Lubomira Lubka, Danka Čolláková, Marianne Mata Hari Saietz
A collection of the ‘” Tønsbookies” reports by Marianne Saietz.
On July 31st. 2010, Alexander Rybak was giving a concert, with Elisabeth Andreassen and their mutual musicians, in the norwegian town Tønsberg – a bit south of Oslo. More than 70 fans of Alexander, who met eachother on his official facebook-fanpage, had decided to meet eachother in Tønsberg and go to the concert together on july 31st. They planned the travel and the meeting for a long time. Early, they realized, that this was going to be the largest gathering of Rybaks Facebookies, ever!
Lubomira Lubka. Slovakia.
My Norway memories! The best time of my life!
Hi! I decided to write the hardest thing in my life, it is not that easy to put all those memories „on paper“. Norway was something I was looking forward to for more than 3 months. I had lots of expectations, most of them came true, but some are still somewhere inside of me .
Few days before leaving my house I still couldn´t believe I´m going. I couldn´t wait to meet all my friends, meet Alex, but I decided to have nicest time I can and enjoy all I can. My trip started on Thursday. I was packing from early morning, listening to No boundaries and imagining how it will be when I get there, when I meet Mel and Alev at airport.
So after I finished packing and had shower, my mum came to take me to the bus station. That was my first step closer to Norway. I got to Levice (city where my brother lives) and took train to Bratislava. Just after i got off the train in Bratislava and went to buy tickets to Prague, Zuzka came to pick me up. I spent some hours with her and her husband at her house, which is so beautiful and it was time to go back to the train station, cause our train supposed to be there waiting for us. But our story just started there. When we got to the station and saw our train is delayed for 20 minutes we thought OMG we have to wait more, but we were so tired! So I told Zuzka that I have time and I´m going to have a cigarette.
When I came back our train was delayed for 40 minutes already. We started to panic!! The disaster came when loudspeaker said our train is delayed for 130 minutes. That was the worst information I´ve heard that day. I really started to panic if we catch our flight from Prague. I felt absolutely down. I was so looking forward to this and now maybe I will miss everything because of stupid train!! My feelings were indescribable! Than suddenly lady from loudspeaker told us that our train is coming to the station, so we packed our things (from the floor we were sitting on, cause the bloody station has no place to sit) and ran to the train. I felt so happy when we sat down: “Zuzka we are going to Prague“ I said.
Next 6 hours of our journey was before us. Just after we arrived, we met Zuzka Ok. And Danka, had coffee at Fantova kavarna and take the bus to the airport. When we arrived another surprise waited for us. Our flight was overbooked and they asked us if we don´t want to change our flight. „NO, we have to be in Norway on time“, said Zuzka. We spent couple of hours at Prague airport and it was time for boarding. WOW I´m sitting in the plane, I am really flying to Norway!!! My thoughts were interrupted by air hostess who came and asked me if I mind when they change my seat and I will sit in business class. “OK, no problem” was my answer. So after all this what happened to us I was sitting in first class with glass of orange juice and I was on my way To Norway!!!!!! We did it!!!!!!!!!
First person at the airport I met was Mel. She and Sara were waiting for us to greet us. Then we waited for Alev to come. It took 2 hours and we missed our train to Tonsberg so we went and ask about the bus. The lady said us that bus is leaving in 3 minutes so we ran to catch it. Finally when we were sitting in the bus, even being tired we felt like in heaven!!!!!!!!!! Our feelings and excitement grew when we saw the sign Tonberg, we knew we are there! Dvora, Magda and Petra came to wait for us. As soon as we got off the bus they took us to our hostel! I was so excited, the same place where Alex is, most of the Facebookies were already there and I still couldn´t believe i´m in Norway!
When we were at the hostel I had a looooong shower(that was the only thing I really needed) we decided to go for a walk. you know what if we meet him, that would be hilarious, was the only thing on my mind!! Just as we wanted to leave the place, the sweetiest person came!! We met with Anastasia!!!! I clearly remember like she was talking in front of Hostel and I saw her!!! She didn´t wanted us to go for I walk but after a day spent travelling we wanted to see the country and town.
