Agir Roman

It’s strange how relative time really is.

I’ve been running all around making insanely long lists every day of things I have to accomplish and making phone calls and emailing people — but this week I took two days off.

Yusuf took off Sunday and Monday to spend time with me before I leave for the walk.

We have a really nice couple of days just hanging out.

Yusuf told me that he had a surprise he would give to me on Sunday.

I take pictures every day on my Samsung Windows 7 Focus phone and I have been planning to use it as a camera in Australia.

Yusuf is always looking at my pictures saying things like, “Yeah, you really need a camera for when you are in Australia.”

I have been basically trying to ignore him since I can’t afford to buy a camera right now.

Sunday morning Yusuf and Yilmaz left early before they went to the shop to go pick up my surprise. I was hanging out at the apartment and turned on the tv to check if we had Univision to watch the Uruguay v Paraguay final.

I was flipping through the channels and Rick Steve’s Mediterranean special was on, which was basically just this old white guy traveling all over the world and talking about how incredible everyone’s culture is.

The episode that was on was about Turkey, and he was traveling through Istanbul. Bartering with salesmen at Kapalacarsi and smoking Nargile and hanging out at hammams and videotaping praying Muslims. It was super exciting. I called Jon out in time to see Rick Steves hanging out on the balcony inside the Haga Sophia…

That’s going to be me in a few months 🙂


Jon left to open the shop and I had a shower and got dressed, the entire time waiting for Yusuf to get back and wondering what my surprise was.

I was in the bedroom putting on my deodorant when Yusuf got back home.

“Okay, are you ready?”

he asked.

He opened up a bag and pulled out a Sony DSC HX100V Cyber Shot camera, 16 gig memory card, and camera bag.

I think I had a mild heart attack.

I was so excited. This is like my first.. real camera and I have it in time for my trip.

For the last year I’ve been trying to get more into photography, but it’s been hard because I usually don’t have a camera.. So needless to say I’m insanely grateful, and this camera could be a huge help in my life, especially with the work I am planning to do when I get back (speaking tour, memoir, documentary, etc.).

After the initial excitement had died down a tiny bit and I found enough restraint to put down the camera for more than a minute, Yusuf and I started looking online for the soccer game. I was able to find a weird, finicky version of the game that was in Polish and we watched that until Yusuf found the game in Turkish.

Analia was supposed to come over and watch the game too, but she didn’t end up coming.

Uruguay won 3 – 0, which was a little bit obnoxious.

Yusuf and I spent the rest of the day taking pictures of everything in site and talking and watching movies.We watched Pulp Fiction and the beginning of The Boondock Saints (which I have still never actually seen), and ate popcorn and drank tea.

Yusuf and I

When Yilmaz and Jon came home I told them I could take pictures that they could use on facebook and they got almost as excited as I was. Yilmaz told me to wait because he had to shave first, and Jon just kind of went to bed, but it was  a really good day/evening.

Yilmaz and I holding the Fenerbahce banner

Monday Yusuf and I did a little running around in the rain, before settling down at the apartment to drink wine and eat cheese and watch Agir Roman.

All in all it was a beautiful two days and I was actually able to just relax and enjoy myself. Supercool.

My original plan had been to come back to Gardner early yesterday morning and spend the day with my family/packing so that I would be ready to leave and meet up with the walk on Thursday.

All the relaxing I had done for the last 48 hours had left me feeling like I didn’t want to wake up at 5 in the morning and carry all of my bags and laundry basket to the bus and like it was basically unreasonable for me to even attempt it. Instead, I decided I would sleep until sometime after the sun had risen and that I would take a cab to Gardner if I couldn’t get a ride.

I told Analia I would be leaving Fitchburg and soon after leaving the state and invited her over to say goodbye.

She told me that she would be able to give me a ride to Gardner after midnight when she got out of work, if I wanted to wait and save myself money.

I decided this was a better plan, and told Yusuf I would be leaving after he got home from work.

Last night he got home at 10 and we hung out for sometime before Analia came over.

Yusuf has never seen Weeds before and I’m a huge fan so we watched a few episodes on Netflix before Analia got to the apartment.

The three of us ended up talking and laughing until sometime around 1:45 am at which point it was decided that we really actually had to get going so that Analia could be back in Fitchburg for 3am to bring Garris to work.

In all of this I have been feeling so busy and been so focused on everything I have to get done I haven’t really had too much time to actually stop and feel the excitement and insanity that my life is about to become.

A huge part of me still somehow feels like this is impossible. Like there’s no way I am going to Australia and Turkey and… everything else. And I don’t know, maybe on the airplane I’ll start sobbing tears of joy or jumping up and down in my seat but I can’t help feeling like something is still going to go wrong. I’ll break my toe and not be able to walk or something.

I know that’s not what I should be thinking.. but it feels so… unlikely.


My life is crazy amazing.

I’m in Gardner now and I was planning to meet up with the walkers tomorrow with Matt and David. I now think that they are not necessarily going on the walk, which means I am probably not necessarily going on the walk tomorrow. I spoke to Tim today and after he gets back from NC he’ll be going to join up with the walk, so I’ll meet up with them then probably.

I still have things in my room to get rid of, and mail I am waiting for.. and a million things that I know will probably never get done before I go, but I’m ready.

There’s only so much I can actually prepare for and I am getting to the point where I have to just kind of smile, say “daijobi-des”, and just start walking.

Analia, Yusuf, and I before leaving Fitchburg

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