Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Monty: Tonight I'm going to be Esma!
Having headed straight t the arena today I've not yet had the chance to talk about last night. It was a great show, lots of fun, even though our standing area is right at the back. Not being too busy the was plenty of space to move about, though it will be busier on Saturday when everyone has arrived. I got what seems to be the average score on the Serviette of Doom, with 8 called correctly; my two mistakes were Slovenia and Serbia in over Belarus and Lithuania. Thrilled for The Netherlands to qualify after so long in the semis, nothing else really a surprise.
We went to the Balkan party in Euro Fan Cafe, which was swinging despite the Balkan exit from the first semi final. Esma and her band did a great set. It's a reminder for those of us from Western Europe just how different our cultures are despite our relative proximity. There's a differ kind of passion, of movement, and of rhythm and I absolutely adore it. I chatted to an Esma superman who has seen her 25 times and was clearly in his element, full of love for the great woman. If I wasn't already won over by her myself I would have been after having a very special moment with her.
I was given a Macedonian scarf and then I went to have my photo taken with her. My friend, who's working for their delegation, then asked her to tie it into a headscarf, just like her trademark head wear she's always in. I couldn't believe it as I knelt at her feet and she arranged it for me! What a giggle! She seemed delighted and laughed along as she did it. Incredible to share a light-hearted moment with a woman so honoured for her humanitarian work.