[ Istanbul ]
Almost four months. Over one hundred days have come and gone since escaping (once again) the dense gravity of the U. S. of A.—and it hardly seems possible.
Yet a lot has happened: paragliding over the Turkish Mediterranean and the Moroccan Atlantic, exploring the many hearts of Istanbul, wandering the outlying fringes of the Sahara desert as Moped Moses, surviving Morocco’s worst natural disaster in eons (final toll, 47 dead), learning a bit of French and getting my none-too-shabby German back in fighting shape, and watching the horrendous events in Paris and in Nigeria unfold from afar. Somewhat balancing these latter events—and their horribly skewed coverage in Western media—I have spent this entire time living in Islamic countries, interacting closely with countless warm, giving, lively and politically engaged Muslims. What amazing, and amazingly diverse people—daily giving lie to the embarrassing Islamophobia plaguing the West.
For these things, and so many more, I could not be more grateful; though yet to depart, I long to return.
And so it goes.
Tomorrow evening I begin my journey back to Pokhara. All over Nepal, my adopted countrymen have returned to the status quo: strategic strikes attempting to disrupt the (already inept, nepotistic, childish) political process. In advance of the sure-to-be-missed Constitutional deadline (January 22nd), Kathmandu is inundated with protests and transit strikes. No taxis, no buses, nada. A friend tells me they’re allowing buses to take foreigners from the airport to Thamel (the main tourist district), but I won’t know until my plane lands. Assuming it isn’t canceled.
As messy as it sounds, I really, truly cannot wait to be back. I love the chaos there—the way of life, the sense of community, the noise and smell and rumbling, screaming evolution of a still-unspoiled, seeking, yearning world in unpredictable, unstoppable transition.
Yeah. It’s just that awesome. And the best part? It’s home.
Talk to you soon.
and Multiphonic Mantras,
—Your Friendly Neighborhood Transglobalist