Sunday Salutations From Afar: Uç, Beş, Sekiz

Sunday salutations from afar: Uç, Beş, Sekiz...

Laying in bed- in a strange bed. It is not my own, but it belongs to not one other person. Yep, you guessed it, I'm on the road and woke up in a sweet little cave. 

Listening to brother Iz Kamawiwo'ole and feeling homesick for Hawaii. Almost brings a tear to my eye, how I love that place and hold it so close to my heart wherever I go.

Oh now, "White Sandy Beach in Hawaii" talk about a tear jerker right now.  The sound of the ocean soothes my restless soul.

Enough of the theatrics...I'm coming to the realization that my (current) destiny will be determined shortly... Where will I go? "Country Roads Take Me Home"- that's right, my next home... BRING IT !

I've made some new connections on this journey- or old-ish connections, but now deeper. A great group of people here I was exposed to. 

I've now moved on to my favorite Drum and Bass podcast, Hospital Records. Danny Bird rockin it up now. 

Wow what a change in direction from my state of mind: Iz Kamalawiwo'ole to Danny Bird. Let me sip some more coffee to bringg me up to speed... Speaking of coffee, this morning I'm drinking imposter coffee. Yes the instant variety. Although its always piss, I adore it because I know that whenever I'm drinking imposter coffee that I'm traveling with my trusty back-pack at my side. 

I had a lot of family memories this weekend.  I was watching a card game the other night and I tranced back in time. I immediately went to my brother Curt telling me "about a card game and did I want to play it?" I always said "yes" . And then we would proceed to play '52-Card pick up"... I will refrain from divulging what exactly "52-Card Pick Up" is, so readers you'll have to google it...

I was out cruising on an ATV all day yesterday with intermittent hikes across the landscape. I was brought back to going backpacking with my dad and brothers and I think Sister Sherry, one time. It was prolly my first backpacking trip, and I'm sure I carried a tiny backpack because I was only about 7 years old maybe. But I remember the large canvas tent.  I remember us being so exhausted after hiking up through these switchbacks at the top/end of the trail. We were all tired. It was near sunset. I remember. 

So, life is quite irie this weekend. It feels just awesome to be in such an other-worldly landscape. It's like a snake shedding its winter skin. That is what has taken place here folks. Not that this doesn't happen frequently, but it was kicked up a few notches this weekend. Should keep me refreshed for at least a week- until Turkey Trotting next weekend to... maybe Diyarbakir (note to self: tell Solo_ojo that were going to Diyarbakir next weekend). Weekend after... let's see I believe we (da gargoyles and BK) are heading to Adiyaman and THE Nemrut Dağ *sigh*. All you archaeologists take note... That means you, Putzi... 

Yea, I'm nearing the end of this run. On the subject of run/running, I've had some beauties the last few days. Everything is on high definition color. "And did you see the dragons in the refrigerator?" (That was an inside joke that likely only I will get perhaps) *chortle*

Rambling on... Damn this 'spring fever' syndrome is awesome! I mean in Hawaii you start to dream about the sun after a 5-day run of clouds/rain- which is rare...

That's all folks 


Holly's got her groove going...

So, the setting: Sunday morning on my couch post French Press coffee and eggs over easy. Post stupid Mermaid Solitaire card game iPad app that I'm currently addicted to (well there are mermaids granting treasure chests of things upon winning, and pirate hats and broken bits of seaglass, etc). I have this new 'regime routine' that I tried out last weekend, and have decided that I'm digging it.

Instead of waking up on the weekends and racing outta the apartment to get my run in on the weekends, I'm not in cruise control mode until about 11am and then go running.  The weather is just so pleasant now... It is perfect temperatures to be running and not sweating profusely- that will come in about 3 weeks so ima gonna soak up this 'regime routine' until I melt...

Yesterday's run proved to be especially fruitful. It was also nice to see friends on the field playing, or attempting to, ultimate frisbee- they were weaving in/out of the soccer games going on simultaneously. Anyway, 2.5 miles of running and 2.5 miles of walk/sprints = AWESOME. The cooldown yoga session was icing on the cake. Still though, I find it difficult to get into my (yoga) practice out in the public like that.  The peeps still stare at me like I'm doing something indecent... What I see is indecent: I see the soccer players warming up/cooling down with exercises that date back to the 1960s- when they had it all wrong and lead the way for sports medicine experts to finally tell them in. Seriously, sitting on peoples butts while they are trying to do a pull-up of sorts is SO FUCKING BAD FOR YOUR BACK!!! I'm amazed these coaches are teaching their young athletes these potentially damaging moves...

