Friday, January 29, 2010

mean afgán

5am is a dangerous time to not be able to fall asleep. not even trying. you think some crazy shit at 5am in your living room. it's cold in here. not that cold. istanbul winter is more like the annoying slushy parts of detroit winter and not so much like the brutal detroit loft winter. its annoying out today. friday is my sunday. that is bless-ed.

i'm antsy. last night i met with my former student, Barış. we met in a dingy tavern-looking place (in Kadıköy, it seems to be a theme to use really old buildings and modify them to look like old taverns - they are really cool) and laid out maps of turkey. Barış is from the black sea coast. i think this path would be the better choice rather than traveling through Antalya. I would love to see Antalya and i do plan on it but that will be before the trip to kyrgyzstan, if anything. There is a lot of cool shit to see in the north and it will be a welcome transition into Georgia and Azerbaijan. My looming concern remains with the east side of Hazar (the Caspian Sea). in the next few months i need to locate consulates from Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. The US passport is shite as far as visas are concerned in these countries. a major problem of traveling these areas are the borders, so i've been told. however major progress was made yesterday and i believe the black sea to be a good decision about my course to take towards the east.


i do however wish to see Mardin. mardin is in the south east of turkey and known to be a place of much mysticism. people practice very old religions in turkey, many dating back to biblical times. Assyro-Babylonian religions existed in the region since 3rd century AD and still have a major influence in the culture of the Mardin people.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

the long way raus

under any other circumstances i couldn't imagine all of us meeting like this. we all come from different places, different friends, yet we all feel so limitless in our connections and ability to form lasting friendships so quickly. we break bread together and talk of the road. in the blink of an eye our plans could change and we could be on the open highway together watching each others backs as if our lives depended on it.. and they do depend on it. we put our backpacks between us at train stations and watch carefully over our shoulders so as not to draw suspicion to our status as drifters. and i mean just like that we decide to travel together. we decide to run away together. we are closer friends than anyone could have ever imagined and just as quickly and randomly that we came into each others lives we vanish for years on end. the silence is deafening.

let me tell you about the long way raus and what it means to me. i've learned that the best source of information about the world comes from fellow travelers. they are the eyes and ears of god's highway and we, unlike the scarecrows, will care about what they have to say. we too might walk in the opposite direction of that road to see the travels they hail from.

we sit together, my brothers and sisters. friendship and romance grab at our backs like the claws of wild animal. we laugh at the beauty that is mother-nature-random and we speak in such obscure esoteric riddles that few will ever understand what we are laughing about. we are quick to passion and often our nights blur into memories we hardly speak of yet smile over and we play footsie under the table with the notion of pride; i made that happen to you.

i have planning to do. fierce planning. planning on how i'm going to survive the long way raus. expecting nothing and everything: a beautiful illumination of the path before me and a sudden change of intonation. my words less cryptic, more revealing. with richer heart i will speak.

an updated and ever-evolving map to kyrgyzstan

Monday, January 18, 2010

unquenchable thirst to turn planet human-earth's crown upside down

the oceans in between grow deeper with time. you get used to being far from home. you get used to waking up not knowing where you are or what country you are in. and before long you begin to wonder if home has forgotten about you. take it in slowly and remember there is work to be done. there is a challenge ahead of you to push yourself to the limits of your capacity for growth. you learn from experience not from textbooks and because of this you will always be grateful. you do things you never would have thought you'd ever do. you surprise yourself always. sometimes you think think you're in over your head. you wish others could see this. you wish others cared about it.

i sat at a table which is just like any other cosmic table in the warmth of my memory. i was the (US)american who represented English language and broken Spanish and Turkish. i sat with the turks, the germans, the aussies, the kurds, and the dutch. it was the same cosmic table i've sat at in my mind for years and the same one which compels me to be a life-long explorer of planet earth. we broke bread and spoke through the mystical communication of smile and body language. and its nights like these that keeps me going. i do not have these experiences at home.

in all that is mysterious and forsaken beautify i found myself wrapped up in the life line of another sacred path. we do not speak the same language, our worlds are very different. we aren't afraid of each other. you are my friend after almost a thousand years of being my enemy. for the first time in a long time we can sit together and speak of our distaste for human beings and the mess they make. i'll tell you my secrets and tell you why i must remain such a mystery to most people. i'll tell you why i have lines in my smile and why my eyes stare a hundred miles into nothingness.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

sun's gonna rise in a mile.. in a mile you'll be feelin' fine..

beautiful, beautiful thoughts of a symbiotic series of days that occurred to me completely in secret unknown to the world; all but one other. it was deep in a forest, a long drive behind my brown eyes staring at the view from the passenger seat. who was this mysterious driver i'll never tell, but i will tell that the air was very clean that day. water is cold in the forest and even colder when it's tumbling down from rocks very high above. i will tell that bar-b-q shrimp and warm vodka from the trunk of the car sink like the sun behind the premature sunset resting on the tall trees. too deep in these woods to turn back tonight.

campfires bring out our secrets.

why that car picked me up i'll never know. i felt like an outlaw that day hiding in the woods from a lynch mob brandishing torches and pitchforks.. actually i feel like that quite often. good old trouble is like a rival tribe who never declares all out war but makes random skirmishes with my tribe just to remind us that it's there. i thought the paranoia would subside by this point but it gets worse. paranoia yields no sympathy.. only makes for good stories.

in my mind i'm hanging from the window of that car on those beautiful days last summer when nobody in the entire world except a beautiful stranger knew where i was. sometimes i miss the USA. sometimes i wonder if i'll feel like a foreigner when i come back. but i can't stay there for long. before long i'll have that itch in my feet and an unquenchable thirst to turn planet human-earth's crown upside down.

a stranger i'll never see again right?