Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blog posting numero two from ISTANBUL 7.29.08

Yes, hello my friends, sean here!
It’s Tuesday mourning and we’ve just arrived to our flight to Vienna on time! (Istanbul to Vienna, then Vienna to Dubrovnik.) My sincerest of apologies on the whole not-very-good-at-updating-the-blog-thing. I’ll assume at this point you’re at an understanding of how valuable my time abroad is, seeing how this thing might appear to have been moved to the backburner temporarily, I assure you this is not so. When I’m doing these things I like to try put my the full of my heart into it, as much of it fits, really. I just honestly haven’t been able to do these things ultra-frequently. So now, without further ado, I invite you into numero two….

Over the course of spending six days in Istanbul, I decided I had to bring back some material wealth to rightly mark my visit and, of course, to share with the people around me back home! With this in mind, I bought two major items in Istanbul: a Suz, and a Nargile (pronounced in English as s-oo-ze and nar-geel-a.) A suz is a middle-eastern type of guitar that, to me, sounds somewhat in between the ear-ery and exotic eastern sound of a sitar and the simplicity of an acoustic guitar. I only had a short time to attempt to make sound out of this thing and that sample was enough. I’ve also purchased a Turkish water pipe (nargile) used primarily for flavored tobacco (although I was told other things work well too.) In Turkish culture smoking the nargile is a symbol of relaxation, meditation, a time to unwind one’s mind of the daily stresses and drama and be at peace. I am very excited to bring these back to share with you and yours… I can only pray, at this point, that they’ll both make it home alive.

I’m sure most of you people have already heard about the terrorist attacks in Istanbul late Sunday night. You can now rest assured Sam and I are alive and very well. The attacks allegedly took place some twenty-five kilometers away from where we were sleeping, and apparently it was the biggest terrorist attack in Turkey for the past five years. We thought we might have heard some crackling in the distance Sunday night, but disregarded it as fireworks, which it could have been, or was (?) Hearing the news early the next day, I expected that the city and its people would have been someone shaken up by these events. To my surprise I didn’t notice much difference among the people, or the environment. I will note that as it could have been a coincidence, Monday was the first day I noticed the law enforcement carrying around larger machine-type-guns. Later that day a shoemaker had explained this madness to us in a Turkish tongue that was somewhat hard to decipher, yet we understood his point in explaining the absurdity of terrorism, killing, and the sympathy he felt that our race has succumbed to such an inhumane condition.

Leaving Istanbul today was an experience I won’t easily forget. Actually, Istanbul was an experience incapable of forgetting. Between running by aya sofia and the blue mosque in the warm rain this morning, saying our final good bye to our friend Gursel who served us breakfast every mourning, and all of the other countless and enthralling experiences instilled in this enchanted land; I don’t think I’d be capable of not coming back some day soon.

With this much I leave you for now, Dubrovnik is next, I'll be back up here soon, good luck to all, and thanks for indulging!


REAL PHOTOS! there’s new photos on my flickr account (the picasa site reportedly didn't work) I'll try and upload more soon. just copy and paste this link into your browser:

...if that's not working, you can try searching the flickr site for yourgoodfriendsean and the results should come up with a link to my photos.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

day numero uno from ISTANBUL

Hello everyone, it’s been truly lovely, here’s mi day numero uno BLOG posting from the enchanting land of ISTANBUL!

It’s wednesday the twenty third over here, sam and I have probably been here a total of ten hours thus far. I think it’s safe to say I’ve fallen for the place (ten hours!) The weather is surprisingly not so bad, probably in the upper eighties-ish, which usually tends to be somewhat problematic for my seemingly sensitive physique, yet I think I’ve been more distracted with my surreal surroundings to let it get to me; great! enchanting!

I’ve found it a challenge to nap in the day due to the heat, while we have the luxury of our own personal shower, staying cool hasn’t consumed too much energy or thought. I will say that it is naturally easier to not invest much energy or thought into anything other than sitting still and simply absorbing my surroundings; the euphoric energy of this land is beautifully overwhelming. I’ve been taking it slow in order to do just this. enchanting!

