Green and used: why IYC wristbands are ending up on eBay

The International Youth Convention got an additional hashtag—one that spells stiff competition for the “narrow path”. What’s behind it, plus some anecdotes from the IYC 2019.

Adventure on the peripherals

IYC feeling? Something would be missing without at least one ride on the suburban trains. It was always the same familiar blue in blue atmosphere in the early morning and late evening. The trains were so tightly packed that the passengers hardly had to hold on to avoid falling over when the train pulled out of the station or stopped.

This time around, the passengers are particularly fond of singing. They run the hymnal up and the choir book down. In the middle of it all, two young women talk about their experiences. How their odyssey with the car made them realise that it was further to walk from the parking area to the exhibition halls than it was from their hotel to the train station. “Yes,” they say with big grins, “now is the time for the peripheral adventures.”

The Gallic earworm

The 16-year-old peels herself out from under her blankets, sits up, and hums. There it is again, that catchy tune that has dug itself into everyone’s mind. And whose fault is it? The French!

“La France fout le feu” is the name of the mini anthem with which the youth prepared for the IYC already in the run-up. They sang the song over and over and ignited a passion for it, whether in the entrance hall, at the buffet, or in the large Arena—you couldn’t help not hearing the French.

Late in the evening, a colleague in the editorial offices closes his laptop, quietly humming to himself. There it is again, that tune. It sticks with me the whole night. There is no chance of getting it out of my mind. I am sure I will wake up with it in the morning.

Survival techniques

Life hacks are tips and tricks that people use to make their lives easier. IYC visitors reverted to the same kind of survival technique: for example, how to close your IYC cup without spilling anything (open the flap), where can you get the popular small hymnals (Bischoff-Verlag), or how do you avoid long line-ups at the buffet (don’t go when everyone else goes).

Here are some burning questions following the mega event. How do you get those remote-controlled LED bracelets to light up at home? And why do these things suddenly light up sometimes?

The running joke

Announcement in the Arena: the show “HereThereEverywhere“ will start 15 minutes later. There are still people on the way. The audience knows why: “Greeeeeeen liiiiiine,” it chorused across the hall. Behind it is the undisputed queen of IYC anecdotes.

Security experts had defined four different routes between the central halls and the Arena. The reason: crowd control and avoiding jams that could possibly get out of hand and end up in a deadly mass panic. Who was assigned to which route was defined by the access wristbands, which the visitors received upon registration in the main hall: blue, orange, pink, and green. The green route turned out to be a real toughie. With walks to several events and back spread over a day, one could easily clock a half-marathon.

However, the young people wasted no time grumbling about it. Via Instagram and WhatsApp they posted their memes (pictures with short texts), poking fun at the situation.

Under the hashtags #grueneroute, #grüneroute und #greenroute you will find, among other things, a hobbit who sets off on an adventure on the Green Route, a President Trump who wants to erect a wall against the Green Route, and a map that shows the route going via Cologne and Duisburg.

In the meantime, the first green wristbands are being auctioned off on eBay. A double pack of wristbands still in original packaging, and being advertised as “sweat-free”, is stuck on minimum bid. On the other hand, bids for a used wristband with “good transpiration—a certificate of authenticity” are skyrocketing.

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