A Story of The Luckiest (or the most unlucky?) Roxette Fan

Majdy sent us her story about NOTP. You can also see the pictures taken by Majdy here.

BEING Roxette fan was always a challenge for me. Everytime I always wanted to get something Roxette-related, I had to always try extra harder to get what I wanted. Most of the time it would be so stressful.  But for some reason it was always ended great and by the end of the day it became a good story to tell.

I remember on 1993, I was only 14 years old and at that time still living in a very small town  of Indonesia (now I’m living in US).  At that time, my TV only had one channel, no cable at all.  One of my cousins liked to buy a tabloid which included a TV guide/schedules  for the whole week.  I remember it was Tuesday night, and for fun I pretended that my  TV had all the chanells like in that TV guide,  and I’d marked the shows that I pretended I was going to watch the next day.

Then I was shocked when I read that one of the TV station was going to broadcast a show called “About Roxette”.  I panicked because I was such a huge fan of Roxette, but never in my life I had watched a whole hour show about them. What was I going to do? No one I knew had cable. So, all night I prayed (I really did), that if I couldn’t watch the show, please  tomorrow  when I woke up, that the show will disappear from that tabloid. I couldn’t really sleep of course, and around 5 am I woke up and checked it. It was still there… And now it was only few hours away…

To my surprise, I heard someone knocked on our door and my mom opened it. I  stayed in my room but I could hear that it was my aunt. It was strange for her to visit my mom in that hour. Then I overheard her  saying,” we just installed cable yesterday.” Guess what, I jumped from my bed and went outside right away to make sure that I didn’t misheard. She was telling the truth, she had cable now and meaning I COULD see Roxette!

So, even though the show wouldn’t be on until 3 pm, I already sat in front of the TV at her house since 8 am in the morning. Then hours later, I finally was able to see Marie and Per for the whole hour (well, 30 minutes actually, because there were also commercial breaks) for the first time in my life. No Indonesian subtitles, just English and at that time I only understood maybe 5 percent of what they were talking about, but I didn’t care.

And that’s just the beginning…

Years later, I was still a Roxette fan and my dream was to see them live on stage.  However, things changed when Marie got ill. All of a sudden, my only dream was to see her healthy and happy, even when it meant that I’d never see Roxette live ever again. It didn’t matter as much to me anymore. Then due to work and school, I felt like I wasn’t Roxette number one fan anymore, probably then I was only Roxette number 37 or 38 fan.

Years ago, I wanted to be the first person who owned their latest album, but this time I even waited 3 years before I got Rox Box. But, when Marie joined Per in Amsterdam, things changed again. Suddenly now I was Roxette number 10 fan. I felt like 15 again. I admit I cried when I saw them (through YouTube) on stage again and I started having  a dream of seeing them live again.

Then I heard the news that Roxette would be performing on Night of the Proms. I was trembling when I realized that I might be able to see them. I realized that I had enough money on my bank to see them. I’d been saving money for travelling to a place that I hadn’t decided and now I COULD use that money. Now I had been living in US, as permanent resident but still an Indonesian citizen. I decided to go to see them in the Netherlands. And since this was  my first time travelling outside the US, I decided to call the Indonesian consulate and addressed my question to them. I asked them if I needed a visa to go to Netherland, and they said no. That’s how I made my first mistake ever. I didn’t double check with the Dutch Consulate. I BELIEVED them right away. So, then I bought the roundtrip ticket to Amsterdam, bought one NOTP ticket for Rotterdam show, booked 4 nights room for a hostel,  learnt how the train system works (printing the schedules, etc), even made a trip plan to Roxette’s walk of fame.

Then I bought a suitcase, new camera, winter clothes, some travelling kits, even books to read at the airplane. I even announced that to everyone I knew in Facebook, Twitter, and whatever/whenever I could. Of course I also took almost a week off work.

Then a week before my trip, I  bought another NOTP ticket. I was so happy to know that I was going to be in TWO concerts. Life seemed GREAT.

Then on the 16th, I said goodbye to all my Facebook friends, hopefully to meet some of them at the concert. I went to the airport with happiness and joy. The only thing that worried me was I hoped I could straight my legs on the airplane.

