5.05.2013

location, location, location...

It seems I've been scouting out potential locations for the past 6 months- either in cyberspace or through Turkey Trotting.  I've even gone so far as to google Erzurum this evening... Wouldn't that be something- Erzurum... For those of you in the know, you know what I'm talking about...

Today, as all weekend days are, was awesome. My morning run was hot and sweaty (why did I wait until 9 AM to go running?) Our Zirve Ultimate Frisbee Crew was on the field- competing for space with all the little league kids playing futbol. I managed 4 miles before I caved in to the demands from the sun that I either stop or pass out... The frisbee crew is getting larger and larger and, if we can ever get the field to ourselves, we can actually have a match... It's a constant adjustment of moving around and staying out of the way of the futbollers... They look at us with equal fascination. 

Due to the heat, I adjust my running attire accordingly- much to the amusement of the local population apparently. The little tykes are just adorable though and never miss an opportunity, each time I run a lap, to shyly shout out, "Kolay Gelsin", and crack a toothy smile at me.  Anyway, I love these mornings as I see the real slice of life here.

Currently my thoughts are being drowned out by incessant honking and the loudest firecrackers I have ever heard.  Galatasaray won their futbol match against Sivasspor so the city in my university neighborhood is going off the richtor.  All you can see is a  sea of yellow and red on the streets and flags flowing from the cars speeding by as they race up and down 'the strip' here.  I'll miss it actually...

As I view the 'show' from my top floor lanai (balcony), I see that traffic is at a standstill.  It's like a parade has shut down the flow of cars.  People are standing out of their cars and walking around. Amusing. It's only 10:30 PM so we'll see how much longer this remains *amusing* to me...

Back to the future.  I hope to know where I will be going within 2 weeks on the subject of future.  Plot B is still .. Izmir (in case Plot A turns out to be Pakistan I suppose). And just where exactly is the Democratic Republic of Congo? Sri Lanka you say? I say 'cool'- there is surf and yoga there... Honduras: great cup o coffee there as I recall... Mongolia? Yak butter will be all the rage for my diet. India: I love me some saris. Algeria? I fell in love with the Kasbah from watching the movie, "Algiers." Russia: not crazy about, but I can do anything for 10 months I suppose...

Okay, I hear cars getting crazy out there and lots of burning rubber.  Seriously, the car honking has been going steady for at least 20 minutes now.

On to more interesting news... it's wildflower season.  The southeast Anatolian Plains are filled with wildflowers- as far as the eye can see.  The Poppies are especially magical. The Blood Red hue is so amazing.  Oh, and the roses.  OMG the roses.  They are exploding everywhere in this city.  They are falling off their vines- heavy and saturated with smells that turn your world around.  All the hills are still green, but that will change this week as it's been a very hot week.  There are some trees, especially on the Gaziantep University campus, that are flowering with both white and a dusty-rose color.  The smell that is wafting from them is simply divine.  I get a whiff here and there while walking around.  I don't know what the tree variety is, but it reminds me of a delicate Mock Orange bush back in The Islands.

The Islands. The Sandwich Islands. Hawaii. My home awaits me for the summer. I dream of my Baldwin Beach sunset run. I dream of my Haiku Road morning run.  I dream about yoga- any time of the day. I dream of new bikinis. The dream is so close to reality now. I dream of picking purple Passion Fruit and having the juices run down my mouth. I dream of the waterfalls and pools to swim in. I dream of FOOD- wholesome, healthy (dare I say 'organic') food. I dream of full moon parties and sounds of the booming bass at sunrise after a night of wild, reckless abandon and dancing and frolicking with friends. I dream of getting down and earthy. I dream of getting sky high from the good life. Of course, I dream of leaving all that to and heading off to the next adventure where my dreams are new and different dreams...

11 PM and the noise outside is still at unmanageable levels- at least in terms of trying to sleep, or study, or lesson plan... So I continue to type this text. Let's see, what else can I amuse you guys with? Oh, well the trio of goddesses (the Turk, the Iranian-Azeri and the Hawaiian) trotted off to... Metro today to do some quality shopping.  Well, I speak for myself as I stocked up on such necessities as Rum, Tequilla and South African white wine... I can't forget the precious corn tortillas that I can ONLY find at Metro as well.  And the peanut butter (why is this so difficult to obtain here?) Hey, what a great idea- I can open up a bottle right now as a matter of fact.  I mean, I'm certainly not going to sleep anytime soon...

* sound of wine cork popping *  And that awkward moment when you realize you are trying to open up a screw-top cap with a corkscrew... Looks like it's a Chilean white wine tonight folks. Bonus: an unbroken wine glass remains with a beautiful fluted stem... *sips and sighs*

For all you readers out there, I just started a new book, "Rome on the Euphrates" by Freya Stark.  If you don't know the author, check her. She's considered the 'doyenne' of Middle East travel writers. Seriously, the picture on the back, she looks like the female version of Lawrence of Arabia. As far as I can tell from the 1st 50 pages, she concentrates on the major (war) campaigns in/around Asia Minor circa 200 BC;, but she focuses on the eastern limits of the Roman Empire- on the Euphrates River. It's a big, thick book...

I still have the taste of Cappadocia on me.  I really wanted that to work out, but alas another path was meant to be for me... I am beginning to feel like a tumbleweed that just keeps on the move. Sometimes the wind dies down and I stay put for a while, but then the wind zephyr always whips up again and blows me to all parts of 'the empire'.

It looks like the wind will blow me to Ankara in 2 weeks as I need to do a complete physical exam with a doctor that is okayed by the US Embassy... The form is 8 PAGES LONG.  I get the idea that the doctor is going to explore areas that I don't even explore... Rebecca and Steve prepare yourselves for my imminent arrival (code word for 'bring out the bacon and booze'). Have car we go holoholo all over da kine places. Also, let me know what you want me to bring from Gaziantep. So yes, this physical is the next step in 'the process'.  The process is exhausting. I'm up for the cause though.

It's like I'm in an amphitheater and the crowd is cheering the gladiators on. It is absolute chaos outside still.  If that's the case, I definitely see myself wearing a white linen long, flowing toga with gold embroidery on the bodice,  and I'm holding up a cup of wine because I pay homage, of course, to the mighty god Dionysus... I should have a bowl of fruit: grapes and figs. And nuts. And dried apricots.  There should be a handsome attendant at my beckoning too.  He should be scantily clothed... He would probably be from the outskirts of the Empire.  I would probably worship the moon goddess- which means many secret ceremonies and initiation rites.  I would, obviously, adore this.

Alright then, back to the present. I'm on my couch, in my favorite Hawaiian lava lava (sarong) getting a bit tipsy and wondering when I will sleep tonight and if this noise will ever die down...

Iron Man 3: Here is a short synopsis. It's decent.  It's entertaining.  RDJ rocks. Gwenyth Paltrow looks like a skinny raisin. Plot is entertaining. Jon Favreau (producer director and small part as "Happy") is AWESOME. Totally worth the money and risk of going to 'the mall' (Sanko Park). Yea, that's right, I still detest shopping malls. They just creep me out.

I'm done here-