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14.01.2013 // Text: viktors buda // Pix: sandra/artiG / phrank


Conversations from Ibiza

The idea of putting down on paper “Conversations from Ibiza” came to my mind for the first time in 2008 after a first personal experience.

At the same time I had a clear understanding that to have a fair view on this theme or story, as you wish, I would need a couple more years allowing me to create more truthful work, leading the others including myself to give, if not the precise, then at least an approximate answer to: why do people come to Ibiza and stay here?

I’ve never seen any discussions on this theme in local newspapers or magazines apart from the typical “where are you from and what do you like here”…These superficial rubrics and similar answers in two lines are found in all local glamorous magazines in every bar during the summer season. Perhaps the reason is that in summer nobody wants to strain oneself and think of something, but in winter it is interesting only to those people and to those of a like nature. To be honest I can confess that from more than thirty conversations during four years some of these published episodes do not give the exact response but lead to understand people, show respect to their choice and maybe give a chance to see the world and one’s own life in a different perspective.

It’s the first week of October and the official club season is just over. The island is still full of people seeking for fun to be continued, but I don’t care about it as does my friend. We’re talking at his place on the hills of Santa Inés enjoying the wonderful day which is not giving any evidence it is October while drinking herbal tea, prepared by his girlfriend. Three years ago I saw Marcus (name has been changed) for the first time. In the middle of a crowd of arriving and crazy people on Playa d’en Bossa I saw a very frivolous young man. He didn’t look very glamorous, but was very confident in his movements and clothes. He talked loud – almost shouting and was a little bit pushy with foreigners. Marcus was a pr guy of one event at the time we met and as everyone here had his particular style of communication with people.

Such personalities on Ibiza remind me of motorbikes driving without muffler with ear splitting sound. On closer view it comes out that it’s not the motorbike making noise but rather the own “I” of its drivers willing to be heard. To enter the minds of people and make a pressure on others they completed their “I” with motor noisiness. Enough ambitious rubbish. Only afterwards, after we got to know each other, it became clear for me that this is only the mask and noisiness of Marcus helping him to defend his annual position on the streets.

Once one popular pop-singer, who iss hanging around on the island every summer shared with me her understanding: Ibiza attracts very strong personalities of different professions and social characteristics, be it the chucker-out, the dealer or the pr guy on the street. I think it’s one of the components of something inexplicable which comes up in the air, because everyone is bringing here his own “I”. Synergy of very strong people’s energies leads to something big, but not always explicable to be born here.

Marcus, 32

The story of Marcus is a right example of that. Today he’s a bit over thirty, came to the island at 19 and as he says, the island had eaten him immediately. “Further years of my life passed from summer to summer” – he says, – “even the prestigious college was left unfinished, as the more often I came here, the more doubts I had on the truthfulness of the system I was living in. I’m from the southern Italy but the major part of my conscious experience I got in England, where during all these years the studies in London college couldn’t give me the feeling of balance and I was feeling like a vagabond all the time. But as you see, once the vagabonds also become sought-after.” – With a smile Marcus is implying on Cadenza. “It’s possible only here. During the first years I worked on a parking of one big club, turned a penny as a barman, but last years I’ve been working as a pr guy for several events…Many times I fell, but I think during last years I’ve obtained my position here. I’m here for more than 10 years, but completely moved here for living a couple of years ago.”

What for did you come here and why did you stay?

“I think the same way than you, I don’t have a clear answer to this question. When leaving the island for the first time I already knew I would get back here. Perhaps most of the people who had a feeling of this wave in their breast have the same thoughts, but only few really move to the island. The reason perhaps is the will power. Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t believe in circumstances, for me it’s a way people find excuses for themselves. After first seasons spent on Ibiza, I was dreaming – as any other young guy of 20 years, who got acquainted with Ibiza – to move here and to make the career in clubbing sphere, become famous, rich and happy. Might be that fame and riches are more the naivety of youth, but I say “happy” as except for these summer seasons in Ibiza I’ve never felt myself that happy wherever. Many of my college mates became so-called “white collars”, many are unemployed. I wouldn’t like to be any of them. Perhaps there’s always been a rebel within me.”

Diving into Ibiza is one of rare adventures still left on this Earth. This island conquers you, even violates your mind in some way.

“Yes, I haven’t built a career, but to be honest during these years I’ve learned to see differently, not only my beloved job, but life as such. Parties are no more just action for me. They’ve obtained another prism of vision. Diving into Ibiza is one of rare adventures still left on this Earth. This island conquers you, even violates your mind in some way. Your worldview changes. For me the two best places on Earth are Amsterdam and Ibiza. And let the other things rip. Before moving here for many years I regularly spent a couple of months a year in Amsterdam. I can tell you that the main difference between these two places are climate and geographical location. All the rest for me is very similar. And it’s not about the marihuana thing. You are who you are. You’re free. It’s not weighed. These places are not yet demolished by the human folly and system.”

