1.23.2014

My life is a musical (ish)

The other day I was sitting in my office when all of a sudden I felt inexplicably pumped up. Then I realized that "Eye of the Tiger" was being  blasted through the school wide P.A. system and my inspiration to go out and win a boxing match made complete sense. Unfortunately, the song was cut off almost as soon as I realized that it was being played. Which made me feel a bit let down because I had been excited about this surprising musical interlude in the middle of my day. Luckily, just a few short moments later the song "Don't Worry Be Happy" came on which immediately made me feel better. But this song was also discontinued after about 35 seconds and was quickly replaced with "All That She Wants" by Ace of Base. At this point, I felt mildly confused about this midday mash-up.

Allow me to lay out my thought process:

1) "Eye of the Tiger" makes the students feel like they can conquer the last week before break. (sensible)
2) "Don't Worry, Be Happy" allows them to know that everything will always turn out fine. (also sensible)
3) "All That She Wants" is about a psycho that is trying to get illegitimately knocked up -- which I feel is sending the wrong message to middle school students on a Friday afternoon.

I probably didn't need to explain all that.

So as I tried to work out the sense in all of this nonsense during the middle of my workday, I realized that I didn't actually care. Because whomever was DJ-ing began to play song after terrible song of music from the 1980's that I had never heard before in my life.

And if you can't sing along to the sing-along that is be played from the loud speaker of your school on a random afternoon for no apparent reason then what, may I ask, is the point?

A different musically driven event that recently happened to me here in Turkey was Camel Wrestling. I went to this:


I'm not sure if you can tell by the video, but essentially Camel Wrestling is an affair that closely resembles a crossbreed NASCAR race and music festival. With camels. It's probably the most redneck thing one can do in the Middle East. So obviously I loved it. 

About fifteen of my friends and I set up a picnic spot, grilled an exorbitant amount of meat and made ourselves right at home amidst the madness. We became best friends with our neighbors, one of which continuously tried to get me to drink his pickle juice that came out of a pre-manufactured pickle juice bag. I was all, "Stop trying to roofie me with your 'pickle juice'." But he didn't stop. Probably because he didn't speak English and therefore didn't realize I was accusing him of roofie-ing me. Then our neighbor-best-friends busted out their instruments and yelled at us through clarinets and drums for a couple (five) hours.

My friends trying to act natural.

Several old men attempted to teach me how to dance by hopping dramatically on one foot to a rhythm that I couldn't hear. At least I think they were trying to teach me something. I could have misread them. Everyone had been drinkin'. 

It was an interpretive type of dance.

Also, I don't really know how camel wrestling works. It looked to me that the camels kind of hugged each other around the neck (choked each other?) until one fell to it's front knees and then it was all over. One camel decided to run away. A lot of men chased after it. 

It was really hard to pay attention to the camels because all the musicians and dancers were fighting for the limelight.

There were about 700 "HoĊŸgeldiniz" mat sellers there. (Welcome mats) I think that all 700 sellers got into the camel ring at once at a certain point to yell about mats together for awhile. People love to yell in Turkey. It's very loud here.

And then at the end of the day, some random guy gave me his orange camel wrestling scarf -- which was a major bonus. I'm not exactly clear on the details of why he wanted me to have it, but he did reference me as the sister of my friend Mark and  then his friends took several pictures of the two of us standing together, me wearing his scarf, him looking stoically off into the distance.

Best day of my life.
American dollars, holla!