I was talking to my friend Natalie about these monthly updates, and how much I enjoy writing them and having them to look back on. It’s been a year now since I started doing this on the blog– a year of books, music, memories, ephemera.
What was most gratifying, though, was hearing how much she enjoys reading them– even though Natalie always knows all the things that go on with me each month, even the things I don’t write about. I hope you’ve enjoyed this year of monthly recaps, too. It’s a nice opportunity to reflect, to track the little things that I’d otherwise misplace. So here we are, on the cusp of summer. Are you ready?
Best Of The Month
I had a lot of visitors this month, which was dandy– I was worried everyone would stay away this year. Instead, I welcomed my friends from Yomadic, Karen from GlobalHelpSwap, my Cappadocia buddy Simone, my Czech “sister” Lada, and my university friend Doug.
I almost adopted a cat, I went to nighttime parties on roofs, I did some yoga, I went on bike rides, and I drank wine with friends. It was a full month in Istanbul, and for that I am grateful.
Worst Of The Month
I mentioned before that I was having some issues with my visa. I actually hired a lawyer to make sure I could leave the country for Simone’s German wedding at the beginning of June. Well, the lawyer did not come through; when I realized I couldn’t go to her wedding, I was crushed. This was definitely the low point of the month.
What I’m Loving
Books: My friend Julius lent me a stack of books this month, which is guaranteed to make me happy. I buzzed through The Lemon Tree, which was actually an infuriating read, but interesting nonetheless.
Music: Radiohead came out with a new album and I went deep back down that rabbit hole, obsessing over the new album and re-obsessing over the old ones. (There were a lot of weirdo solo dance parties to Idioteque in my room this month.) First I was smitten with Burn the Witch, then with the floaty surrealism of Daydreaming, but I think my favorite is actually True Love Waits, an old track made fresh with interlacing piano lines and swoony vocals. Oh, Radiohead!
Movies: I went to see the documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut at Moda Sahnesi this month; I’d read the classic book of interviews with the same name in my film studies classes in college so it was fascinating to hear the conversations between the two famous directors. And then I went on a Hitchcock kick, re-watching North by Northwest for the zillionth time. It’s still pure cinematic delight.
The Film Files
I sat on rolls of film all month and finally got a pile developed last week, including two medium format rolls from ages ago. Time to shoot more…
My friend Doug visited for a few hours on a layover to Nepal; he lived here in 2010 (after hearing me rave about Istanbul in 2008-2009) but we’d never actually been here at the same time. We were riding the ferry through the rain and drinking tea and talking about books, as we tend to do when we’re together. Doug was in the middle of something by Cormac McCarthy (who I’ve never read), and talking about how lyrical some of his sentences are, even if the books are quite dense. To demonstrate, he opened up a passage and starting reading it out loud to me.
It reminded me of how often my friends and I would do this in college, and how beautiful and special it is to read or be read to out loud, and the way words can have so much meaning and feeling. Riding that ferry on such a gray day with a good old friend and being read to– it all came together into this one sort of magical moment for me. Thanks, Dougie.
I was supposed to go to Germany, but that’s not happening, so… I’m going to hike part of the Lycian Way! I fly tonight and the whole trip is a bit undercooked, but I am looking forward to exploring some of the most beautiful parts of Turkey on foot. Here’s to adventure!!