I’m not your friend, guns and firetrucks, Ninja!

The Wandering Nerd December 2nd, 2007

I have to admit, Istanbul is wearing on me a bit. Part of it is because I’m trying to suss out where/how I’m going to keep moving forward, but the bigger part is that walking down the street you get labeled as a mark for anything. I met another Aussie bloke, Dane, and we checked out the Grand Bazaar again. There are a few more pics of it this time. It’s chock a block full of shiny objects and rows upon rows of shoe stores. It’s like girl heaven. Only I suspect girl heaven would smell a bit better.


While I was here I decided to hit the Turkish Bath. Probably the highlight of my time in Istanbul. You go in, they give you a room to dump your stuff in. You get changed into a towel and go lay on a giant heated marble slab until you are covered in sweat, then some big Turkish guy comes over and does this mad loofa rub on you - taking off at least two layers of dead skin - then they soap you up and finally dump buckets of hot water over you. After that there’s a 30 minute oil massage, then a shower and they wrap you up in these huge heated towels. Quite the luxury. So if you could mix the bazaar and the bath, that would probably be girl heaven…well except for the big turkish guy doing it. I’m thinking I’m going to learn how to give some of those massages, I’ll need some willing beta test subjects, I’ll be taking applications. For the beta phase I’ll only accept female applicants ages 20-40. :)

Oh, and to squelch it before it begins, no ‘happy ending’, that’s Thailand.

As there’s no one hanging out in the area we’re staying, Dane and I headed to the Aksaray area to find some clubs. Remember me saying how everyone here views tourists as marks? Yeah, we kept getting pulled into these ‘clubs’ that were more restaurants with music so loud that my pancreas dilated, and I don’t even know what that means. More importantly there were no people in these places. All of the ’staff’ would hover around us trying to get us to sit at a table trying to push 20 Lira drinks on us - that’s about $18. We kept walking out and going to the next club as the owner/manager would push a business card into my hand with his name and mobile number on it, telling us to come back in 30 minutes because, ‘in thirty minutes 100 women be here, they dance for you! Belly dance! Strip tease!’ Strangely it was thirty minutes later in each place. We did find one club that had a number of tables of girls…who also happened to be hookers. The manager, who was maybe three apples tall, offered me - in this order - a woman, beer, and drugs. If only he’d offered the beer first… As we were leaving that place he grabbed on of the bouncers, this big ugly guy. I thought he may be trying to keep us there or shake us down, but he just spun the bouncer around and made him bend down so he could use his back as a writing table to write some stuff in Turkish on his card and give it to us. It was surreal. In a simple act of prudence, we grabbed a kebab and beer from a street vendor and just walked back to the hostel.

I’ve figured out a pretty effective method of dealing with people accosting me on the streets, I just tell them I’m German. I speak German more fluently than they speak English so it usually works. While walking back to the hostel a car pulled up beside us asking where we were from, I pulled the German bit but he just kept on in English saying he knows this club that you can’t get into unless you’re Turkish and bring a woman, but he’d take us as it’s a good place, ‘very fun, you like, many girls!’ I know this scam, they get you there, then charge you outrageous sums to get out. I was all, ‘Ich weis nicht! Was? Was? Ich spreche English nicht.’ About this point a police car pulled up and he sped off with the cops right after him. Leaving Dane and I shaking our heads and laughing. There’s an Aussie term that applies to the majority of people we’ve met here, it rhymes with ’stodgy bunts.’

We ran into some Colorado guys - the Steves - we’d met earlier who are traveling around the world in some sponsored trucks, they’ve got a site, The World by Road. I need to get some sponsorships. The four of us ended up at a bar by the hostel hanging out and swapping traveling stories. At this same bar they ran into an Irish guy they’d met seven months ago in Australia. It’s a small world, and it’s getting smaller.

I’m going to have to do some shucking and jiving to continue on, I’m not sure when I’ll be back online or exactly where, but it should be interesting regardless. You guys keep the home fires burning while I’m gone, and no parties with boys.

Wander on!

up to the mountains where Im going to.
if I ever get out of here,
thats what Im gonna do.
-bob seger

3 Responses to “I’m not your friend, guns and firetrucks, Ninja!”

  1. Hoshion 03 Dec 2007 at 10:10 am

    Enough of the teasing me with the kickin’ meershaum pipes already, @#$%^!!!. It isn’t funny, although the Shrek one sitting next to the pimp pipe is quite funny.
    From here on, we shall call you ‘Ishtar’ or ‘Ishbroi’. It suits you…especially in your belly dancing attire. :P
    Ogre has officially been harried, although he says he needs instructions on how to transfer, so I will forward the email with your info in it to my hotmail account and then show him how it is done.
    Suxor to hear your plans for India are shot. What about doing a Spain/Morocco swing for the cold winter months? Maybe overwinter in Portugal. I hear they have wine and women there…perfect photo ops for your friends slaving away back home in god-forsaken Indiana. Pleeeeeeeeeeeze. :)
    Hope things fall into place soon. Definitely wait for me to head for Thailand. I’ve got a friend heading there in February who’s been after me for a couple years to go with him to travel there. Maybe we can all wander aimlessly in the devil’s playpen.
    As always, be safe, have fun and please, please hack into the system that plays that awful call-to-Mecca music over a loudspeaker…

  2. Picidaeon 06 Dec 2007 at 11:42 pm

    Could’ve had you pick me up some spiffy, new belly dancing gear while you were out there. Hehe. I’m so “bad” about this whole pic taking thing and still havent gotten you one of my hip scarf. I will say that it looks similar to the purple one hiding on the far left side of the pic that you have posted. *jingle jingle* Unfortunately, my belly dancing classes have been canceled until Jan or Feb so im SOL for now. :(
    Good luck with the beta…let me know if there’s any space still available ;)

    Safe Travels!

  3. The Wandering Nerdon 07 Dec 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Hoshi - I could have gotten you one, you could have sold some blood or something. :) That’s not belly dancing attire broi, that’s bathing time, you can come wash my back. I’m back on the India plan, just taking a bit of time hanging out here. They have booze and women on the beaches of Goa as well, I’ll do my best to gather photographic evidence of the coastal fauna. I’ll be in India for probably a month or two at the outside depending on how the beach life suits me and how the money holds out. Then I’ll be Thailand bound, so you best hurry your ass up. I’m a big fan of playpens especially when devils are involved. I hear it’s super cheap but you have to make border runs every 30 days. If I could have hacked into that speaker I would have but it was you guys that said I wasn’t allowed to end up in a Turkish prison.

    Picidae - I’ve given up on the pic taking thing, I’ve consoled myself into thinking you are about the size of a house, covered in warts, with a hairy back and a giant mole on your nose. Hence I don’t want to see the pic. Oh, and I’ll keep a spot open in the beta for you, warts and all. ;p

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