Just Hop on the Party Bus

I'm becoming more and more familiar with the 'Party Bus' as it is so affectionately called here in the `bul.  After midnight the metro stops so you are limited in how you will get back home after your weekend shenanigans in Taksim, etc.  You have taxis, of course, the dolmuş, for a limited route to Beşiktaş- until you need to take a taxi, and then you have the Party Bus.

Take last week for example. Da Jel and I plotted to take the 3 am Party Bus from Taksim back to Büyükdere.  She had found a Party Bus that left from a different stop than the Party Bus that I discovered last month with Kate.

Anyway, we had it all planned out and were chilling and keeping warm, and dry, in a pub until it was time to hit up the Party Bus. Oh yea, it was pissing rain so bad.  I mean SO BAD...

Granted, we left a bit late, but figured we were on track to make the bus- I was at least since I didn't really know where the bus stop was.  It is pissing rain and we are soaking wet and nearly breaking out in a sprint the last 100 meters and there we saw it- the Party Bus... en route already without us on it and way too far away to try to catch its attention... Sadly we had to alter our plans.  It sucked. Sucked as in like 35 Turkish Lira sucked... Yea, we had to take a taxi after our short dolmuş ride to Beşiktaş...

Last night I was on a mission to catch the Party Bus. As my lungs couldn't take the smoke-filled, stagnant air any longer, I left our party HQ for the evening, Peyote:

#sickboyorganization with #‎artdiktatör‬ and #Robotat

Checking the time, I saw that I was going to have to wait a while as I was navigating down the narrow, winding staircase. As I got to the bottom I heard some progressive house and saw DJ Caner.  Immediately I joined in- especially as it involved (mostly) fresh air. Man the memories start to flood back of all the fun dance parties on Maui over the years. Nothing like spinning into that trance state and just f*cking grooving in a pure state of bliss. Yea, you know what I'm talking about- most of you anyway :)

I got to the coveted bus stop with ten minutes to spare.  The line was HUGE. It was a total after-party scene and hilarious at that. All the different tribes of people present each had their own scenario going on.  Most were in a state of slight dysfunction due to inebriation. 

Finally the bus came and there were already a lot of people on it... WTF I'm thinking, as this is the beginning of the line.  Obviously some people discovered it is much easier to wait where the bus comes out of the secret hole so that they can get a seat.  I could tell that I would have to fight my way onto the Party Bus because I just knew that some wouldn't make it on. 

Our  journey starts on the sardine-packed Party Bus.  Everyone is laughing.  I am standing in a fairly mellow spot with my (requisite) head phones on. There are about 4 different conversations going on that I am privy to as well because, somehow sharp hearing is my superpower for the journey. Again, hilarious.

I was just hoping that everybody would get off at Osmanbey, Şişli, or Mecidiyeköy- where most of the cities denizens seem to live... But they didn't.  The Party Bus was packed all the way to past Levent4. I finally got a seat and tuned out for the last stretch. 

Büyükdere was a ghost town at 3:30 am.  The air was cool and crisp, but a hint of spring hung thick hovering over me. The Bosphorus was sparkling as the stars were falling into the water. I could see the vibrations or pulse of the atmosphere as the lights danced atop the water in dreamscape formations. 

The çai meyhanes that line the Bosphorus were devoid of most of their regulars.  There were still a few good old boys hanging, talking and doing their typical boy-club thing that they do.  They always look up at me strangely, as this short-cut is popular in my wanderings.  Usually I'm coming there around 10 pm after yoga class, or after my runs in the morning, so usually I'm wearing my workout gear.  They always look up and study me quizzically, which I don't mind, or have just gotten used to. The only time I am actually a patron of this particular çai meyhane is when I'm in the company of the Büyükdere Club Kids, aka Steve-0 and Ed Shread.  

So I always instinctively scrutinize the mehane whenever I walk by in case I see da kine so I would then go and chat them up.  Of course, at 3:30 am it looks strange if you are looking over all the patrons because all the patrons, basically, are watching you, if you remember, in a weird way, that just gets to feel 'normal' after a while and then you kinda forget about it- the weird way they are looking at you...

So, the story ends here with me getting home without a hitch, really. What really surprised me, though, was how I absolutely STUNK of cigarettes.  No wonder my lungs wouldn't, couldn't, take it any longer at the club. Of course, the club, Peyote, is tragically cool so one tolerates the low ceiling and relatively small venue space because their lineups are usually alternative and interesting and artsy. 

Stripping off my cigarette-infused fabric and seeing (smelling) the pile on the floor was nearly suffocating... I honestly felt bad about putting the heap into my dirty laundry basket- it's like the other dirty clothes inside didn't deserve having to tolerate this batch... In they went and in I went into the waiting hot shower.  Man a hot shower feels good after a night of party/dance/walk-in-rain (oh yea, it was raining again too, but not like last week), etc. 