I sometimes see the kids staring at me- and some of the older ones I notice trying to do these stretches as well.  This makes me happy in that someone is able to make some connections about the benefits- vs what they are exposed to... Nuff said.

Yesterday was a very productive day downtown cruising w/the Solo_ojo.  Such mundane topics as getting my favorite Camper Maryjane shoes soles re-glued and buffed, a photo opp of the next batch of passport-sized photos I will inevitably need for the next locale, fresh-squeezed OJ purchase from my favorite juice seller... Oh, and get this- managed to fall in love with some more fabric as I strolled the fabric store w/my tailor while looking for fabric for Solo_ojo's new 3-piece suit he desires... I'm not sure what happened, but I was sporting my favorite Italian jacket and I saw this material (dreamy material) that hit my fancy and just knew it had to be... So... Unfortunately, I was wearing a tube-top underneath my jacket so I couldn't leave it w/Mehmet back at his atelier.  Peeps here frown upon that sort of thing- being scantily clothed... Another reason to pack it up and hoof it somewhere else- not that the next exit will be any more liberated I suppose... it's possible though.

 After a very successful day downtown, we ended up at our fav watering hole here in Gaziantep- Ekim 29.  As always, an assortment of colorful characters- ourselves included- to consider. Nothing like throwing back a few  pints of Tuborg Gold 100% Malt Liquor while listening to some awesome revolutionary music. LOVE this spot and will miss it dearly. This is one of the spots that will most remind me of what is particularly awesome about Gaziantep.

Slightly inebriated, we decided to hoof it through the gazillions of parks and hit up Sanko Park as Solo_ojo needed something from GNC. Seriously, that place is like the upper eschalon of the vitamin world here in Turkey.  The stuff is all crap.  It's all filled with fillers.  I would never even DARE to check out that shit back in America.  AND, it's incredibly expensive here.  He showed me some of this powder supplement he had bought (90TL!), and it was 1/3 full when opening it up at home. Yes, it was sealed before opening... Fucking criminal if you ask me.

The 'mall' is always an interesting experience.  Absolutely hate it and what it stands for. Everything reeks of China: cheap quality and over-priced.  Peeps be eating it up here though.  I suppose the same is true in Amerika as well, but I never go to those places to witness the demise of humanity...

Weary from a day of sport and shop, we trotted off to the tramvay chariot, that was packed and we had to stand, that brought us back to our hood.

All in all, a pleasant weekend- considering I'm supposed to be in Cyprus this weekend. Ah, but you all know this already if you have read yesterday's blog which, incidentally, I penned while being mildly intoxicated... I have yet to re-visit that posting to see if something should be stricken actually...

Hopefully by my next posting I will be able to present to you all "the rest of the story..." I realize this is just a teaser.  Cliffhanger questions for you to consider:

Where will Holly go?
What will she do?
Will she find true love?
Just who the f*ck is Solo_ojo anyway?
Will Holly go for a run today?
Did Holly buy anything at Sanko Park and she's just not telling us?
How can Holly brag about drinking 100% malt liquor beer? Eewww gross

I know, titillating life I lead here in G-tep... sometimes


spiritual gangster kicks ass this week (best case scenario)

Ever the sleuths here in G-tep, Solo_ojo and I headed to G-tep University campus after work today in search of the new quiver of cruiser bikes on campus that you can pick up/discard at your own will.  I noticed them last Saturday while running and on Sunday decided to spock it out after my run.  Yep, it works, and works well. 

So we were walking throughout the entire campus and not one bike was to be seen- until the end of the journey... What happened? Did all the bikes get stolen since their debut last weekend? I did manage to see another one while I was on my run right after that. Of course, Solo_ojo wasn't there to see that it really was true...

