The Turkey-experience

By Dionne Hosters

When in Turkey….

Lately I have been to Turkey for the second time, but I did not really remember the way people behave in traffic there. I guess in Turkey anything is possible and allowed. In most countries I have visited there are numbers either on the road or on signs, they usually tell you the maximum speed at that specific road, but in Turkey I guess it means you have to double that number. For example when the number says 70, you should drive 140 km per hour. This would be the minimum speed, you must be allowed to drive 160 km per hour maximum over there

Eventhough the people in this country drive on the right side of the road, they are allowed to pass other vehicles on either the right or the left side, in most countries I know you are only allowed to pass another vehicle on one side of the road, which in most cases is the left side of the vehicle.

When waiting at a traffic light people do not seem to be too patient, in Turkey the lights first turn orange and then green, but at the time it is orange it seems to be that you have to have you car going already before the light even turned green, otherwise people start to make you notice you are not quick enough.

I also think that the lines on the road do not really have a meaning because at traffic lights the vehicles pass the line that usually is the line you have to wait behind. Also the lines in the middle of the road usually have meanings, because when you have one straight line it usually means that you cannot pass it, but in Turkey you are allowed to pass it anyways.

But the most interesting thing that is allowed in Turkey is that people are allowed to stand on the back of the vehicle while driving, I have been sitting in a Jeep and one man was allowed to stand (not wearing any form of safety) on the back of the Jeep (outside of the Jeep),  even when the speed was at about 80 km per hour.


©Wim Giesen

As you hopefully understood this whole blog is full with sarcasm, but it is a real life story. The funny thing is (but I think this happens in every country) when you see there are cops around people tend to stick to the rules.


©Wim Giesen

In the end I will say that I am really happy that I did not drive the car in Turkey because it seems all people are in a rush and when you stick to the rules people seem to think you are disturbing.

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Nicole Zell starts “Djurmaine Campaign”

By Dionne Hosters

Nicole Zell (American singer-songwriter) recently started a new campaign called “Djurmaine Campaign” a campaign inspired by the recently deceased Jermaine Tonkes.  What is it all about and how did it start?

 “I met Jermaine through music on YouTube, through a mutual friend, around summer 2008.” Zell said. They became very close and were best friends ever since, they liked the same kind of music, had the same views on life, shared the same goals and dreams, you could say they were very similar.

Whenever Zell tells who Tonkes was to her she says: He was my brother, my “transatlantic buddy”, and my “international band mate.”.

When she heard what happened she was devastated and shocked, she lost a part that can never be replaced.

©Jermaine Tonkes

Later on Zell started the new campaign. “We promised each other if anything would happen to the other, we’d continue the other’s legacy and music.” Zell said. Next to that Tonkes once said that he wanted to help people, he said: “I want to build up my music career and raise money for the poor, I want to help people, in Africa, build water wells, with my bare hands. I’d do anything to mean something to the world.”. By combining those two wishes of Tonkes, Zell wants to spread his music while helping others.

Zell is really committed to this campaign this is what she said: Djurmaine Campaign is cause/community/campaign that strives to keep Jermaine Tonkes’ Dreams Alive by Helping Africa and Battling Suicide/Depression. I plan to continue it as long as possible and as long as I feel lead to do it.  I’m doing this for Jerry and that in itself makes me want to continue with it forever.”

The first project of the campaign will be an online album release on iTunes of some of Tonkes original songs. The name of the album will be “Jermaine’s Dreams”. The release date will be up soon. Proceeds from the album will go towards “Heifer” organization ( that benefits Africa and “To Write Love On Her Arms” organization ( that helps suicide/depression.

People can support the campaign by liking the Facebook page (, follow them on Twitter ( and subscribe on YouTube ( At the moment the campaign has reached over 270 likes on Facebook, over 70 followers on Twitter and about 500 views on YouTube, but as you can tell they will need many more supporters to spread the word!

©Nicole Zell

Currently other projects have been started as well, such as making wristbands etc. for the campaign, which will probably be online soon as well.

Zell said that the final goal of this campaign is the same one as Tonkes had, help others through his music, no matter how many people she will reach. She will be happy with whoever she can reach and however much money it will bring up, as long as she knows the is carrying out Tonkes dreams she is satisfied!