Nicolas, 54

Life of Nicolas or simply Nick, as he’s permitted me to name him, can be described with only one of his quotations: “You start getting old as soon as you stop trying”.

Our first conversation took place in August of 2009, after a couple of weeks of our acquaintance. Then we met several times and when once Nick asked me why I wanted to know about his coming to the island in such detail, I honestly replied that I’m collecting stories of people and once would like to publish a peculiar kind of digest. He agreed, smiled and said: “Good it won’t be a film shot”. Honestly, Nick’s story is worth a good feature motion picture. In the end of 2010 our third conversation on his relationship with Ibiza turned into a short story of his incredible life, which would be the envy of any man. I was lucky to meet several people of this kind, but Nick is very special.

As already mentioned, I met Nick in 2009, at a birthday party of his friend. I must say that this birthday party was unusual, since there were very many so-called respectable and semi-respectable people. White shirts, business – ladies… later it became clear that the further will be purely Ibizan, but at the beginning of this event among all this business-society I saw a man of a very different nature. Being a 54-year old American architect whose mother originated from Australia and father from Italy, Nick is spending half of his time whether in his Manhattan property or in his small, but own built villa on Ibiza. Many would perceive him as a definite playboy, who he is in a certain manner. Those who admire him, do it not for his love stories, but for his style, gracefulness and his proper aura of legend making it all possible. He’s a man who turns his wishes into art. He has evident and tenacious love of life. And he’s successfully avoiding projectors and flash lights whereas many people around him were born in the middle of them.

“After a short break, which I spent in London – not very healthy environment – and which was one of strategic mistakes of my life journey, I left to Spain together with my sport car MGB through all Europe. It was 1987. I was already 30, was not rich, but wealthy enough, since at that time I was doing visual design of films with big budgets for film studios. After a journey full of adventure through Valencia and Alicante, where there were not many parties contrary to the London concepts but a lot of culture, nature, wonderful food and other interesting things, I moved to Ibiza. I went there as Valencia’s nightlife was discovered, the love affair with a Spanish girl was over and I had nothing to do there at that time. Moreover, I’ve heard a lot about Ibiza and it was the only place on the world map where I haven’t been to from those who interest me. At that time, in the end of the 80’s, it was still the shining time of authentic Ibiza, but I came there without any ambition for a better place. It simply was destiny.”

The world is the same, only the decorations quickly change.

“Until that time our family had the house in Florida, my home was there where I was at that moment of time. I loved to party with friends on Cannes Film festival, relax on Capri island and have love affairs in Bodrum, which at that time was not yet the city of refugees and where my acquaintances, the crème de la creme of rock music had bought houses on the seashore and created their own little paradise. Arriving here I was a bit shocked there were no normal roads on the island and my sports car was not at all suitable for driving here. I was not the pioneer of the island – that I thought were the people who had come here in the 60’s. Here I had to face the fact that the comfort of big cities is not available everywhere on the island. But what I’ve seen and felt here has overwhelmed me. It was a feeling of elation of belonging to something enormous. Again, I’ve never seen so many people before in one place, whose love and understanding of this world were so special. I stayed on the island until autumn, got around all functioning and not functioning roads and after I found a place, in one year’s time, I bought a small piece of land with a house.  A sense of wonder came to me together with a state of contemplation. A bit later, when my girlfriend and me were painting the walls I had a feeling that some little ideal of harmony was reached. I took the risk, sacrificing promising projects and jobs in the USA. Time became of no importance to me and past came into future. It happened to all of a sudden – I achieved what I wanted. Woman to be together with. New future, which was sending out light as a lamp over our heads.”

Has your opinion of the island changed during these 20 years? And has life here changed?

“Most people of my age or older would probably say that the same as many, the life on the island has changed beyond recognition and the island was better earlier, but I personally don’t think so. The world here is the same, it’s just different decorations changing all the time. I never tried to earn more money on purpose; it was one of my determinant qualities in life. Perhaps I’m just lucky with karma. I’ve always been very selective in terms of work – many of my friends would say I was a very impractical architect. My house is standing here for more than half of a century not giving up to what happens around. When I bought it, it was just a small summerhouse. All you see here is made by my own hands. This house is my history, and I’m proud of it more than of any of my creations. Nowadays, when profession means self-identification, especially in the centers of global metropolitan cities, the romance of free travelling people is gradually disappearing. Busy life, full of sense and energy today sounds as a Stigma in cities of workaholics – New-York or London. People learned how to spend, but forgot how to live. All I’m sure about is that there are quite a few people nowadays who are able to take everything life offers them not regretting on years they didn’t spend climbing up the career ladder shearing their colleagues.

Your “spent” years are the monument which people can admire and which I used for sharing with others.”

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hofer66

you better be good.

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