However, I turned from being the happiest gal at the airport, in only a second I’d become the saddest and the most tragic person at San Diego Lindberg Airport. They said I couldn’t go because I didn’t have the visa. I was so shocked. I thought everything was perfect, I thought in few days I’d finally be able to see Marie and Per. Never in my life I’d changed from the happiest person to the saddest. I felt sad before for not being able to see Roxette when they toured Indonesia (1995), but at that time I knew from the very beginning  I wouldn’t be able to see them, so I was sad but more prepared. But this time, I was SO sure I was gonna see them. And, to get the visa I’d need at least three weeks, meaning even when I get it, it was already too late.

I went home crying. I decided I wanted to take a break from anything, especially from Roxette. It was too painful. I took off the calendar because I didn’t want to know the dates to remind me that I was supposed to be in Rotterdam. I asked my husband to message my Rox friends about what happened, because I thought it would be strange to just disappear like that.

My husband contacted the airplane ticket and they said the ticket wasn’t refundable, but I could still use the credit for my next flight.  However, they would still take $ 300 as penalty. The hostel charge me one night out of four (that was fair). The NOTP ticket wasn’t refundable unfortunately. I wanted to give it away to other fans, but too little time.

However, I couldn’t really take a break. I kept wondering would I make it to Germany instead? Should I try by using the credit of my airplane ticket? I was too scared to fail and even losing more money. Then with the last energy I had, I decided to try to get a visa to Germany.  There were lots of requirements,  and again almost made me give up. But some part of me kept me wondering how if I’d succeed. I was worried that in the future I’d always be wondering what would happen if I had never even tried.

So, yes, I decided to give it another try. Again, I bought (using the credit and paid even more money) another roundtrip airplane ticket from USA to Germany. Just in case, I bought a ticket for the last show in Dortmund. The ticket was more expensive than the one  I had before  and it wasn’t in front of the stage, like my seat in Rotterdam, but I didn’t care. This time I planned everything quietly.  Maybe because I was just too afraid that it might fail again.

Then, we went to the German Consulate  in Los Angeles. At that time it was only two weeks before the concert, and the woman at the consulate reminded me that it might took three weeks for me to get the visa. At that time, I just didn’t care. “Whatever,” I thought.  Later, they still said that my letter of reference from work didn’t look legitimate enough and I needed  a new one. My itinerary wasn’t what they wanted either.

Usually, they want people to bring those documents in person, but this time they said I could just mail them in. Thank goodness. We already spent lots of money for gas from San Diego to  LA back and forward. And the waiting game began. Couldn’t really sleep and eat. Waiting was  REALLY a very hard  thing to do!

Then three days before the 16th, I got a call from the consulate and they said that my visa was ready! I WAS so relieved, so we drove to Los Angeles again and got it. I was so happy, but still decided not to let  anyone know about it at least until the concert was over. Then just to be sure, a day before my trip, we went to the airport and showed the document I had, and they said that was all I needed. “Just don’t be late,” the Airport people told me.

And on the 16th, I finally was on a plane to Dusseldorf, Germany. I just couldn’t believe that my dream was about to become true! I arrived on the 17th and went to my hotel. The next day, the 18th, I woke up and I kept thinking that in a few hours Roxette was going to sing in Cologne but I only had one ticket to Dortmund. I knew that the show for that day probably was sold out, but what about the one for tomorrow? Should I go? Then I talked with my husband on the phone, I asked him to check my account and he said that I still had a little money.

I decided to take a train to Cologne right away and arrived around 1 pm. I asked if they still had a ticket for tomorrow’s show, then they checked their computer and told me that they did! I was so  happy, but then I decided to ask IF they still had ticket for tonight’s show, and they said yes. I bought the ticket right away. They asked me if I wanted to buy another one for the next day, but I said I’ll think about it.