We were also to spock out this new eatery, or at least new to us.  Rumor Mill has it that they serve "Philadelphia Cheese Steak doner durum... Well, we were skeptical surely.  Anyway, I bowed out as I wanted to go for a run, and had recently eaten another sub-par durum... Apparently they were decent as I hear from the coconut wireless....

Right now: well, I'm on my couch, my belly full (uhmmmmm da kine, rum/cokes... I'm listening to AC/DC Back in Black on repeat. Yep, repeat. Fun shit.

I'm doing a bit of research tonight as well- as I'm in the perfect state-of-mind being pleasantly lit. It's been a week of small successes.  I have big news in a few areas, but not ready to divulge to you yet... Just know that my life has been forward-future-facing since February 1st.  Anyway, I visualize the future as a story in National Geographic Magazine-I did say I was pleasantly lit, right?

I'm happy to report that my running and yoga practices are flourishing.  Feels so good- this thing coined  'spring fever'. It's like falling in love all over again- every time. Speaking of falling in love all over again, I just rediscovered my spring/summer wardrobe! All the fall/winter crap stored away already or at the dry cleaners to prepare for storage- long term storage- inshallah.

Yea, it's nice to open up my armoire and see COLOR! Oh and strappy sandals and slinky dresses... Oh hell yea, get me back to Maui ASAP, or the Mediterranean, or the Aegean.

Speaking of the Mediterranean, I'm supposed to be on Cyprus right now... Didn't work out this weekend, but I've got something up my sleeve to compensate. Everything worked out the way it was supposed to this week is the way I look at it.  It was a roller-coaster week with me anticipating some news that was expected.  Is all worked out, and I'm closing in on the finale.

AC/DC is seriously pumping through my veins right now, but as it's almost 1 AM, a switch to Bob Marley is in order. More appropriate Bewitching Hour music...

Yea, smooth: Knocking on Heaven's Door- wow sweet rendition. This week was a week of inspiration. Sure I complain, but it's all pretty good- this life. I'm up for the adventure. I'm up for the challenge of what materializes next.  I know I'm definitely stoked for an American Summer: Hawaii bound and in need to chilling out in the rainforest; chilling out at the beach; chilling out in Haiku; chilling out in Hana; Then Oregon, then the UP of Michigan, then Cali, then East Coast, etc...

But Hawaii... it's always all about heading back home to the Islands.  Fuck yea. I can smell the sweet grasses of Haiku wafting down the gulch as I'm running at sunset. I can smell the night blooming jasmine in the air so strong that I choke on its sensual embrace. I can smell the rain. Yes that's right- the rain. There is nothing like rain in the rainforest. Listening to the symphony of water hitting the corrugated tin roof late at night, or in the morning while still in bed drinking coffee, or on a lazy afternoon where you don't want to leave your dwelling because you are just so content to... well... you know... just space out and enjoy the fuck outta life.

I think for everybody that there is not a feeling to compare of going back home. All the memories. All life from there picks up right where you left it off.  You walk down the street of Paia and see peeps and chat them up and they ask, "hey, you been hiding out on the South Shore or something lately.  It's been a while since I've seen you!"  You just smile and start walking together and begin to weave your thoughts into a story and proceed from there. Where you, inevitably, end up at the beach. 

Yea I'm ready.  I can't wait to visit the archaeology lab and see what all the lab rats have been up to the past year. I can't wait to rummage around in Mana Foods looking at all the healthy food. I can't wait to walk around Paia town and window shop. I can't wait to EAT.

So, that's it for this post/walk down memory lane... I'll prolly not remember this one.  I hope it makes- nonsense...


French Press-perfect Sunday morning in the Cradle of Civilization

Sunday morning in the Fertile Crescent.  It's been a very productive, and social, morning and it is only 10:30 am. After yesterday's debacle of, and as a result of, drinking some rum/coke's Friday evening and watching "Constantine" with Keanu Reeves and great cast including Tilda Swinton and Rachael Weiss (actually a good flick). Waking up with an ever-so-slight (ahem) hangover, I opted to wait until noon to go for a run... It was, nevertheless, a difficult run and yoga session that followed. A few realizations: don't drink 3 rum/cokes on a Friday night; it's already too hot to go for a run in the afternoons here- especially with a hangover; most importantly, I've been hit with "spring fever"!

