Relaxing at home on another gorgeous day in my life, waiting for a terrorist attack. Note the fab new sandals.
According to one of my all-time favourite websites that displays time-zones and 7-day meteorology forecasts for every inhabited village across the globe, it is currently 34 degrees in my fair city. Which, in my fair opinion, is probably misinformation. I am currently on the balcony, trying to stay out of the cleaning lady's way, watching the world go by and wondering how strong the heat actually has to be before it can bleach the colour out of an entire city.
Today, Istanbul is white-hot. I'm dressed in enough clothes to appear modest and I'm drenched in my own sweat. I'm barely even moving and yet a hitherto undiscovered delta is forming at the base of my feet. The clear gain here is weight loss: at current speed I anticipate losing approximately 30% of my body mass between now and three pm, and since you can never be too rich of too thin things are certainly looking up for me in one aspect of my life. Anyway, the sun has changed my city into something reminiscent of a Turner canvas during a particularly abstract and mad painting frenzy. The contour and outlines of buildings and people have morphed into a swirling haze of pastels and if I didn't know already know the difference between the ground and the sky I might well get confused.
Blood suckers, and possibly a young terrorist.
So I'm hot and bothered but extremely excited since in a few hours I will haul myself off to the airport to greet a dear friend from home who I haven't seen in almost two-and-a-half years. And since it's over a year since anyone from Australia came to visit me, I'm feeling mighty joyful. 'Joyful' is a in fact I word whose existence I refuse to accept but that is otherwise over-employed by every Turk learning English. I have absolutely no idea in which module of which chapter of which poorly written English Language text book this particular vocabulary item is to be found but it's not a lexical chunk that I ever choose to use. I mean, call me old-fashioned, but when was the last time you even used the mother-ship word 'joy' in a conversation? Can't remember, can you?
Anyway, Jenny's arrival will shortly inject an enormous amount of joy into my life and I'm sure she won't be too tired. It'll be thirty-six hours since she passed through Melbourne customs but hey, she's clearly here to see the sights.
I'm allowing ten minutes to collect luggage, another three to acclimatise to intense heat and then the necessary half-day to understand that yes, these people don't drive very carefully.
People who claim to be my friends/harem, but who may well be guerilla leaders.
(Can you believe the woman upstairs just chose this moment to beat the dust out of her rugs over my frickin' head on the balcony upstairs? I feel even better now that a layer of the filthy muck, which according to another interesting website I visit is principally composed of dead human skin, has adhered so quickly to my sweat-streaked skin and given me an appearance of those man might have spent the morning mining chalk. There is also someone making wheezing panting noises upstairs but I've decided he's probably lifting weights because that would be the natural thing to do on such a warm, sunny day).
It must be clear from my rants how much I'm in love with this city and how much I become joyful when showing it to friends, acquaintances and random people I meet on the Internet.
Linda and I waiting for an attack to happen at any moment, anywhere in the city, while joyfully sampling fine summer fare.
Over the last three weeks I've been treated to the company of French, Canadian, Irish and American guests in this here fine city, and if I didn't have enough free time to spend with them, I still had the wonderful opportunity of showing each something special about this city. It was also a practice run for when Jenny arrives this afternoon since we have three weeks to tour as much of this country as the private bus system, our feet and the sweltering heat will allow. Although every one of my private students has advised against going to the south-east of Turkey, terrorist attacks and nothing other than kebaps to eat cannot deter me.
The overzealous souls at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have recently updated their travel advice to my adopted home country:
A caution from people who live in the world's most boring city. In fact, I've seen more verve in graveyards. However, they do know how to format a document well, which is admirable.
" Attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in Turkey." How's that for irresponsibility? Could you actually write anything more vague?
Misinformation and scaremongering at it's best. The last time I visited the Australian Vice-Consul I was struck how relaxed, even comatose the man was. He didn't look like he oversaw the welfare of my nation's interests in a country where your life was on the line every gooddamn minute of the day. Stuff like this makes me less than joyful.
Don't accept it. He's a terrorist and it's a bomb.
I would like to state the that chances of being involved in any kind of unsavoury event in south-east Turkey are minute when compared with the chances of being unfairly harassed a by aggressive inebriated revellers in any given city of my native country at 11:36pm on Friday evening. That is fact. Besides, what is life for if not to make an adventure of it? I don't want to look back in 17 years on my death-bed (according to my most recent fortune teller) and passively watch a life of lawn-mowing and Ikea knick-knacks pass before my eyes. If my last view on this planet is of a bearded man of indeterminable age with an acrimonious grimace brandishing a kebap over my head, so be it. I want my life to be glamorous.
Ok, think I've sweated my way down to 70 kilos. The heat has made my head go a bit funny.