open mind case closed

18 Oct

A blogger once said, “Writing a blog is similar to taking a shit, you have wait for it to come out.” So believe me when I say I’m sorry for the late arrival of this post, the wait was as painful for me as it was for you. As Ian already mentioned, SuperKuhlWunderBlog has entered a new phase — a phase in which Ian kicks back in Berlin while I live uncomfortably out of a rapidly deteriorating backpack loaned to me by Mr. Will Duncan. This transition will be difficult for all of us, especially Ian. Personally, I feel like I’ve just finished reading one great book only to pick up another that appears, from the first few pages, to be entirely better. Lick that verboten!

The Ottoman empire, at least geographically, looks like some horribly blown apart animal. Budapest and Baghdad the tapered ends of its ravaged pelt, the Black Sea a gaping hole through the carcass, fly larvae gathering around Athens, and the Mediterranean spilling blood onto the interstate. Or that’s what I was thinking as Jessica and I sat in the craphole waiting room of an Istanbul bus agency. I’d put my book down because the only television I’d seen in over a month was buzzing away in the corner. The local news appeared to have been reporting on over 10 different automobile accidents. A minibus had crashed, and although I couldn’t tell how many people died in the wreckage, I assumed it was eight. Another crash took the lives of maybe two people. The spaghetti ball of their car only resembled a car because the wheels were still intact. (For the record, Turkish people drive like fucking maniacs, and anyone who willingly enters a vehicle in that country deserves what’s coming). And when it was announced that we could begin boarding the bus for our 11 hour journey to Kapadokya, I have to admit I felt a bit like a soldier heading to the front lines.

As our bus pulled away from the crowded depot the call to prayer screamed in through an open window. I reflexively began to think about keeping an open mind, as I had while visiting both tourist infested mosques and hippie ridden hostels. No, I’m not surprised that you forgot to take your shoes off before molesting some old praying Muslim man with your digital SLR Cannon. And no, I’m not surprised that you’re a fucking polyamorist that’s offering me a dish of vegan Musli. Finally, and God damnit I’m sorry, but I’m not surprised you don’t think Iran’s that bad of a place to live, and that it’s really changed since the revolution, despite the fact that people are still sentenced to death for political activism, that 2,000 protestors were killed at demonstrations after a rigged election, and that you have to “know a guy” to watch It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia. Our bus began to churn down the freeway, and because it felt so cathartic I let out a low and whispered “fucking christ.” An open mind, where’s that ever gotten anyone? Alright, so I’m at a loss for examples. Still, I’d rather know what I like and forget what I don’t — but what kind of attitude is that when trying to write a travel blog?

I slept for most of the bus ride, waking occasionally to make sure the bus driver wasn’t weaving between lanes, and although he was, I couldn’t help but fall asleep again. Our bus ride was supposed to have direct service to the town of Goreme. “Direct service” can mean so many things, and it’s never what you’d expect. At 7:00am our bus pulled into a station ten miles from our destination. After frantically looking around the bus in that concerned American way, another passenger tried to comfort us by saying, “don’t trust any of the shuttle vans here, they’ll lie to you.” Perplexed, we wandered off the bus and onto a shuttle van that said it was going to Goreme. We were then kicked off the shuttle because it wasn’t, after all, going to Goreme. It was cold — snow on the mountains and ice on the ground — and we looked at each other in that “I need a drink” sort of way.

We’d drank only half of our Turkish teas when a man came running toward us impatiently clapping his hands. “Come! Quickly!” Normally this man would’ve registered as “rude,” but we needed a leader, so we followed him. He put us on one of those big space shuttle busses and it drove us to Goreme, hot air balloons rising in the distance.
The earth jutted out into monolithic mounds that picked bits of color from the sky. When rain finally erodes those massive Soviet era buildings, those lumbering concrete blocks, they’ll look like this. A gangly tree covered in trash stank of vinegar and mushrooms while four wild horses chased a pair of tourists, the bounce of telephoto lensed cameras an appropriate barometer for fear. I smiled, thought about how I’d like my own wild horses to chase away the talkative hostel hippies, the sociopathic travel writers, the “open mind” missionaries.

 

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5 Responses to “open mind case closed”

  1. Robert Spotts October 19, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    OMG Jason! That looks so much better than what Ian is doing! Congrats!

    • ianmdm October 19, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

      um aw just wait til i post my blog about the cool stuff i’ve been doing. i mean, has jason been hanging out at a quasi-exclusive basement club in neukolln? i didn’t think so!

      • Robert Spotts October 21, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

        OMG Ian! That looks so much better than what I’m doing! Congrats!

      • ianmdm October 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

        LOLz

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