Tuesday, January 28, 2014

About to enter Asia proper and I still need MORE stuff!

Shopping List
So…have about a day to spend in Istanbul…But I have a list of to do’s. I have a monopod with me…I got a tripod for this trip…but……well….. it was just too big. And heavy. I had simply no place to carry it. So…I have this monopod but I need a pivot head for it (attachment at top that is basically ball and socket that allows you to change the angle that the camera is facing while monopod is stable).

US-Asia adaptors
I also need some thermals for this trip. My Nepali student has warned me that I will freeze at night there (there being Nepal). I know….why didn’t I buy these in the states? I…..don’t know…I just didn’t think I would need them. But now….I do.

And finally…another….never dawned on Jennifer until…now…Um….let’s see….you have….how many magic bits? And…these magic bits….they all require battery power?….and that battery power goes away unless recharged at night? Yeah duh…I understood that part. What didn’t occur to me was I would need multiple adaptors to be able to plug all these bits in each night. So….US to Asia adaptors. I need those also.

Corn and Cats
So what stood out in Istabul? Well, its seems the people of this city have two loves, cats and corn! I know! Interesting combo! Cats at every doorstep. Corn in every food cart.
Food stand in Istanbul, Turkey

Backpack from hell test one
Ok. So giant backpack on. Let’s start practicing the art of trying to get through a city without knowing the language and needing to find needles in haystacks. I should note here…that….this is NOT as bad as you would think. In FACT….the whole trip was fairly easy from that perspective. I actually only learned two words the whole trip….. Thank you and Hi…..Yep! That was it. OK. DON’T look at me like that!!! I would have tried others!!!….but let’s just put it this way….I WAS REALLY F’ING BUSY!!!…WHICH we WILL cover soon. So anyway…even with no ability to say anything outside of English…I did fine. How was this possible you ask? a) Someone around usually does speak English…everywhere…even the most remote locations and b) Miming is universal!!! 

What was problematic as I started hiking through the city…was …..THE BACKPACK! OMG! The pain was horrible. Within about 1.5 hours I could not bear it anymore. And I had to stop. Oh no! Again….I am getting worried. What in the world have I done? How will I carry this thing with me? It has to be on me at all times because 1) I will need all the equipment and 2) if I don’t there will be certain risk of it being lifted away. Inside I have ALL the film equipment plus my laptop and some other odds and ends…like my try to rehydrate quick and not die tablets….my glasses…a tampon (PS…ASIA does not sell them) ….

So I did what should be done in situations like this. I sat down and ordered pizza and ….diet coke. :)  And got into my first of a million conversations across the next few weeks which went like this….so…are you married? your not married? Kids? Why not married? Divorce? Oh. YES! DIVORCE…OH! Where are you from? You are here alone? ……This was what freaked people the most. I dunno…but I am surprised that a lone traveler female is worth a surprise. I am certain it has been done before..a lot. 

So…I haul the backpack back on and finally find my way to the electronics area of town. I locate what may have been the one and only pivot head! Then with a little help from a friend abroad (thank you friend abroad) who helped google search stores for me, and suggested I bite the bullet and spend the cash to get proper wool thermals…I find an outdoors sporting goods place and mime somehow enough to get the thermals I need. Happiness! I think I had to wait till I got to the airport to locate the adaptors. But I am good to go! Cab back to airport….next stop…Kathmandu! 

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