I slipped underneath the crisp cotton sheets and slid the goose-down comforter over me and grabbed my computer while the kitties adjusted themselves onto me now. A little bit of da kine and an episode of Freaks and Geeks and I went into lounge mode, only to be interrupted by the not-so-subtle hint of sunrise... 

Crisis-mode starts up instinctively and immediately.  It flushed over me and BAM, less than a minute later I am hoping to go into deep slumber.

In other mundane news:

school is cool
yoga is becoming sexy again
running is a high
da kine will always be da kine
the Kovan  bakery in Osmanbey ROCKS
popcorn Jelly Bellies aren't so bad after all

And on an ending note, I'm absolutely DYING to look through all my spring/summer clothing that has been stored away for the past few months. This. THIS consumes me.  I am trying to hold out, but I'm just so damn excited about wearing slinky clothing once again and seeing my body after a winter of hibernation... It's been a long time since I've looked at all my bikinis and I can't wait to be in them ALL again soon.  Damn I miss the f*cking beach lifestyle.  I realize every day that I live without the beach that that is what I'm all about really. I guess missing that lifestyle is the challenge for me now.  I have willingly severed ties.  It is an interesting experiment. I know that a beach is my destiny. I know so deep down that it's not even a problem I guess is what I mean to say. 

Okay, It's now 12:15 pm and I'm still in bed.  Earlier I pulled open the curtains when I went downstairs to make my brew and saw a brilliant, sunny winter day unfolding- a bit windy it seems though. This has been a pretty mild winter here so there isn't much to fuss over.  I think I'm doing pretty good for experiencing my first winter in a few years.  I could even deal with a snowfall or two again.  

I feel like I am getting the clothing and layering thing down to some degree lately.  It seems that in the past 2 weeks, or since the semester began, that I am finally getting it down. I mostly notice this on my runs.  On Friday's run, it was still pretty early so I moved onto my light long-sleeve running jacket and beanie.  It worked well and my entire run was just sweet.  Yesterday it seemed a bit colder so I switched to my new running jacket- with the puffy chest part. That also worked well, although I had to alternate with taking off/putting on my beanie.  That run was super sweet too.  What will today bring?  It does seem windy, but I can tell already that sunscreen is a must :)



What Doesn't f*ck you up will make you stronger

at GarajIstanbul after the Ringo Jets set

First, respect to  Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire for rocking my world at a very young age. Blessings for that and giving me the lowdown on what IS hip. RIP dude. You blew up the groove scene for me.

...And who can resist Kool and the Gang's 'Celebration'?

On that note, I've also been thinking about Rochelle-da-belle, another of the "Chicks that Rock Hard Hats" Hawaiian archaeology tribe  and her mother.  Ro has these hilarious stories about her mother dragging her to Earth, Wind and Fire concerts and I'm sure she's been thinking about those stories these past few days. 

... who can resist a little Kool and the Gang and 'Celebration'?

Moving along, another Sunday morning brings us to my loft, in my bed, a cup of coffee in hand (thanks L-feZz for turning me onto Tchibo's Blue (insert other word of coffee bean name Here), da kine, kitties wrecking havoc downstairs, and this blog update... I realize I haven't written about my Georgian (as in The Republic of...) adventures.  It's on the list. Speaking of 'list', the idiomatic expression 'kick the bucket' was on my students' vocabulary list this past week. I had a good time explaining that with pictures and the requisite 'Bucket List' that should precede 'kicking the bucket'.  And a good time was had by all... Nuff said about work...

Time waits for no one. Mick Jagger sings it (co-written along with Richards and Taylor) and I see evidence of it as life rolls along at a pace that parallels the vibrational rhythms of eARTh. It's funny to think of also seeing family and friends growing through social media and other advanced technologies such as instant messengers, etc.  I can keep up with someone that I haven't seen since elementary school! This is mind-blowing really. 

I think on Friday I looked at my facebook messages and there was one from an acquaintance from 4 years ago while traveling through the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt with dear Azadeh.  We were camped out at RockSea Camp. We became FB friends and that was that- or so it was thought... He has been following my blog these past years and knows I'm from Hawai`i and is going there for a vj gig and wanted some inside information.  I guess I just think about the impact of that; meet someone in Egypt who is from Germany and never been to Polynesia and BAM, one text and information flows through your fingertips!  Love it.


The other night 4Gra went out on the town on Istiklal. Our venue was GarajIstanbul to catch the Ringo Jets- just back to town after a French tour! It was my first time to check them live and I'm stoked.  I will also add in the we got the party started... and that we rocked the party.


