It is about time we got to Istanbul!
Monday morning I awoke at Khalida’s place. I discovered that checking travel plans is easier when you’re well-rested and sober! Yay!
Granola, Yogurt, Coffee, Khalida, and Clean Clothing!
Khalida drove me to the airport. Hugs. Thanks!
Before customs I bought a new black wrap at an H&M. I hadn’t packed anything sweater or jacket-like for Germany/Belgium and on one day Fifi lent me a sweater out of pity. I wanted something a little warm, but all-purpose, for the flight.
Passport control! Guess what? CDG Int (outside of Paris) never stamped the fact that I had entered Europe! Thanks CDG! People with machine guns and yelling at me in French weren’t enough to remind me why I hate you.
Guess what, German passport control is perfectly willing to believe that French people fucked things up! Thank you, nice man. F.Y.CDG.
Flight to Istanbul, uneventful. I did some sewing and sleeping.
I landed around 6ish in the evening.
Stood in line, bought my visa…stood in another line. “Did you get your visa?” Oh, hell yes I did…!” (flip flip flip, confirmed).
I’d been to CDG! Your puny attempts to make me stand in lines needlessly will not work on me!!
Out into the arrivals area, full of people holding signs to take people to places. I found my name, and the name-card holder placed a call. Shortly, my driver picked me and my HOT PINK LUGGAGES OF SERIOUS TRAVEL.
I was exhausted and little sick for being in a car. I sometimes get a bit sick from being in the backseat and…have you ever been in a vehicle in Istanbul? It’s best if you only look at the scenery. Do NOT look at the others cars and buses. You don’t want to see how close they are to you. You don’t want to know what is going on around you. Your air brake does NOTHING. NOOOOOOTHING!
I was happy to see that my apartment was where I thought it would be. My memory of the layout of Istanbul was correct. We were staying one minute from the Galeta tower. It was a bit difficult to maneuver the side street we were on, because a big Ramadan feast was being set up. There was a stage basically set up in front of the apartment blasting traditional folk music. It’s fucking awesome to have an apartment where the music you can hear from outside is music you’d want to hear.
A wiry, butch, lady (short hair, white tank top, baggy pants, a few tattoos and a bag demanding Gay and Lesbian rights) was at the apartment to greet me and help me carry my luggage up four flights of stairs. She collected the rent, gave me numbers I might need, and finished changing some light bulbs.
Then I was alone.
First things I did was to move the table a bit and separate the two single beds. I would be meeting Kyria for the first time and I didn’t want it to be too awkward! Two beds so cozy sent a certain message, namely:
“Hi! Yeah, our beds are pushed together and we share a common bedsheet…I’ve REALLLY enjoyed your posts lately…so…wanna spoon? I need to be spooned to sleep.”
Yeah. They gave us one big bed sheet for two beds.
I found a solution to this on the balcony, where a bunch of linens were hung to dry. YAY! A second sheet! I separated the beds, put a sheet on each of them, and was pleased with myself.
I went downstairs to the next-door store and bought myself some granola, cheese, yogurt, tomato and water and stuff.a
I put the bottles of water out, wrote my name on one and Kyria’s on the other. I carry a Sharpie/permanent marker to multi-dancer shows for this reason. I then took a shower and fell half-asleep onto my bed with an alarm to wake me up.
I told her just to ask to be taken to Galeta Tower and I’d meet her. Soon the apartment manager called me to tell me I’d given my friend the wrong address (it had been the address on the sheet he’d told me to refer to the night before…so I think it was his transcribing error that made it the address for another property he rents) so I tried to call Kyria. The connection was so bad that she thought I was from the rental company…
Eventually we found each other. She in her (Purple?) stretchy dress and me loudly-clothed in something vintage. We bought more food, navigated the busy street, and started to learn a little about how the keys in the apartment worked.
Unfamiliar locks can be tear-making.
We started some awkward getting to know each other as I made a quick dinner. We both know very personal things about each other, from LJ, but it was the first time we’d met met.
She is also writing about the trip, and worries that she won’t remember things right. K, it is subjective. You’ll remember it how you remember it and I will too and I’m not bothered if the two aren’t the same memories.
I think it would be fair to say that both of us were a bit worn-out on people levels. I’d just spent a week with groups of dancers at RAks and with Khalida and Kyria had been on a boat with a group of folks. We both seem to have limits to what our inner introverts can deal with, socially.
We went to bed. The living room air-conditioner was enough to cool the whole apartment with the help of an electric fan in the hallway, pointed at the bedroom.
And then we woke up.
This is where I hope I am not overstepping privacy. K, tell me if I am.
I have a history peppered with some sleep talking, but it’s tapered off in the last few years…so much as I know. I woke up a few times early on, as Kyria muttered in a second language, but I fell back asleep. I didn’t think it was worth mentioning (as, I have done similar things in my past).
I could not ignore her sitting up, in bed, putting a hand on my bed to alert me to something in the distance. She was rapidly talking to me in a language I didn’t understand…Dutch? I sat up, hoping this would give sleep K some sort of reassurance that I was taking her directions seriously. I may have murmured agreement out loud …because she eventually awoke and mumbled and apology. In the morning she explained that after a week of sailing, it had probably been a nighttime attempt to navigate our boat once she had determined the location the wind was coming from…the hall way…with the electric fan…
Coming up soon: Our Adventuresome Dancers get some private time, refresh, and start to dance. Trigger warning: upcoming posts acknowledge the existence of tambourines.
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