People, I'm fucked up. I know I'm fucked up because I was wandering around Istanbul bored off my tits yesterday afternoon, wishing - actually actively desiring - that all the people around me were trees instead.
I don't know whether or not I can really recommend Istanbul as a vacation destination, I don't have enough information after five days. The 'social programme' of the conference would have made me come in my panties five years ago; dinner in a giant Byzantine water cistern, a cruise down the Bosphorus, black tie gala in an early 20th century vizier's yali. But I spent it ovulating, wishing that I was being ploughed by the single attractive man at that fucking sausage-fest of a conference, studiously avoiding him in defense of my monogamism, and thinking about how all the breathtakingly beautiful things I was looking at were representative of a long and super-successful massive oppression of man by his fellow man. I'm fucking laugh-a-minute, people. Laugh-a-fucking-minute.
It was a relief to hit Saturday morning and run away to my much cheaper hotel and to all the sights I wanted to see. The Hagia Sophia, or as a particularly retarded American woman who was accompanying her husband to the conference called it with a rather shocking familiarity, "Sophia"* , was very beautiful and it satisfied the part of me who had had to study it a kajillion times in sundry art and architecture classes to explore it. But not being in a particularly arty frame of mind I was much more impressed by the Blue Mosque next door, which frankly was tidier, and still functioning as a religious institution. I was handed a pamphlet on the joys of Islam on my way in and was so impressed and so moved by the interior that I nearly read it.
And there were lots of other wondrous things about the city, but I only had two days to look at them, which means I didn't even scrape the surface - what I did was the equivalent of going to Paris, walking from the Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre to Notre-Dame and Sainte-Chapelle, with a quick trip up to the Marché aux Puces (Grand Bazaar, which was nice, I found a bunch of super-cheap fabric). That's why I can't say whether or not I recommend Istanbul as a vacation destination - I still don't know shit about it - not much more than I knew before.
Also, as I mentioned, people, I'm fucked up. It didn't feel exotic to me, it didn't feel exciting; it felt like every other big Mediterranean city I've been to, with touts yelling about how awesome the shit they were selling was, and too many men trying to chat me up in the quest for some fast tail or a North American residency visa, and too many people wandering around, and too many tourists speaking stupidities in snatches of languages I understood, and too much dirt on the ground and shit in the air, and too many drivers acting like brainless cunts.
And I know this sort of misplaced indifference, this 'it's all the fucking same anyways', is a symptom of depression, but I've been depressed, and this isn't depression. This is misanthropy, running away with me. I don't get homesick in the normal sense of the word - I miss my family desperately sometimes, but I don't particularly want to be back in Canada - but sometime in the middle of the Istanbul trip, when I realized that my brain was approaching the experience as simply another stay in a place with too many damn people in it, I thought of so much yearning of kayaking down the La Vase with no people in sight, or right in Lake Nipissing far away from everything, or hiking through the woods with my family, that the tears started to my eyes.
I may as well face it. I was raised in the middle of nowhere, isolated, and while I spent a lot of the time I was being raised wishing that I was somewhere with more people, trees and fresh air were my constant companions and trees and fresh air are probably where I need to go. Particularly on my vacations, since the wait until I can take myself there more permanently seems interminable. Taking a break from one dirty overcrowded city full of annoying people to go to another has turned out to not be such a hot experience.
Whine . . . complete.
*As in, "the mosaics in Sophia weren't that great. Now look at my photos of them." That wasn't what I was basing my evaluation of her retardation on, BTW - more on her opinion of what a shame it was all the black people who didn't know what they were doing turned out to vote Democrat last year instead of staying home like they usually do. Sure lady, like white Americans have a fucking clue what they're doing if they're trying out any task more complicated than stuffing their fucking cracker face with Twinkies or changing the channel from Fox to Fox News. Of course, there are always exceptions, like anyone reading this blog. Smile.