pride myself on finding good music, and this was an absolute treasure.
I’ve been a fan since that night, but unfortunately as a band based in France, I’ve never had a chance to see them perform.
Fast forward to the end of my trip. Returning home after months of travel is never easy, in fact, it usually throws me into a pit of depression. This time however, a friend of mine clued me into Caravan Palace playing within my first week back. This would not only be the first time I’d be seeing them live, but also a marvelous way to transition back into being home.
Without hesitation, my ticket was bought!
The concert was absolutely amazing. The energy was incredible, the performance? Even better! It was easily one of the best concerts I’ve ever been too. Below is the official video from their tour, highlighting the Philadelphia show.
Afterward the friend and I parked ourselves outside of the venue and caught up for a bit. He was one of my favorite people going back to my high school and we hadn’t seen each other for years. It was nice to have some extended time to chat.
Mid conversation however, the female lead, Zoe came out to start loading up her things onto the tour bus. She seemed to be in a hurry, as most artists are after a shown, so I didn’t make a move to approach her. I watched as she nestled her remaining bags under the bus, stood up with a sigh of relief, then turned to look in my exact direction. We eye locked. Heart flutter.
I felt like I had some silly dumbfounded smile on my face, but much to my surprise she returned the smile with one of her own. Not only that, but she followed it up with a wink before disappearing onto the bus.
What a great night 🙂
See Caravan Palace live
I did it all. Everything I came down here to do was done. My work with the medicine, venturing around the country, it was at an end. I had a couple more days left, what do I do now?
“Enjoy it” was the best answer I could come up with. Sure there were some little things I wanted to do, but my goals were already carefully packed away in my mind. I had about four days left in the country after that last ceremony.
My final days were spent just relaxing and taking it day by day, indulging in the company of the area. Saying my goodbyes and wrapping up any promises I made. Staying up late with my friends, and playing music by the fire place.
I wasn’t really planning on having a going away party; to be honest I didn’t think anyone would really show up. But, the idea evolved quite steadily, and before I knew it, I was running around the town inviting people to the evening.
This idea was turning into an actual event! One of the men in town who does wonderful sound healings with singing bowls/etc said he would offer a session before the party got going, and German, much to my excitement, said he would play some music during the party.
How awesome! This was actually happening!
The night would come and as always, I was feeling a bit anxious. What if no one came!? Oh god, what if it’s a DISASTER AND I END UP SITTING AT THE TABLE BY ALONE, LYING TO MYSELF, SAYING “NO ONE CAME, BUT THIS IS FUN TOO” LIKE THAT ONE BIRTHDAY I HAD WHEN I WAS ABOUT 15. OHHHHH GOD NOT AGAIN! NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!
But that notion was quickly pushed out of my mind when group after group made an appearance until the house was FULL of people!
I only wanted three things that night. One, of course, was to have people show up. The second? A stir fry with cashews (which I had just finished!), and I was pouring myself the third. MIMOSA! (Mimosa in a jar specifically, wouldn’t have been the same in a glass. Fun Fact, I like drinking out of jars)
I stole myself away from the conversations and smiling faces for a moment and ran up the stairs to the second floor. I stared down from the balcony and marveled. There were at least 30 people here to see me off! I rose the glass in my hand and thanked everyone for coming, I’m not sure what I said, because I was so overcome with happiness, but whatever it was, it was met with applause so I guess it was good!
The evening progressed, food happened, dessert happened, then we found ourselves by the fireplace, listening and singing along with German as he masterfully handled his guitar. I was recording some of the music on my phone, then, out of nowhere, this happened
(I didn’t know I had recorded this, made me tear up when I was going through my recordings weeks later)
I didn’t make too much mention of my birthday, it was the following day, so I was completely caught off guard when they sang happy birthday to me, but I loved it. I’ve ALWAYS wanted a surprise birthday party, and even though this night wasn’t for such an occasion, when they sang to me, I almost burst with happiness.
The gypsy companion slid a candle across the floor to where I was seated. I didn’t really have anything to wish for since I had everything I could’ve wanted in that moment, so I just blew it out with a smile on my face. AND they gave me a card, which they all signed or drew on with words of love and encouragement for my journey home. Once again, the underlying theme of “words do no justice” resurfaced, so I’ll just say, I love them all…I love you all so much!
-Have a birthday celebrated in Peru
Shortly after I hugged every one of them in thanks, someone whispered in my ear, “Are you going to spin fire for us?”
I hadn’t really planned on it, I’ve only spun my fans for a few people at a time but…hell, why not! I soaked my wicks, opened the double doors to the house and knelt down to speak to German.
“Could you play me a song? Something with a high tempo?”
