A 48h roadtrip to an Austria shop open day 

Y'all pretty much know that the Carp Zwolle show was a banger again this year. Couple of weeks to prepare the whole thing, building a new stand, next loading everything into the hired van (and some more stuff into three Transporters because of overweight), two days of building up, three show days, a busy Sunday night breaking it all down, unloading everything at home, sorting out all the stock again, or what's left over of it 🙂 Well, somewhere in between all that show chaos our good friend Mario from Dreambaits came to our stand. "Hi G, you fancy tagging along with me to Austria next week? I got an empty van and a promising shop open weekend at Carp Elite over there, you can come with me, it will be fun!" And oh yes, big fun it was!

Going to the show in Pinkafeld, a small and charming town not too far from the Hungarian border, meant nearly 1500 kilometres for me and man, I hate long drives! Now you must know Mario is not the silent type and before we knew we drove up just past midnight on Thursday night. It was freezing cold outside but were warmly greeted by Andy and his GF Sandra, his lovely parents and some friends who were still there at this ungodly hour. We got to talk and before we knew it was 2am, not the one after the exhausting Zwolle days and long road. Bedchairs out the van and sleep over in the tackle shop, first time for me!

Thank God there's Red Bull and thank God even more we are in the home country of it! After a few hours of kip Andy and his gang were present at 7am to prepare everything for the first show day. In Austria shops cannot sell on Sundays by law, so that's why Andy chose to do a Friday and Saturday. The shop opened at 9am and there were rows of people straight away. Cars were driving up and down the parking, right next to the shop doors. We soon knew why... Andy had made a clever move by ordering no less than 9 tonnes of tigers and hemp and sell them at 20 euros per 20 kilos! Better than any advertising he reckoned, people would be fighting over it. And he was right, by Friday night 6 tonnes were already gone! The first show day was good for us too and after lots of talking we were sat in the restaurant that night. Quick call to my mum to see if she was okay, as she needed to have unexpected surgery that day, but she wouldn't answer the phone. In the end I got my dad on the line to hear him saying the doctors assured him this was the best scenario they could have dreamt of. 

Whilst having our meals Andy's dad asked me if we would like a shower at his place the next morning. Him being a police officer, we immediately joked we wanted to have one in the station and the rest is, as they say, history... First thing in the morning we went down to prison to have a wash haha. I warned Mario about the soap lol. Now being fresh again Andy's dad shows us around in the station, we meet up with his colleagues, even with his superior wearing a Trakker jacket, we see loads of investigation files from the last 30 years, guns, ammunition, etc. Nothing ever happens in Pinkafeld, Andy's dad tells us, but the night before two cars got stolen haha. The first ones in 6 or 7 years he immediately adds to the news. 

So next to no crime, apart from a tiny bit in big cities like Vienna and Graz, better wages (never seen as many green 100 euro notes as on the Pinkafeld show, nobody really cares about smaller notes it seems), good fuel prices, nice people, etc. make Austria like a paradise to us already. If only my head did not hurt that bad and my fever would go away everything would be just perfect over here. 

Saturday was incredibly busy and especially for Mario and myself. Seen so many people turning up with MC stuff, vans with MC stickers in the carp park, met so many customers that already ordered quite a few times online but to whom we never had the chance to talk in person...  Also got a few ideas for new pieces in the mag. Just mega!

By 5pm it was time to hit the long road again. We said our goodbyes to everyone, Andy confirmed he would order our stuff soon for his shop so if you're living in Austria check him out! 11.30pm saw Mario very tired and hand the wheel over to me but I only lasted another two hours. We needed to do three more hours to Mario's home, add another two to mine, so we decided to stop at some motorway parking, take the bedchairs out and crash a couple of hours in open air. Mario was sleeping in no time but I was coughing so badly I thought I was going to die. I think I must have slept maybe one hour when some voices woke me. Looking up from under my shroud I saw at least 50 drunken football fans pissing around us. Mario couldn't believe when I told him in the morning 🙂

Thx for having us Austria!


Pic captions (from top to bottom):

1. Leaving my son Loki early in the morning

2. Full van

3. Mario's gems, a gift by big Danny Moeskops after Mario's tackle got stolen years ago

4. On the road

5. Cold, midnight arrival at the Pinkafeld Carp Elite shop

6. Tackle shop sleepover

7. Full car park, loads of MC stickers to be seen

8. Busy days for Andy and his family

9. Nash Tackle's Patricio getting it on with his sexy Fujifilm cam

10. Our Okay sticker is quite funny to see in a country full of paylakes and ultra expensive syndicates 🙂

11. Police boots

12. Hey Mario, don't drop your soap

13. Luckily there was a wall in between

14. Not all Cops are Bs 🙂

15. Grand Theft Police Auto

16. Gotta love this country

17. Red Bull saved the day

18. Crappy iPhone pic of the Frankfurt motorway parking were we crashed on our way back