I spent two days in Ankara feeling increasing pangs of some unidentified malaise. In search of a new keeper for contact lenses, i found myself on Tunali Hilmi Caddesi where i had walked with Emin and Arda my first night in town. Buildings and landmarks i passed were no longer just buildings; they were the cues to memories.
At the dinner hour on Friday, live music drifts streetward from restaurant courtyards; i know i will miss passing on the crowded street as a violinist plays those plaintive Anatolian melodies. It wasn't just the ear infection fueled by two flights the prior week that had me feeling under the weather. Despite a dear friend's company, my whole being issued a complaint - a complaint at being torn from a new home, from a place i felt truly free.
At three o'clock Sunday morning morning Can's brother drove us to the airport shuttle where we shared a parting embrace. On the shuttle i awoke outside the International Departures terminal of Esenboğa as if the forty-minute ride had been the flash of a transporter beam. Socked with a fifty-euro fee for my second piece of baggage, i sought refuge between the headphones trailing in a tangle to my iPod. Craig Minowa's lyrics reminded me that "i give thanks to the present day / it just arrived, so please don't go away/ i fin'ly see it's what i choose to make / and i choose to make it into gold…" (Cloud Cult: "thanks", from The Meaning of 8) It was in hues of gold that the sun rose as we walked the gangway to board. The plane lifted off ahead of schedule and by the time we passed Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, the cabin crew was serving a delicious Lufthansa breakfast - with a seven hour layover awaiting me in Munich.
Moments of Cultural Shock - Today's Edition
11 months ago