Ben iyiyum, teşekkürler.
Geri döndem.Thu, August 16, 2007 - 9:38 AM
So I got back to Atatürk International Airport after my trip from England and made it through customs in about 10 seconds (which is pretty good in comparison to the several hours it took me to get questioned and nearly be strip-searched on the way into the UK). Of course I could only find one of my bags off of the conveyor belt, and the other one was my beautiful darbuka in it's custom made leather case, so after a panicked search of the baggage claim I talked to one of the Türk Hava Yolları ladies working at the lost and found desk, who was surprisingly helpful and pointed me to some obscure part of the terminal where my drum was sitting unsupervised next to a pile of other baggage which had been set aside for no apparent reason. After a two hour bus ride through traffic in scorching heat, and another 20 minute treck down Istiklal from Taksim Meydan I got home to find my good friends Hakan and Volkan waiting for me with a salon full of furniture... and I mean FULL of furniture. What was once a big empty space that seemed like a nice spot for floor hockey or perhaps a bit of aerobics was stocked with 3 leather couches, a couple large wooden conference tables, and about 8 sturdy looking cushioned chairs. Apparently they got some money together in the week that I was gone and bought everything from a bar that was closing down near Taksim. In that way that only musicians seem to be able to do it, while they were asking me for change to help them pay for bread and maybe some cheese and cola to live off of the other week, they managed to scrounge together 750 lira for a complete salon's furnishings while I was away in England. So that was a nice surprise.
Aside from that, I'm re-acclimating to Turkey. It seems like every time that I leave, even if only for a week, my turkish gets notably worse, but it's been coming back since yesterday and I'm getting pretty comfortable again. I met a real nice guy named Evrin today who's a friend of Volkan and Hakan's. He just got back from a month in India and was up at the studio having some coffee and chatting with everyone. I talked to him for a bit and he complimented me on how good my turkish was for someone who had only been here for about 7 or 8 months and that he could understand me perfectly, so that was a nice confidence booster. Gotta get back to my studies, though. I'm gonna be real happy to come visit Pittsburgh for a few weeks in the following month here, but I always get a little concerned at how long I leave the country for and how much turkish leaks out of my brain only to be replaced by things like commercial jingles off of the radio and bits of trivia like what new stupid thing George Bush just did on TV or the like.
But I digress... I'm hoping to get a lot more done in the next month here. Having a nice living room will be a good motivator, and it's been getting into my head more and more that things like my diet and exercise (outside of the normal routine of climbing up and down the hills in my neighborhood on foot) might be the key to me transforming my insomnia into a more productive diurnal schedule where I can get more hours of turkish language and turkish percussion into my day.
Oh, and that picture on the top there is just some bizarre giant satellite dish made of hay that I saw in some field near Crewe in England... no real reason it's on this blog post. Just thought it was weird as hell.
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How's the drumming coming? I imagine being immersed in the culture must be a big advantage. Getting time to practice all the time probably doesn't hurt either. :)
Thanks for the blogs... it almost always makes for good reading. :)