He tried convincing me to go into Syria.. That he has excellent communication with those near the border and they would let us know if a plane is flying over head. I said I'd think about it.. then I went online and did some research. The news is telling me there is going to be a huge war in Allepo at the time I will be there. So.. In keeping my promise to not take uncalculated risks, I am nixing that plan. Ziad plans on taking it in himself or having a good friend take it. I will be waiting at the border and helping where I can until he gets back. I may just find my way back later on. I have kept the medicine with me up until now. Its been in my little hotel room that the Man with the Medicine recommended I stay in. Me, the two large suitcases of medicine, and my little backpack occupied that place for 2 days. I couldn't sleep there.. The night club next door backed up to my room and the music was non-stop till 4 in the morning... I managed to fall asleep as soon as the incessant pounding terminated. I tried cancelling out the sound of the music so that I was not denied the sound of the rain beating on the ancient alleyway. I don't know which was worse, the sound of the club music or the cigarette smoke coming in through a vent somewhere.
As I write this, this is day 3 in Istanbul. I finally moved to a hostel overlooking the Bosphorous canal in Istanbul. Im sitting on the rooftop. I would add a picture but it seems that I have been having great difficulty adding photos to this blog. Until I figure out another option, there will be no photos. Although I have been taking photos of my journey so far.
In keeping with my original plan of being a "Calligraphy Student", I sent an email to a man looking for calligraphy lessons. The girl that was in my hotel said that you could take some touristy calligraphy class if you really wanted to. I don't. I want to find an old man sitting behind a desk somewhere creating beautiful art pieces and then I want to pop my head in and ask if I could learn from him. The way I see it, the less English he knows, the more authentic he probably is. The girl at the hotel said that it was impossible to find such a person. Watch me.
Ziad and I have mapped out bus routes. We are waiting till thursday to travel because he has 2 important info gatherings of students to describe the situation and get help. He is also collecting goods from them such as blankets, dried foods, etc... So, this leaves me tomorrow and aftertomorrow here.
Then we head down South by bus. He still plans on going in. He wants to take photos and make sure the medicine gets to where it needs to be.
I currently have the medicine with me... Again. I was told I would give it to him and he would store it till we were ready, but so far, the torch of guardian of the medicine has been handed down to me.
I am beginning to understand some of the sub-cultures around these parts.. which I will get into later.
Off to explore now and practice my Turkish a bit.. Ive run into many Syrians in Istanbul but they seem to be the wealthy ones so I have nothing to offer them.
This city never sleeps. It feels like New York. I have had many interesting encounters which I will write as seperate mini stories.. Until then, thank you for all your support. I will try my best to update this daily.