June 14, 2010
Speaking Turkish in Boston
My trip started in 1993 in Cambridge, Mass. I begged my boyfriend (now turned husband) to take a full year course of intensive Turkish with me. He resisted, resisted, resisted and .....gave in. "Come on", I told him, "we've both taken Arabic and Farsi. Turkish is a just a combination of both languages!"
Boy, was I wrong.
Turkish is more akin to German, with syllables attached in interminable words full of irregularities and grammatical complications. PURE TORTURE! Homework was torture, classes were torture, the EXAM was torture. It was a final exam that lasted three hours, twenty pages long with a hundred tricky questions. Lukily, we both passed. After which time we began the surprisingly rapid process of forgetting what we'd so laboriously learnt and crammed in for a year, as though it was necessary to get rid of our "post traumatic stress".
With only remnants of the language left , I traveled to Istanbul for the first time in the winter of 2001, accompanying my husband on his business trip. My other tourist companion was my six month old first born (I remember because I was mashing bananas for him at the hotel). It was rainy, the stroller broke on the cobbled streets and despite all the sight seeing, I kept a negative feeling from my trip to Turkey.
But now I have given it a chance again, on a honeymoon alone with my husband to attend a wedding. Barely had I arrived that I put on my dancing shoes, went on a prelude boat ride on the Bospherous, and enjoyed the spring air. The rave began when we arrived at Reina, an outdoor night club on the Bospherous. Red lamps and genuine wooden parquet, tables with plush toweled cushionned benches. The high life I must say! have you ever been served cherries and watermelon at a night club?
The DJ put the music on and we all went into a TRANCE! He spun and we danced, we danced and he spun. Mesmerized, I was high on the single red bull I drank. The music was controlling. We couldn't stop. Eventually, I ran up the stairs to meet the fabulous DJ who had turned us into raving dervishes. I complimented him, got the name of a song (see below link by Stromae) and we danced some more. It was only 4 am.....