A Travellerspoint blog


overcast -1 °C

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also, yesterday was womens day here in turkey..fyi

te shekular

Posted by LargeTuna 15:01 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

te shekular...

overcast -1 °C

i have finally arrived!! it feels great to be here and back with the brother again.

After too many hours in flight, i finally made it to sunny Turkey, made it through cutoms---hoping the bottle of jack i smuggled for my brother was not to be an issue--grabbed my bag and headed for the railing...the inevitable railing at every foreign airport that has nine milllion people staring at you, wondering if you are who they are looking for, holding up signs and most of the time yelling...as if you are walking on stage..and there always seems to be a small door leading out to it...there should be a sign that says "THE Railing" with an arrow under it...so i rounded the corner through the door..smiling ear to ear looking for the tall white boy with a faux hawk...to no avail..so before i went into panic mode, i did the whistle. no response? ok, got my whits together and started trying to contact kyle with my newly purchased vodofone card, and about 2 minutes into that, i turned around and there was my big brother. Off we went....ahh, much better. I cant believe this trip we have been talking about for so long and all the obstacles and playing that preceeded it are over and we are here!!

Last night we went to a Magnum photography exhibit at the Istanbul Modern, it was fantastic. Magnum has about every single iconic image of the last century..from james dean to tienenman square to the afghani girl with the green eyes to sept 11...it was a fantastic exhibit--and free on thursday nights. We met back up with our friend and host Ceren and hit a turkish kebab house, where we grubbed on some great food and ceren ate us under the table. I had captured only a precious hour or two of sleep in over 24 hours and i was falling asleep at the table. So we headed home and after showering of course had to partake in tea time before sleeping in one of the skinniest beds ever and had the most amazing 12 hours of rest.

Istanbul is very different than i had imagined, it goes on forever! There are things to look at everywhere, and oddly, one of them is the Fox logo...i think they are trying to buy the city of Istanbul. But the architecture is beautiful...so old...the epitome of the term old world. It feels like you are walking through a painting. I have yet to even be able to experience the city, but aesthetically its very unique. Today we hit the mosque's and castles and then dinner at a top floor bar cleverly named 360 that has a view of the city.

te shekular= thank you

this is the extent of my turkish, kyle is blowing me out of the water, but i plan to step it up in africa, when he doesnt have the advantage of having been there before. Also, in other news, i tend to revert to spanish when i know they dont speak my language..not helpful either..however, VAMANOS!

love you guys

Posted by LargeTuna 14:15 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Istanbul... thoughts on lettıng go

the butterfly affect binds us all

semi-overcast 7 °C

I awoke many hours before dawn on my fırst nıght ın Istanbul and scrıbbled thıs ın my journal....

Anybody that knows me knows I lıve for good musıc. In parrticular, I love to find that one line that speaks with simple, powerful veracity. This early istanbul morning I awoke with such a line on my tounge from one of my favorite artists sandra mccracken's song 'Shelter':

'sweet resolution comes with letting go'

The line is so simple, yet it strikes me with such poignance right now.

People, especially Americans, love to be in control, to think that we are behind he reigns in every facet of life... from wall street to relationsihps. The idea that we have control comforts us. But inevitably stock markets plunge with no warning and relationships unravel so quickly or so unpercievably slow that the moment that we realize it's too far gone we get the wind knocked out of us.

We think we are in control of our lives, but we are not. You are not. I am not.

This world is huge - 6 billion people strong - but we are weaved together in the ever-tightening tapestry of humanity. Which only serves to bring to light the fact that has always apparent, even if it was less obvious.... we are all connected and thus every indidual's decisons affect the global community. So when I choose to drive an SUV that pours pollutants into the atmosphere at alarming rates, it affects everyone. When there's a run on the Thai Bat, markets die from Japan to the UK, investments vanish and jobs vaporize... everyone is affected.

Every tiny decisoin has an affect. 6 Billion people wake up and make decisions all day and every single decision, regardless of geography or wealth, matter and every single decision has some impact on the global community. The buttlerfly affect binds us all... and there are 6 billion butterflies all flapping there wings on this globe. The aggregate affect is utter chaos.

Chaos frightens us because it is unpredictable, yeilding so many unknowns. So we expend so much energy obsessively ordering our lives in a feable attempt to oreder rid our lies of any chaos. And it works... to a very small extent... enough that we have an illusion of control. It takes big events, like people slamming a plane into towers of commerce or a huge wave washing away villaeges, to remind us of that truth.

We are not in control. You are not in control. I am not in control.

99.999999% of life is outside of our grasp of control we may choose to fight that and hold on tightly to gain .000000001% more control, or we can choose to let go and enjoy the ride of life. Understanding that this means we will be fearful, we will experience failures and hurt. But in letting go we can come to the resolution that this world is not centered around me - though each of us have a role to play - it's not about me. IT"S ABOUT US... the whole community of humanity.

I guess I am reminded of this fact because I have just arrived into the birthplae of chaos, Istanbul. Istanbul is a mgical city, I already love it! It is both ancient and modern... new apartment buildings are built behind Byzantine walls from the end of the Roman empire. Istanbul is both east and west... a bridge literally connects Asia to Europe over the Bosphorus. Istanbul is a site of pilgramage for both Muslums and Christians. This city is chaos.... and this white boy from Tennessee is not in control. I don't understand the layout of the city (no numbered streets and avenues). No matter how much I try, I can't even understand a shred of what anybody is saying. Nor will I ever understand why hot tea on a hot day allegedly makes you cooler... but everybody here seems to think so. All this makes me a bit uncomfortable because I am not in control...

So, when I woke up this morning with this lyric on my lips "sweet resolution that comes in letting go" I think it was my soul trying to tell me that I never have been in control, anywhere back home in NYC or TN. So maybe I should relax. Accept it. Let go. Enjoy the chaotic ride.

Letting go is a scarey thing, but I think that the fact that there is something outside this physical realm - beyond what we can touch and see. Something... someone that is bigger than the chaos of humanity, but not removed from it orchestrating a meta-narative of humanity from the mini-narratives of our lives. And if that someone actually cares, then... maybe then... we can find some shelter, some sweet resolution in letting go.

Ironically, Istanbul is probably the least chaotic place I will be in the next two months... I mean, let's face it, sub-saharan Africa is the paragon of order. So maybe it's a good thing that I am reminded of my lack of control early in the adventure. Perhaps I will discover the sweet resolution that comes with letting go... maybe that's what this trip is all about.

Posted by LargeTuna 14:25 Archived in Turkey Comments (5)

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