Sunday, January 22, 2012

when the music dies you'll be the first one the villagers kill

i've come up with this really amazing ability to channel my old friends into my current existence. i take people like dan and brad and all the great conversations i've had within my tribe back home and sometimes when i'm pushing through my own questions i see them in my head and i simply keep my ears open for their ideas.

sometimes old conversations come back to me in beautiful flashbacks to my life back when i was a younger me. i remember sitting on my kitchen floor with some friends asking what we were meant to do in this world. my friends were and are great people with great potentiality and i was always humbled by them. i have friends whose purpose is to preserve the world so we may not doom our species; its true. i have friends who can write in the way that we can only narrate in our heads. not surprisingly it was in these moments that i first fortified my plans to become a teacher; one who believes they may not be able to save the world alone yet they can teach others.

and i have asked, 'is it better to inspire or to be inspired?'

some of my conversations are no longer in english. this presents a unique problem/opportunity to begin anew in an almost child-like fashion. learning turkish began as a means of ordering food without being laughed at and has thus progressed into a functioning and usable force in my life. it allowed me to travel the norther and far south east as a resident instead of a foreigner. now it puts me at the same table as those who have much to say about this country. as many curves as my life has taken it has swerved me into a house that is lived in and frequented by many persian folk as well as many kurdish people too.

as i've said i'll have no opinion (or at least a speakable one) so long as i can't vote in this country and this puts me in the position of being a completely neutral set of ears and a mouth only to ask questions. i have to admit thought that i never saw things like this coming six years ago when i sat on the kitchen floor of the trumbul house. it makes me wonder how far away my head will be when i come back home again and if people will be at all interested.

when i first landed here i came in search of a home. i was nearing the end of a year i had spent touching a handful of different continents that would end at a new years eve party on the rooftops of cairo (but thats another story). i could get into details about what took me here but its no different than the other bits of interwound web that fashions our lives in every other instance. soon enough i found a home and i unpacked my bags at long last.

and now i look at alice, my faithful backpack friend, and i think about where she is taking me next. i'm about to set off on a multi-national, multi-continental voyage into the slightly known and complete unknown yet i'm not that concerned; its not like i haven't done this before.

i love this city though and i love this country. i love the people and i love the streets i walk on. in that same love i know i'll come back and begin a new chapter but for now i'm reading maps from a different corner of the forest.

learning another language is cool but being more than functional in three is a blessing and a sign of dedication. i'm excited. i'm moving to south america and i'm passing a few old loves on the way in the form of ancient temples and nicaraguan flor de cana. i'm keeping centered and staying in tune because if i do...

...well i'll finally get my dream of seeing an end to this world :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

cycles of the moon

whereas the sun cycles in patterns aligned to the rotation of plants, we follow cycles akin to that of the moon; perhaps thats why you and i cross paths in the way that we do.

Monday, January 16, 2012

everything in its right place

life is an open-ended book with blank pages. perhaps the most interesting thing about this book is that it writes itself in whichever style the author chooses and it leaves no room for a sequel. i'm so tickled by this fact that i often tend to indulge in the limitless possibilities of life only to see what would happen next. sometimes i want to shake people and urge them to realize how many opportunities are out there both good and bad. i'm actually a fan of a little trouble once in a while because it keeps things interesting.

what happens in this life in no coincidence.

we are colorful people and it baffles me that we leave room for things in our life that hold us back. perhaps the greatest setback of all would be 'fear'. i dont have time for fear. sure i'm afraid but i dont let it bother me. if we all acted out of fear alone we'd never leave our house; and its a nice day today :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sunday, January 08, 2012

sometimes i think we were put here by aliens

sometimes i think we were put here by aliens.

its really wild how you can strive for hours and days on end to find answers to important questions and all of a sudden when you stop thinking about the answer, answers hit you from nowhere.

somehow thats where winter fits in.

you are stuck in the cold during days of extended hours of sleep and you hide from reasons to leave the house. you eat a lot more than you normally would and dont move as much but the worst part is that you (or at least I) question everything in the winter. summer is much more relaxed and you dont care so much about the purpose of things but the winter draws you inward.

i'm a person of hidden paranoias. i have an exterioral defense mechanism that puts on an image of complacency but it seems that there is always a trouble somewhere; almost always, and i'm careful not to jinx trouble by saying her name.

but its got me thinking why? why are we (am i) paranoid and overslept in the winter? i guess i just look at it differently from the obvious which tells us that it is in our animal background to adapt to different climates and conditions but i think there are some answers we can only find when we are in this state.

ironically it hit me in a hot shower which was the first showed i'd had in days. i think we were put here by aliens. its the only answer one can create that you cant argue. why would we be forced to spend so much time asking and arguing over meaningless philosophical questions should they not actually be any different from the bantering of animals? i guess i'm tired of wasting energy and i have been for a while.

somewhere, sometime long ago i became a quiet observer. its in the nature of observers to prone to new discoveries.

sherlock holmes once said, 'i see everthing, that is my curse.'
slug once said, 'i only hear the words for what they mean? know what i mean?'

and i'm still persuaded to believe that it does not cause sadness to not have opinions. *i also live in a country where i have many opinions but am not yet permitted to vote - thus politically and even sociologically i do not have opinions.* maybe its the idealism wearing off, i was never really in it for the money anyway.

i dont really (not a hundred percent at least) believe we were put here by aliens but actually its quite a comforting thought. if there were any shread of me that believes we were put here by a supreme being i'd have to say its been a pretty strange day in the fish tank, or hamster cage, or bird feeder.