 “In closing, I’d like to leave you with some of Jerry’s inspirational song lyrics:
“Don’t give up now,
Not whenever darkness comes.”

Jerry always told everyone to NEVER give up and to always look for brighter days ahead no matter what happens in life.  He would want us to never give up, stay strong, and live out our dreams to the fullest.” Zell said.

©Nicole Zell

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R.I.P. Jermaine!

By Dionne Hosters

A few months ago I wrote this blog about Jermaine Tonkes ( I wrote about how good he was doing and the success he had at that point of time. Not too long I ago we even spoke about writing another blog about him.

©Jermaine Tonkes

This morning started of terribly. Just like every Monday I went to work in the early morning. While I was in the train the conductor asked around if people where travelling further than the destination we were arriving at. I was but I kept quiet. Someone answered and the lady said that someone jumped in front of the train and because of that further transport with that train was not possible. I thought great, early Monday morning and already a delay.

While figuring out what the fastest way was to get to work I was checking my Facebook, email etc. like I usually do when I am travelling.

Then I read Jermaine’s message, I was shocked and the first thing I thought was: “Please do not let it be Jermaine who jumped in front of that train”. Instead of the usual 45 minutes it took me 2 hours to get to work and I kept in touch with everyone as much as possible. Together we all tried to figure out where he could be and we tried to find ways to reach as much people as possible in order to know if he was alright. But I already had a really bad feeling about this. Then the message came, they found Jermaine, but he is not alive anymore. I did not know what I read, what to do and what to say. Speechless, no words, nothing just tears and not understanding why I did not see something more was going on the last times I spoke to him…

Now, many hours later I still cannot believe it, I still hope this is not true. When I was sitting in the train again later on the day I felt weird. Knowing this might have been the train that had hit, him, Jermaine, the creative and awesome guy we all knew.

Now he is gone, all we might hope for is that he is in peace now, that he is happy and not hurting anymore. I know there are many many many people with me who are thinking about him, his family and all the people who were close to him.

We will never forget him, Jermaine Tonkens, Djurmaine or Jerry. You will always be remembered!

©Jermaine Tonkes

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When I grow up…

By Dionne Hosters

When you go to kindergarten people ask you what you want to do when you grow up. You hear the funniest answers: I want to be a princes, I want to be a pop star or I want to be a film star.

For some of us this might have become reality but for most of us this changes throughout the years. When you go to kindergarten you look up to people leaving primary school, because they are already so big and much older, when you go to high school you look up to the people leaving high school already because they are so much older and further in the schooling process. The same happens when going to university. But on the other hand, when reaching those higher classes yourself it does not seem that special and great at all, you realise that it belongs to the process.

But while growing up a lot of decisions have to be made, those decisions can have a big influence on your life. First your parents choose a primary school for you but later on you can decide along to pick a good high school and afterwards a university. Those decisions are really hard. But still the future seems really far away, but at this moment a lot of people are making those decisions but also a lot have to decide what they are going to do with the rest of their life because they have just finished university and on the other half of the world this will most likely happen to a lot of people as well within the next half year.

I have just graduated myself as well and I have to admit that “growing up” and deciding what to do with the rest of your life is really not that easy at all. Many of us will travel around the world, I am planning to do that myself as well. But many of us will also try to find a job and start settle down at a place where you will hopefully stay for the rest of your life. But I believe that there are many people with me who do not know exactly what to do yet, of course we will not sit still because there are many different possibilities. Next to travelling or finding the perfect job, some might have chosen to do another studies or want to get a masters degree, some might just take a job they like and then see what happens. Anyway whatever we all have chosen in the end, the most important goal we all want to reach is being happy, satisfied with our lives.

So whenever we will reach our goals later or maybe within a few months as long as we are happy we are satisfied. So later when we maybe have got grand children and look back at the time we just graduated we can say this is what I have done with my life, I tried to make the best out of it and I was really happy.

So if I would have the chance to answer that question again at kindergarten my answer would simply be: “When I grow up, I want to be happy”.

What would your answer be?

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Djurmaine is back!

By Dionne Hosters

We all thought Djurmaine left YouTube, but now he is back and better than ever! – Recently he had an interview about his YouTube partnership, but let’s see who Djurmaine really is.