 Man it's good to get out and dance. It's been a while. I have this ideal- which I've already encountered- with dancing.  I've had the good fortune to spend YEARS dancing on Maui to some of the best grooves EVER.  Dancing in the jungle all night.  Still going as the sun rises from the ocean in Kaupo. Dancing in cane fields. Dancing Dancing on old runways. Getting caught dancing in cane fields and old airport runways... Dancing atop mountains so high that you can see other islands, and things. Last but not least, dancing in clubs- which is my least favorite of all... so yea, it's hard to live in a place where the only venue on my list is a club.  Nevertheless, it is amazing.  I'll stop complaining...

We started out in a lounge where some vinyl was going to be thrown down; lounge vinyl. That was our pre-party, or the post pre-party party before the party party... One has to think logically about hitting up the Istiklal-town on party nights as adult beverages are quite expensive (I'm only talking beer here; everything else is unimaginable to purchase for reasons of said pocket-book strain). We ended up leaving viaGRA there.  At last look, she was pleasantly sinking into the couch with her white wine and looking totally space-lounge ready!  Beautiful sight really.  I was secretly wanting to stay- for more space lounge and more of that feeling, but I knew I was moving on to higher-order priorities with some much needed Rock 'n Roll.

We succeeded at being interesting spectacles to partake.  We seem to have succeeded in having the 3 huge security guys eyeing us all evening... Like wtf, have they never seen people dancing before??? Anyway, they looked dour and like we were messing up their auras-of-bore... I felt like they were going to come up to us at any minute and tell us we were doing something wrong. We had a good laugh about it. Afterwards we were taken behind the black curtain to the main bar area. It was like a de-throning.  We wondered why they would shoo-away the only people dancing like we didn't give a shit (which we didn't). Turns out they were only cleaning... haha. We decided to stay and mess with the security guards auras-of-bore some more and danced around the bar area to all the old skool tunes.  Heehee. Da Jel and I needed to catch the late-night party bus back to our hood, which only runs once an hour on the hour late nights. 
psychedelic Istiklal side street scene

We roamed the rain-soaked streets and back alleys of Istiklal looking for our perfect match; cheap, funky dive bar.  We found our happy spot and the girls indulged in more libations and döner. I sat there grinning and wanting more of da kine.
a sea of umbrella exoskeleton carcasses strewn along Istiklal

Now here the story takes a spin that goes outta control... Da Jel looks at her watch and it's 1:45 and the bus leaves at 2 am. We have a trek and start off on our journey that was full on pissing rain.  Full on.  I mean, full on... We miscalculate a few things; location and timing... We watch the bus go by a bit further in front of us.  It's like the ending of a B-grade movie: There we are standing alone in the dark, in the cold rain which is pouring onto/into every thread of our beings.  We looked at each other in that desperate kinda way where we are both, independently, thinking, "how much more of this cold rain can our bodies take before it affects us?"

(Morning call-to-prayer right now so I know the church bells are coming up soon afterwards).

We think about a dolmus (great idea and the only one to consider at this point).  One magically appears right in front of us.  Of course it is outta service, but the guy obviously feels sorry for us drown rats and lets us in and takes us back up to Gümüşsuyu where we started out at  so we can hop in one to Beşiktaş- where we would figure out the next step...

Unfortunately it was a super short ride... And then no (cheap) ride as soon we realized that the dolmus service was finished for the night.  There was no way we could wait around for the 3 am bus at this point because we were freezing and just soaking wet.  Yep, hop in the taxi that we just shunned moments before when we thought we knew what was going on...

And the night finishes there. From there it was a hot shower and jumping underneath the goose-down comforter, which is always way too hot except for this moment...

What doesn't f*ck you up will make you stronger.  Case in point; I got up the next morning thinking I was destined to be sick with the flu, but I wasn't!  I do recall gobbling down some tinctures (that I procured from the Dragon's Den up in Makawao, Hawai`i before taking off for Istanbul last summer) before falling asleep.  So, good as new I decide and from there I managed to get in a kick-ass run in, once again, super cold weather.  At least it wasn't raining. Anyway, I do strongly believe that attitude is everything.  My psyche even tried to f*ck with my body rhythms and tell my body that it was sick.  My body knew better.  My body knew that it wanted to go on a kick-ass run.  I love it when my body rules over my mind. I try to train hard every day for this exact thing- to repeat itself throughout life.

pre kick-ass Saturday morning run.  Shaika Spot giving me the high-5 on my decision to brave the cold and just do it...

In other mundane news:

Nachos are back IN
Ice-cream (from a box) is OUT
long cashmere ankle-grazing sweater is IN
research on Sicaly CONTINUES
the Ringo Jets are IN
the beach is UPCOMING

This... THIS is definitely one of my top 5 anthems in my life... Yes, this... Been a while since I've heard it.