He nodded and gave me the wide grin I’ve come to known. I really, REALLY, wanted him to play a song I’ve heard him perform many times before, but I had no idea what it was called. Anything would do, but that would have been so perfect.
I stepped out into the darkness, lit my wicks, and held the fans at the ready. German would start strumming his guitar and don’t you know he plays THE VERY SONG I WAS SO HOPING HE WOULD PLAY!?!?!?!
Empowered! Entranced even! My flames and I pierced the night with SUCH a dance. It could have been terrible, but I was so engrossed in the music, in my dance, that it didn’t matter.
Spin fire for a group of people
I bowed to the applause and took a moment to readjust my eyes to the darkness. Peering inside the house I had to think to myself “My god, what a night!!”
Back inside, the night was finally winding down. I said my goodbyes to those I probably wouldn’t see in the morning; saying goodbye and knowing that this could very well be the last time I saw some of them. Despite that fact, it wasn’t a very solemn parting, the energy was too high, and hope for the future was there. “See you soon” was my response.
Down, down, down the numbers went until there were just two of us. The lady of previous mention (Previous Entry: Fight of Flight) had come down from the city to see me off. We stayed up well into the night, laid out by the fireplace, talking about our adventures. In the morning I’d be leaving. In the morning my trip would be over. I’d be lying if I said the thought of returning didn’t make my heart anxiously jump. There were reasons why I wanted to go back, but there were also reasons why I dreaded my return. I did my best to stay positive about it, because either way, I’d be on a plane in a few hours.
My goodbye came swift. Next entry, the conclusion to Peru.
-Give a girl a massage by the fireplace
-Have a going away party from the Peru side
~~ Other Mentions. Bread Girl and Immigration~~
The Bread Girl is a little girl who had been selling me bread during the entirety of my trip. (Unfortunately her name was lost to time, and I don’t like to use actual names ANYWAY so, Bread Girl will have to do) A cute little Peruvian girl housed in the shadowed corner of the market. She couldn’t speak a word of English, and my Spanish was terrible, so we just exchanged smiles and gestures.
Early in the trip, I started collecting the extra coins I would get after the market in a small bottle. By this time, nearing the end of my stay, there were about 50 soles in that small container. I had originally planned to give it to one of the kids in town, but Bread Girl had stuck out in my mind. Yep! It would be her! I gathered my things and made my way out to town.
I strolled along the road, my destination in the distance, but my trip was halted by the pickup truck that skidded to a stop very close to me. Out jumped three armed men, two were shouting at me and hastily walking in my direction while the other was lowering the hatch of the truck.
“I guess this is where I get kidnapped or my organs harvested or something”. I thought to myself when the men were dissatisfied with the ID and my inability to speak the language. They ushered me into the back of the truck, where I’d find a couple other guys who I assumed were in the same situation.
“Let’s see, I could probably put my knife in the third guy before the other two in the cab of the truck realize what’s happening, then dive out of the truck and make a run for it. They weren’t going too fast and then I coul…Oh wait, I forgot, this is an immigration truck, nevermind. You’re safe organs! I think…”
I had forgotten that sometimes immigration goes around gathering people up with overstayed visas and if they catch you, you’re hauled off to the border that same day. Luckily for me, I had all my paperwork, not on me, but I had it. It took about an hour and a half to get everything sorted, and it looked like I was walking around with a three man police escort when they escorted me back to the house for my papers. I wasn’t really concerned for myself, moreso for the rest of the neighbors since the men followed close and nearly walked into my house to ask “who else is here, and do they have papers”
Get picked up by immigration
“Where was I….Oh yeah! Bread Girl!”. I made my way to her bread baskets and was greeted by her usual smile. “How much?” she asked. “None today thank you! I’m leaving Peru tomorrow and I wanted to thank you for essentially hooking me up with all the bread I could ever eat. The bread was delicious, and made for a wonderful breakfast, it even got my through that HELL week of poisoning where I thought I was going to die. So thanks, I have something for you”
Now…of course, I didn’t say ANY of that, in fact I just mimed it all in what had to have been the ODDEST display of overcoming the language barrier both her and I have ever witnessed. It wasn’t too shocking that she stared blankly at me, with a forced smile, having absolutely no desire to take the container of coins from my hands. I tried to say I’m leaving Peru, but I think I ended up just saying “Peru no more!” like some End-of-the-World prophet who was planning to blow up the country or something. Awkward silence. “Ok I’m leaving now…”
Sure it didn’t go as planned; sure I probably looked like that guy her mother warned her about, BUT l WAS JUST TRYING TO BE NICE. OK. LEAVE ME ALONE!
Gather coins for three months, then give them to someone