Djurmaine’s real name is Jermaine Tonkes, he lives in Maasbracht. “I’ve been living in Maasbracht for pretty much half of my life now, I was born in Dordrecht and pretty much got raised there.” Tonkes said. But Tonkes is not planning to stay in The Netherlands forever. “My ultimate dream is to move out to the United States when I finish my school and start a music career there with a few fellow musicians I’ve met through YouTube. Yeah, sounds like the American dream but I just feel comfortable living the American lifestyle. No idea why!” Tonkes said.

©Jermaine Tonkes

Tonkes started playing music about 5 years ago, but he has been singing in a kid’s choir when he was 7 years old. Nowadays Tonkes usually plays the guitar. “I never really had guitar lessons but followed tutorials on YouTube instead.” Tonkes said.

As we know all musicians have got a person they see as an example within the music industry, so also Tonkes: “I guess I am very cheesy, but Jimi Hendrix is a very big inspiration when it comes to alternative thinking and writing what your heart feels to do. Speaking of nowadays artists, it’s not really the mainstream musicians that inspire me. There’s a guy called Samuel Ock, he writes modern pop and funk music, but he uses YouTube as his main platform. He makes jazz/hip-hop which is a very cool combination of genres!”

We know that Tonkes also writes his own music, but where does he find inspiration to write songs? This is what he said: “Most of my songs are an abstract evolution of autobiographic experiences.”
But simply said, he experiences things, then he writes it down and tries to make the words universal to anyone. Tonkes rather not get too personal because as he said “We all need a little bit of privacy sometimes”.
The reason he does not write about love too much, is because he thinks things tend to get very cheesy whenever he tries to.

But Tonkes does not simply publish every song he writes, he likes it better when people criticize his songs first. The person he asks for help is Nicole Zell from The United States of America, Zell has got her own band, Nicole Zell band. She also asks Tonkes for help which is in the end a win-win situation. Tonkes and Zell also collaborated even though they have never met each other in real life, there are definitely some limitations, but both of them are very satisfied with the results.

A while ago Tonkes got offered a record label, but he did not take the offer. “When an offer like this meets your doorstep it’s easy to be captivated by the false illusion of instant success. The company was rather small anyway, so it didn’t really have much to offer, at least, not in my music genre. I write modern pop and indie-rock, while they mostly managed country musicians. So I’m not that sad about it after all!” Tonkes said.

©Jermaine Tonkes

Tonkes has got a very busy daily life at the moment he is doing his graduation internship in Eindhoven, in the weekends he works as a camera salesman and in the little spare time he  works on YouTube content and music. “I wish I had more time to work on my music but unfortunately I have to do grown-up things…” Tonkes said while laughing.

So no wonder Tonkes does not have the time to reply to every single message he receives. But one thing is for sure, he loves his followers and fans and appreciates all the support he gets! And as Tonkes says: “One love and peace!”.

©Jermaine Tonkes

Jermaine’s artist page:
Jermaine’s Twitter:!/djurmaine
Jermaine’s YouTube:
Nicole Zell Band:

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“I will love you forever”

By Dionne Hosters

“I will love you forever” it is a promise many people have made and it’s a promise many people have broken.

You see it in films all the time, the happy couple that tells each other they will love each other forever and will never let them go! In reality this is not different, but later on something happens and the couple breaks up, they meet someone else and tell the next person exactly the same thing.

I hate it when people break promises. Why wouldn’t you say “I want to love you forever?” In this case you are not promising anything to anyone but just telling the something you would love to do but you can never promise that will actually happen. You could also say “I hope that I will love you forever”.

I completely understand that when you are in love your feelings are so strong that you think they will never fade away. But everyone knows that some day that might happen, this has been proven so many times in life. Of course the one you are in love with is special to you and you want to stay with him or her forever. But that is not a promise you can make to each other, the promise you can make is that both of you will do anything to stay with each other as long as possible.

There are people who say they would not start a relationship if they know it won’t be forever, or if they know there is a big chance that it won’t last. But there are people who say that they know when they start a relationship they know that someday it will be over. When people start to have feelings for someone they start to do crazy things and there are people in the ‘groups’ I just mentioned who say that they will love their lover forever.

