Maui Daze in a Jet-Lag haze

I'm finally getting around to updating my blog.  A now far-away friend just informed me that I haven't updated it in a while... so...

I made it back to Maui this week and have been in a jet-lag induced stupor ever since.  I think I finally got a grip on it last night though.  It took 4 nights, but I was able to watch the entire season 1-3 of Game of Thrones.  Upon finishing epi 10 Season 3 last night, I was able to fall into a (drug-induced) sleep for 8 luscious hours.

It's now nearly 7:30 am Saturday  morning, and I'm feeling alright. I've had no coffee yet, no morning run (I'm enjoying evening runs up here in Kula- my temporary HQ- until I move to Makawao to another temporary HQ- until I move to Maui Meadows to another temporary HQ, until Haiku, until Hana, etc)... Yep I'M BACK FOLKS!!!

Back home on Maui and it seems strange: slow-moving, peeps tanned/beautiful everywhere, no excessive stupidity where operating a moving vehicle is concerned, no cutting lines in queues... But mostly just beauty as far as the eye can see- natural beauty. Yea there's some building impeding some fantastic views, etc but really just lots of open space.

I've made some new discoveries as well: there are some decent tele series out there; there is this super cool machine, called YONANA, that eats up frozen bananas and spits out a banana freezie thing that is absolutely wonderful when you add shredded coconut and cinnamon on it; there are quite a few decent tasting as well as decent priced red wines available at Long's Upcountry appropriately called, "Menage A Trois" and "Monogamy"...

I have reacquainted myself with such delights as Caesar Salad (with REAL Caesar dressing), Acai berry smoothies, Hazelnut Milk, Mangoes so luscious that your lips swell. Mexican food? Not yet... I'm saving myself for that one.  I don't know how much longer I can hold out though... First someone has to update me on the best Mexican food on isle as of late...

So I'm throwing myself back into the Maui spirit, which now that work is over (Driver's License renewal, Bank activity, post office box sorting out, etc) includes such shitty activities as having no certain place to be at any certain time, beach, hitch-hiking around isle, beach, eating HEALTHY, beach...

my stress level has been reduced to: wondering what I am going to wear to a friend's wedding on Molokai next weekend, and when exactly I'll be visiting my family on the Mainland so I can make a plane reservation QUICKLY before prices inflate.

Just a quick note about my new run because it's so wonderful to be running a route that is not a route at all, or even a track.  This has been so liberating.  Running in the upcountry lands around bridges and horse stables and on an empty feeder road in the hills of Kula in cool temperatures.  Running and seeing beautiful things, and smelling beautiful smells of sweet grasses growing on the sides of the road. Even the smell of the dead, rotting cow over the bridge in a steep gulch has a certain feel of 'life' to it for me. Running without anyone looking at me like I'm weird.  Running & having peeps walking their dogs and saying to me, "beautiful afternoon for a run isn't it". I ran by a horse arena last night and the smell of farm animals was intoxicating. And then the sound of the pigs squeaking or squealing- whatever it is that they do... The peacocks in the distance sounding off with their shrills- giving me a warning that they are nearby watching (yea peacocks are certainly GREAT unconventional watchdogs I have found out).

Okay this is all for now as my lovely hosts are making me breakfast- well Jamil is.. Katie-girl is entertaining me with stories of calorie-counting...


No Noise Pollution Last Night at Rock & Rollah Bar in Istanbul...

You know, I cold probably just not write an entry today because the post title really says it all.  But, for entertainment purposes I will try to weave a clever story leading up to all this, but my mind is kinda fried right now.  Additionally, I can hardly get up to make myself some coffee this morning as we got all bus' up last night...

So, I left Gaziantep last week and made it to Istanbul.  I've been frantically packing, unpacking, dodging tear gas (sometimes successfully but mostly not), playing musical apartments with my friends here that still seem to tolerate my aberrant behavior, walking, tweeting (in defiance of Mr. pm here of course, who deemed it 'evil').  Talk about motormouth that man... anything that he personally doesn't endorse, he doesn't see fit for Turkish citizens to partake in... I could go on and on about this, but I'm a bit burnt out on it- as with most my inner circle here I suppose.

To sum up the above paragraph, things seem to be winding down- in terms of the Gezi Park protests here in Istanbul.  Ankara seems to be getting it this weekend... Perhaps the big rains yesterday morning dampened the protestors spirits- soaked more like it.  Perhaps it was the pm's ridiculous demands, as well as the way he stated them in his Cro-Magnon  dribble-speak.

So we made it all the way to Friday evening and oh what a night it was.  The pauper twins showed up at SwissHotel for some tasty adult beverages while visiting friends from outta town.  The trio of merry pranksters managed to come out unscathed (or still standing properly) and we all went on a field trip to Trio Pizzeria in Beyoglu with our guests.  Damn it is good to eat good foot.  I can proudly say that I HAVE NOT SEEN ONE FRICKIN KEBAP IN NEARLY ONE WEEK!!!

So after haggling with the taxi-cab hawkers and playing musical taxi-cabs, we got them off and back to SwissHotel for their next adventure- likely back to the Executive Club Lounge where we first started out.  We, on the other hand, trotted off towards Nevizade looking for some action.

I remember one bar we were perched at and thinking, "Wow, there is nobody here."  We decided that it had to be because of the ongoing protests. Weaving in and out of food traffic on Istiklal and the assortment of charming side streets, we made our way to a rock and roll bar- appropriately named Rock and Rollah Bar.  Five hours later we emerged.

