Friday, July 1, 2011

Fate drives you insane

Tonight, as I was riding the bus alone to the Forum Mall in Mersin, (the only mall here, with "malling" being the only activity to really practice in ones spare time, besides laying on the beach and reading books on the balcony), I found myself thinking a lot about fate, and life, and all those deep meaningful personal things that paradoxically you somehow can only focus on in a crowded bus, surrounded by others, with your headphones stuck in your ears.

How did I end up here exactly? Living and working and doing everyday things like going shopping for clothes and herbal toothpaste, on the coast of Turkey? It feels so natural and I feel so at home amongst the minarets and Kebab shops, even though I don't understand the chatter of voices on the bus, the long words and quick Turkish consonants; even though i still have to remind myself that here "C's" are actually "J's"; even though unfortunately no one drinks coffee at breakfast and for some reason prefers tiny cups of tea, even though today is July 1st and Canada day and my actual home is thousand of miles (but it might as well be light years), away.

I remember when I visited Turkey last fall, and when the day came to leave, I had to literally peel myself off the seat at Serkiki station in Istanbul, because i didnt want to board the train that night to Romania. I remember looking at the lights of the Bosphorous and feeling sad to be leaving and just how badly I wanted to stay and wander and inhale the spicy smells of apple tea and sheesha, drink fresh pomagranate juice every morning and sit on the walls around old Sultanhemet, consume and contribute somehow to the strange ineffable magic that draws me to Turkey. I also remember promising to myself that one day I would be back, somehow, some way...and here, now less than a year later I find myself living and working in Turkey.

And so on the bus today I asked did this happen? It's just all so crazy. Everything. This entire trip, I mean. It might sound ridiculous but....I visited the VALLEY OF THE KINGS for godsakes. The resting place of the motherfreaking PHARAOHS!! And sure, thousands of tourists have made that trip before me, thousands of chino- wearing, obscenely-large-camera toting, pasty white North Americans but for me it meant so much more than seeing a tourist destination. For me it felt like the cumulative effect of a life spent in daydreams of far off places, when I honestly never thought i'd have the money to go anywhere far away and here I am, actually doing it! And as much as i'd like to take the credit for my life, and it unfolding in as awesome a way as it has....i just sometimes feel like i have nothing to do with it, like being the central character in a movie that i am not directing, but who is allowed some improvisational spontaneity here and there.

I honestly feel like I am meant to be here in Turkey, even if i don't know why exactly. Today as I watched the sun set from the windows of that bus, it all made sense for just a second, and I felt okay with the fact that my bank account is running dangerously low, with the concept that I don't know exactly what I will do when my job finishes, or where I will get my stupid miserable tooth fixed. I felt okay with the prospect of just...not knowing or having any control over what is yet to come.

I surrender to fate, yet will still keep up my efforts to live a life I am happy with, visiting Pharaoh's graves, Ancient Nabataean temples and every goddamn crowded souk and Bazaar I can find, along the way.

I want to make sure that it is the fate I choose that unfolds.

And that might not make sense to virtually anyone on this planet, except a long dead dervish wanderer...but that's okay with me.

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