Norway is like dream. There was some kind of concert on Friday night and we went to harbor! WOW that´s the life I want to have too. People sitting and having fun in their boats, they seemed to have no problems, no worries! I loved the atmosphere there. After a while we came back to hostel, russian bunch was already there!!! I have to tell you: THERE ARE REALLY CRAZY! We said Hello to everybody, when I suddenly heard “LUBKAAAAAAAAAAAAA” and saw a girl running to me!!! That was my sweet sister Julia!!!!!!!! I love her and miss her very much! It was a nice first day in Norway, but I was so tired so I went to bed early to be fresh for meeting with the person I came for!
After I woke up on Saturday, had shower and breakfast me and Zuzka sat down to make a present for our fiddler and for Theo (cause he is coming to study in Slovakia so we wanted to welcome him here) We were laughing and laughing while Zuzka was preparing our T-shirt with little Smurf on the back for Alex. As soon as we had everything done me, Zuzka and Mel went to the center to buy CD. We needed to pass the hotel where Alex and some Facebookies stayed and we saw a tiny person smoking in front of it. She called us to go and sit there with her little bit. And again only laughing, laughing and laughing as Facebookies are used to!
While we were here many people came and left and we were still sitting and talking. It was funny that we enjoyed our company there but all the time I was checking if I cant see HIM!!! but nothing, nothing and nothing. We went to the town, bought CD and something for lunch and came back to hotel. Againg talking and laughing and waiting for Smurf. But he was NOWHERE!! We saw Moa, Kathrine, Maria (very nice girls, very kind and friendly) but no Alex. It was in the afternoon when we saw him for the first time and I was BUSTED. I have to laugh everytime when I think back to it.
I was sitting and listening to girls, looking around, when I suddenly realized that he is in front of the hotel entrance. NOBODY WARNED ME THAT HE IS THERE!!!! When I realized that it is him I turned to Anastasia and said: “That´s him!!!” OMG everybody who sat there burst into laugh and I wassssssss red as tomato hiding, so he couldn´t see me!!!! Poor guy didn´t understand what is happening! :DD when i calmed down little bit I wanted to see him so I had a look from behind of Lene(she was sitting next to me) but I saw his face looking to our table so I just turned back and sat so nobody could see me! I *BONKED TOTALLY*!!!!!
He and girls left and it was time to go to hostel and prepare for meet and greet!! As we were leaving I heard Lubka again and MARIANNE was coming. I couldn´t help myself just shouted “Marianneeeeee” and ran to hug her and mini- viking Nina 🙂 But we had to go to the hostel and take our clothes. Meet and greet WoW. That´s the word I can describe meet and greet with. Alex was charming as always! Even my expectations were different we had chance to talk to him, hug him and kiss him and some weird people like me even shake hands with him!!! Ha I still cant believe I shaked hands!! Maybe a weird thing to do, but it was fun 🙂 and I kissed him aaaaa I couldn´t do that in Prague 🙂
Everything was just fine and concert? Concert was the best. Alex and Bettan were fabulous. I think Bettan is a real Facebookies talking about size, and T-shirts I really loved her way of having fun with us!!!! But everything has to end and that beautiful day was over. After the concert I realized that this is maybe the last chance for me to meet all these people, meet Alex and have fun with girls. This everything made me sad and I couldn ´t help myself and had to cry. And this feeling is still somewhere inside of me. Saying goodbye and see you on Facebook was the hardest part of being in Norway. But I had to do it cause leaving Tonsberg ment to say goodbye to most of the Facebookies, even I knew I will have some more days with Mel, Alev, Dvora, Magda, Anastasia and Zuzka. And time spent in Oslo will stay in my mind forever.
Our journey to Nesodden, meeting Thomas, who was really very nice to us and we had such fun with him, talking to Kjell in front of his house and sitting freaking 9 hours at harbor on Wednesday and waiting for Alex who didn´t come. THESE ARE MY MEMORIES AND NOBODY CAN TAKE THEM.