The problem was that the show wouldn’t start until 8 pm, and here I was already at 1 pm.  I  didn’t have any friends in Cologne so I didn’t  know where to go. First I went to Greek restaurant and  ate. I even talked with a waiter who was shocked when he learned the reason why I was there. Then I felt bad to sit down there hours until the show begin, so I  just wandered and wandered in a cold weather until the show started. It was pretty hard, especially for someone who came from Indonesia (tropical country), then living in southern California to suddenly walking around during winter time in Germany.

Then the show started. I was so excited and touched at the same time. I couldn’t believe I’d see Roxette for the first time in my life. Finally, I heard a very familiar music and then the familiar faces. I felt so amazed, I decided to stop taking pictures, I just wanted to pay attention to Marie and Per while they performed “Wish I Could Fly”. When the song was over, and when they both disappeared, that was when I actually realized that I JUST saw Roxette. I felt like I was about to cry, but then I thought if I cried right now, people would think that I was a fan of whomever in the stage right now. So, I forced myself not to.

Then, of course later, I was amazed again by how great Marie’s performance was, especially during “Listen To Your Heart”. Honestly, when I went to see them, I didn’t have any expectation at all. I felt like my job was to support them no matter what. They have blessed me with great music all these years, it was my turn to thank them by just showing up. So, I was totally blown away when Marie proved that she still had one of the most beautiful voices I’ve heard in my life. That woman was just so amazing and powerful. That was probably my absolute favorite performance of hers.

When I went back to my hotel that night, I kept thinking about the show next day.  So, yes, I went there again very early so I could still get the ticket, which I did. And, once again, I had to walk around before the show began. This time was even harder because there was heavy snow all over the place. I kept thinking how on earth I was gonna survive on this weather, but somehow I did. Maybe two hours before the show, I cought some familiar faces in the crowd waiting for the door to be opened. However, I was still not sure. So, I just followed them and waited until someone mentioned “Roxette”, then maybe I’d say hi. Then I saw Kirsten, but again I was still not sure and I kept standing near them. No one said Roxette or Kirsten, so I decided to say hi anyway. I mean, what worst thing could happen?

It turned out it was really her, and she was quite surprised that I actually MADE it to the concert. Then, something more amazing than I could imagine actually happened. She asked me if I wanted to join them to meet and greet Roxette. I, of course, said yes right away.

However, I learned to stay calm and prepared myself for not being disappointed if it doesn’t happen. Then, the dream that I thought would never happen started to come true right before my eyes when I saw Per and Marie entered the room. It was so strange to see faces that I had ever only seen on TV or magazine actually appeared, for real. This time I kept taking lots and lots of pictures.  Finally, it was my turn to have my picture taken with Per. I had never met him before so I didn’t know what to do. I actually decided to avoid physical contact, so I just stood near him without even shake his hand. Then, he suddenly put his arm around my shoulder. I thought, hey, maybe it was okay to lay my head on his shoulder, then I got my picture taken (of course later I saw in our picture that Per didn’t smiling, I hope it wasn’t because of what I did).

Overall, Per was very warm and nice.  He liked to talk to the fans all at once, which was fine. Then, it was my turn to meet Marie. I was SO shocked when she grab my hand then kept holding it maybe for few minutes. She was smiling and looking me right in the eyes, like she wanted to give all her attention to me. I never expected that. So, then I told her I’ve been a fan for 19 years since I was living in Indonesia and this is the first time I saw her in person. She was quite shocked, but she  kept looking right into my eyes, then said, “hope this is okay with you.”

She still had her eyes on me while holding my hand so tight, seemed like she waited for me to say something. My 15 years old heart wanted to scream hysterically in front of her face, but my 30 year old brain told me to stay calm. At the end, the only words that I manage to say was “You’re so pretty.” I knew it doesn’t sound smart at all and I wish I said something more meaningful. And guess what, she still looked at me right in the eyes. Maybe, I am crazy but it seemed like she could read inside my soul. That was too hard for me to handle so I turned away 😉 To this day, I kept thinking about that look.  In a good way, of course.

If I tried to put into words, there were kindness, child alike, mysterious, sweet, curious in her eyes. It was such an amazing experience. Of course, the whole meeting was like a dream to me, and I started to realize that it  really did happen when I went back to my sit at the concert. At that time, I started to become emotional and I felt like I really need to cry this time,  in happiness, but Katona Twins were on a stage right now, and even though I enjoyed them alot, again I didn’t want people to think that I cried for them.

