Last week

October 3, 2014

Oh coffee… Noir Pit.

Noir Pit… No, it’s not my head space, it is this new amazing espresso bar that just opened close to Chillout.

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Chill, is in the air, autumn here, for real. So much rain. I slept 12 hours, the coolness helps one sleep and sleep and sleep. Leaves on the ground. Coats, hats are seen, Istanbulites have turned to wearing black again.

Again, Saturday night: , an incredible concert with Barış at Atölye. Something really magical happens that makes us both so very happy. The people’s faces turned towards us the music rises and there is communion. There is something about the sound of the cello, at times my voice and its notes melt together, one and the same. I fly.

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Fly, soon I believe I will be flying in the skies over to North America, to California, then to Montreal. I SCOURED the internet for information on flight search engines, airlines, cheap routes, special deals, one way trips, multi-fare tickets, return tickets… here’s what I found: Norwegian air has CHEAP transatlantic flights (between 260 and 360 dollars, yes I’m not kidding) but you have to leave and come back landing in Sweden or Norway. West Jet has a cheap route (near 400 dollars) from Canada to Dublin. I first had an awesome multiple destination ticket from Momondo: 881 dollars for this itinerary: Istanbul, Los Angeles, Montreal, Istanbul. But when it came time to pay, after going through innumerable windows, clicks, acceptations, seat choice, insurance denials and all that jazz, going through the paypal thing, suddenly they ask me 300 more dollars. Why? The message said that because of the provenance of my payment (Canada) now they were entitled to ask for this 300 dollars… a 30% premium ‘just because’ ah the “privileges” of that Canadian nationality. Anyways… I refused to go along, it was totally frustrating as I had spent many hours to find this deal only to see it fall apart. Next day, I approached the process going with one way tickets. I found this route: Istanbul-Stockholm, Stockholm-Los Angeles, Los Angeles-Montreal, Montreal-Stockholm, Stockholm-Istanbul. Total: around $900, which is better than the original deal with one more flight. I leave on the 15th of October and back on November 25th. the last detail is Montreal-New York, where my connection to Europe is… that route is very expensive, I might have to hitchhike.

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Hitchhike, did I tell you? I have a ticket for Amsterdam for December 23, me and a friend will meet there and then we plan to hitchhike to Porto Portugal. No I have not won the lottery… the ticket was 100 TL ($50) and I’ll have my guitar to possibly earn some money, friends who will host us, and big faith in the whole process. I will leave with whatever money I will save from my performances. I feel I must see the world with my two feet from ground level, one step at a time. What I had talked about before, as a minstrel, with on my back, my guitar.

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Guitar… Last night after the show at Atolye, we went to Ekrem’s workshop, Ekrem is a guitar maker. There was Ali, Baris, Uğr, Ekrem and I. Ekrem distributed instruments: a 6 string acoustic bass guitar, a newly finished acoustic guitar that he named from a newly discovered star, a 4 string fretless acoustic bass guitar, a baglama and Ekrem played a hand drum. I stop a moment, look around; the wood tools symetrically lined up on the wall, the work benches, the broken chairs we sit on, they are all missing the left arm rests, a guitar thing… The windows opened on the night’s gray sky and heavy intermittent rain as we sit in the warmth. I look at everyone’s faces… Later on. Baris starts plays Alevi songs on the baglama… Ekrem has this deep knowledge of Turkey’s culture, spirituality, people, he knows about the shamanic things, energies, quantum, I love to listen to him. I realized that he is himself a sort of magician-creator, he tells us that long ago, 700 years before Jesus, Celts came to Turkey with their druids and culture and knowledge and brought this to this land, this land so full of history. The night is so beautiful, magical. This is why I came here…

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