Wednesday, May 4, 2011
TARKANInternational meeting Amsterdam-Dusseldorf 2011- Live the magic!
It all started when the European Tour was officially announced…I, Octavia, head of TarkanROMANIA, admin of Tarkan’s World and unofficial event organizer at TarkanInternational, said “hey!!! 2 concerts in a row, Amsterdam and Dusseldorf…and would ya’ look at that, right for Easter! A meeting would be the perfect gift from the bunny!”…took me a little more than 2 hours to realize I could never do it alone (unless I wanted grey hairs, an ulcer and a lifetime subscription for valium), so I asked Marleen, owner of TarkanCLUB, to help me with organizing the entire madness…(Marleen, I am forever grateful for all your help, for wanting to make this experience together with me come true for 18 people…we rocked girl!!!)
3 months later I was landing in Amsterdam and she was picking me up from the airport…everything was ready, we had a schedule, and we were determined to stick to it! We had 21 participants from 10 countries flying, driving, walking in Amsterdam for what turned out to be one of the most fun meetings of all time. We had all the promotion done over internet, we had the materials ready, reservations done, mobiles charged, lists in our pockets…we were sooooooo ready! So here we gooooo!!!
First day, first participants arrive…we have a nice dinner, after settling in the apartment that some of us shared, we had a nice kinky walk thru Red Light district, Dam square and Niewmarkt.
Second day, more participants arrive; we visit the Beginenhof and do a bit of shopping on Kalverstraat. So far so good, sticking to the schedule. But since all that’s good doesn’t last long, we find out that one of the participants and apartment mates has trouble and is a bit lost, so there I go, taking a short trip to the airport J at this point we are behind with the schedule, but doesn’t really matter, as long as we have fun and we’re still in a good spirit. After the participant is retrieved, we head on for a late lunch, and another round of shopping for souvenirs…and then some freshen up, and the dinner with everyone is about to start. We all meet in a nice downtown restaurant, Argentinean of course, booked especially for our meeting, we hug, we drink, we eat, we have pictures taken, we share with everyone the news and excitement of the upcoming meeting and concert, and of course the gifts and everything we had prepared for them. Also, we show the banner that we will display at the meeting and concerts, and we show the book that Tarkan will receive as a gift.
It’s really wonderful to meet with people from France, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, USA, Romania, Brazil…and many times I wonder if Tarkan ever realizes how many people he has united, how many people are friends because they love his music, how many adventures and funny times we have, all because of him!
And just about when we were falling asleep and honestly considering the thought of going “home” and get into our beds…a warm, happy and loud voice fills the room! “soooo, where’s the party?!?!” Can Sengun asks. It was the band and they were so kind to respond to my invitation and drop by for a drink with us…my absolute surprise for the participants to the meeting J my blood started moving again, the adrenaline was being pumped into every cell of my body, I was awake and happy, so happy to see the amazement on everyone’s face, the surprise worked like a charm! And it was not just a s surprise for the participants, as there were some surprises involved for the band as well…couldn’t let them walk out of there without seeing everything that was prepared, and without some Tarkan merchandise…and of course a good round of pictures and fun. Night ends with a walk throughout Amsterdam, stopping at some terraces, to have a drink, singing Tarkan songs on the empty streets of Amsterdam! It is my absolute belief that one can do this only in a foreign city, and only in such company as Tarkan fans. It’s something that’s always remembered as fun, not as crazy, no matter how crazy and outrageous it seems to outsiders.
Third day, the BIG day…we try to fill it with a boat ride which fails, as the queue was too big, so we do some walking in Joordan. Going back to get all dolled up and take all the stuff for the meeting, finally getting into the subway and heading for the Heineken Music Hall. Final reunion takes place, our group is complete and there we are, all ready for the meet&greet, as initially established with the organizers. It’s another hot day in Amsterdam, and it becomes even hotter as we wait for the planned things to happen, and as we foresee a beautiful, loud, hot, unforgettable night ahead!
