Thursday, September 2, 2010

Found the Road to the Flag

I found the road to the flag at the top of the mountain... now it's not as alluring as before. I can go anytime I want. Just take the bus to Cankaya and walk past the hat shop straight north to the big flight of stairs. There you are. I'll probably go this weekend and it'll take just a few minutes.

Actually, it's a pretty exciting walk... lots to pass and some good hawkers with good stuff to hawk. Furniture. I really need furniture, but I'm happy with my 'yoga room', which is a room that is completely empty except for a yoga mat because that is all the furniture I could afford when I first moved to Izmir. The yoga mat cost about $12 or $13 U.S., which is a real bargain when you consider the fact that I have a room that is always clean, and hiring a cleaning lady costs about 60TL.

In truth, I'd rather have a sofa. I'd rather have a table and chairs, but those are things that can be purchased or built, kept or thrown away. Over the years I've seen a lot of nice furniture come and go, get recycled, outlive its usefulness... but I've never seen a yoga mat that looked old or even used.

About my apartment, I know that it's the first place I saw in Izmir... the rent is reasonable, the neighborhood is OK, and it's a livable couple of rooms, but I'm beginning to envy the places my friends have. I think I'm going to stay here only as long as I need to before making some kind of move to a better neighborhood. The area is a little bit conservative and I'm having trouble with the Ramadan drummers at night... actually, they came around yesterday asking for money, a young guy and an old guy (I filmed them waking everyone up before, so I know it was really them).

They looked so sweet, so sincere, that I actually paid them. My anger over the sleep I'd lost these past few weeks melted away completely. I'm a sucker for tradition, and these guys seemed genuinely nice.

The recommended amount was about 5TL, but I only had small coins, about 1TL, in my coin bag. At the very least, these guys are doing their jobs well night after night, playing their drum to wake everyone up between 3:30am and 4:30am and deserve a few coins.

At the very, very least, I didn't kick their asses and take their silly drum.

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