If I could I would thank Alex for everything. It was him who helped me to meet all of you! And it is not only his music which helps me. Maybe I´m pathetic now but I found real, true friends who I can trust and after this week spent in Fairytale I feel I do not need nothing more while I have YOU.
Danka Čolláková, Slovakia
Hm, I am back since yesterday and I finally managed to go through your reports. I guess it is my turn to say my own story, am I right 😉 Well, after my 26 hours of traveling (and gathering together) our group of 7 decent ladies from 4 countries reached Tonsberg. The first what we saw was a bunch of happy faces waving to our bus – Petra S. and the bunch welcomed us to our new home for following two days. I was not afraid of meeting the rest of us, I knew from Berlin and Prague, how special, warm and happy feeling it has always been. Of course, this time too… many familiar faces, some new faces, a lot of hugging, laughing and sharing. I really felt like coming home once again.
We had so much to talk and laugh about … After a quite short sleep and perfect breakfast with ladies we went for some sightseeing to town. Tonsberg is really nice and cosy place. All the time we were meeting another groups of our bunch, greeting, laughing … we had my first Norwegian beer in the port-open-restaurant (while watching very cute boys showing boxers while preparing their boats) I felt like – yes, that is how my life should be. In the afternoon we started preparing ourselves for meet&greet and concert. A bit tension, a lot of excitement. And it started raining … But what a night it was.
The main part was greeting, hugging and enjoying our fb-friends, I was on cloud 7 to meet them all… I remember first thing in front of the hotel, I noticed dark cute man – oh, you are THE HUSBAND I screamed and jumped onto Antoine :-DDDD And our great Marion was there, and Marianne, and many more… That special feeling stayed in my heart all the time … Even meeting some people I did not know. Like: “Hi Danka, you do not know me but I know you, I am a shadow-reader”, “ Danka, so nice to see you, I love your comments” … It was so touching, incredible but real:-D I will keep these memories and feelings for warming me up in my bad days …
Meet&greet was special. We went to the quite small, empty and very incosy room and waited for the fiddler. Still, somehow we succeeded to turn the room into the warmest and cosiest place in Tonsberg that evening. Smurf came, tiny and confused as always. We were lucky, he set himself into such a huggable mood, that I think everyone got much much more than expected (of course, I mean expectation what a fan can have while meeting his idol). Elizabeth was definitely one of us, honouring his musical skills, charisma and “looks”. I did not know her, and in fact her style of music is kinda oldfashioned to me, but she is a very nice and friendly lady, for sure 😉
How to describe “my time with smurf” ? Well, when I stood in front of him, first thing he made, like in Prague, he hugged me … definitely nothing to complain, of course. I gave him my present, he hugged me again … to keep the decency, in a very intense way … I guess he finally succeeded to bonk me, I was really shivering, gosh, and among so many people :-DDD And I like that I could not ask for his touch at all, I am quite “proud” lady, you know :-DDD I like that it was so much laughter during the meeting – him showing boxers and dark line (Julia shouting – thank yooou), Vic with her amazing and funny fan-etude (I had to explain to Kathrine and Maria who she was, hihihi).
Marijke giving facebookies-apron (with “beginner” exactly on the spot we did not want it to be :D), Paula with her “Facecookies” basket … and many many more … Finally, it was time to make group-picture. Laila S. announced – who is ready, go to take the picture! Of course, our obedient fiddler was the first who obeyed 😀 Well, it appeared impossible to make picture of so many people, so of course, probably half of us are not there, but it was definitely fun. And watching our dear hungry boy stuffing his mouth with cookies was the unforgettable sight 😉
Concert: well, interesting. … I did not know what to expect. I did not know some of Elizabeth songs, I do not like fiddlerettes too much … In the end, it was funny, entertaining and touching. It was great of Elizabeth and Alex to speak quite a lot in English, so we can catch some jokes. What I remember the most is, I laughed tears at: – Alex: these people are not crazy, they just spend too much time on Facebook – Elizabeth: My instrument is much bigger. Alex (frowning) : it is not about the siiize … – Alex: Have I ever told you about my love life? Me, quite loud: oh, for a thousand times … – Alex grabbing the mic-stand. Zuzka – oh, he goes after it.