Met a great group of dudes from Germany.  They (6) all knew each other in grade school, and take trips together once a year and visit a city and party.  What an air guitar nation they comprised-along with us lip-synchers, etc. I will definitely put this one on the list for next weekend when Naz visits before journeying on to Amerika- land of the free...

I think that is all for now. I'm needing to rest some more and it hurts to think. I think I need coffee though...


The Last Days of Disco?

The last days of disco Turkey

As I type from my home office bed on a Sunday morning here in Gaziantep I realize that it is not just another Sunday morning.  It is my 2nd to last Sunday morning in Gaziantep. It's rather monumental- certainly for me.  Certainly for friends that are leaving/staying. As we all bid each other adieu and the population of Petek Apartments dwindles as each soldier bravely leaves their cell block barracks that they have taken shelter in for the past year or 2...

Yes, we are dropping in numbers. One combatant, Long Dark Rain Cloud, left already.

NOTE: As most all you should know by now, I have pet names for everybody. I even have pet names for my important computer files. They are sweet. They are smart. They are silly. Okay, I will press on.

Two more, Thurston & Lovey,  will escape from the trenches today. Many returners have already left for their homelands in order to take advantage of their vacations before summer school begins, etc.  Some are leaving for bigger arenas; some are leaving in hopes of finding another arena; some had no choice but to leave; some are leaving with dreams of wanderlust; some are simply leaving.

The point being that we have all experienced a sort of 'boot camp.'  There were ups and downs, but generally it was just a matter of flat-lining in a day-to-day existence.  We all grew collectively as separate units.  It was a long, strange trip for all of us- Turks, and all internationals alike.  We all had our growing pains.  We all learned how to give and take between the cultures.  We all learned our 'systems' of operation.  As with every system, there are diversions and quirky side alleys, open-spaces and backstreets, as opposed to the main avenues, mass suburbs and MOI so to speak.

 It is a beautiful thing- to reinvent ourselves. You know- to all of us leaving: When one door closes, another opens.  This... this is the driving force. This keeps me wanting more. This drug so powerful that I am a happy addict for life. I am thankful to have experienced life here in SE Turkey. 

SIDE NOTE: drinking coffee and staring into the space formerly known as 'Holly's fairly tidy living room'. Again, most know that I like to be fairly organized. More than fairly actually. Right now chaos is seeping into my life. Oh how I wish I could just dump out all my empty bags and start throwing things into each.  This is how it is organized in my mind:

box 1 ("school nerd")
This gets shipped via MNG Cargo to Ankara and then to the US Embassy for shipping to Bahrain US Embassy. This consists of school books, scholarly books and anything else remotely associated with work. This is a real box... I will meet the box in Ankara to hand deliver.

box 2 (The Black Box)
This is my trusty black Da Kine rolling canvas duffel bag. Very durable, yet 1 wheel is all askew.  This means this one does not travel far. It stays in Istanbul awaiting my return in 1 year... inshallah (please Vicky... please)
Full of clothing- mostly winter, which I will not need in Bahrain.

NOTE: each 'box' will contain a packing list, and I will have a master copy (actually 2; one hardcopy and one back-up file). 

box 3 (Mr. Preppy)
This is my trusty checker-print Da Kine rolling canvas duffel bag. Very durable + has 4 working wheels. It also stays in Istanbul awaiting my return in 1 year... inshallah (please Vicky... please)
Full of memories that cannot escape my life yet (mostly travel interests).

NOTE: boxes 1, 2 and 3 to be shipped to Istanbul via MNG Cargo

box 4 (Aegean Mermaid)
This is my trusty green swirly patterned Da Kine rolling canvas duffel bag. Very durable and in working order. The Aegean Mermaid travels to Istanbul and Hawaii with me. It is full of presents.Some additional things that I need to take to Bahrain go in here.

box 5 (Mr. Dangerous)
This  is my untrustworthy rolling duffel bag hastily bought in a back alley somewhere in Istanbul I believe... Can't even remember.  I feel that I cannot trust this bag after completing 1 final mission back to a new homeland (Hawaii) where it will immigrate and try to fit in to its local surroundings. It is actually only a rotation box- only if I really need it...

box 6 (Pleasure Box)
This is my acid-green injured upright carry-on rolling bag. It had some problems over the past years. Its color has dulled to a decayed, almost forgotten green- almost unrecognizable now. This must stay here in Gaziantep I fear. The Pleasure Box is full of books that I don't want to part with, but can if absolutely necessary.  It will be hosted by none other than Solo_ojo.  He doesn't know this tidbit of information yet.  I'll likely spring it on him sometime next week when he's feeling nostalgic about how our friendship has blossomed  throughout 2 countries, 2 jobs and 2 revolutions...

box 7 (Mrs Beg, Borrow and Steal)
This is (my) loaned-out red carry-on rolling bag. It travels to Ist and Hawaii- back to its rightful mistress (owner). It has been a good loaner, and will bring immense good luck to its mistress. It has been put in charge of such tasks as secreting away my valuables during my stay here (original idea, no?)

So, that is that.  I'm sure that I missed something. I love it that one of the Turkish teachers said they would help me pack if I needed it because they were just as insanely structured and organized as I am with packing (I think perhaps even more so actually).

In essence, I have a lot to do, and finding it difficult to throw myself into it.  I am in the process of giving away EVERYTHING from my apartment.  Everybody better come and get it today because  one of the workers here is going to take everything this afternoon!!!

Now to finish up my 2nd cuppa joe and get the organizing started...

ps- there is a revolution in Turkey right now.  It's fucked up. The people are tired of the current govt trying to micro-manage their every daily move.  It's a good fight.  Much respect to all the peeps out on the front lines for the past 5 days.  I fully support and am doing what I can to further the cause.