The meet&greet takes place a bit later than planned (but then again by this time we were so behind with the schedule, that it was impossible to recover anything from it, so we had to refold, and step to schedule B J ). First we are invited backstage, everyone is so anxious, especially the newbies, they are like stepping on hot coals, it’s lovely to see the emotions in their eyes, to watch them trying to smile but they are so nervous deep down, that it’s impossible to relax. Reminds me of my first meet&greet, when it seemed that it was just me & Tarkan and everything other was left outside this invisible capsule that we were in…beautiful feeling, a memory that will never fade… in the end we are invited upstairs, into his cabin, and although 5 minutes are stolen from our time, everything goes as well as it could go under the circumstances. We say hello, have a small chat (we ourselves were surprised that HE brought up the trial thing, and turns out everything is political and they are just trying to shut him up…and most probably he was unsure of everything and wanted to see our reaction, but what other reaction could we have, other than support him for what he speaks up?!). Then follow the hugs and we have some pictures taken, give him the book and do the surprise happy birthday for the 2 birthday girls that we had in our group (and Tarkan sings along!) and then it’s time for the final group picture (for which his photographer really made an effort to fit us all in the picture, and there were a couple of minutes of instructions (“there is an invisible line here, please align to it” :P:P:P) and final hugs and bye-byes…and off we are, in the concert hall. Although the meetings are rather short these days, and it’s definitely not enough time to say everything you ever wanted to say, somehow when one is in the same room with HIM, all time stops, everything freezes, and all one can see is his smile, what he says, his look and his reaction to the natural way the conversation flows.
Concert was…amazing. Starts with some energy of Acimayacak, fills the hall with Dudu rhythms, rocks the crowd with a “cat and mouse game” between Tarkan and the guitar players, mainly Can Sengun, in Olurum Sana, makes everyone bounce with Hup and Bu Gece, then we go for a teary, emotional and extremely sensitive part of the show, the acounstic medley, which includes older songs like Ince Tenm, Ikimizin Yerine, Don Bebegim, …after which, a nice surprise is revealed, in an extraordinary performance of Altay Oktar, the backing vocals, who does a great “Don’t Leave Me Alone”…Tarkan returns and wakes everyone up with the Op march, and a smoky Kuzu Kuzu, gives everyone a bit of Simarik and of Shikidim and as the spring blooms in all our hearts with Isim Olmaz, he makes the audience beg for more, giving an encore of Usta Cirak and Adimi Kalbine Yaz. It’s difficult to remember all the songs or the exact order, but each performance is even greater as it is filled with dancing (from both his and our side), fun, singing along and not to mention being noticed (thanks to the big banner) and receiving lots of kisses and great looks. Even thought the concert fills us up with energy to last a lifetime, physically we are wasted afterwards. We turn into some old ladies who can barely move, not to mention yours truly lost her voice somewhere in there…
We say goodbye to some of the participants who could be there just for the concert, due to several reasons…but for most of us, the night is still young, so we head back to the rented apartment for our own afterparty…drinks and deep picture and video analysis of the entire show, of the meet&greet, of the entire day. A perfect day, with an expected yet spectacular ending!
Fourth day, Easter day! We are yet again behind with the schedule, which in the end we decide to drop, as it is obvious that as long as Tarkan is in our schedule, there can be nothing else planned. We try to pack as fast as we can in order to quickly move to Dusseldorf, as in the evening the next concert is there. Pack, pack, pack, hurry, hurry, hurry…those were the words of the day. We eventually got to Dusseldorf late in the afternoon, so we just freshened up a bit and rushed across the street to the concert hall. It was announcing to be a full one this time. A long line of people, as far as the eye could see, was filling the square in front of the ISS Dome. Security was really strict, and I must say, for the first time in my experience, I got in thru the front door…bye bye water bottle, hello strip search. Concert was as good as the one in Amsterdam, only the Kuzu Kuzu dance was even hotter this time, it actually had the flames (in Amsterdam it had just the smoke), plus Tarkan did a nice surprise to the entire audience, by choosing to sing Uzun ince bir Yoldayim. And the entire audience sand with him…it was a great moment, really touching. Other funny happenings of the evening were the fact that he rolled on the floor, literally, before the end of the show (see pictures on TarkanOnline) and also the fact that at the encore, when he sang Usta Cirak, his voice sounded really weird…and I have heard it was not the first time that happened, as it had happened also in Paris. On a recording it’s not noticeable, but live…sorry to say it, he sounded like a smurf! Probably someone was playing too much with the sound effects. It was funny though. I would say this concert was even better than the Amsterdam one, but then again all concerts are great.