Me: one, two … oooouch … -Alex playing violin during Du som har mitt hela hjärta. Me: should it be sex? Zuzka: definitely, what else? Well, we clapped hands till exhaustion, we pounded, and in some time, me, Zuzka and Julia turned into the best dancing trio ever, making fiddlerettes-dances right in front of the stage … and right in front of the fiddling girls, of course 😀 I fairly cried during “Blind” song and I really cried during “Skin” (my dear niece Sara died on cancer in the age of 9, ten years ago …)
I do not know who of us said – he does not perform these songs, he lives them … Yes, I fully agree … After concert, I finally bought my CD and gave it to sign it. And I got a hug again. Smurf asked me about the concert, and as always, I was honest 😀 I praised the musicians, (they were really great) and that I liked the jazzy parts the most. Finally, he was gone. We spent some time in the hotel lobby discussing our impressions, and in front of the hotel, taking some smoking-recovery. Suddenly, smurf was in front of us, wearing his new (quite ugly) sweater 😀 He was looking for musicians, he said.
So he left, I went back to the lobby and in some time, he was back again. It was so funny, I always said – Hi again – bye again … Well, he sneaked behind me, caressed my shoulders and back (I do not know why he did it, it was so much room behind and in front of me) and left through the corridor to the parking place. Nice, his “last touch” was mine :-DDD Well, after “smurf left the building”, we went to the bar, danced, talked … And finally, as for me totally exhausted, went to the hostel to take some sleep. (to be continued)
Marianne Mata Hari Saietz, Denmark
I arrived in Tønsberg in the early afternoon, Saturday july 31st. My youngest daughter, Nina was with me and we came by car, from the campingsite, Lydhusstranda, near Larvik – one hour south, where we had left my husband and oldest daughter. I was very excited but also stressed, cause I knew, this event would be very special and the time for it, very short. I had been attending to Facebookie-meetings before, in Oslo, Malmö, Berlin, Prague and Oslo again, but never before, would there be a chance to meet SO many friends and never before, would I have so little time for it.
Some of them, I had met before and was longing to meet again, but there would also be the chance to meet, in real life, some of the very good friends from far away, that I had known for long time, but never seen in real life. There would also be many new friends to meet. People, I only just met on Facebook, but was looking forward to see and get to know better. Furthermore, this was an event, made official, by Alexanders management. For the first time, they had really adopted the idea of the facebookies meeting and made an official announcement of a ” meet n´greet” before the concert with Alexander, his musicians, his manager and Elisabeth Andreassen and all the friends from Alexanders official facebookpage. I felt very special about this. I felt proud and happy, grateful and content. I felt, that his management had stretched out a hand and padded all of us on the shoulder, saying: ” Now, we understand, who you are and what you are doing and we like it and appreciate it and wish to show it “.
We entered the front-porch of the Hotel Klubben and the first person, I recognized was Zuzana Pt from Slovakia. I only saw her long blonde hair and her back, but I recognized her immediately. She got the fist hug. There was Lubomira..and Anastasiaaaaa!!!! My tiny greek wondergirl!!! She fell into my arms and we hugged and hugged…..And Lilliannnnn!!! And Melaniiiiieeeeee!!! ( she gave me cookies!!!) All became chaos…more and more people came and I was hugged and kissed and hugged and caressed and there were laughter and tears…I can not mention all the people…You know, how many there were..but very special it was, to meet some of my best friends, I never met before: Yanis, Victoria and Marion and also Irina, Tessa, Mari, Nina and Mary-Ann… I also had the funny, new experience of being greeted by people, I absolutely did not know, but who told me, they were shadowreaders and wanted to thank me, for doing a good job…..
