Voices of Istanbul (part 1)

I’m sitting in a taksi. In the back of the car. My backpack is lying close to me, in the very middle of the backseat. It’s the only thing that seperates me from my dear friend, who is here in this taksi with me. She is the main reason for me actually making it to Istanbul. I’ve always dreamt of visiting this city some time in the future… And without this wonderful summer encounter I probably wouldn’t have made it here so very soon. Now that is! My friend is one of the sweet loving souls whom I met at Goulash Disko Festival this year. Just a few months ago. (As I repeat sentences like these: Yes, this festival makes my world go around!) She is part of an incredibly passionate bunch of musicians straight outta Istanbul, known as Zeytin. Meeting her, here, in everyday-life, is one of the few fine reasons for the excitement I feel just now. In this taksi. In Istanbul. I don’t even know where to start looking at or to when I catch a glimpse of the city through the window, so I simply enjoy sitting in the back of the car together with my friend. Concentrate on her. Grin, talk, laugh, listen and share.

Today is a historical day! Due to a few personal firsts, but also for Zeytin: Just a few hours ago one of their songs – a new song that is – was  played on the radio (and not any radio by the way: Istanbul’s Rock FM). Great and exciting news! I am very happy for them.

We’re heading to a band members flat. Traffic in Istanbul is crazy. In fact, it’s the craziest I’ve ever whitnessed. The taksi drives up hills, down again, squeezes in between every possible constellation of cars and busses, takes turns, goes fast forward here, (fast) backwards there… I look out of the window, see a bridge. Take a closer look. So that’s one of them, huh?  One of the famous bridges that connect Europe and Asia. The Bosporus. From somewhere in Ortaköy. (Not that I have a clue where that is.) But it seems we’re already there. So we get out of the taksi, I grab my backpack, take a deep breath, look at my friend and we smile. I really made it here. To Istanbul. For a visit. The road we are on is super steep. Should do sports again soon, I think to myself! Crazy architecture. And it’s noisy. Very. Blinking lights. It smells of food. Everywhere.

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Come inside! I drop my stuff. Open the door to the balcony. Balcony? That would be an understatement. It’s a terrace. With an awesome view. Amazing. Welcome to Istanbul! Here: have a beer, a smoke break and half an avocado with a spoon. In these few moments I just can’t stop wondering: How did life bring me here? Not that I don’t know that, of course I do, but it’s kind of hard to believe that this is actually true. It’s happening. Again! Right now. Here. I look into the eyes of these two people I actually barely know, but what I know for sure is that we share way more than only a festival experience and wonderful memory. It’s a state of mind: We are like-minded human beings in a rather messed up world. We seek for the better. We have hope. We try to change the world by changing perspectives. Ours. And through music. And I am mainly here, in Istanbul, because all of us happened to meet on the same stage called life, which for a few days happened to be at this one fine festival. Where each and every one of us decided to go for his or her very own reasons. And be. There. And gather. Together. And now we are here in this city of almost 20 million people and share our thoughts and emotions before we head to tonights rehearsal. I cannot wait to meet the rest of the gang!

Don’t worry, be happy… It’s just now playing in the background. I am at the Zeytin rehearsal in the cellar of a studio called Lemonade. Refreshing ideas. Kind of reminds me of the Rational International office in Zagreb. Atmosphere-wise. People-wise. Although the location is totally different. Also the inventory. Except for all the computers and stuff.

Pause. We stand by the window and share a cigarette. I never know, if to expect English or Turkish when people start talking. It’s weird hearing one while expecting the other. A bunch of people are having a ping-pong match. The tiny ball misses the table and jumps in our direction. And then someone asks me: So, how did Goulash change your life, huh? That is a hell of a question. And I have one paradise of an answer: It changed everything. But before I get to say anything the band starts to play again. And I just stand there with a huge smile on my face and a fast beating heart…

With love and light, Nomadjay*

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