Here I am again; just in from work and digesting that awesome $7.50 Curry I got on my way home. It’s a local place I always go to with real home cooked stuff like Mama made it, as they say. Amazing!
I really shouldn’t be eating curry! I was actually food poisoned by an awful pizza over the weekend; I was out of it for two whole days with all the usual symptoms that I can probably spare you with. Anyway I’ve decided to sit my backside on the couch and fire up Abbey Road [still the pet name for my Macbook] and talk to you, It’s been a while…
It’s official… We’re back to routine… Nabila & I got back 3 weeks ago from our trip to the U.K & Turkey. I know what your thinking, wow you lucky bastard I need a holiday too. Yeah credit cards are fantastic. Not!
But it would be a little imprecise to say it was a complete holiday, as in sitting by a dappled pool, watching mermaids ride dolphins while the sunsets. Not quite!
It’s like pilgrimage for us, Nabila and I. You see we both met over there In London back in 2009, she’s from London I’m from Melb. You get the drift? Happy Wife Happy Life! Just joking.
It’s something we try to do every 2 years, visit family, friends & catch up with everyone. For me honestly It’s like coming home again.
Everything about moving to London years back changed my life for the better and there’s always going to be an eternal connection there for as long as I live.
For Nabila it’s really important to have this time, she hasn’t seen her Mum or Dad and her entire family for over two years. They’re such a close-knit family. I definitely know at time’s it isn’t easy for her living so far away. I’m really glad we’re able to do this when we can.
So on our travels and in between all the family time we did a few day trips out to the Countryside, Palaces, Gardens, Mansions and all that enchanting historical stuff England has to show off. It was beautiful & the weather was Sunny almost every day. Doesn’t sound like England I know, but it was!
Our third week in was the great trip to Istanbul, just the two of us. I’m a Turkish son of an immigrant but I’d never set foot on Turkish soil before.
I was really excited – but crapping myself! You see somewhere down the line way back when, my Dad decided it would be an amazing idea to register me as a Turkish Citizen – to have dual nationality. “You know son if anything happened in Australia you always have somewhere to go”
“Makes perfect sense and why not?” I hear you say.
Oh I agree! One tiny weeny snag though… any male citizen of Turkey, 18 and fit is legally required to complete their Military Conscription in the army. If you look at a map of the world and you look at all the countries that surround Turkey on every side; if you read the news or even stick on the TV while doing something else, you will certainly know that being in the army in Turkey in 2013 isn’t exactly – well, isn’t exactly a Turkey shoot!!!
So I had to get my paper work sorted in Aus, to delay my conscription for 15 years – the maximum – before I could even think of heading to Istanbul. Seemed crazy for an Aussie kid who’s never step foot in the country of his forefathers but there you are.
Trust me, I was bricking it as we touched down. I’d heard stories of people getting to the airport and being arrested. Thrown in a divvy and driven to the desert to shoot cans and ride camels for 15months … or worse!
Besides all that stuff, I’ve always been dreaming of visiting the country my father was from. I was always fascinated hearing about the culture, history and the stories of my father’s early childhood. It had inspired a song I wrote about the famous city itself, titled “Istanbul”, 3 years ago.
My Dad isn’t from Istanbul, but from a small town called Eskisehir. Apparently a very quiet little place in Central Anatolia when he was growing up, but a thriving city nowadays.
My dad told all of us kids magical stories of his younger days the 70’s, growing up selling Turkish bread & watermelon in the local bazaars and streets when he was 7 years old. During the summer break his father [a driver of a Coca-Cola truck] would take him on his interstate journeys driving through the steep hills of Anatolia drinking warm bottles of coke and arriving in Istanbul. They would stop on the Galata Bridge and dive into the Bosporus for some respite in the heat. I’m getting off the beaten track here but it’s great to reflect on those stories.
So Nabster and I arrived In Istanbul, palms sweating, looking even more guilty than usual when you pass through immigration with no drugs or smuggled laptops! No drama at all! Through immigration, smooth as a silk worm’s thighs.
From that moment on I was in my element. It felt like coming home. A deep feeling of familiarity. Of belonging.
Istanbul is the perfect fusion of old and new, the modernist and the traditionalist. A beautiful city a beautiful people and an amazing abundance of history and culture well and alive.
Walking through the old cobblestone streets of Suleymaniye at night I felt a connection an emotion really something I’ve never felt before. No melodrama here, I really felt like I belonged there as much as I do in Melbourne. One thing for sure, that city, that country and those people are now permanently lodged inside me and if there is one certainty in my life it is that I shall visit that city again and again throughout my life.
We had some great times over those 5 weeks in August away from home, but it wasn’t going to be complete without catching up with one of my closest friends and partner in crime Robin Millar.
Robin and I have mustered up 40 odd songs together spilling our emotions pen to paper with the ring of a Gibson acoustic most times. Never pre-orchestrated but it just happens, from the forces of the music gods. If they exist? Hmm I’m sure they do!
“Man I’m coming to town you better get the tea going mate!”
I caught up with Robin for maybe 6 days in total. We had no grand plan to write together. Just to hang out talk about stuff, music, life the world and everything else that’s happening. Stuff that close friends do.
But as it always seems to go, we ended up writing four new songs, I mean who would have thought? Not me that’s for sure, but that’s the magic of music, connection and a greater force we cannot explain.
We’re both really pumped about these four new songs, we recorded them down then and there and I’m very excited. I’m super proud of our new work together.
So I’m building up to something here, I think. I haven’t got a plan or a clear view of what road I’m taking right now. But there’s something in these songs and I want to be careful about how I do this. Sure I know the easy thing is to play them live work them up with the band and get on with it, but I want them to be heard by more people.
This stuff takes time, I may or may not be onto something here, but I’m a big believer in taking on inspiration as it comes and Running with it. These new songs have totally fired me up.
It may mean I’m under that radar for a while, but I’m putting on my thinking cap. I’m still searching, planning. Heck maybe somebody is going to lead me on to a new path. Who knows?
It’s all great though; I’ve had a great break with my wife in that big open world of ours.
I really look forward to sharing my new music with everybody & I’m excited about what’s to come. I’ll keep you posted, I promise.
As always I’ve written way too much – but I was always one to fail those 200 word essays back in High School. As if you couldn’t tell!
So that’s my update for now. Well done for reading all of that! I’ve uploaded a couple of pictures of our journey overseas below.
Love Eran xo