Sunday, January 09, 2011
i came to this city on september 2nd, 2009 to teach english at a private language school. my intention was to stay for six months and then to continue my wayward rambling into the endlessness of the world as i have done so freely up until this point of my life. 2009 was a spectacular year from me. the shoes i wore had touched land upon five continents and my eyes had seen more in that year (both extremely good and bad) than most will in a life time. so when i came to istanbul i was naturally a little hesitant to unpack my bags. however in retrospect i remember the feeling i had before coming when i knew that i was looking for a new home, perhaps that is why i chose this beautiful place nestled between two vast continents.
if you visit this place you cannot help but fall in love with the city. its charming and dynamic and of all else the location is incredible. since i've lived here i have visited six other countries that otherwise i might have never gotten the opportunity to travel to. the six months i came here for quickly turned into a ten month contract with my company and at this point i've been here (and around here) for about sixteen total.
i went back to detroit to visit both in april for a week and this past christmas. much to my unsurprise i realized that i no longer belong in detroit. detroit is a city i hold dear to me in my heart but i feel as if it has pushed me away. this is a natural process that happens to one after being away for so long but its in this sadness that i find the light of a new city that i now call home. istanbul has been very good to me.
my turkish is coming along at least to a level where i can have fun with it. i'm a lot more low-key than i've ever been in my turbulant past. i like to make noise on the weekends but now i'm on a quest for focus. i'm studying to become a scuba diver and in time i'll be an instructor. when this time comes i gather that i'll probably move south to Bodrum or Antalya to once again live in the sun but my homebase will, from this point on, of course be istanbul.
the scuba diving thing is only one example of something i absolutely love about this city. i have learned that any walk of life you wish to explore you can find it in istanbul. you can also come here to make some decent money and travel onward to literally any cardinal direction and end up somewhere amazing. someone once mentioned that if you take a protractor with the needle touching istanbul you can find virtually the entire ancient world within a matter of a few hundered kilometers in every direction. you almost cant avoid becoming engulfed in history.
this city makes me really happy and there is something to be said about a man who unroots himself and replants into a new life. i've done this a few times but here i have found a new home that i can relate to. however i am a little troubled about the future of this city. for reasons which would take a different language to explain i feel that the future of istanbul is uncertain. it seems as if istanbul, or turkey at that, is sitting on a series of devistating devices that at any second could erupt and crush the fragile yet beautiful system that has been so painstakingly created not long ago. the country is a new country and the trial by fire of which all great nations have emerged from has really only just begun and frankly i fear a bit for the future. one thing is for sure that i will follow this place and support it always and if things turn bad i will take it personally.
i'm going back to egypt in a few month to stay for the summer. specifically i'm going to Dahab, Sinai to stay on the red sea/explore the most important desert in history. when you see me again i'll be different as i have become different after central asia this last summer. it was a good friend of mine (sid) who hit the nail on the head. he told me i'd have this thousand mile stare and a brief fear of the outside world afterwards. i dont think i could have put this better myself. agoraphobia was a hell of a thing to overcome and its only now that i truly feel like my wings have grown back. so i set my sails to egypt. to learn. and when i come back my eyes will be richer yet and i'll once again unpack my bags here, in my favorite city in the world.