NOW AIN’T THAT THE GOSPEL TRUTH.
IN OTHER WORDS, I MADE IT TO ISTANBUL EFFING ALIVE.
I’d love to go out wandering (the Blue Mosque and Haglia. Sophia are literally a 5 minute walk, past all the bars full of sketchy good-smelling Turkish people), but I’m in Istanbul, I’m alone, and it’s late at night. I googled “Istanbul safety” (you can see how prepared I am trololol) and proceeded to chuckle: the article began with “Istanbul is a very safe city,” and as I scrolled down and read the rest of the article, was amused to discover that I should actually never ever go outside in Istanbul. Just kidding, I’m going to wake up early tomorrow and go see stuff. Still, it’s good to have an evening to chillax after what has been a day full of what the eff is going on where am I supposed to go okay I’ll just follow those people and hope I’ll get there. Besides, I need to tell you about this stupid ridiculous awesome trip, which seems crazy because it only just STARTED!
And I’m in my underwear. You should try it sometime, just sit around in your underwear in a room in a hostel in Istanbul writing about how you came to be there. It’s a strange and unexpected situation to find oneself in, and an altogether pleasant one too. I’d know. Commence the storiezzzzzzzz!
Much of the following narrative is taken from the all-new sequel to the Morocco Notebook with the even pages numbered:
Halfway there and Away we Go: Morocco Notebook #2!
This time, the odd pages are numbered. There is no spoon. Coming soon to a blog near you. I live a very, very exciting life, you see.
So I was sitting on the train, staring at my ticket and imagining Hagrid telling me Stick to your ticket, Harry. That’s very important—stick. To. Your. Ticket. until I was jolted out of my reverie as the train filled with what smelled like burning garbage. I glanced out the window and saw an entire field of burning garbage, and now a slum, and now a mansion. Oh, Morocco, I’ll still miss you! WHAT WHERE AM I GOING IS THIS REAL Also, I’m terrified of missing عين سبع, which is my train-change-connection-transfer-train to the airport. I probably spelled it wrong, too. I just can’t win sometimes.
Anyway, I chatted for awhile with the nice bank lady sitting across from me (Note to self: first stop after Agdal is Mohammedia), who is now plucking her eyebrows.
She took the next page of my notebook to write all her information down for me. Moroccans love giving people their information, imploring them to call should they ever need anything. I really appreciate it, because from what I’ve learned about Moroccans, they really mean it. What she didn’t write is what awesome eyebrows she’s got.
I have made it successfully to the airport! WOO! As we disembarked the train at عين سبع (still don’t know if I spelled that right), I overheard a gorgeous boy ask a woman where he ought to go to catch the train for the airport. Perfect, I thought, and sidled up next to him. You’re going to the airport? Me, too!He smiled and we followed the people carrying suitcases. As we chatted a bit, I noticed he wasn’t a native French speaker (we were speaking French duh), and he neither acted nor dressed like a Moroccan boy. I asked where he was from.
Español, he said, in his beautiful Spanish-boy voice. My heart melted. We sat together and chatted throughout the ride to the airport, he was funny and beautiful and adorably not-confident with his French, which was fine because I’m not either.
At one point during the train ride, he looked over at me and grinned. “You look like a hippie,” he said in adorably accented English. So I did. Boots and harem pants, possibly the greatest crime against fashion since lederhosen, plus fleece, plus scarf, plus bright blue carpetbag. For a second, I realized what I must look like through his eyes: some American chick dressed like a nomadic belly dancer who studies Arabic in Morocco is taking her spring break to go to the Republic of Georgia, yeah just south of Russia, that’s the one. What a charming and cute and funny weirdo, I’m going to e-mail her as soon as I get back to Spain, I hope he was thinking. Anyway, his name is Carlos, and he left for Terminal 1 with my e-mail address and my heart.
Slight interruption: I took a break from writing this to take a shower. A shower. A real shower. Need I say more? Whoa, Istanbul. WHOA. I’m now in my jammies, eating my trusty Moroccan dates and almonds (tastes like home! Actually, side note. I feel as though I always write to you about how much I miss home, but now that I’m not in Morocco, I never want to leave it again. Sense-making? Nada. This post is nutter butters), writing to you all. I opened the curtains because I’m now clothed, and outside my window is a scaled-down Turkish version of Rear Window; I can see across to what must be another hostel, though only one window is lit, and there’s a girl there with short blonde hair that I may have just made awkward eye contact with. Tight winding iron staircases run up and down the buildings, which must serve some awesome or badass purpose. If there’s a fire, I can leap sideways out of my window, catch hold of it, and escape Quasimodo style.
There was more but I’m going to finish this later. Sleep now. Happy Istanbul!