I believe (but might be completely wrong on this one) that most of the people who start a relationship believe that they might be together with this person forever, or at least a very long time. This feeling will probably be the strongest when you are madly in love with someone but the longer the relationship lasts (if it is a good one) this feeling does not fade away and gets confirmed more and more the longer you are together.

Everyone knows love is a big word used a lot in the society we live in nowadays. People are in my opinion too fast in telling someone that they love them. As in the person they have a relationship with. In my opinion you cannot love someone when you are together for only two weeks, you might have feelings for this person and really fancy and like them but loving? – No, you cannot convince me about this anymore. There were days I believed this was possible too, but loving someone and having very strong feelings for someone is a difference, they might be close to each other but they are not the same.

But we all know there are also people who need a lot of courage to tell someone they love him or her. There are many different reasons for this but that is not the point right now. But to them telling someone that they love him or her is a big deal. It means a lot to them if the person loves them in return and in some cases they might not be sure it is love what they feel and they just don’t tell. I believe that there are people out there who believe the word love is ‘overused’ and that might be the reason that the real thing is something they keep for themselves for a while until they are completely sure it is real love that they feel. But I also believe that there are people who in the end might never tell.

In the end there are many different people with many different opinions and love will have many different meanings to everyone. But I stick with mine that you cannot promise someone to love them forever. Maybe when you get married and you make a commitment to each other you can say so but even by then life can bring you something completely different!

© Dionne Hosters

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Miss Dinkles presents: ‘Celeste, Nick and the magical tea party’

By Dionne Hosters

Australian Joelie Atkinson, also known as Miss Dinkles, is about to publish her first children’s book called ‘Celeste, Nick and the magical tea party’.

How did Atkinson get the idea of writing her own children book? – “I wanted to re-teach a particular philosophy, that is common to Indigenous cultures around the world, to the masses on earth. I knew that if I wrote a book aimed at adults, not many would read something like that. After a year of not doing anything about sharing the philosophy, I heard some children’s carousel music in a song on the radio and that is when I knew I should write a children’s book.”  

So that is what Atkinson decided to do and she started writing her own book. Atkinson has been working on the book since January 2004 and finished writing it in January 2010. After that she has been editing the book until May 2010, then she sent the book to ‘Brolga Publishing’, with a cheque to have one of their editors look at her book.

“Within a week I had the edited manuscript back with a cover letter from the Director of Brolga Publishing saying that if I wished to accept the edits made by the editor, they would like to proceed to publish.”

Atkinson is very excited to have her book published: “Not everyone that writes a book gets it published so I am privileged and grateful that the world will get to read my story and know its message.”

But what is this book actually about? – “When Celeste becomes bored hosting tea parties with her imaginary friends, she finds an old radio that enables her to escape to a world where she can help plants to grow. With her new friend, Nick, she soon learns that nature develops faster and animals are healed better when they work together. What could happen if they throw a huge tea party to bring together the entire neighbourhood?
This delightful story brings back to life an ancient World Indigenous philosophy through the friendship of Celeste and Nick as they discover much more can be achieved together than on their own.”
Atkinson said.

It is a book for younger children, from 3 years on. Children from about 7 years might be able to read it themselves.

To make the book complete Atkinson worked together with illustrator Adam Oehlers, he is an Australian illustrator who is currently working out of the UK. He has also been working on books like ‘A Babble of Words’, Dear Little Emmie’ and ‘Lulu and the Purple Pebble’, his upcoming publication is ‘Cinderella jump rope Nursery Rhymes’. Oehlers work has been exhibited worldwide. He also had a solo exhibition in Melbourne, Australia entitled ‘Into the Woods’.

But this is not the only book Atkinson planned to write, she got very motivated and decided to write a Celeste and Nick adventure series. She even has got a working title for the next book which is ‘Celeste, Nick and the Amazing Jungle J*****’. “I won’t reveal the last word, to keep everyone in suspense.” Atkinson said. According to Atkinson Celeste and Nick will have a lot more adventures coming up.

The first book will be available from the website from 11:11 am (Australian Standard Eastern Time) on the 11th of November 2011. “It is Remembrance Day so people should remember that!”Atkinson said.
Atkinson is very happy with the result of her book and is very excited that he book finally will be launched upcoming Friday! – She hopes you will all enjoy it as much as she has been so far!

© Andrew Williams

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