Friday, January 06, 2012

things i can hear right now

ratatat "wildcat" playing at a bar
arya talking to his friends on skype in farsi
a cat yelling
a television that is showing the news
the bathroom sink
wet hands splash
people talking from different distances away
two turkish people having sex downstairs
two people fighting downstairs (maybe its the same room)
a youtube video of a standup commedian
someone tapping on something
laptop keyboard clicking
a doorknob
my toe knuckle cracking
floor squeeking

Thursday, January 05, 2012

idiomas, segunda parte

where i live there are easily five languages echoing through my aparment at any given time. one of my roommates is from Iran and he speaks farsi and english as well as a decent amount of turkish. he has many friends over who typically have a good handle of english yet his girlfriend is from russia. one of his friends has a girlfriend from spain and of course there are the endless masses of kurdish people who frequently pay welcomed visits to our apartment from the cafe downstairs. in reality english isn't the primary language in my life anymore except for when i'm at work however ironically i'm usually explaining things in turkish half of the time anyway.

i once heard from my dear friend back in the states that you should learn a language, if for no other reason, to read the newspaper. i think about him every time i pick up a copy of 'Haber' or 'Cumhuriyet' while waiting for the pleasant moments to pass on the ferryboat connecting the two continents i live on. this language business is becoming a huge role in my life whereas i have taken to charging a decent amount of money for private lessons in my native tongue should i give them in turkish. some people read books to pass the time but i stare at a seven-tabbed window of Google Chrome swapping between two languages that aren't my own while trying to perfect the tongues of my upcoming travel destinations.

..but in this note, which is truly just to myself, i'd like to add that it is absolutely so much fun to learn a new language. in fact, the fears that people have of approaching someone and asking for directions or asking about items in a shop are actually quite the opposite in effect. i love being the goofy foreigner who takes bold steps at speaking a language very different to that of my own and i love the mistakes i make. a slight mistake can be a big one but if you catch yourself you can turn it into a really funny situation.

a few weeks ago i was helping a friend buy tickets to bulgaria and at the bus station he said the word in turkish 'your village' which i misheard as 'sheep' which believe it or not is actually quite close in turkish. i thought he was referring to the confused and nervous foreigner standing next to me who had absolutely no grasp of turkish and i proceeded to tell the man at the bus station that i was his shepheard and he was my lost sheep. of course i caught the error and somehow it worked out to be a story we both took home.

furthermore i feel it is your responsibility as a traveler and as a foreigner to make an attempt to speaking the language of the country you travel to. it is so stupid to watch people point at their mouth and grunt in a restaurant or not even know how to say 'thank you'. i feel that those people have missed the point of travel in general. it is of course our purpose as travelers to learn more about the places we travel and also to represent our own cultures as best as we can. surely we americans dont want to prove that we are knuckle dragging apes any more than we do in other instances.

i love this.. i love this lifestyle and i never want to leave it. it is so cool to experience different corners of the world and through language you can truly dive deeper into realms of humanity that no travel book can offer to you. language is a beautiful new mask that you can wear proudly and i urge everyone (native english speakers especially) to break the already well-known stereotype of being stubbornly monolingual and try to learn the tongues of other countries. it is of course true that language and culture are very similar in the end and you can learn so much from one another.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

a very iran new year

for small creatures such as we...

although i do think that some questions are pointless i am still reminded of those which have danced in my brain long ago. i never signed up for philosophy and i never question why we are here. i'm not much of a religious man either. it is actually in the curiosity of randomness and how strangely functional it is in our lives that i cant help but wonder a few things. my question, as i said, is not "why we are here?" however "why are we here now?".

i suppose one should first look to the past before forming any thoughts on the present. it was of course several million years ago that we began to faintly resemble who we are today; and in fact some people show much more evidence than others in both their physical appearance and their behaviors. we dont need much to survive but out lives are much more comfortable for obvious reasons with a few added bonuses in life like for example hugs or laser tag.. i for one am not sure how i'd make it through rough days without the 1TL snickers bar habit i have.

furthermore it is perhaps in this freedom that we find a wide variety of paths upon which we can draw for our lives. i've taken an endless path as a traveler and a learner. for so long it has been a recurring phenomenon in my life that i wake up having no idea where i am that i've simply gotten used to it. this is the path i drew. others draw different paths. it is in these differences that i am marveled and much more respectful than i used to be. my path has taken me so far away from my origins that i'm not sure many people recognize me anymore. i dont even act the same or speak the same but i think we are all marveled by the vastness and endlessness paths can be.

i guess my question (or shape of a question) i began writing about was the matter of "why now?" and i really have no answer to this. sometimes i think i was born in the wrong time and i'd be much better off in the times of epic seafaring journeys into the unknown. i'm guiltily disappointed by the coca-cola stands i see in every single village i've ever been to but i shouldn't be.. i'm a bit of a coke fan myself.

actually i feel that we are living in a very wonderful time to be alive. what was not even conceptually possible only a hundred years ago is now part of our reality. i'm marveled greatly by the ability one has to jump on a plane as if it were a portal into the world with virtually limitless possibilities. we can go anywhere and we can travel to the wildest of faraway places to come home and share what we've discovered with each other in that same week. it is in these limitless possibilities that i first became tickled by the idea of being a lifetime traveler. why not, right?

yet... among all this endlessness and vastness and boundlessness i realize how small i am and i've never been saddened by it. i love you for how small and seemingly pointless you our to our earth and species yet you mean the universe to me. i cannot urge you, my friends, enough to wander far away and see this same gem from a different angle and i hope one day you too realize how small you are - there has never been a better time in our history to do so than now.

"for small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love." - Carl Sagan