In the past four or so hours, we’ve seen Aya Sofia, the Blue Mosque, around thirty-seven pretty-eyed Turkish men (in which the majority were very very charming,) and many Muslim looking tourist, as well as many other looking tourists, some good, some less good. We were provided a very good fruit filled breakfast at the hotel, and ate lunch at a genuine non-English-speaking Turkish café where I enjoyed an authentic Turkish brew. lovely! Living for the past four or so hours has not been so cheap, I decided to discontinue my habitual spending of useless items like beer, food, and the like. The most beautiful sighs are free and within view of our hotel, the oxygen is still free over here, in all, I think I’ll make it (financially.)

The langue barrier has been worlds more fun than I initially anticipated. In my experience, it seems that we all understand each other on a universal communication level, just smile and nod, and you can feel their happiness, thus illuminating any kind of awkwardness in the language barrier and enables much more comfort when stuggling with communication. When buying post cards at the Blue Mosque today, a nice Turkish man told me I was beauty. I introduced myself by pointing to myself and saying “sean” he pointed to his self and said what sounded like “saa-do-ou-k,” we then shook hands. After my purchase this man did not hesitate to kiss my cheek in gratitude of making a new friend. I later pieced it together that he was actually referring to the post cards at beautiful, as flattered as I was by this misunderstanding, my ego eventually recovered. This man only spoke one word of English to me “beauty.”

I’m now sitting on top of our beautiful hotel in Saltanhamet where the streets are constructed of charming narrow brick roads. It’s a heartthrob of a village town/ city. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I feel it’s a city yet, it lacks most of the more popular elements of our American cities minus the population part, I would say that’s where one terms it ‘city.’ The peoples hearts are as gold as their skin. I could spend five minutes writing and dissecting every minute spent in Istanbul as you can probably tell but every minute spent here is far too valuable, I must be on my way, for now, I leave you.
Easkim, elveda! (much love, good bye)

ps. There should be some pictures in the attached html in the album entitled Eastern Europe, from breakfast on top of out hotel, in front of aya sofia and inside the blue mosque, and the view from our hotel. my apologies about not including more info about the photos, time here is so damn valuable, this is such an incredible experience! much more to come!

Friday, July 11, 2008

my eastern european travels july 22- aug 25

Yes again, hello! sean here, what a great idea I thought it would be to post the final and complete itinerary of my travels! I also would like to use all the resources in my arm's reach to really extend an inconceivable amount of gratitude and utter-indebtedness to that one particular group of people whom without I would not. It is truly a blessing; and yes I do love painful clichés. Without further ado here we are: (and soon we'll be) Istanbul, Turkey: 7/22-7/29, Dubrovnik, Croatia: 7/29 - 8/2, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina: 8/2 - 8/4, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: 8/4 - 8/8, Split, Croatia: 8/8 - 8/10, Zagreb, Croatia: 8/10- 8/11, Budapest, Hungary: 8/11- 8/17, Krakow, Poland: 8/17 - 8/21, Prague, Czech: 8/21 - 8/24. WOW! I’m so excited words cannot fathom or even come close to doing justice the deep burning excitement I’m feeling about this entire experience. As previously mentioned, painful clichés! And with this much I leave you for now, thank you my friends, I hope you all the best!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Preface to my readers / my first posting

Yes, it's true! Hello you, and congratulations! If you're reading this right now you've successfully managed to locate the where I’m publishing the writings I’ve felt are appropriate to share with you and yours. As these posting are intentionally targeted to the public, it should be acknowledged that they will be somewhat impersonal and only serve as a news-update of me and mine. Initially I thought it would be nice of me to apologize in advance for the challenges the reader might face when trying to make sense out of what I’m saying here but, through the course of this paragraph I concluded that I cannot be held responsible that the reader and I are on different individual levels of understanding and knowledge of the English language. I (politely) ask the reader, might I add whoever you are and regardless of our relationship, please not to doing any of that dirty pessimistic-angry-negative-judging garbage: that’s you; the reader; my guest, you’ve been invited into mi casa, I’ll do my best to treat you great, of course, I’d be expecting the same in return. This is my little piece of public domain, you feel me? I’m in control here (? [Or at least we’d all like to think so]) I’m open to the-whole-criticism-thing and just about everything else you people have to say. Alas! With this much in mind, the time has come! I welcome you to the outer limits of my (censored) mind in B-L-O-G form…

Ps. This above section is a more-formal “mission statement” of my postings. But, more honestly it serves best as a less-formal reader warning and preface that serves to give some guidelines to the reader when reading these posting (mind you, this does not confine me to anything! Anything at all!) you’ve been forewarned…. good luck!