The third concert in Dortmund however was mixed emotions to me. I was sad because this was the last one but happy at the same  time to see them on a stage. After the concert, I went back to my hotel very tired and only got few hours to sleep before leaving for USA. I kept thinking about my meeting with Roxette and couldn’t wait to share my  experience with everyone.

But, no. Nothing  never went easy for me. I actually overslept and missed my plane, and I wasn’t leave until two days later. But that’s another story.

16 thoughts on “A Story of The Luckiest (or the most unlucky?) Roxette Fan”

  1. Really nice story, and nice to hear that there were so many nice experiences in the trip despite all the mishaps.
    I am curious how all these meet and greets happened as well though. The Argentinian fans got a private one backstage as well, and then there is this one in cologne as well. I am curious as to how they were organised? I was in Cologne as well and would have loved the opportunity to speak to Marie for a short time. Was it a special invitation for those helping on the website, or was it something organised by messaging members of the band online?

  2. I don’t know exactly how the Spaniards and Argentinian fans did it but I wrote a mail to Marie Dimberg on behalf of Planet Roxette (biggest German Roxette community). I suggested two dates and told her that we all had tickets for the show. I didn’t hear anything else from her but after some weeks the NOTP boss Germany told me the date and the time and that was it although it was quite a short time in advance (only some days). But I can tell you that we were far too many people and we didn’t have enough time at all. Still I hope everyone had a nice time (including Per and Marie!). It’s not reasonable to do these meetings with more than 8-10 people, we were 15 and it was a mess.

  3. as far as I know, the Spanish M&G was organised by Roxspain, the Spanish FC, through the NOTP people. It was a surprise for the Spaniards who were in Hamburg on the 28th, everybody was O_o
    We were I think 14 people in the end, some of them were there only to take pictures, partners of some Rox fans who were there, so it was OK, not too many people around.
    We kept it quite simple, so nothing to sign, we just exchanged some words with them and took pictures. That’s where Per told for the first time? that the new album might sound like Look Sharp!
    We should write about that too, there are some nice pics as well, and it was nice for some people who had never met Marie (or Per).
    For me it was also special, I hadn’t seen Marie since 2001, so 8 years ago, I think it was in Stockholm Nov 01.. I was KO when she recognised me O_o and she did give me that look described in this story 😀

  4. Ah… So she REALLY has her own special way in looking people eyes 😉 After, you guys published this story, I kept getting comment/emails from people who met her and experience the same way too…
    At first I thought maybe because the weather was so damn cold, than it froze my brain and I just imagine things 😉
    Again, thanks for making me part on RXB, I just made some new and cool friends on FB because of this. Of course, I’ll forever owe Kirsten 😉

  5. No, you’re welcome. After such a long time of being a fan and having expierenced a lot of bad luck this was the least I could do, just because I *could* in this very moment! (Ok, sounds like I think I am God, I hope you get it right.)

  6. Lovely story… how many souls did Marie read now during NOTP?? I made the same little experience…don’t know if it felt like this because she really has to look carfully because of her handicapped eye…but..no..can’t be the only reason. This woman is magic!! I hope she didn’t read too many private parts… 😉
    Great story really!! There are soooo many Rox-fans around now still flying around on cloud no. 9 or 7….it’s great!

  7. Thank you Ncurran and also Chrissie.

    Yes, I’m still on clouds number 9. Don’t know where I’ll land on earth again (well, maybe tomorrow when I back to work and live with reality again 😉 )

    And @ Kirsten: Haha… I get it right 😉

  8. Majdy… you know how much I loved to hear your story and I was so pleased that you finally made it to Germany I was so worried about you when I heard what happened about your trip to the Netherlands! It’s just a real shame we couldn’t get together in Germany after being friends for so long – that made me sad. Seeing your pictures so after such an epic journey to get to NOTP made it all worth while for you! I am sure we’ll get to meet again one day! 🙂

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