I can not tell you, how a facebookie-meeting feels, but everytime, it has been the most overwhelming experience, I have ever had. We share so much on facebook: Our thoughts, honest and sincere, our feelings, of every kind. Ups and downs, laughter and sadness……and when you finally meet and see eachother, touch, hug and hear eachothers voices, this amazing chemistry sparkles and errupts as an explosion of friendship, crazyness, fun and ……love (?) I had a very funny and lovely afternoon, but suddenly, time had passed and the clock was approaching 17.00. We were a huge group in the Hotel-lobby, talking and relaxing, when suddenly, someone said, Alex was at the reception, 20 m from us. I moved, so I could have a look and there he was, looking at us and smiling. He saw me and made a funny face, like: ” Oh my God are YOU here? “, but smiling. I became shy and stepped back, behind a pillar. I have told all my friends, many times, I am a very shy Viking, but they still don´t believe me.
It was time for the meet n´greet I did not know much about the plans. I knew, they had hired a conference-room and I knew, I had brought a present, that I had to deliver to him. I also knew, but only for the last 20 minutes, that the press would be present at the meet n´greet. I had also been told, that Alex could only spend one hour at the meet n´greet. I had no feelings about these informations. I just accepted them, filled up as I was, by the Facebookies-magic. Somebody said, it was time and we all walked up the stairs to the first floor. We went into a big room, that we, slowly, filled. The room was empty…as in no furniture, except a couple of tables in the corner. We filled the room..more and more people were coming, but there was no loud noise or chaos. All were behaving calm…excited, smiling, talking and giggling, but nice and calm. A typical sign of a Facebookies – meeting.
The room was quite full of people and then came Alex and his team. Elisabeth, Maria, Kathrine, Kjell-Arild with his youngest son, Adrian. Alex came in first. He looked around…and went out again…A roar of laughter: Did we scare him?? No, he just needed to ask Kjell something, now he came back in, smiling and beaming at everyone. He hugged some people and went to the tables, I saw a pile of posters and understood, he had planned to give signed posters away…He clapped his hands and got our attention…He had to raise his voice rather much…there were still a lot of people, who only just met their friends and were talking and hugging.. He said some welcoming words and introduced Elisabeth, who gave a great little speech and then, he started to meet people, one by one. We did not form a line, but everybody got the chance to meet him, get a poster or an autograph, a little talk or a hug or a photo…or all of it. I had no hurry and stayed in the back. There were at least, 80 people in that room, men, women and children and it was hot.
I bumped into Kjell-Arild and had a good long talk with him. It was very nice. To Kjell-Arild, I think, this was an overwhelming experience, like to the rest of us. He has met Facebookies before, but only in small groups . He told me, among other things, that there will be many more concerts to come and that Dan the Man and Camilla, the tour-leader will be joining the team. They were not employed at the old management, as I thought, but freelance-workers. He also told me, that this day, 31.7, was officially the last day of the contract with the old management. He showed me the journalist from VG and I was asked, if I would answer some questions from him. I accepted and went and presented myself to the journalist.
His name was Egil and he seemed nice. He asked me about my name and background and how many concerts, I had been to. Then he asked me, what I felt, was so special about Alexander. I was not prepared for this question and became silent for a while. He smiled and asked me, if it was a stupid question and I said: ” Yes “, but then I became focused and started to tell him, what is so special about Alexander. Later, I read in his article, that he had quoted me for saying: ” That is the most stupid question, I ever heard “…and then he quoted my answer, almost correctly. LOL. I guess, he thought, the story was better this way. It made me think, that besides all the other things, I learned as a facebookie, I certainly also learned a lot about how, the media works and how jounalists make their stories. And when I read a new article about Alexander, or an interview, I always remind myself, that not all we read, is the truth or correctly quoted.
Somehow, I had managed to get into the ” line ” and I was getting closer to Alex and his table. Before me, was Marion from France and her husband Antoine. They brought a present for Alex: A folder with screenshots from their french website about Alexander. He was very interested and asked them questions. He also gave a greeting on video to the french fans. I will never stop to be impressed of his abillity to give so much, when he meets fans. He had been standing there, for 45 minutes already. The room was very crowded and very hot and he could see, he had still only met, less than half, of all the people, who were waiting. But he looked splendid. Smiling and talking, focusing on every new person. 100 pct. present and he even seemed to enjoy it.
