Friday, March 19, 2010
Insomnia in Istanbul
I cannot sleep. I am not sure if it is jet lag or am I just feeling alive again. Not that I was not alive, but the juices are flowing. We walk all day through spice markets. across bridges, down endless winding streets, or along the Sea of Marmara, and no matter how long we are out or what we do, I am not tired. Larry says I am a travel animal. I have abbreviated it to a tranimal. I like this new word and think. I will coin it. Tranimal. I prowl. I stalk new streets, wander through Topkapi in the rain, peering into the rooms where harem girls and eunuchs once slept. I imagine the heads of the sultan;s enemies, nailed to the walls. The women who languished here. Across the way on the Galata Bridge a man squats before a scale, offering to weigh people for half a Turkish lira. A boy rests his tray of sweets on the railing of the bridge. One strong wind will blow it all away. Fisherman line the bridge, their bait of dead sardines swirling in buckets of murky water. A shoe shine man rips me off and it becomes a story. A cab drops us on a darkened street where we are lost and it becomes a story. At night my head is filled with all of this. I hear the call to prayer at midnight. Outside white gulls soar. Across the way white linens flap in the wind. A cheshire cat moon smiles above. And I cannot sleep.