The Best Laid Plans

13Nov11

So last night, I made a decision.

Most of this study abroad, I have been a happy hermit. I’ve gone out to dinner, to coffee and to class obviously, but I’m an 80 year old woman inside and wild Istanbul evenings haven’t tempted me yet. I’ve been quite into my whole spiritual journey and have been perfectly content crawling into bed by 11pm most evenings. I’ve avoided the American fratstars I’ve seen drunkenly walking the streets screaming, “Let’s show this country how ‘Murica throws down!” before projectile vomiting like the plague. I’ve written in my journal. I’ve done runs starting at the time most people are just getting in from their nights out.

But last night, after our return from Cyprus, I decided my spiritual me time had mostly run its course.

I mean, really. How many times can I replay the same scenarios over in my head and imagine what would have happened had I acted differently? How many times can I have these deep moments with myself about the future? Not that my me time hasn’t been beneficial, but unlike Elizabeth Gilbert, I can’t just up and move on to another country when I want to take the next step in my whole hippy dippy discovering myself process. I’m eating, praying and loving in Turkey and no where else.

Anyways, it was time for a break. Most of the time, I avoid the party scene because it overwhelms me. Too many people. Too many drinky drinks. I feel self-conscious and awkward. I count the seconds until I have stayed a socially acceptable amount of time and then make a beeline for the safety of my room.

But yesterday, I had agreed to venture out into the night. What could a few hours hurt? It was time to grow some lady-balls and get over it. If I didn’t like it, I didn’t like it. If I did, yay.

So when my friend called me just before midnight (A full hour after I am usually snoozing away.), I quickly got ready and managed to just catch the last bus to Taksim Square.

Arriving a little after 12:30, I dialed to find out exactly where he was.

And then a voice came over the speaker, said something in Turkish and cut off the call.

And it happened again.

And again.

Outgoing texts got error messages.

The nearby pay phones were credit card operated.

And wouldn’t take mine.

So I paced. I got a coffee at Starbucks. I waited. I got kicked out into the cold. I walked down İstiklâl only comforted by the sounds of We No Speak Americano blasting from one of the buildings.

A text finally came, “Where you at?”

But, alas, I could not answer. My phone was still capable of receiving, but nothing was going out. I tried to communicate telepathically and get my friend to dial my number.

Finally, 2 hours later, I surrendered.

I was disappointed. Finally, I’d psyched myself up to be social. Finally, I’d actually dressed so that I looked somewhat like a girl.

(A big step by the way.)

And there I was climbing into a cab headed for the Superdorm.

As fate would have it, as I was on my way, my friend called wondering what was taking me so long.

Sigh.

The best laid plans, eh?

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