Suddenly, I was next in line. He approached me, as a professional, and asked me, if I wanted a photo taken or a poster? but I said: ” No. I don´t want anything. I just want to give you a present, I made it all by myself…for the first time “. It was true. I have been a ” part ” of many wonderful projects: The BOOK, the cook-book, the Song-books, the fansite, the birthday-present-donation etc. But this time, I had felt inspired to do something on my own: The Smurf-map over Scandinavia. ( You can see it on my profile ).
He got these enormous round eyes, he can get, when he is surprised and then he shut up and received my wrapped present…He looked at it, mystified and asked what it was…then he tried to open it..with some difficulties..He was smiling..I think, he likes surprises. I told him, to just rip off the paper…he was fighting hard with it.. Finally, he unwrapped my picture and stared at it…and asked again, what it was. I explained it to him and he smiled more and more…I showed him the little tags of Kjell-Arild at Nesodden and himself in Oslo, but then he couldn´t resist, to point out, that I had placed him a little too far on the right of the Oslo-fjord and that Aker Brygge would be more to the left…Yeah, Yeah….You are the wisest, Alex )))))
Finally, I gave him the little bottle of glue and told him, when everything started to fall off the picture, he could glue them back on! He beamed and smiled!!! Glue, yes…He understood that. I think, he likes useful presents. Thats why, the cookbook made him happy too. Now, I really felt good. I had met him for real. My present had surprised him and shaken him out of the ” professional” role and he had seen me and met me for real. He offered me a hug and because I felt, we had really met, I could offer him a real hug too. I think, it was one of the best hugs in my entire life and I will, forever, be grateful to Snezhanna from Moscow, for taking the best picture of it! Then it was Vics turn and she made the headlines ))))) I went back in the room again and talked some more to Kjell-Arild. I also talked to his young son, Adrian, who has made a facebook-page for the aim of cheaper ice-cream in Norway and I am a member. I just asked him, if he had any good results and we talked a little about ice-cream and prices of it. Smart kid, for sure. I noticed a little dark girl, who stayed close to Kjell-Arild and asked, if he had got more children since we met last time? He told, this girl was a refugee-child from Albania and he and his wife had became part-time foster-parents, to give her some good times outside the refugee-center. **BONK**
Outside the room, I met Maria and Kathrine. They were so nice and we talked a little. I asked Kathrine, about the birthday-present-donation for Playing for a Future. I asked, if it was her, who told Alex about the present and how, he had reacted. She said, it was not her, but Kjell-Arild and that Alex had been extremely happy about the fact, that his facebook-friends had donated 20.000 Nkr. For ” Playing for a Future”. That was nice to hear. Those girls are extremely nice and they really seemed to enjoy the gathering of fans of Alex. Moa was not at the meet and greet, but she performed at the concert and there, she looked just as nice and sweet as the other two violin-girls. And all three of them are amazingly good musicians and singers.
My report has to end here. The concert is better described in videos and photos and the departure, when Nina and I had to leave after the concert and drive back to the rest of our little family , was so heart-breaking, I can not write about it. I have to, though, mention a few charming flashbacks from the concert. When it had started..I think, after the first act, Alex presented us to the rest of the audience )) He said something like: The reason, I speak english tonight, is because tonight, we have on the first 4 rows, the legendary Facebookies…LOL He also said at one time: ” Now I know, why you call me the Smurf. I really do sound like one, when I sing, don´t I?” And so on and so on. We were a fantastic audience. I dont know, how the atmosphere was in the rest of the room but the first 3-4 rows were having a party all evening. Clapping, singing, laughing, crying, cheering and at a point..even dancing!!!, We could feel and see, how the musicians enjoyed our energy and bloomed….Elisabeth was enjoying herself, for sure and she told it…The musicians were beaming and everybody had a great party. And then, the Smurf went to Ukraine, but thats another story.