Tuku and the queen
Although Tuku was going to perform at HIFA, it made more sense to me to buy tickets for his Friday night show. This, as it seemed, was going to be the real Tuku and although everyone on this hemisphere warned against pickpockets and other annoying people, we went ahead and bought tickets. And since there’s safety in numbers, it made sense we went with a group of seven, all whities.
The concert was quite nice and loooong. We arrived at 8, Tuku started playing at 9 and after about two hours, when the mood was starting to change for the worse, Betsy and I took a cab back to the lodge. He went on to play until 2am. What mostly surprised me was the size of the venue. Outside, but under cover, the area was maybe 10 meters wide by 30 meters long. On the side, you could descend steps, the length of the venue, where you would walk onto a large field, the size of a soccer pitch. When we arrived at eight, it was very quiet. By the time Betsy and I left, it was so busy a big crowd had started to form on the field and people were still coming in. Some were getting drunk and annoying (hey, we stood out, there being only 11 whities at the whole show, including our group of seven), so we figured it time to leave.
In the afternoon, we had gone to visit the Dutch ambassador at his absurdly big mansion on the outskirts of town. The two-hour function lasted until the late afternoon and the bottle of Oranjebitter I downed did me good. It’s terrible stuff, but they, we were celebrating the queen’s birthday here.
The amount of food and drinks was shocking. Raw herring, raw eel, loads of cheeses, salads, rookworst, bitterballen, vlammetjes and much, much more. In fact, the two hundred people or so weren’t able to finish off the food. Not even by a longshot.
I asked the ambassador, Hans Heinsbroek if he was family of that other well-known Heinsbroek. Before I could finish, he replied: “All Heinsbroeks are related, but I don’t know him, and I want to keep it that way.” I firmly shook the man’s hand again.