Monday, January 27, 2014

Entrance to Asia!

Umm….those bags.
Well… at the very last minute….as you may recall….I added some camera equipment to my already ton of … (for Gopal, my student from Nepal). In addition, I also added two audio recorder pods for another student of mine (Shambu Paudel), which are..BIG and HEAVY. So now…I have not only my 70 pound back pack…but this yellow duffle which weighs also about 70 lbs and has NO wheels. So…..eventually….in the airport in Istanbul…I break down…and begin a long habit of just letting it drag behind me…pulling it along. I keep thinking….OMG….how can I make it? I cannot do this. It is all too heavy. I am soo exhausted already. When I get to Asia they will see me…the weakest animal and also the STUPIDEST in the herd….and they will pick me off immediately. Shit! I gotta figure out how to play this so I at least can pretend to look tough and strong.

Istanbul (on my way!)
Of all the cities from this trip and trips taken prior….this one goes down in top ten! When I bought my tickets, I had to pick a layover some where. So I
OK. This is taken next day. But have to start explaining 
why Istanbul is MUST SEE!
looked through the list of possibilities and….well…..24 hours in Istanbul seemed like a good choice! OK…..I am being way nonchalant about that……I was over the top STOKED that it was one of my choices!!!! ISTANBUL! As my first port of entry! Hell YEAH! And then I realized….oh wait….off plane….walking into country…. equals need for …oh man! Another visa. :(
 But guess what!!!!! Turkey loves giving VISA’s! And for the low low price of I think it was like 30 bucks….and a few quick clicks on the turkey web site….BOOM! Turkey VISA!!!!! LOVE it!!

Istanbul (sleeping here)

Already I am seeing how much farther my US dollar will go in Asia (if you
First ever selfie? Night one in Istanbul, 
Turkey. Last western look for..t minus
about….35 days? 
can consider this the edge of). I stayed at a great little hotel in the old part of the city. Cost me nothing (about 40 US) and was an unbelievable first entry stop. I was woken early in the morning (still dark) with my first Muslim call to prayer! This is going to sound like such crap…but it was like I woke up and I had been transported back in time. This was one of the most amazing sounds I have ever heard! So ancient and haunting and beautiful at the same time. So I am sitting in the dark…listening to this….when I finally get ungroggy enough to think…SHIT!!! RECORD !!!!! RECORD!!!! I go stumbling over the room for my backpack….where is the recorder???? Argh! Got it….Fumble….turn on….takes forever to start up….and…they are done.
 I was sooo bummed. I had no idea what that sound had been for…I didn’t yet understand that I would hear this….daily…multiple times for the rest of the trip at most of my locations.

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