EJC 2009 day 8

Today was a slow, very hot day. I got up late, and went looking for Pola. I found her in our hammock, asleep in the shade between two trees. I guess I didn’t wake when she came in to get it sometime in the morning.

I spent a while writing emails and uploading photos, but the info tent got too hot. So I went outside. Where it was even hotter. In the end I sat under some trees and watched people juggle.

After some food I thought I’d check out the parade. But then I couldn’t be bothered to join in, so cycled into the city center. There I ate ice cream and drank coke and read a book in the shade. Alesandro was hosting the games, so popped over to ask some advice, and we bashed out a list of games, an order for the games, and gave him various suggestions of things to do in the various challenges.

As I was the first juggler at the games arena, I had a quite relaxing time. Of course, after an hour or so, the parade arrived, and the arena was soon PACKED! I thought it would be a perfect place for the games, but it wasn’t. Far too small, it turns out.

There was a real party atmosphere, with people dancing to the samba marching bands, and throwing water around, and climbing on to the high buildings around the square.

I’d saved some seats in out of the sun, and finally the Berlin crew joined me. And then the games began!

They started with a torch relay, then a burning arrow shot into a bowl. Which promptly melted onto its wheely bin stand. It was a great opening ceremony.

Bar from Israel won the five ball endurance. I dropped out right away, because I was trying to get a shot for a video project, and stood too close to the burning bowl of fire, and got a face full of burning hot smoke.

Bar also won the 7 ball endurance, and came second in the 5 club endurance. Along with coming third in the Fight Night last night, I think this makes him the best juggler at the EJC. Or something.

Some games suffered from the overcrowding. Two people stumbled into me during the club balance endurance, a game I normally do quite well in. This meant I knew to keep clear of others during the coin juggling game. I came sort of joint second in this one, meaning I was one of two jugglers who dropped on the last trick (two up pirouette). I got no prize for that place, though, as the only prize was the cash.

3 ball Simon Says was a bit frustrating. I followed instructions exactly, but then a man dressed as a lion came and knocked the ball out of my hand. Apparently Matias and I were the only jugglers who followed the “Simon says pull your trousers back up” instruction. This meant that, once Matias dropped, I was the only one left with my shorts returned to the normal position. It turns out half the audience agreed with the decision to knock me out way after the fact, and the other half were as confused as I was. Oh well.

The overcrowding really came to a head with the three club combat. The hosts of the games really couldn’t control the players, and most of the audience couldn’t see what was going on due to the eliminated players standing up around the edges. After four completely mad games, the winners from each round fought in the final. This final consisted of Jochen (of course), Alvaro, myself and some other guy I don’t know. I came third, Jochen knocking me out and then going on to win.

Afterwards Jochen said “You know, I didn’t mean to knock you out so quickly!” which made sense, as in such a situation, with a big audience, we normally try to play a bit, to raise the tension, to make a few faints and jabs for show. He simply missjudged the distance. I’d thought at the time “Wow, Jochen’s really serious about winning… not very sportsmanlike!” I don’t mind though, he’d probably have won anyway, and I think I won the same game last year.

Inexplicably, after the crowd-pleasing triumph of Jochen, there was another game: ball on head combat. As the final game it was sort of an anticlimax.

Then the tossup, in which I didn’t toss up, but did juggle (for personal reasons). Overall the games were a big success, although they did last a long time. I knew they would and thats why, when asked about who many games to play, I said 10 was plenty. In fact, they could have done without the 2 diabolo endurance (pointless).

After the games, Pola and I and other Berliners visited Dominos pizza again. By the time we got back to the convention site, the ska band was playing, and the concert/party was in full swing. I dropped off my things at the van, then went to the 24 hour hall to play combat. I did some video editing too in between all that. Combat was fun tonight, and the lack of people made the games very relaxed.

Then I popped over to the info tent to upload some photos. It was closed so I couldn’t sit down at the table inside (boo) but the wifi was still on (yay) but nobody could use the computers (boo) but that meant all the bandwidth was just for me (yay). I’m currently sitting outside on a beanbag, listening to the band, and catching glimpses of the show in the renegade tent. A very pleasant last evening at the EJC.