The next day I thought it would finally be a relaxing day…started out like one, ended out just like one…the beginning part of the middle of the day however wasn’t… just when I was enjoying a Starbucks coffee on Konigsallee in Dusseldorf, I got a message to go pick up the autograph cards, which were left for Tarkan to sign with his assistant in Amsterdam, and which we thought, to be honest, that they were lost and would never be recovered again (with all the madness and rush that took place in the 2 concert days). So there I am, rushing towards their hotel, luckily getting there just when they were leaving, enough time to say good bye and thank yous and wish everyone a great tour ahead. Heading towards the reception desk to pick up what was a green file, I couldn’t help wondering how it would have been if I was there 5 minutes earlier. The nice receptionist asked me for my passport, to make sure I was who I was supposed to be, he carefully looked at both my passport and a note on the green file, and after boiling me a bit, he gave me the file and wished me a good day. As I was opening the file to see if everything was in there, he reassured me that I didn’t have to worry as everything was in there, so my natural question was “how do you know what is in here?!”…I felt like I was holding pure gold in my hands, and there he was, this reception gentleman, knowing the dark secret of the green file! Well, he was kind enough to explain how he came about to the secret of the file, as apparently Tarkan spent 15 minutes in the lobby signing them just a bit earlier that morning.
So there I was, walking thru Dusseldorf, with Tarkan’s autographs in my backpack, and a huge grin on my face, texting people to tell them I had them! Happiness was in the air. And I suppose that was the moment when my actual holiday started. I enjoyed a lot a climb in the terrifying Rheinturm (fear of height, what can you do?!), and then a loooooong walk thru the Media Hafen with it’s modern architecture, onto the Rhein Promenade, to Altstadt, where we were so tired and hungry that we just crashed a terrace and had the most horrible food in my life…it was typical German food, and I was hungry enough to eat anything at that point, but now that I think of it, it wasn’t that good at all. No offence…beef with raisins sauce?! Night ended decently with sending Marleen back home to Belgium, and then having a nice strol thru Konigsallee at night, ending with getting lost trying to find the Haupbahnhof, where we wanted to eat some kebab. After 3 hours of strolling, we managed to reach our target (it is my belief that we just went in circles, being too busy singing Tarkan songs, and discussing Tarkan related stuff).
Last day in Dusseldorf…a visit to the Aquazoo, where they had the funniest penguins ever! And some other stuff, but the penguins were the kings of the place for sure. Then another walk thru downtown, a bit of shopping, enjoyed (finally) a relaxed Starbucks coffee on a terrace…and a beautiful unforgettable end of the day with a nice walk thru Altstadt, spent the evening on a terrace on the Rhein Promenade, and just talked for hours about Tarkan, about fans, about life…got a beautiful view of the Rheinturm at night, froze a bit, as it was windy and rather chilly, and ended the night with some other Tarkan songs on the lonely streets of Dusseldorf.
And this is how our meeting ends…now that we have been together, again, we will continue to nourish our addiction for this phenomenon called Tarkan, because Tarkan is what brought us together, he is the reason we met and the reason why every time we meet again and again we have so much fun together…he is the common link between people who are on different continents, people from all social classes, with all types of jobs…we are all so different, we would each be unique if it wouldn’t be for Tarkan to be the invisible chain that ties us all together.
I will see you next time my dear friends…until then…Gulumse Kaderine!!!
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