Thursday, September 6, 2012

Keeping Score: Good Things, Bad Things

So the other day, we came back to Istanbul. Here is my preliminary report:

It's a little better than this, I think.

1) The first good thing that happened was that my ex had arranged for his friend who works in customs to come meet us at the airport. This guy has been meeting us the airport for years. It's the nicest thing ever, being met just outside passport control by a familiar face. Usually at Atatürk Airport, you have to deal with a whole bunch of crap before meeting anyone you know, like passports and visas and the heat and possibly an interminable wait for baggage that may or may not show up, depending on the airline.

Delta is the worst for taking forever and losing your stuff.

I never see BE's airport friend other than at the airport. They're army buddies. We went to his wedding, and once we visited his house after their daughter was born. But he's a nice fellow who can wave off the customs guys if any of them suddenly develop an interest in your stuff.

Wants to smoke.
They're slightly more interested in people's stuff since smoking was banned at the airport.

2) Our bags came fast. That was a good thing too. LE was so happy to see his dad that he more or less forgot I exist. It's okay. After that plane trip, I think we were both glad to be rid of each other for awhile.

It burns.
Which isn't to say I didn't start missing him before I even hit the E5. So I called him up to thank him for being such a great kid on the airplane because I'd forgotten to tell him before I left. I also apologized for getting a bit bitchy toward the end there, even though he really wasn't supposed to bang the sun-filled window shades up and down while everyone is sleeping.

Perhaps I expect an awful lot from such a small fellow. He told me something about a superhero. I don't remember what, because that's mostly all he wants to tell me, is stuff about superheroes.

3) A Bad Thing That Turned Into A Good Thing: So remember in one of my pissy posts from awhile back when I mentioned BE had appropriated part of my child support for a doctor trip?

Check me out, I'm not even gonna link to that post because I'm just feeling so darned comfortable that you read it already.

Well, I went ahead and checked with my lawyer about the money thing and she said BE can't do that. So I let him know he owes me money and he was pissed off so I had to arrange my own ride home from the airport. Which isn't such a problem, really. I got that sorted out even though, according to BE, there aren't korsan taxis anymore so he can't call his regular guy.

Which is why I hooked up a cheap ride home with a car service. They're great. But the limit of the area they go to is the bank which isn't far from my house but it's too far to walk with a bunch of giant, heavy suitcases. So I figured it was cheaper to get a taxi from the bank to my house than pay the extra 20 lira for their going out of area. When we got there, I found a taxi and I guess I convinced him to turn his car around and fetch me and my stuff, though he seemed reluctant. When I went back to the driver he was like, "Oh you just live a few blocks away? Well, I'll take you. No big deal." I looked for the taxi to tell hm not to bother and couldn't find him and I felt really bad because it seemed like he actually was turning around somewhere. At the same time, I was more than happy for the ride to my house.

And then you know what I did? I got us kind of lost. It wasn't my fault. They built a tunnel near my road not long ago, but the roads around the tunnel keep changing and I guess they changed again while I was gone. It took a few tries to hit the turn to my road.

When we finally found my house, the driver still wasn't grouchy so I gave him as big of a tip as I could manage with the remaining lira I had on me.

4) Then I looked at the bags in dismay. Four 50 pound suitcases that needed to go up three flights of stairs.

It's because of guys like this I don't answer where I'm from.
No worries though. Another good thing is coming! No sooner had I taken a breath deep breath in preparation for powering through the pain than a bunch of neighborhood kids ran up offering to help with the bags. The first few kids were too small and I politely declined. But then some more adolescent ones turned up, the ones I had been ignoring a few minutes earlier because they were doing that "Where are you from?" thing. In a giggling, tumbling mass the six boys had hold of my bags. The ones who'd gotten the duty-free booze bag seemed particularly amazed and showed off to the others. They trundled everything up the stairs and fell down a few times but were probably still gentler than the baggage handlers. I rescued the booze halfway up. Then they disappeared as quickly as they'd come.

They called me "teyze." Teyze is what you're supposed to call a woman significantly older than yourself. It's respectful. At first I was all, "WTF?" Then I decided they could call me whatever the hell they want because they'd just hauled my bags up the stairs. Being called teyze was kind of a bad thing, but not so bad.

No picture. I don't want my friends to see what the cats did.
5) When I got in the door, I discovered the cats had knocked a plant from a top shelf all over the desk and floor, and then they'd played with the dirt all over the house. This must have happened fairly close to my arrival home, since my friend who was looking after them had brought a cleaner over the day before. It took me like an hour to clean up and dirt still keeps appearing from nowhere.

Fucking cats. They're so going to the cat farm.

That was a bad thing.

Kind of overrated, but okay.
6) The next day after waking up at 5am and running around doing a bunch of errands or whatever, I was heading across town because that's how I roll. About 40 minutes into the trip I realized I was starving. I was jetlagged and sleepy and my eating is all off and I didn't plan well. So I got off the minibus at the metrobus station and bought a simit from the guy there and then got on the metrobus even though it was crowded and I had to stand and I ate the simit. When it was done, I got my earphones out of my bag. I managed the unzipping and untangling and sticking the thingies into my ears and plugging it all into the phone with one hand because my other hand was holding the bar. I realized I've gotten pretty good at that.

It all felt good. But maybe I was just in a good mood. Hard to say. The point goes to "good thing" in any case.

7) I was heading across town to hang out with a friend. Turns out the Büyükçekmece metrobüs has opened, which made the trip a lot easier. I had to take another minibüs for the last leg, and was naturally worried about getting lost. But I told the driver where I wanted and he said it was the last stop, which was good because "siteler" sounded quite vague to me. It could be any place within a number of apartment complexes.

As we neared the last stop, driver started getting nervous and asking me questions about where I wanted to go. "Isn't it the last stop?" I asked. I showed him the message in my phone from my friend explaining where to go. He wanted to call my friend and check. That's a funny thing that happens in some places, drivers and other people that get nervous about maybe having to be responsible for a lost yabancı woman. It can get awkward.

Turns out the reason he was nervous is because there are two last stops. Of course.

When my friend was giving me directions the day before, I mentioned I would probably get lost. "I'm not an Istanbul kid like you," I said.

And you know what? I didn't get lost and it was cool and everyone was happy.

It was a very good thing.

Good things won.

The End.

1 comment:

BacktoBodrum said...

Welcome back. I wish I hadn't looked at your post before bed. The guy in the bath is going to give me very bad nightmares.