Travel

Hats & hoods

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I’ve been wondering what is so charming about Istanbul.

In every man I see my grandpa.

Conservative in self expression. In the use of color and patterns, in conversation, in smiles, in dance. The eyes become more keen to small shifts, for the expression exists, between the call to prayer and our next cup of cay.

Muted, overcast days give us the permission to nap into the night.

Cool hallways keep us cozied in our small room where daylight is allowed, or not allowed, depending on our motives.

The woman in the pastry shop, big sweater, slices our guilt in four and hands them over glass display cases of cold and savory pastries. We learn fast, and eat in jackets, scarves, hats. The bounds between inside and outside are minimal, and you will feel winter in Istanbul. You won’t erase it with heaters.

I love this.

The sun sets behind the ships that slowly move shipping containers into the sea. A bunny is used as a toy for passing families and men wander up the coast selling cay, hands in pockets, ears in hats & hoods. Don’t look from the sun, one distraction, and it’s sunk, a tiny red glow. Bright purple and orange lit clouds. We turn our backs to it, and walk the familiar and temporary streets.

Cats sleep and eat, well fed and housed here, keeping the rodents at bay and the tourists entertained.

Big fish play in the wake of the ferry to kadikoy, a daily experience, and one lira simit tease satiated bellies.

“Turkish?”
“Mehraba”?
“Tessekur ederum”

Soak it in honey and divide the check by 2.

Savasana

Everything is numbered.
That crept up and now every meeting, every dance, every meal may be our last. It’s happy too, only good things coming, but I’ve settled in deep to this place.

I like going to sleep to crickets and barking geckos, waking up to sweeping and to loud, unstoppable roosters. I like when I have to miss yoga because a downpour refuses to let up and the thunder interrupts the conversation at all the right times, when you can’t order half of the juices on the menu because it’s not the season and you can’t get durian because the man who sells it on the side of the road every day didn’t show up today. When the cows and the dogs play outside the window of our kitchen, blenders roaring over Michael Jackson, love frequencies and improv poetry slams.

I like stillness and motion and where they meet. Being in a group and alone and where they meet.

I’m as happy as I’ve ever been when I get to dance in the night and yoga in the morning, eat nourishing food over stimulating conversation, and hydrate with coconuts from up the street, up the sky. Where am I? What life is this? Whose ?

Sundays, everyone comes together. We dance in the daylight, like crazy people, wild & unstoppable. We eat together and go to a drum circle for music, dancing, hoola hoping, acro yoga, bali soccer, and our sacred ice cream. Before we make our separate ways to dragonfly village. A sanctuary in the rice paddies. Cared for by the sauna, the campfire, the pool, hot & delicious tea, and our favorite DJ.

We leave at nine, to sleep to sleep to sleep.

This is a special place.

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Thinking outloud

I’ve never traveled this way. I’ve backpacked around Europe couch surfing and moving often and ive studied for four months in India but never have i spent almost four months traveling, moving, staying still a bit, moving quickly.

Wandering around a city, no matter how new and different the city, remains the same activity: wandering, You begin to really feel cloud-like, pixelated cloud-like when it’s deep. Floaty, without something grounding you or making you sit down and focus every once in a while. ( It’s only been a week!)

I’ve never traveled around this long with another person. It’s amazing but easy to fall back on each other in a very comfortable way. Laziness or fear? I think laziness on this one. You feel less a need to make friends and talk to strangers.

It’s great for these same reasons and more. Having a person you’re close with to share these views, tastes, smells, sounds, experiences with is amazing. In real time.

It’s amazing to see what the two of you see and don’t see when looking out on the same scene. What you take with you, how your mind changes. Having to vocalize and articulate all of it is good for me. We are learning a whole lot.

boarding

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airports are a completely different place when visiting alone v. with even one other human you know. I guess a lot of places are like that. i feel it most here.

you’re blatantly choosing to leave all the people and things you love and know for some other things you don’t.

it tends to be worth it if you have amazing people who will deal with and support you on your temporary “run aways”.

so again, i find myself, watching myself at the airplane window, journal writing, feeling all sentimental like i did the last time and the time before that. and all excited for a long overdue adventure.

Airports

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I can never get to the airport late enough and will surely regret thinking that at some future moment.

Boston’s logan airport at least offers free wifi and bearable security lines. Having shown up here before it even opened on my last trip, however, I feel like I’ve earned some loyalty points. Have you ever watched an airport wake up? Think of how few humans you actually see wake up… They tend to be humans you either currently or at one point really liked.

Airport loyalty