I'm loving this feeling- of lightness, of sunshine, of positive, of future endeavors, of the coming summer... Hawaii!!! This is such a great shift to live completely in the present- as sometimes I shift too much into 'future mode.'

So, that was yesterday's 'debacle'- which isn't really too bad of a debacle. I mean, I had fun Friday evening with Solo_ojo, I had some great exercise on Saturday, and now I am back to 'normal' this Sunday after passing out early last night. What is 'normal' anyway?

High on life post run this morning, I put on some burlesque music (yep, that's right), started brewing some coffee and... planning for my future... Luckily, the internet had been spotty all weekend, so plans for that got squashed immediately.  I delved further into my 'wicca' mood with some Nag Champa incense, Mexican chocolate soy candles and luscious Brazilian coffee straight from my back-up french press- which isn't great, but I'm glad I have the back up! Thank you Rachael (if you are reading this) for gifting me that little treasure when you left G-tep last summer!

Seline and Benny came over to soak up the morning rays on my deck, and Solo_ojo soon followed.  What a lovely Sunday morning, the 4 of us shooting the shit about America, Turkey, future-forward thinking topics such as: solar-powered windmills, immigrant communities, Bodrum summer vacations, desires, fantasies, realities, LIFE. Yea, good times indeed.  The duo is off to the zoo today. A perfect day for this excursion.  I remember going to the G-tep zoo with Azadeh  the winter before last. There was loads of snow and not a soul around... Fun day.

I'm headed downtown to soak in the day. It's that kind of glorious day today. There is this guy who has a 'curiosity-shop' of sorts. In my opinion, I am always curious about the things in his place as they are a bit different than typical bazaar stuff here.  He has a lot of books on Anatolian history and archaeology.  His store is the only place that I can find copies of "Anatolia Actual Archaeology Magazine (in English).  Expensive as a copy is (20TL each), it is worth it. He has a book that I want (100TL...), so I'm in the mode that I want to keep returning to check it out and establish more of a relationship with him and his family.  With my sparse Turkish, and their lack of English, it is always brief, but I love communicating with them.  This issue is full of history/current archaeological expedition news from Istanbul, Zeugma, (the forgotten kingdom of) Alalakh and Tell Tayinat (the capital of the Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Patina), Gordion and Sardis, etc.

Anatolian history is so captivating. The earlier periods, the better- in my humble opinion.  So, yes, the Çarsı is on my list today of places to visit, as well as Zincerli Bedestan, etc. It's also probably a good day to eat some delicious kebap, mostly because I hardly ever eat Kebap here... This being one of the 'things' in the back of my mind in terms of difficulties of getting access to health foods here. I like those days when I just give in and eat loads of kebap.

Yesterday a few of us went out for a late lunch to my favorite Syrian restaurant  a short walk from my apartment.  Ahmad accompanied Solo_ojo and myself. It was such a lovely day walking around the hood. The first day to wear light clothing and actually sweat! It is certainly an indicator of events to come in a few short weeks.  I predict that in 2 weeks it will be pretty hot already.

Last weekend I was in Izmir. I love that city.  I love it out in Narlidere hood.  It's so pleasant to just be right on the water- even without a beach.  I realize how much I miss living at the beach.  It is my life.  I've never been so far away from 'the beach' in my life for such an extended period of time.  I need the water. I need the constant motion of water. Some people need mountains- and the static almost quietness of mountainscapes.  I love this as well, but it is not 'natural' to my body.  I certainly adapt and think I could live in the mountains for a while... but the beach is 'normal' for me.  Living in G-tep is not 'normal' for me, but it is fine. With neither beach, nor mountain nearby, I have adapted to a landscape of rolling hills. It doesn't feel 'normal' though...

Perhaps this is why I feel I live more in a state of looking to the future lately.  We were discussing this just this morning over coffee.  Feeling a part of a community is the key to healthy living. I wear different hats here to get around this feeling. It suffices, but I need an expanded community. A community of like-minded individuals (I'm thinking outside the 'workbox' here). I have a lovely, small, community of like-minded individuals that I love and adore here.  It's nice to share our experiences. Yea, it's been a perfect morning.

I'm bouncing all over the place here with this post today.  I believe I will have some interesting news for ya'll next week though...

So, that's all folks...